Post your DNFs!

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Sneaky Burrito, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I am usually able to stick it out through a whole book, and sometimes even through a crappy series if I've bought all the books in advance. But sometimes I just can't. About two years ago, I was reading Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian (sent by the publisher, pre-publication). I moved to a new house around that time and the book is back on my shelf in the new place, unfinished. Although there was one plotline I found mildly interesting, some other characters are TSTL in a ridiculous and unbelievable way and I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm putting that one in the DNF* pile and not coming back. This is one of the few I've quit right in the middle.

    DNF series:

    A Man of His Word - I read the first two books and didn't care for them; have #s 3 and 4 but have no inclination to pick them up

    The Magic of Recluce - I have read most of these, and it took me far too long to realize the author writes the same book over and over again...

    Shannara etc. - see above, re: The Magic of Recluce

    And then, there is Orb Sceptre Throne by Ian C. Esslemont. I don't actually have a problem with this book. I've heard good things about it here. I've tried starting it twice and I've enjoyed the parts I read -- it just so happens that both times I've tried starting it coincided with the beginnings of lulls in my overall reading pace. I think I will probably pick it up again this year. Sometimes the third time is the charm (at least, I finally managed to get through Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco on the third try, though I am not going to recommend that one to anyone).

    What are your DNFs?

    *DNF = "did not finish" for anyone not familiar with this abbreviation
  2. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Most of the time, I will finish an individual book, but I might DNF the series.

    The most notable example of this is R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy. I read the first book and really didn't care for it. I finished it, but I've never felt any need to finish the series.

    This is probably heretical around these parts, but I'm debating about DNFing Malazan. I've read five books, and I haven't loved the series or hated it. It falls somewhere in the middle, where I don't feel any pressing need to read on. I may finish it at some point, but it isn't high on my list of priorities.

    I might be with you on the Recluce series. I've read two of the books and thought they felt too repetitive and weren't all that interesting to begin with. The covers deceived me. They reminded me of Wheel of Time covers, so I was hoping I would get something along those lines. Instead, I got bland coming of age stories.
  3. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Just the most recent:
    The Darkness That Came Before - Didn't know it was going to be so dark and depressing;
    Necessary Evil, book 3 of the Milkweed trilogy - great series, great author had to be there.
    Dawn of Wonder - what is everyone thinking?
    The Shadow of What Was Lost - see above;
    Six of Crows - really wanted to like it. really.
    Cryptonomicon - after Seveneves and The Baroque Cycle I wanted to consume all of Stephenson but alas...
    Anathem - see above;
    The Grace of Kings - wtf is this about anyway?
    Three Body Problem - see above;
    Six Gun Tarot - the wife's story took over and I didn't care;
    The Fifth Season - major sexual dysfunction error; abort; abort;
    Hounded - lovers of this series have very low standards don't they? Why yes, yes they do.
    Lot's o'money spent for naught. Great thread topic though, Sneaky.
  4. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I actually like the way this one ended. Although I suppose there were some tough parts to get through.

    I finished this but it pissed me off.
  5. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    5 books is more than a fair shot. It's half the main sequence. I was hooked by the end of book 1, and book 2 does it for some people, but if you're not there by book 5, yeah, spend your time reading something you're going to enjoy more.
  6. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Addendum to my earlier post, but there were a couple of self-published freebies that I started in the year after I first got a Kindle that I quit. Don't even remember the names, but:

    (1) One had all these wizards meeting with a prime minister and then suddenly, like 10 pages in, the prime minister was referred to as "Winston Churchill" even though the time period made it clear this was the beginning of WWII, in Europe, where, you know, he was not the prime minister at the beginning of WWII

    (2) One was a thief/assassin type of book, where the hero was AWESOME at absolutely every single thing, but somehow a loner anyway, and all the witches were lesbians
  7. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Journeyed there and back again

    Were they lesbians because they didn't want to get with him no matter how AWESOME he is? Because if that's the case, then I know a lot of lesbians.
  8. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Lord of the Rings - Read the first 2 and despite my willpower decided I could not trudge through a third. Thought about giving The Hobbit a go but still haven't gotten around to that yet.

    Malazan Book of the Fallen - Can't remember if I read 4 of them and started the 5th or read 5 total. Some highly intriguing parts but too much character switching and confusion for my tastes. I want to try finishing at some point but it is a LONG way down my to do list.

    The Dark is Rising - Definitely the biggest offender on my list because they books aren't even long and still felt like a chore to get through.

