So, it’s waaayy later than I wanted to post another one of these… and I once again don’t have an excuse. Anyway, welcome back to Popular Books That I’ve Read Never!
Now, as I’ve said before, it’s not that I only read unpopular books, it’s that I don’t only read the popular books. I also don’t read hardly any of the really popular books, because those are usually nonfiction or memoirs (which I don’t usually like), or they have a TON of romance (which I also don’t usually like).
This post is primarily going to focus on SFF novels, mostly because SFF is primarily what I read. It’s gonna be of five books, because I don’t want it to get too long. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Yarros.
Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general―also known as her tough-as-talons mother―has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.
With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter―like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.
She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.
Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.
Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda―because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.
The reason I haven’t read – and so far have no interest in – this book is because… I don’t really know. I just read the plot summary, saw all the raving for, and for some reason thought “I don’t think this is for me.” I don’t know why I decided that – it’s just what my brain thought for whatever reason.
And since Fourth Wing has come out, more varied reviews have also started popping up. And I’m honestly not disappointed that I’m not really interested in it. The more I hear about it, the more it doesn’t seem like my type of novel.
An Instant New York Times Bestseller!
A BuzzFeed Best Young Adult Book of 2020.
Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Serpent & Dove, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Honestly, this book is on this list for some of the same reasons the number one is. Because I’m not at all interested in this book. Even more so than Fourth Wing.
I’ve never really cared for Romeo & Juliet. I didn’t like it when I had to read it for school, and I still don’t care for it. I’ve learned to appreciate the play slightly more since I’ve discovered the increasingly popular interpretation of Romeo & Juliet as a satire, but it’s still not my cup of tea. And I can just tell by the summary that the author is basing These Violent Delights off of the “romantic” and definitely-not-satirical take on the play it’s inspired by.
A breakthrough in human cloning becomes one woman’s waking nightmare in a mind-bending thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Gibson Vaughn series.
In the near future, advances in medicine and quantum computing make human cloning a reality. For the wealthy, cheating death is the ultimate luxury. To anticloning militants, it’s an abomination against nature. For young Constance “Con” D’Arcy, who was gifted her own clone by her late aunt, it’s terrifying.
After a routine monthly upload of her consciousness―stored for that inevitable transition―something goes wrong. When Con wakes up in the clinic, it’s eighteen months later. Her recent memories are missing. Her original, she’s told, is dead. If that’s true, what does that make her?
The secrets of Con’s disorienting new life are buried deep. So are those of how and why she died. To uncover the truth, Con is retracing the last days she can recall, crossing paths with a detective who’s just as curious. On the run, she needs someone she can trust. Because only one thing has become clear: Con is being marked for murder―all over again.
Constance is on this list for a much more succinct and straightforward reason than the other two: I read its companion novel/technically-a-sequel Chance and didn’t like it. That’s it, that’s the reason.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver comes the first book of the Scholomance trilogy, the story of an unwilling dark sorceress who is destined to rewrite the rules of magic.
I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life.
Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans.
I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world.
At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does.
But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either.
Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.
Yeah, this is another book I’m not really interested in. But, unlike the others on this list, I might be willing to give A Deadly Education a go. Eventually.
See, I read one of Naomi Novik’s other books, Spinning Silver, and I quite liked it. I’m still not sure if I want to commit to the Scholomance trilogy yet, though. If anything, I’d read Uprooted first, to see how I like another of Novik’s standalones, first.
A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away…
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
So, I was actually interested in reading this one, once upon a time. But then I heard that it was a very, very slow-burn of a novel and noped out completely. I hate slow books. The plot just never moves, and I find it super annoying. Nuh-uh. Nope. Not for me, so not gonna read it.
Again, sorry it’s been so long since the last time I’ve done this post. Anyway, as always, thank you so much for reading, and have a great day/night!
See ya ~Mar