Mar 13, 2015

5 Times I Didn't Get Past The Sample

So in the past month or so, I’ve been trying out random reads via Amazon’s samples for kindle books. Some of these were recommendations, some of them are random finds, but here are 5 that just didn’t work for me, and why. If you think I'm wrong, or want to read the samples to find out for yourself, I've linked the titles to their pages on Amazon.

Why I looked into it: Someone who liked my SFR suggested I consider this one.
Why I didn’t chose to read further: The writing itself isn’t bad in this, but my TBR pile is so long already that I’ve gotten pretty picky about what I’ll take my time on, and in the recc I was warned that this one is long (the GR page puts it at 1277 pages! Yikes!), so when I read the sample and wasn’t really into the pages (it’s a little too much doom and gloom imo) I couldn’t see myself choosing to read this one over any of the books in my Physical TBR Pile.

Why I looked into it: Twitter love from some author people I follow.
Why I didn’t chose to read further: I love a good short SFR for reading in between things, but this one didn’t pull me in. It was another case of perfectly fine writing, but by the time I got to the end of the kindle sample, I didn’t really care to read on. It starts with a declaration of the MMC’s impending death, and at that point, I don’t care enough about the character to be bothered to wonder if/how he’ll manage to survive.

Why I looked into it: This is an unpublished first book by an established fantasy author that boasts annotation. I snagged the sample because I wanted to know exactly what that meant.
Why I chose not to read further: I was hoping for more. The story itself is poorly written (which it’s up front about from the get go) but the annotations are few and far between and, honestly, I don’t think they’re funny enough or useful enough to warrant buying the book and slogging through the bad prose.

Why I looked into it: A friend’s husband is reading this and suggested I might enjoy it.
Why I chose not to read further: Any book that starts with a list of characters this long is probably not going to be for me. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t get past the first paragraph of this. The prose felt bloated and at 934 pages… I start to have GRRM worries (How much of this book is going to bore me with conflated descriptions of food and clothing and sex?). Another reason this first pgf kills it for me lies in my worry that if you’re going to give me a full sentence paragraph to start and it’s about how your character was conceived legitimately… well, your book probably just isn’t for me.

The Settlers
Why I looked into it: I’ve heard some good things here and there about the author and it popped up in a “people who looked at this book looked at this one too” type section.
Why I chose not to read further:
The first page is like reading a boring “Earth is dead” history lesson. It starts with a main character who’s five and doesn’t remember anything before. Then jumps to a very distant narration that feels preachy.

If you think I'm wrong about any of these, please do make your case for why I need to keep reading in the comments. Or, tell me about a book you tried out but couldn't get past the sample

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