Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DNF Tiny Reviews: Shadowcry & Shades of Milk and Honey

Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

I've been dying to read this book for years and I finally, finally started reading it June of this year.

And then DNF-ed it two days later. 

What a disappointment!

Everything was just flat. The characters felt soulless and the plot was nothing new. Now, you know me, the plot I could have dealt with because while it wasn't terribly original or imaginative and the world building wasn't as deep as I'd like, I'm a character girl at heart. All of those things could have been fine if the characters were great.

But they weren't. The main character was mildly irritating and completely uninteresting. She didn't stand out to me in any way and I didn't connect with her. Her love interest was boring and very young. The villain was definitely interesting and had the potential to really grab my heart, but with everything else lacking so much I couldn't stomach the frustration of falling for the bad guy.

Even with all that said, I still feel myself wanting to give it another try because I so want this book to be more than it is. It has so much potential! Unfortunately, it all falls flat. Try Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo instead.

Library book
Rating: DNF at page 167 of 311

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

I started this as a book club read with Ruby, but we both gave up on it about a third of the way through. Why? Pretty much because of the characters.

I could also say the wishy washy magic system and the total Jane Austen rip-off vibe (not homage, unoriginal RIPOFF) were major reasons I DNF-ed, but we all know if I had liked the characters I would have put up with all that (even though, yeah, it really was a lot of bad to put up with).

But I could not get over that main character. Whenever she came on the page all I could think was, "What a bitch!" She was snooty and mean to pretty much everyone around her and I couldn't help but think she deserved to be alone.

Until I met her love interest, and then I thought the two of them deserved one another, because he's just as bad as her. He's also an artist, and I always have a hard time swooning for artists.

Try Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer to get your regency magic fix instead. 

Rating: DNF on page 106 of 304


  1. I definitely agree with you about Kowal's characters. I did like the first book a bit, but the second book was unbelievable. I did not understand why I was supposed to feel sorry for a woman who was so unbelievably rude and self-centered. Yuck.

    1. Exactly!! I'm sad to hear it doesn't improve in the second book (but also relieved!)

  2. I thought the Kowall book was just okay. I was disappointed that it was 'light' magic, definitely not what it sounded like in the book blurb. I don't remember the characters all that well but I don't think I was bothered by them. Too bad on Shadowcry I had that one on my radar for quite sometime. I may skip now or make it a low priority. Hope your next reads are better. Smalls!

    1. I agree about the "light" magic. I was expecting magic to have more of a place in the story and...I don't know, just more.

      I wouldn't write of Shadowcry completely. I'd say give it a shot and see if it works more for you. It does have merit!

  3. The cover of Kowal's is so pretty. Too bad the characters sucked and you had to DNF the book.

    1. I love the covers on that series. The cover actually made me want to like the book more, but I couldn't :(

  4. Urgh, sorry to hear both of these flopped so badly! I've been interested in Shadowcry too but a bit hesitant because I know it's gotten mixed reviews (now very, very hesitant due to your review!). It sounds very bland. As for Shades of Milk & Honey, I tried that one years ago and DNF-ed it too (although to be fair, I really did not try very hard or get very far into it). All I really remember was being confused by the vagueness of the magic (I had a hard time visualizing the "folds of glamour"). But having read your reaction to it, sounds like it was just as well I didn't continue! The main character would have driven me crazy.

    1. Shadowcry was definitely bland. It had all the right ingredients, but it just didnt turn out. I'm still disappointed about it.

      Ugh, yes, I don't think you would have liked the main character in Shades of Milk and Honey. I agree too about the magic. I'm not sure whwat it was about it, but I didn't like how it was used (and not used).


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