Sunday, August 21, 2011

I So Wanted To Like Them

Have you ever put a high expectation on a book based on its synopsis and reviews, but in the end be disappointed when you read it? I recently experienced that when reading two books, both I wanted so much to like. The synopses and reviews looked so promising, but in the end, I couldn't finish one and speedread through the other to get to the end. The two titles I'm talking about is Rachel Ward's Numbers and Julie Kagawa's The Iron King.

First, Numbers - the book I couldn't finish reading.

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode! - cover & synopsis from goodreads

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The synopsis held so much potential, right? I mean, it's something you would expect from a manga/anime storyline (remember Death Note?). I was excited to see someone had written something exciting like that in book form.

However, it was a disappointment *sigh*. I can't relate to the main characters - Jem and Spider. Suffice to say, they are both annoyingly stupid. They are the main reason I stopped reading the book. I can only stand stupidity so far... In fact, I couldn't even comment much on the terrorist plot because I stopped reading before I reached the part where the author explained what happened (if she eventually did).

Perhaps I started reading the book with the wrong expectation. I expected the book to be a thriller/mystery about teenagers trying to stop terrorism acts. I obviously did not expect to read pages and pages of teenage angst and rebellion. Totally put me off reading the rest of the series.

Now, the second book that I wanted to like - The Iron King.

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. - synopsis & cover from goodreads

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My problem with this books is actually the same as Numbers - I can't stand the main characters Meghan and Ash. Meghan is depicted as loyal to the point of stupidity I would say. She also can be an idiot most of the time. I can't help but feel that she's the one at fault for her own troubles. Ash meanwhile has the personality of a paper D: Boring~ And can be questionably stupid as well.

However, the story has excellent supporting characters - Puck and Grimalkin. They saved the day with witty comebacks in my opinion (Grimalkin reminds me so much of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland). Kagawa also fared better in expanding upon the central theme of the story - the idea of faery/magic/imagination versus technology/science and how they evolved together to create something new and scary. The world she built is interesting and full of promises.

I would probably try reading the next book in the series - The Iron Daughter - before I decide to drop the series or not. I would love to see how Kagawa expands the story further and see whether Meghan and Ash can turn to be likable characters.

One outstandingly good thing about both books are the covers. In fact, the whole Iron Fey series has beautifully eye-catching covers. I'm tempted to buy them just because they would look nice lining up the shelves LOL.

1 comment:

Farah Haida said...

Don't judge a book by its cover! LOL