2017 Review: Books I Disliked or Was Disappointed With

In every year, there are books you read that you love and books that you dislike with every fibre of your being.  This is a list of the latter.  I don’t like saying that these were the worst books because I know there will be ones that were worse but I just had enough sense not to pick any of them up.  This is a list of books I dislike.  It is also a list of books that were not necessarily bad, but disappointed me for one reason or another.  They just simply didn’t live up to my expectations.  I don’t really read many books that I hate, I tend to research most books before I buy them but, every so often, some slip through the net and I find myself lost in mediocrity, horrible plots and shitty characters (yes there will be swearing in this post, if you’re offended, tough).  I am limiting the list to books I completed for the first time this year, because I will otherwise spend another couple of hundred words ranting about how much I hate The Handmaid’s Tale and no-one wants to read that again.


  1. Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

The first books falls in the category of “books which disappointed me.”  I didn’t hate it, not really, but of all the Jules Verne novels I read this year, this was the one which just didn’t deliver for me.  I didn’t really care for the characters and the story just bored me, to be honest.  I much prefer Around the World in Eighty Days and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

  1. Dreamwalker by James Oswald

Dreamwalker didn’t feel like a whole novel.  There didn’t seem to be a complete ending to the story (yes it is a series but there needs to be something to hook a reader into the next book and this didn’t seem to have it).  The story meandered too much and didn’t really go anywhere.  It had potential but failed to deliver.

  1. The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

This mainly refers to Shadow’s Edge and Beyond the Shadows because I really did like The Way of Shadows and if that had been the only book then it would probably have been on my list of favourite novels.  The rest of the trilogy really fell flat, in my opinion, the characters vacillated between being interested and the most annoying cunts on the face of the earth.  I especially hated Elene, the annoying Mary Sue who made Kylar into a shit character every time he appeared near her and (massive spoiler) what was the actual point of bringing Durzo back from the dead at the end of Shadow’s Edge because he did pretty much bugger all apart from fly in Beyond the Shadows.  Also, why introduce his daughter, Uly, only to reduce her to a glorified extra.  Did she even speak in Beyond the Shadows?  She barely appeared.  So much wasted potential.  The only parts I really enjoyed were the bits which were centred around Kylar and Logan.

  1. Angelfall by Susan Ee

Let’s just call this novel what it is: YA bullshit at its most clichéd.  Vaguely defined main character so young girls can imagine it’s them but also has an unhappy home life?  Check.  Tall, handsome and cunty male love interest to provide tension and then romance?  Check.  It even has a Mary Sue sister who disappears in the first part of the novel, thank god.  I never read to the end of the novel to see if she would return.  Why do writer’s continue to persist with the idea that girls and young women want an absolute areshole as a romantic interest?  Why do girls and young women continue to buy this trash?  In any everyday scenario if a man was that cunty to you, you’d just tell him to fuck off but in these novels it makes the protagonist want to fuck them.  This is why I don’t normally read YA novels but I was tricked into buying it because it appeared in the adult fantasy (not that kind, get your minds out of the gutter) section of Waterstone’s.  Thing is, it has an interesting concept and I think that sort of story (Angel’s conquering Earth) would work really well as a dark, post-apocalyptic novel with interesting characters but, as it is, this is just shit.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Yawn.  A tedious book that bored me to tears.  I am obviously a bad example of the female gender to not obsess over this book but, hey, I didn’t like Titanic either.  The plot was tedious, the characters were tedious and Lizzie (is that the main character, I’m not sure) fucking Bennet and FitzWilliam sodding Darcy can go fuck right off.  I disliked them both.  If this is what is considered the epitome of women’s fantasies then I will happily hand in my woman card.

  1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Boring, flat characters and a weird ending involving sex of dubious consent.  This book is now in a pile ready to go to the charity shop and I don’t regret it.  You would think that a novel about the exploration of grief after a massive tragedy would be interesting but this is absolutely tedious.  I couldn’t have given less of a shit about the characters (and you really should since the main character was raped and murdered) but none of them seem to really come out of the story looking good or even likeable.

