Books I DNFd, deuxième partie

I have been ruthless lately.  I'd like to imagine my book-self as a katana-wielding warrior who cuts down any book that fails to meet her standards.

If I actually had a katana, I'd probably cut myself.  Clumsy librarian is clumsy.

However, I don't often actually, literally facepalm.  You know, smoosh my hand into my face and groan in agony.  For one thing, this messes up my makeup.  Secondly, it's an awkward thing to see someone do in public.  In the past week, however, I have actually facepalmed multiple times for different books.  What is going on?

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman.  I am a huge, huge sucker for historical fantasy.  So I saw a sword and I saw "kings" on Netgalley and my mouse just clicked on it, honest!  From the cover, it looks like it would be Arthurian in nature; not so!  It's about Alexander the Great and his secret, super-duper magical powers.  Or something.  I didn't actually get that far.  I made it through chapter one and I skimmed the ending.

"But Pam!" shouts the angry book mob.  "You can't decide a book's quality by the first chapter!"

So, maybe the actual story was decent.  That's fine.  I can completely live with missing a decent story if it also means I don't have to suffer through the Romance Tropes of Doom.

You know, I feel a bit left out when all these non-girly-girl heroines all manage to have super-hot male BFFs who Want To Be Something More.

ARC of this title provided by Netgalley.

Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas.  I really enjoyed Prineas' Winterling series, but this was a very strange duck.  I felt almost like Prineas was trying to do a very stripped-down, Margaret Atwood-esque version of Cinderella, but it just didn't gel for me.

ARC of this title provided by Netgalley.

Phoenix Island by John Dixon.

I so, so wanted to like this.  I am a sucker for a boot camp setting.  Really!  My favorite parts of Armor and Starship Troopers were the boot camp sequences.  That's not an environment I've ever experienced, so I find it fascinating.  I also calculate how quickly I'd probably die in boot camp.

Is there anything faster than immediately?

Anyway.  This story of orphans sent to a juvenile detention facility on Phoenix Island (weather report: hot and deadly, with schools of sharks in the bay) should have made me super-excited.  And I was ... until I felt like nothing was happening.  Bad thing would happen.  Our Hero would do something dumb.  Be punished.  Repeat ad infinitum.  I may pick this up in the future but the writing style just didn't grab me.

The League of Unexceptional Children by Gitty Daneshvari.

I requested an ARC of this because Daneshvari's Monster High books are wildly popular with the kids at my library.  This book was not even unexceptional.  It was repetitive, boring, and sad.  Not like tearjerker sad, but more like, "I am sad that someone felt this needed to be A Thing."  These so-called "unexceptional" kids who form a spy group to save the President are constantly described as being so ordinary that they disappear.  I get that this is supposed to say, "Hey, you don't have to be a superhero to save the world," but for those kids who are just ... kids, it's telling them that they're boring and forgettable.  Not the best message to send.

ARC of this title provided by Netgalley.


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