A lot of people don’t like to be negative on their blogs, but I am not one of them.
I love reading negative reviews and I love reading about people’s disappointing reads of the year, I think it’s interesting and fun to see what books people disliked the most. For me personally, disappointing reads are not even necessarily bad, they just were not as good as I expected and wanted them to be. And overall, this has been a crappy reading year and I want to bitch about it.
This is arguably one of the most disappointing reads ever. I absolutely love the King Arthur legend, and I especially love good retellings of it (check out my review for A Cathedral of Myth and Bone, one of last year’s favorites, which has an Arthurian retelling), so this book was supposed to be the perfect one. It’s Sci-Fi, with a gender-bent Arthur, lots of POC and LGBTQ rep and it just sounded like it would be pure fun in book form. Alas, I did not enjoy this one at all. It was incredibly frazzled and all over the place, things happened without any clear sense of direction, the characters were one-beat and one-dimensional and I just did not like it, which is really sad because I was so excited for it. You can find more of my thoughts HERE.
I was so excited for this one, but ultimately the whole book felt really underdeveloped in terms of world-building, which is a big pet peeve of mine. World-building is arguably one of the most important things in Fantasy for me (second only to characters) and I just feel like Nocturna really lacked on that front. It was generic and not well thought out, especially in the magic system department. And overall, this was just another book on my read list year that I did not really feel anything about, neither particularly bad nor good. It just did not do much for me. You can find more of my thoughts on it HERE.
This was just another read that did absolutely nothing for me. I really wanted to like this, because I am a huge Marvel fan, and I love the Marvel version of Loki. And this book had it’s advantages, but overall, it did not do much for me, and moreover, I did not really like Loki’s character in this. I think he was given really little agency, which I wasn’t keen on, plus this was really poorly paced, which is an issue I have with all of Lee’s books. Again, one I was supposed to love, but it did not do anything for me AT ALL. Which is just sad. More of my thoughts can be found HERE.
Serpent & Dove is probably the book I liked the least this year. And it had the PERFECT premise for me. But it let me down on a lot of fronts (despite having a good clearance sale version of the Nina x Matthias dynamic). I felt like the world-building in here made no sense, and it was “French-inspired” only if France is French-inspired. The book was set in France, but only with witches and yet to avoid any sort of historical grounding, it was just made into a made-up land. Moreover, the male lead is really flat, and the dual PoV did not work for this story and the characters’ voices were never distinct enough. I just had a lot of issues with it. And this is to this day my most popular Goodreads review, so there’s that. Full review is available HERE.
The ultimate disappointment of this year was The Queen of Nothing. I loved The Wicked King, I think it was a fantastic book, it’s perfect in tone and pacing and just sets so much up for the final book and then WE WERE ROBBED. It’s not that The Queen of Nothing was bad, it’s that it was rushed and crammed into 300 pages when it needed at least 500 to tell the story in a good way. Instead, nothing made sense, things happened more off-page than on and it just did not have a lot of pay-off in terms of the stakes that were set in the first two books. And not only plot-wise, but also character-wise. Which is just a bummer. You can find more of my thoughts on it HERE.
All of these are YA Fantasy, and all but one of them were ARCs, so clearly there’s a lesson in there but it seems I will never learn.
There you have it! Those are my most disappointing reads of 2019, which really made me sad overall. I would love to hear from you – what books you disliked this year or just found disappointing overall? I would LOVE to know.
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