  1. Atonement by Ian McEwan

How is this even a novel?  It has barely any plot and seems to be mainly constructed of a series of words to pad out something that isn’t even there.  I mean, why use one word when you can use three. Briony is a seriously dislikeable protagonist who never actually atones for the shit she puts her sister and her boyfriend through despite the novel being called Atonement.  Nearly four hundred pages and you could fit the plot of the novel into about a hundred at most.  When I read a book, I want an interesting plot with characters I can enjoy and Atonement had neither of those.  This is also in the charity shop pile.


2017 Review: Favourite Books

When I was deciding how I was going to structure my reviews of the year I had a hard time thinking how to do my favourite’s list.  I could have done books I loved in general this year but that would mean repeating a lot of what I said in my authors I loved list because I would be talking about entire series’ worth of books and I didn’t want to do that so I decided to limit it to individual books that were published in 2017.  This narrows down the list quite significantly and I can spend more words praising the books I loved.


  1. An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington

I also read The Shadow of What Was Lost this year as well, and although I preferred the first novel more, this was still very enjoyable.  Islington is very good at creating his characters and the world building and magic system are also very well done.  The last chapter of the novel was jaw dropping and I cannot wait to find out what happens with that particular plot point.  Hopefully it gets explained otherwise I’ll be very disappointed.  The focus of this story is very much on Aarkein Devaed/Caeden and the numerous flashbacks of him recovering parts of his memory deepen the character and sheds new light on a previously despised character.  It makes him more sympathetic (although the end of the book could change that, like I said: jaw dropping).  Sometimes these flashbacks seem like they are there just to pad out the story, as it is the middle book, and at times the plot seems to be going nowhere but by the end I was very happy with how things were turning out.  It makes me want to read the next novel and that is what I want when I read something.

  1. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Do I hate Lila?  Yes.  Do I think that Schwab panders to her fans too much?  Hell yes!  Do I think that Alucard has a highly clichéd young adultesque backstory?  Of course I do but I still absolutely loved this book.  On the whole, Schwab does have a good writing style, she can draw you in with sympathetic characters that you fall in love with and leave you wanting more but in places it does fall flat.  I am using Alucard as an example because his backstory doesn’t feel like it belongs in an adult story.  He was interesting to begin with but the more you learned about him, the more young adult he became.  I like his relationship with Rhy but the whole “I only left because my family are shitheads who knocked me unconscious and sent me to sea” explanation as to why he left was a bit shit.  I would have preferred a storyline that was a bit more grown up, something like him leaving for whatever reason but of his own accord and then realising that he was a twat and doing something to make up for it.  The main strength of the novel and the series in general, in my opinion, is the relationship between Kell and Rhy.  I love it and I would love to see the bond between them explored in later novels because that is what interested me the most.  The novel is easy to read and rather addictive, I couldn’t put it down.

Also, if Lila is to die horribly then that would be a bonus.  I know it’ll never happen but a girl can dream.

  1. Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien de Castell

I have written an entire review of this book singing its praises so I won’t repeat myself but this was still one of my top books of the year.  It’s the characters, pure and simple.  I love them, I love their relationships with each other and how they deal with the complete shit they get put through.  The twist in this novel (look away now if you don’t want spoilers) with the death of Aline made my jaw drop and I mean that literally.  I didn’t see it coming and it completely changed the landscape of the finale but I can understand the reason for it.  If there were to be more books set in this world I would eagerly read them.

  1. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson has the great ability to draw you in with his characters.  At over 1200 pages you would think that Oathbringer would be a slog to get through but, like his other novels, it keeps you interested from beginning to end.  The focus of this novel is on Dalinar, and he has an interesting back story.  I like how you see him change from his beginnings to the man he is currently and it makes you grow fonder of him.  The other characters all I have their moments, the scene where Kaladin meets his baby brother made me go awwww, as did anything Adolin and Shallan did together (I love them as a couple).  Any novel that makes me go aww, breaks my heart and makes me leap with joy has got to be one of the best novels of the year.  It is epic, it has revelations and the stakes just keep getting raised to almost apocalyptic proportions.   The characters never lose their likeability (except for Lift, I am really not a fan of hers) and I find myself growing more and more fond of them as the series progresses.

