I have a long weekend so hopefully I’ll be able to get some reading done and get some more posts up here. I’m currently reading Going Postal by Pratchett. Not sure what I’ll read after that, although I’m considering reading Patrick Rothfuss’s debut The Name of the Wind.
In the meantime, I wanted to add some books I wouldn’t recommend. A lot of people would probably disagree with some of these, but these are books I didn’t find worth reading. They’re not even horrible books (thank you Amazon for helping me to steer clear of a lot of crap) – just ones that I’d skip because there’s a lot of better stuff out there.
Deborah Chester’s The Sword, the Ring, and the Chalice trilogy
The first book was extremely boring and I didn’t think I’d pick up the next one and then the very end was interesting enough to make me decide to finish the trilogy (particularly since I’m cursed with the need to know what happens once I start a series – along with the curse that makes me almost always finish a book once I start it no matter how much I’m not enjoying it). It did pick up after the first book, but it was still just ok. I also found it annoying that she had this almost elvish race – they seem like elves, the name is almost elf (eldin), just call them elves already since that’s obviously what they are.
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time
Yeah, I know. These are much loved by many, and I have read all the books currently out other than the prequel, which is sitting on one of my bookshelves along with the rest of the series. They aren’t bad books, and they can be entertaining, and I can even see why a lot of people love them… but I don’t think they’re good enough to be worth the time it takes to slog through them. There’s too much detail and toward the end they get slow, and some of the characters are really annoying. Jordan does not write women very well at all. They’re all too bitchy too constantly. And I really didn’t find it to be particularly original – he mixed in a lot of mythology, which I generally like, but he wasn’t subtle enough about it for my taste but instead hits the reader over the head with very obvious comparisons. I didn’t start reading these until there were 10 books already, so I may have just gotten into fantasy too late to see the magic in them – especially since I had already read series like A Song of Ice and Fire, Robin Hobb’s Assassins/Liveship Traders/Tawny Man books, and Lord of the Rings. As I said, I did read through these, and I enjoyed some of them, but I’m not so sure they’re worth the trouble of reading, and the more books I read, the more I’m finding there’s a whole lot I like a lot better than this series.
That’s all I can think of at the moment that I’ve read in its entirety that I really wouldn’t recommend (in the speculative fiction category anyway). Then there are the books I haven’t read completely that I wouldn’t recommend based on what I have read.
If you didn’t already want to throw things at me for including Wheel of Time, you might for this one…
Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash
I heard so much about this book from so many people that I expected it to be spectacular. One of these people let me borrow the book, and I just couldn’t get into it at all. It may just be that it was so hyped for so long that there was no way it could live up to my expectations, but I found it really boring. My friend wanted her book back so she could lend it to another friend, and it was taking me forever to read it, so I gave it back to her before I could finish it and haven’t been inspired to pick it up again since then. I feel like I should give Stephenson another chance, maybe with another book, since I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. Maybe someday.
Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series
I have not read a single book in this series, so it may not be completely fair of me to put this on the anti-recommendation list. However, I have read excerpts from various books in the series and descriptions of the plot and it just looks really bad. The samples of writing I’ve seen includes things I remember being told to avoid when learning about writing in elementary school. It may be fun to read for the entertainment value (in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of way), if you don’t mind reading a bunch of doorstopper books to get to that point. I have Wizard’s First Rule from when I didn’t know much about what was out there for fantasy (then I heard things that put it on the bottom of my list of reading priorities) and considered reading it for the pure entertainment value and read the first page or so. Then I decided I didn’t want to go through hundreds of pages of drivel just for a few entertaining moments. I have attempted to read through some of the main character’s speeches I’ve come across and I couldn’t do it. Way too long and dull. Maybe I’ll give it a try if I run out of books to read, but that will never happen.
Then there are the books I refuse to read based on the awful things I have heard about them:
The Symphony of Ages series by Elizabeth Haydon (From what I hear, the main character Rhapsody is the worst Mary Sue character ever)
The Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini (supposed to be cliched)
Chronicles of Blood and Stone by Robert Newcomb (supposed to be generally horrible)