DNF Review: Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) by Veronica Roth

allegiantReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
Narrator: Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
Grade Reading Level: Grades 9 to 12

Summary: The faction-based government now ruled by the factionless is as much a tyranny as before, but under new management. Tris has lost much – her father and mother to death and her brother to betrayal. There is nothing left for her in Chicago… but there might be something out there beyond the city borders. People who need the help of the Divergent. Tobias is equally ready to leave. What will they discover? Will it be better or worse than what they left behind?

Why I started this book:

I started the series at the recommendation of a friend and continued because I enjoyed listening to the first and second book. There were flaws in the trilogy, but I was willing to overlook them for a good yarn.

Why I quit this book:

This book dragged. It was a lot of drama for the sake of drama… and it was boring and pointless. For example:

  • Tobias’ abusive dad placed on public trial by his tyrannical mother for crimes against the factionless during the old government.
  • The dramatic escape to the edge of city limits to the outside world.
  • Finding out Tobias’ mentor escaped and his death was faked.
  • The fact that the whole city was a big lab test for the US government because of Purity genetic wars… but mostly because the lab test was not needed and nobody really cared that the Divergent were present to help fix broken genetics.
  • Tobias not being genetically Divergent but a fake Divergent? As if genes make you who you are… in that case Tobias is more Divergent than Tris because he chose to be that way. Heredity is not a law that can control you… if it was the legal system would be shot because everyone’s excuse for crimes would be “It’s in my nature” and juries would have to find them innocent. You are the choices you make and the thoughts you act upon.
  • The constant back and forth between Tobias’ point of view (POV) and Tris’ POV was unnecessary. Why change the writing style now at this late game? Is it perhaps because the story needs more fluff to fill pages?

I was probably a third of the way into the third story when I had to pause and Google search the ending. It was getting more ridiculous by the minute and I had to know if it was worth finishing. It’s not. Tris survives another serum, called the death serum (as in instant death), and then gets shot and dies. Wow. What’s the point? Does anybody like the third book? Even my friend who recommended the trilogy had this to say about Allegiant, “It’s worse than Breaking Dawn and the hell-spawn.” I have to agree… I think the third book in the trilogy would have been better for Tris and Tobias to find nothing at all or to have stuck with the new order happening back in Chicago.

I have to ask… what did you think?

Buy: Allegiant (Divergent Series), Allegiant (Audiobook)

Rating: Did Not Finish (DNF)

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DNF Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Libba Bray
Page Count: 396 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 16+

Summary: Miss Teen Dream pageant contestants expect to parade around in their bathing suits and wind up in a terrifying airplane crash. Do they work toward their survival and ultimate rescue? No! They practice for their talent show and question/answer session with the judges. Who cares about food? This means they will be thinner and prettier for the cameras when they do get rescued!

Why I started this book:

I envisioned beauty queen contestants on a desert island combined with flavors of Lord of the Flies.

Why I quit this book:

When an author needs the kitchen sink to make a point or push the plot forward, you have to ask yourself why she couldn’t do it with the setup she had two pages ago. You will find in this story:

  • 1 boy who desperately wants to be a girl and is taking the hormones to prep for the sex-change operation
  • 1 lesbian couple plus make-out session
  • 1 deaf girl who dances to make a difference
  • 1 big-haired Texas cheerleader that appoints herself leader of all
  • 1 undercover journalist-in-training who is smarter than the others and is the feminist of the bunch
  • 1 dumber than rocks Mary Sue
  • 1 girl with a food tray embedded in her forehead
  • 1 sex tape
  • 1 boy band turned pirate crew reality TV show
  • 1 Evil Corporation
  • 1 terrorist
  • 1 insane dictator
  • 1 airplane crash landing
  • Several inappropriate advertisements – about the only worth while part of the whole book, I find their over the top presentation equals my opinion of today’s current advertising.
  • A team of sparkle ponies

Need I go on? I think you get the point. I got exhausted and bored. The satirical humor of the story could only keep me engaged for so long and then that was it. Done. Maybe you can read further than I did, but even the faint hope that the evil corporation might have purposefully crashed the aircraft didn’t keep me interested in reading the last part of the book.

Beauty Queens

Rating:  DNF (Did Not Finish)

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DNF Review: The Time Travelers (The Gideon Trilogy, Book 1) by Linda Buckley-Archer

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Time Travelers (The Gideon Trilogy, Book 1)
Author: Linda Buckley-Archer
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 416 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Gideon Seymour is a thief and gentleman. His nemesis is Tar Man. While hiding in the bushes to escape the villain’s notice the sky opens and a pair of children come tumbling out. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer are not friends, but their interaction with an experimental antigravity machine sends the 21st century kids to the 18th century where they will have to pair up to get home.

