Nearly two years ago, I did another post on series I don’t plan to finish. Since then, I’ve tried and given up on several more series. So today I’m sharing the series I definitely will never finish for a variety of reasons, whether I really didn’t like them or them just wasn’t my type of book.
Also, keep in mind these books are based my personal opinion. If you loved these series, all the better.
The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer is the first book of the Glass and Steel series. Currently, there are eleven books in the series. This first book follows India Steel, a young daughter of a watchmaker who falls into employment with the mysterious Matthew Glass, a man searching for a magical watch. It is set during the Victorian era.
I picked it up because I love Steampunk books, especially those which combine fantasy with the Victorian era. However, I wasn’t a big fan of this was.
There were so many weaknesses in this book. There was very little historical accuracy. I understand changing things because of the magical elements, but there is very little semblance to the Victorian era outside of “woman aren’t allowed to be employed!” I mean…the majority of women in the Victorian era had jobs, unless they were wealthy. All the plot twists were obvious and the romance was poorly handled.
I will definitely not be continuing on in this series.
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I did not like Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. It is quite different from Bardugo’s other works, and I picked it up because it has been categorized as dark academia, a genre I love. It is the first book in the Alex Stern series and while the second book has been announced, it has not been released yet.
This book follows Alex Stern, a survivor of a horrific murder, attending Yale under the careful watch of mysterious benefactors with unknown motives. It’s pretty much a mystery combined with a fantasy.
This book is honestly kind of a mess. It’s difficult for me to describe where this book went wrong, because I honestly think a lot of the parts of it were interested. I was fascinated by the secret societies, and learning more about Alex’s past. There’s also a few different murders that we learn about as we go. However, there are so many things which made this book not work for me. First and foremost, there is just too much going on. There’s the murders Alex was involved in, two murders from a hundred years ago, and the murder of the young women. And then there are the two perspectives in different times that we jump between, making the chronological order super confusing. Many of the background characters are extremely bland, making me have trouble remembering who was who. Alex herself was pretty much a big “not like other girls” trope, and while I wanted to like her for all the trauma she’s gone through, I just could not take her seriously, even when the book tackles super serious topics like rape and drug use. All in all, there were aspects of this book I liked, but I just could never really enjoy it.
So I definitely will not be continuing on in this series.
This is another unpopular opinion, though this one I understand is more based on my personal taste in books as based to the book’s quality itself. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is the first book in the Ender’s Saga, four books and a couple spin-offs. It tells of Ender Wiggins, a brilliant human recruited to be trained in a military initiative to take on an alien race who is coming to destroy humanity.
Let’s ignore the fact that every single character is either horrible or underdeveloped. Let’s ignore the morality of the entire battle plan of using children to fight aliens. Let’s ignore that like 90% of worldbuilding was ignored for kids beating each other up and repetitive training scenes. My main issue with this book is the fact it is simply a glorified training montage. Until the twist at the very end of the book (which was great), this entire book is incredibly boring. Ender wasn’t a bad character, but despite everyone claiming he was brilliant, he shows intense lack of understanding, following whatever the leaders tell him to do while still claiming to be good. His character made no sense. All the adults are just horrible human being, and Ender’s entire crew are so underdeveloped I didn’t care about any of them. I also did not like the whole Valentine and Peter subplot, but I assume that is there only to set up for the sequel. I cannot comprehend why so many people say this is one of their favorite books and I feel bad for not seeing much value in it. Did I miss some brilliance under the incredibly horrible writing, story, characters, and worldbuilding?
So, moving on….
The next book is Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen, the first book of the Steampunk Proper Romance Series. I read this last year when I read a bunch of Beauty and the Beast retellings. There are four current books in this series.
This book tells of Lucy Pickett, who lives in a world of vampires and flying ships, and the mysterious owner of Blackwell Manor, Lord Miles, who is a beast in several senses. She goes to Blackwell Manor after her sister, marrying Miles’s brother, starts seeing ghosts. Lucy must solve the mystery while attempting to avoid Miles and the attraction with develops between them.
I adore steampunk books, so my favorite part of this book was the technology of a Victorian steam world. I was also very intrigued by the mystery aspect, and really happy with the conclusion with the reveal of the bad guy. Saying that, I just did not feel the romance. Miles was way too angsty for me, without really having a clear motivation for being a jerk. Lucy was contradictory half the time, from mild woman who lets herself be pulled around by a man to confident woman in charge of her life. And I never felt their relationship built. There was the initial attraction and then they were in love. I just didn’t buy it. At first I thought I’d try to read the next book, but I decided there are so many better series out there, I don’t want to bother.
This book is actually the reason I decided to do this post, because I finished it just last week. India Black by Carol K. Carr is the first book of the Madam of Espionage Series. Set in the 1870s, it follows a woman who runs a prostitution house and gets drawn into a mysterious death and the life of spies.
I have been wanting to read this series for so long, but I just couldn’t stand it. I think most of it was because it handles such deep topics like prostitution is such a flippant and light way. This is supposed to be a light suspense novel with spies, and yet the beginning really threw me off. India is a woman who runs a whorehouse, and one of her customers ends up dead. The way prostitution is handled is so far from reality I never felt drawn into the story. Victorian prostitutes led a brutal life. Many were forced into prostitution because of poverty, and yet this book makes it seem light and fun, as if these women are happy to do it. India herself is such a selfish, spoiled woman with little kindness. As the suspense continues, I did like some of the mystery scenes, but it wasn’t enough to save this book for me.
I just can’t see myself ever wanting to continue on in this series, even if it currently has four books and two spin-offs.
So, there is my list of series I will not be continuing on in. Maybe in two more years I’ll do another post like this. Have you read any of these series? Are there any you think I should give a second chance? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,