Series: Market of Monsters #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin (9.4.2018)
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 368 pages
Length: 10 hours, 1 minute
Narrator: Almarie Guerra
Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.
Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out — dissecting living people is a step too far.
But when she tries to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place — because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she won’t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again.
Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she’s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.
DNF @ 50%
I wanted to love this – it’s marketed for fans of Dexter, after all – but sadly, I didn’t. I’ll start with the good: The concept was fantastic! I love how dark it was, and it was gory and brutal. I loved the magical creatures and the idea of a magical creature black market. Super cool!
Unfortunately, that’s where my enjoyment ended. The writing is just…not good, sorry. It’s very juvenile to the point that it felt like I was reading a middle grade novel. It lacked the credibility to really sell the magical creature concept to make it believable. The prose is extremely bland and I didn’t care about the characters at ALL. I never really got a feel for any of them despite being halfway through the story. Some of the dialogue was awkward and the thought processes of the main character seemed a bit silly. I listen to audiobooks while I work, which makes it difficult for me to bookmark anything; so, I don’t have examples of specifics but there were a few times I was thinking, why doesn’t she just x or y? Seems like a simple solution… or why would she do that? Makes no sense…
Overall I was not enjoying this much at all and don’t feel it’s worth it for me to continue. The narrator wasn’t very good, either. Womp womp.
Dark Theory by Wick Welker
Series: Dark Law #1
Published by Self Published (4.17.2022)
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Format: eBook, 807 pages
A robot yearns to remember. A thief struggles to forget. A galaxy on the verge of collapse.
On the fringe of a broken civilization, a robot awakens with no memories and only one directive: find his creator. But in the village of Korthe, Beetro finds only radioactive pestilence, famine, and Miree—a tormented thief with dreams of retiring after her final score. Meanwhile, the fiefdom is plunged further into chaos when a new warlord seizes control, recasting serfs as refugees and leaving derelict robot peasants in his wake. With a shared interest in survival, Beetro and Miree team up to pull off an impossible castle heist: steal a single flake of dark matter, the world’s most valuable and mysterious ore.
But as they trek through the feudal wasteland in search of answers, they realize the true extent of the chaos surrounding them: the stars are disappearing from the sky and the entire galaxy is unraveling. As he uncovers his origin, Beetro discovers he may be the key to the salvation of the cosmos—or its destruction. Time, space, and loyalty become relative as he learns the real reason he was created.
A mind-bending science fiction epic with the bones of a fantasy traveling quest, Dark Theory unfolds through a journey of betrayal, identity, and unlikely friendships in a world of darkness set at the edge of space and time.
DNF @ 35%
I tried. I really did.
This was one of my most anticipated 2022 releases, so I’m pretty bummed to let it go. But I straight up am not enjoying it. It was a chore to read, actually. I’ve been slogging through this book for 3 weeks now because it’s so tedious, and I’ve lost all desire to pick it back up again. It feels like I’ve been reading it for FOREVER and after realizing I was barely a third of the way through, I just couldn’t do it anymore.
The writing grated on my nerves. It was dry and pretentious, and even when things were happening I was bored. The characters were flat and I couldn’t connect to them at all. The only reason I made it as far as I did was because the premise is super cool. The world was really unique! Like I said, super bummed. It had such fantastic potential and could have been a winner for me if it had better writing and characters. The Crib was pretty cool – an achillean society with zero women whatsoever living underground – View Spoiler »until I found out that they’re all clones of the same person so are basically fucking themselves, oof. Awkward. « Hide Spoiler I think this will be a winner for a lot of Adult SFF fans, but it didn’t work for me.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Published by Little Brown (9.18.2012)
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 578 pages
Length: 18 hours, 14 minutes
Narrator: January LaVoy
SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED… Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened…
DNF @ 25%
I’m not usually into anything historical, but this has good reviews and it’s been on my list forever. I picked it up on a whim for the simple fact that January LaVoy is the narrator, but even she couldn’t save it for me. I was bored AF, and all the characters felt exactly the same to the point that I really couldn’t tell them apart. Except for the main character, Evie, who was just insufferably annoying to the point that it was exhausting. I don’t even remember the last character that grated on my nerves this badly. (Wait, yes I do…it was Poppy from From Ash & Blood. Evie is that level of annoying.) Even the way she talked was annoying. Who the hell talks like that? Some of the things she said made my eye twitch, like “pos-i-tute-ly” and “not on your life-ski.” Um, what? Those are the only two examples I have (other than her CONSTANTLY calling her uncle “unc” which I found unbearably irritating) because at the point I couldn’t stand it anymore and went and found them in the Kindle version, they were the only recent ones. I was listening to audio so I don’t have the rest marked, and I was too lazy to search back through Kindle, but there were a lot of them leading up to those two. Most of the other dialogue was awkward and forced, too. Oh and I guess there’s a love triangle on top of that? Nah, I’m out.