Some books just can’t be finished

I started reading Karsten Knight’s Wildefire a little while ago. It seemed like it could have an interesting premise. Adopted girl with extraordinary powers, nothing hugely original, but something that had promise at least in the premise.

Reading it kind of… spoiled that for me.

The dialogue turned out to be rather unbelievable, sometimes in a heavy-handed sort of way, and it put me in the mind of somebody who’s trying to write teenage stereotypes rather than actual teenagers. One of the characters is blind, and the author seems to make a big point of mentioning this at every opportunity, to the level at which I’m pretty sure “the blind girl” appeared in print more often than the character’s actual name. She’d blind, blind blind blindy-blind-blind. And did I mention that the girl is blind?

Not to mention the author’s misuse of words. One example is the ever-popular “enormity,” as shown in the following example:

It was used as if the author meant “the state of being enormous.” Unfortunately, that’s not what enormity means. It means that something is terrible, tragic, and profoundly so. So unless those were some really nasty redwoods…

Normally I try to finish everything that I start reading. But in some cases, like this one, slogging onward becomes too much of a chore. Short of a radical turnaround in the book’s quality, I’d have given this one a negative review (I’m sort of doing that now, really), and I’ve got too many books to read to waste time reading and reviewing ones that shouldn’t have left the editor’s desk.

One comment on “Some books just can’t be finished

  1. Oh, I know that feeling all too well. I bought one of those romances selling at Wal-Mart for $2. I thought the premise sounded promising of an Irish princess and a Viking warrior. It started out well enough, but I just got so irritated by being constantly reminded that the Viking was so beautiful to look upon. It's like we couldn't like him based on his own merits because we might forget he's beautiful too. And there were other things working against its favor.

    Life's too short to read bad books. I sometimes trudge through books with the hope that it has to get better, only to be disappointed. I intend to stop doing such things because I could be reading books more artfully penned.

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