    The Tapestry Series - Separating this one from the rest because it is the only series I have really liked that I haven't finished and is complete. Had the first 4 books and something went wrong between the author and the book company or whatever and the 5th book never came out in physical form. I was upset and never pursued finishing but I definitely will. Hopefully one day he can get it printed because I hate having an incomplete collection.
  9. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 A Poet of the Khaiem

    American Gods, Grace of Kings and the Winter King. Never kept reading those books. American Gods was too weird. The other two just didn't keep me interested.

    As for series I read book 1 of Malazan and decided it wasn't good enough to make a long term commitment. Prince of Thorns wasn't good enough to continue after book 1. Promise of Blood was a good book 1 accept the deus ex machina bothered me and the start of the second book sample caused me to give up. Loved Immortal Treachery #1 but didn't like #2 and quit.
  10. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    That's another one where I read the first book early on and then never bothered with #2 and #3. It seems I will read quite a lot of mediocre plot if there are good characters, but if I don't find the characters sympathetic (or realistic), I am less inclined to go on.
  11. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Cough cough I wonder which series is my DNF COUGH
  12. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Likely forgetting some but these are some books that I PERSONALLY didn't care for.

    Farseer (1 book)- Too dark. The only character of interest was the fool. .

    Narnia (approximately 6 books) Enough was enough.

    His Dark Materials (1 book). Cutsie little kid heroes. YA. I liked the anti-narnia theme. Just didn't like how it was done. Boring.

    Thomas Covenant (one book) -disgusting man could never be redeemed in my eyes.

    Demon Wars saga (Salvatore) (one book) pretty much
    killed everyone off.
    so I lost interest.

    Sword of Truth (1 book)- Must I really explain?Actually, it had some redeeming qualities but I thought the wrting was poor.

    Gormenghast- (one book) beautifully written but too gothic for moi. Didn't care about the characters.

    Howls Castle (one book) - cute and witty but not worth continuing. Kind of saw it as YA.

    Otherland (1 book). Love Tad and his MST, Shadowmarch, and short stories. But not this series. Didn't care for the characters.

    Dune (1 book) Maybe I would've loved it had I read it long ago but having read it two years ago
    it was Just OK.

    Heartstrikers (R. Aaron) (1 book) Cute. Boring YA.

    Dragon Prince/ Sun runner series (M Rawn). I read the entire 1st series but quit before completing the sequel. The Series kept getting worse as it went along but it was years ago that I read it and I had no idea what else was out there.

    Like Ryan I complete every book where I get past 20-30 pages. I would have quit Man of His Word after two book to had I not already purchased the last two books. I'm not counting books like Imager (boring) , or Xanth (hated) where I read one or two random books from the series never intending to read them all.
  13. ofer

    ofer Journeyed there and back again

    Wow. Where to begin?

    Generally I have 3 types of DNF:
    1. Books that I couldn't finish and quit in the middle:
    The third book of Sword if Trurh by Terry Goodkind. Just had enough. Obviously did not carry on with the series
    The first book of Echoes of Empire by Mark Barnes. So boring.
    3. To my grestest shame, 2 highly regarded books: The Worm Ouroboros (appriciated the prose but seriously, can I have a plot?) And a book of short stories by Charles De Lint (not interesting).

    2. Series that it's almost certain that I'll never continue:
    Iron Druid by Kevin Hearne. Read the first 2 books. It's simply a pale version of Dresden, but sans Butcher's writing charm.
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch - read the first book. next time I'll need a guide to London I'll just buy the Lonely Planet.
    Jacob's Ladder by Elizabeth Bear. Read the first book. A good idea gets lost in the meaningless plot.
    Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. Bad pacing and didn't care about either the story or characters.
    Worlds series by Joe Haldeman. If you need a teenager diary in the near future, than seek no more. Otherwise, stay away.
    Frontlines by Marko Kloos - I actually liked the first 2 books which were fun in a simplitic way. Threw in the towel after book 4 since the plot got repetitive.
    Shannara by Terry Brooks - read the first trilogy and stopped there. Guess I'm too old for a LotR less than adequate clone.
    Wool by Hugh Howey - again, a good idea gets lost because of terrible pacing and numerous boring parts.
    Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker- I'm fine with dark and gloomy, but all the characters were whiners and the first half of the book was so slow.
    Orbs by Nicholas Sansbury Smith - bad writing and derivative characters.