Why I started this book:

Cover had a review that compared it to Harry Potter. Of course I picked it up!

Why I quit this book:

The book was dry, boring, dragged, and had poor descriptions. It was also confusing and lacked clarity in the action sequences. The characters were flat and lacked dimension. I didn’t care about them prior to the accident and I didn’t care afterward either. Also it could easily have been the 21st century in the past. Yawn. I say skip it. If you want books that remind you in some aspect of Harry Potter check these out instead.

Buy: The Time Travelers (Gideon Trilogy)

Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)

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DNF Review: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: A Confusion of Princes
Author: Garth Nix
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 337 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 13 and up

Summary: Who is ready for adventure? Must be willing to travel across vast distances in space and time. Princehood is preferred.

Why I Started This Book:

I started this book because of the title was clever and the intriguing blurb:

I have died three times, and three times been reborn, though I am not yet twenty in the old earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life between. My name is Khemri.

Why I Quit This Book:

The opening is confusing and boring. It lacks both polish and that indefinable something that draws a reader in and keeps them there. I gave it a few chapters and decided enough was enough. Time to move on.

Your Opinion: Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Buy: A Confusion of Princes

Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)

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Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, Book 1) by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, Book 1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 336 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 10 and up

Summary: Clary Fray is about to find out that seeing things others cannot is not a good sign of things to come. Hanging out at the Pandemonium Club in New York City with her friend, Clary witnesses a murder of a teenage boy at the hands of three teenagers identifiable by their weird tattoos and weapons. And then the body disappears. What is going on!?! Apparently the boy who was killed is a demon in disguise and the murderers were demon slayers. Buy how can Clary, a mundane, witness what just happened when nobody else could?

Why I started this book:

This series first came to my attention by Cook Cutlery who heard the book series was good by a friend of hers. The two of them shared a great liking for the Maximum Ride Series and the girl said it reminded her of The Hunger Games.

Why I quit this book:

Short and simple – the story dragged, couldn’t retain interest, creepy cockroach/spider demon. No thanks.

Clary (whose name by the way just screams “I’m really the author in thinly veiled disguise here”) is dumb as rocks. Going back to her apartment after her mother is kidnapped? How crazy stupid can you get? I can’t stand TSTL (too stupid to live) heroines. You know the ones, they run into their home when the front door’s been broken instead of calling the police or more backup than a teenage kid even though they bad stuff is happening. Oh wait – that’s exactly what Clary did!

After quitting the book I read some things on the web that indicated she plagiarized from multiple sources (not sure I buy that, what I did read seemed pretty unique) and from her own Harry Potter fanfic titled Draco’s Trilogy in this story (which I can believe, but who cares? It’s like the Fifty Shades Trilogy based on the author’s Twilight fanfiction Master of the Universe). I never got to those parts anyway.

Rating: DNF

Buy: Cassandra Clare: The Mortal Instrument Series (Mortal Instruments)

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Review: Airel (The Airel Saga, Book 1) by Aaron Patterson

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Airel
Author: Aaron Patterson; Contributor Chris White
Format: Ebook
Page Count: 425 pages
Grade Reading Level: Grade 9+

Summary: Airel just wants to be normal but her ability to heal makes her as abnormal as one could get. The new boy at school, Michael, is as impossibly gorgeous as you can imagine and is very interested in her. Running parallel to the present is a story reaching out from the past about warriors and a Sword of Light and an epic struggle of good vs evil. Can she figure out what is going on before it’s too late?

Why I started this book:

I was contacted by the publicist and when I saw the cover I was very attracted to the book. It has a beautiful cover, well done and very pretty. The blurb sounded like a great start to a new series and so I said yes to reviewing it.

Why I Quit this book:

There was too much focus on the Arabia sections which happened in the past. They dragged, had too many characters, and pulled too much of the storytime away from the present day with Airel and Michael. In the end I couldn’t keep pushing through them. I hate skimming or skipping sections (it’s a sign the story doesn’t appeal to me) and when I started to do that I knew it was time to put the book down. If half of the back story was devoted to building Airel and Micheal’s relationship it would be a much better book. That said there are a lot of positive reactions to this book, but it’s just not for me.

Buy: Airel

Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)

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