Thursday, June 22, 2017

DNF Mini Reviews: Spring 2017

I don't normally post reviews for books that I don't finish reading but a part of me thinks that if I don't mention my thoughts it's a loose end I need to tie up. Plus I have a whole in my posting schedule because I wasn't able to read much last weekend and this weekend is ALA. There's so many books and so little time so I'm trying to prioritize the ones that are capturing my interest and that means having to put aside a few.

So I decided to to a few quick posts to explain my thoughts on the two books I shelved as "DNF" this summer. Writing DNF reviews is a tricky subject. I didn't want to do full reviews on the book because I don't really have a well-rounded enough view on it. But I also wanted to explain why I didn't quite like the books because I try to be really honest here. So I based this post on Nikki at There Were Books Involved's DNF Q+As. This allows me to explain why the book didn't quite work for me without giving a full review. So here you go, my DNF Reviews

Title: The Shadow Land
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Published: April 11, 2017 by Ballentine (Random House)
Source: Netgalley
(Amazon / Goodreads)                                                                                          

Synopsis: From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the present and unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country. 

A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. 

As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. 

Kostova's new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.

Why it Didn't Work For Me:
This one hurts. It hurts so badly. I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Kostova. The Historian is one of my all-time favorite books and I even really liked The Swan Thieves. But something about this book just didn't hook me. I can't describe why. I mean it had all the hallmarks of a good Elizabeth Kostova novel, there was a fascinating setting and atmospheric plus a good amount of mystery. This should absolutely have hooked me, and yet it didn't. I just never became invested in the plot. I didn't care about Alexandra returning the urn and it felt like it was just dragging everything out. I'm sure Kostova will connect everything and have some big reveal in the end but I just didn't want to stick around for that.

How Much I Read:
26% of the e-ARC

Will I Go Back to It:
Maybe. It could have been a case of bad timing. I read this just as I was coming out of my months long reading slump and I think I was very reluctant to invest time into a book that wasn't capturing me because I didn't want to backslide. But I do love Kostova's writing and I would like to read this book because of that.

Title: The Hush
Author: Skye Melki-Wegner
Published: June 6, 2017 by Sky Pony Press (Sky Horse)
Source: NetGalley
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: In a world where music is magic, the echoes can kill you. 

Chester has been traveling from village to village, searching for his kidnapped father. One night while fiddling to earn a few coins, he accidentally connects to the Song—the music that fuels every aspect of the world. It’s illegal to interact with the Song—only a licensed Songshaper may bend music to his will—and when Chester is caught, he’s sentenced to death. 

 But just before the axe is about to fall, someone in the crowd—a member of the infamous Nightfall Gang—stages a daring rescue, whisking Chester into the Hush, a shadowy nightmare mirror-world where Music can be deadly and Echoes can kill. 

Susanna, captain of the Nightfall Gang has been watching Chester. She needs his special talent to pull off an elaborate plan. And she’ll risk everything to succeed. Even Chester’s life.

Why It Didn't Work For Me:
This one totally sounds like a book I would love. I mean it's a super unique YA fantasy and I am all about those. It also sounds really atmospheric and dark. And to me honest, it was. I picked this up because I needed a quick read before I had to read something for a blog tour. I thought I could plow through this in a few days and I didn't. Then I needed an e-book later in the month and I picked this up again and realized I just didn't want to read it. Again it just hasn't captured me. But I am not very far in. I don't know that I have given this book a fair chance but I don't really want to read it at the moment so I'm DNFing.

How Much I Read:
15% of the e-ARC

Will I Go Back to It:
Maybe. Like I said, I don't think I have given this book a fair shot. Unfortunately I just have so many other e-books for review including some that I am really excited about so I'm not sure I will take the time to go back to this one. But I do want to.

Have you read The Shadow Land or The Hush? What did you think? What makes you DNF a book and do you ever go back to it after you put it down for an extended period of time? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.


  1. Awww sad to hear you didn't enjoy The Hush. I'm very curious about that one but maybe not right away now haha.

    1. I may actually pick that one back up again. I think I just wasn't in the mood and couldn't power through.

  2. Too bad you didn't like The Shadow Land. It's one I've been really looking forward to reading. =/

    1. I was really looking forward to it too. But I think sometimes with favorite authors if it doesn't live up to their last book it's even harder.