    3. Series that it's possibly, but unlikely that I'll continue in the future (meaning the books were not bad but did not appeal to me):
    Chalion by Lois Mcmaster Bujold. To sum up in 2 words: who cares?
    Poseidon's Children by Alaister Reynolds - dull characters.
    Temeraire by Naomi Novik - good writing but wasn't interested in the plot.
    Expanse by James Corey. Excellent first 2 books but books 3 and 4 were a little disappointing.
    Karkanas by Steven Erikson - I'm a huge Malazan fan but it seems Erikson decided to replace most if the action with philosophy and how many times can I read about Annomander Rake brooding when he should be smiting?
    Imperial Radch by Ann Lackie - original but pacing was atrocious.
    Kingdoms of Thorne and Bones by Greg Keyes. Meh.
    Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber. Nice but felt dated.
    Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka. Liked the first book but for some reason wasn't inclined to continue. Maybe one day...
    Demon Cycle by Peter Brett - first book was ok but nothing special and considering the majority opinion here about the sequels it's unlikely that I'll pick them.
    The Merchant Princes by Charles Stross. Nice but not engaging.
  14. ofer

    ofer Journeyed there and back again

    A man of his Word was the only type 3 series that I finished in the last years. You didn't miss out on much. Series was decent but nothing special. The Rap storyline was good but the chapters with aunt Kadie got on my nerves.

    But as to Orb Sceptre Throne - holy cow, I thought it was the best of the Esslemont books.
  15. JakeDRoberts

    JakeDRoberts A farm boy with a sword

    I've just finished listening to the Lies of Locke Lamora on audio book. I had initially started read a print edition but the paragraphs upon paragraphs of needless description and constant flashbacks drove me to near insanity. I hate skimming so this was a real problem for me. Even in audiobook form, I found it frustrating; there's a scene where he has to find new clothes which repeat the same process twice over and trains all the tension from the previous scene away. I won't be picking up book two.

    Aside from that, I didn't finish Dune. Sci-fi and a bland chosen one plot isn't really my thing.

    I'm in the middle of a bunch of series that I have no idea when I'll pick up again. Wheel of time for example. The first three were great but I lost interest halfway through the shadow rising.

    I was so close to giving up on the first Mistborn book after 300 pages explaining the magic system. managed to finish it and the two sequels (it should have been a standalone) a few months later.
  16. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Well admittedly I didn't give it a chance because it was just going to be the same story but with positive things happening instead of disasters. Wife doesn't become a shrew and child doesn't die, right? He gets his happy ending? I'm glad but didn't want to reread everything that what'shername causes to happen. I liked The Mechanical much more than Milkweed. But I will jump on everything Ian Tregillis writes from now on.
  17. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    most recently I DNFd the Jules Verne book 'In Search of the Castaways' , it was okay, but I'm trying to skip books that don't thrill me because of the massive size of my TBR list, and since this was only on there strictly for being an early proto scifi, and it wasn't.... I had to ditch this slightly boring book.

    Pride and Prejudice.... bored

    Electric Kool Aid Acid Test ~ Tom Wolfe,. I didn't technically DNF... I just skipped ahead a lot.. (how much interest can one have in a bunch of over privledged Elitist Rich Bullying Anus's who whine and moan about how much the world sucks and no one is being truly nice, who then torture, tease, insult and outright humiliate (bully) someone whose only crime is they want to be a part of them and make a difference in the world, just because and they don't like the guy (plural because this happens several times) for no reason.)

    Shannnannannannanannnanananh..... nuff said

    whatever the sequel to Elminster (making of a Mage) is... just a giant clich├ęd piece of garbage without a single original idea. people who like this power posturing are why Dragon Ball is so popular.

    huck finn.... I DNfd this when I was young, I hear this is a lot more popular amongst adults, so Ill have to give it a go again... but it just seems so, unentertaining.
  18. Khartun

    Khartun Journeyed there and back again


    Prince of Nothing - UGH, really wanted to like this one. I'd heard is was grim and awesome. It wasn't.


    Broken Empire - Finished the first book but didn't really care enough to read more.
    Southern Reach Trilogy but Jeff Vendermeer - same as above
    Traveler's Gate - Will Wight
    Dagger and the Coin - Daniel Abraham - Actually read two of these but won't read more.
    Hyperion - Dan Simmons - I'm a fan of Dan Simmons just not a fan of this one.
  19. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Not really, it's a lot more complicated than that...there is something profoundly sad about that character's fate.
  20. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Couldn't DNF that, it was required reading in high school.

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