Saturday, December 22, 2012

Best and Worst Books of 2012: Part 2

Today I feature the most disappointing books of 2012. Books I ought to have loved, or was really excited for, but was underwhelmed by.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I really, really loved the first three books in this series. The prequels are pretty much a steampunk version of those books, so they're fun, if not particularly innovative. This second story arc, which was supposed to feature Simon (or so the legend goes...) is turning out to be really blah. Instead of Clary and Jace getting to be happy together, Clare continually finds ways to have them having Angry Make Out Time. Simon is still in the background, even pushed further back by the introduction of some new secondary characters. And for being an urban fantasy, we spend a surprising amount of time watching people make out and have sex. Seven different couples make up the bulk of this story, and clunky writing fills out the rest. If you've started the series, stop after number three. The rest of this stuff is useless.

The Second Empress by Michelle Moran

It's not that this was bad. It wasn't. It's just that it wasn't nearly as good as the other stuff she's written. I've loved all of her books except this one. It was very short, given the fact that she was writing about Napoleon's court and had TONS of source material and novel-worthy-nonsense to write about. This is her lowest rated book on Goodreads, and for good reason. I just didn't feel like it was as good as the others.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I know, this is really old. But the fourth, and final, book was released at the very end of 2011, and I barely picked up the series for the first time this year. It was underwhelming, to say the very least. A whole lot of words that don't actually amount to a whole lot of plot. Weak characters that don't ever do what you expect them to do. A semi-built world lacking in details and intrigue. Cheesy-kid-book details (Eragon = Dragon With A "E", a blue dragon named Saphira) with adult-level violence (brain matter spattering on a sword, an infant impaled on a spear). On the surface, it's fine. But it just doesn't hold up under any kind of scrutiny. 


  1. Melbourne on my MindDecember 22, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Ugh. I hate when authors can't tell when to finish a series and they just keep dragging it out, even though they're clearly out of ideas and the books just keep getting worse and worse (I'm looking at you, Janet Evanovich). As much as I hate getting to the end of a newly published book and discovering it's part of a trilogy, at least you know from the get go that there are only going to be two more books, you know??

  2. Oh my goodness, I may just love you! That is exactly how I felt about the Mortal Instruments series after I read book four; needlessly carrying on and ruining of something that had such a perfect ending in book 3. I'm done with the series, and perfectly happy pretending it all ended after book 3. My question is: will you still watch the movies?

    Also, I tried reading Eragon once, but it was (years ago) just after I had re-read LOTR, and couldn't help but notice the many similarities. I had to put it down because what I had read so far, seemed like a rip-off. Glad I didn't miss anything with that choice.

  3. I will probably see the movies, at least at first. I liked the first three books, and I hate that books four and five are so lame. I even dislike the prequels for basically being Mortal Instruments Set In Victorian London. The characters are soooooo similar to the ones in the original series, it's like she fan-fictioned herself. Which is weird. And a little creepy.

    In my limited personal experience, the people who ardently defend Eragon are people who haven't read any of the Biggest and Best Fantasy Series (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Sword of Truth, Belgariad, etc). So, it's fine for some, but if you're a fan of the genre, then not so much.

  4. "'s like she fan-fictioned herself." <---laughing my head off! It really is! I read Clockwork Prince and while I thought it was a pretty good story, it did seem just like you said.