  1. Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb

This was always going to be my favourite book of the year since Robin Hobb is my favourite current author but it was also the hardest book to read.  I don’t like goodbyes and this was a massive one.  I have loved Fitz and the Fool since the moment I met them so to read the end of their story was a level of pain I never thought I would ever experience in a book.  It was genuinely like saying goodbye to my best friends.  I cried for a good twenty minutes after I finished (after sobbing through the last two hundred pages) and I still can’t talk about it in depth with my friend because we both agree it’s too painful.

I love it when a book does that.

There aren’t many books that have made me cry (five in total) so I do consider every one that does to be one of my favourites and this one made me cry more than most.  Ok, so the plot was a bit slow in places and there are many characters I don’t like but the overall story was a beautiful end for two characters that I love more than any in literature so that it why it is my favourite book of 29

Review of 2017: Four Authors I Read For the First Time This Year and Loved

For me, 2017 was the year of fantasy and I read very few other genres this year.  I discovered so many books that I had never read before, and found so many amazing authors that I had never thought to pick up.  Here are four fantasy authors I read for the first time this year and loved.


  1. Brandon Sanderson

I always see this as a massive oversight on my part because, for quite a few years now, I have eyed up Brandon Sanderson’s books never bought one until this year.  The reason was simple, but stupid: the covers are so beautiful.  I have picked up so many books over the years where the covers were beautiful but the stories were crap so I was hesitant to pick them up in fear that it would be the case here.  I shouldn’t have been so silly because Brandon Sanderson is an excellent writer and I quickly found myself addicted.  The Mistborn series is excellent, both the first and second series’ and The Stormlight Archives series is also a work of brilliance.  I love the world building.  I love the magic system.  Most of all, though, I love the characters.  They are wonderful, flawed and very interesting.  You can easily fall in love with them and root for them through thick and thin.

  1. Sebastien de Castell

My friend recommended the Greatcoat’s series to me earlier on in the year because he said they were in the vein of The Three Musketeers (and if you ever want me to write a post about how much I love the Musketeers’ novels I will, because my love for them is great), and he was right.  There is a wonderful swashbuckle-y tone to the novels that you just don’t see anymore.  As with Sanderson, the characters are wonderful.  They are well-defined and sympathetic and the plot is exciting, heart breaking, shocking and happy all at the same time.  I wrote a complete review on the series if you want to know my full thoughts on the novels, but the short version is: I loved them.

  1. John Gwynne

I had never heard of the Faithful and the Fallen series before I picked the first novel, Malice, up on a whim.  I had intended to write a series review, much like I did with de Castell, but by the time I read all four books it was just too much.  I really love them, though.  The plot is wonderfully constructed, I like the way that not all things are completely as they seem (not to get too spoliery) and I also like that at any time certain characters could go either way in whether they are good are bad.  Choices are important in this series and they have very serious repercussions, I like how one bad decision resonates through the entire series.  Very well written stuff.

  1. Brian McClellan

I’m just going to start by saying that I adore the Powder Mage Trilogy and I haven’t even read the third book as of the time of writing.  As I said in my review of Promise of Blood, describing a book as “a French Revolution with wizards” is a sure fire way of making me want to read a book and I sure as hell wasn’t disappointed.  The various plot strands move very quickly and, in book two especially, they barely allow you to stop and breathe before the stakes escalate even higher.  If you don’t pay attention then the story can move on without you noticing.  I love the characters, and some of the not as well constructed characters in book one are fleshed out more in book two which was very good to see.  Also, the scene between Bo and Lord Vetas (and his arms) in book two wins the award for greatest scene I have read this year.  I almost died laughing at how awesome and gruesome it was.  Great stuff.