Happy Monday, everyone! I have decided to try out posting some mini-reviews for books I read recently that I do not have plans to post full reviews for. I am not a fast writer which means I do not have the time or ability to write a full review for EVERY book I read. In the future, I plan to do themed Mini-Review Monday posts containing three or four short book reviews. This week I only have two books to write short reviews for. And the only theme I have for this post is disappointment. I went into both of these books with expectations of 4 star reads. Sadly, neither lived up to my expectations. I hope you enjoy reading my reviews more than I enjoyed reading these books.
Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers #2) by Nicki Pau Preto
My Rating: 2 and a Half Stars ★★1/2
The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders. Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself. (From Goodreads)
This book is probably my biggest disappointment of the year so far. In January, I read Crown of Feathers, the first book in this series, and gave it 4 stars. I finally received the audiobook of Heart of Flames from my library and realized it was over 23 hours long (aka 640 pages). Normally this wouldn’t have been an issue – I love long fantasy books! Unfortunately, nothing important happened for the majority of the first 75% of the book. I was honestly bored and trying not to zone out almost the entire time. By the time the action stared happening at the end, I felt detached from the story and the characters. At least 200 pages could have been edited out of this book, which would make the slow parts shorter and more bearable. This could have been a strong continuation of a great fantasy series, but instead it suffered from too much filler and not enough editing. I may continue on with this series if I have time, but the next book will not be at the top of my TBR like this one was.
The Bridge Kingdom (#1) by Danielle L. Jensen
My Rating: 2 and a Half Stars ★★1/2
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom. But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people? (From Goodreads)
I didn’t hate this book. I almost gave it three stars, but realized it doesn’t live up to my other three star books. This book is not objectively bad. In fact, many reviewers I follow love it and I do not fault them for that. I thought this book had a strong start. The first chapter grabbed my attention and seemed to be setting up an exciting story. But at some point, I lost interest. I can’t place the moment I decided I didn’t care about this story, but I just stopped wanting to pick it up. The plot become predictable and I had no connection to the characters. Honestly, I may be the problem in this situation. If you have had your eye on this book, I would encourage you to not let me dissuade you from reading it. Many readers seem to love it and you may be one of them!
Hopefully, I will have no more disappointing reads for a while! Have you had many disappointing reads this year? What is your most disappointing read of 2020 so far? Let me know in the comments!