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Topic: Books w/ great reviews-can't get into 1st book! MAYBE SPOILERS!

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Subject: Books w/ great reviews-can't get into 1st book! MAYBE SPOILERS!
Date Posted: 6/29/2010 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 4,000
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Ok, I fall easily for good reviews. Why? Because I know if I'm writing a review, it is because I really, really liked the book. Nevertheless, there are a few series that I've tried to read numerous times (with awesome reviews) and failed to get into book one in the series for whatever reason. Am I alone in this? And if it has happened to you, what did you not like about the 1st book in the series that stopped you from reading?

Here is the list of books I've tried to read but could not finish book 1:

  • Black Jewels series (Book 1 is Daughter of the Blood)- I've tried to read book one two different times. Each time I start the book, my mind starts wandering, and I can't figure out who the characters are so I give up. I really want to read this series because it looks like my type of book!
  • Kate Daniels series (Book 1 is Magic Bites)- I've managed to get pretty far in book one. To me, it is soooo boring I stop reading. I loved On the Edge by the same author so I don't kow why I can't get into this book!
  • Jane Yellowrock series (Book 1 is Skinwalker)- see above comments about Magic Bites. It applies to this book as well.

However, I did give the following series 2nd chances after initially putting the 1st book in the series down half way through:

  • Shifter series (Book 1 is Stray)- I initially put this book down and months later, I went back to it after reading other books by the same author. I LOVED the series. It is now one of my favorites!
  • Mercy Thompson series (Book 1 is Moon Called)- I tried to read book 1 twice before. Finally, after much convincing by a friend, I finished it. I am so glad I did. I love Mercy and she is one of my favorite characters.
  • Sookie Stackhouse series (Book 1 is Dead until Dark)- If it wasn't for Sherry P, I would have never finished book 1. I trusted her when she said to read the entire book before passing judgement. I did, and I loved the entire series. Thanks Sherry!


Last Edited on: 7/23/10 3:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/29/2010 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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I read the Jane Yellowrock short story before the first novel.   In Strange Brew.   Much better intro to Jane.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2010
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Hey Michelle--I did that with "Twilight".  When the movie came out and everyone was buzzing about it, I bought the book (I always make sure to read the book before I see the movie).  I tried to read it for about a week--never got past the first 100 pages, so I finally just put it down. 

About 6 months to a year later, I met a group of ladies that were talking about how much they loved the rest of the series (which, at the time, I didn't even know existed).  One of them had the Twilight DVD for me to borrow to watch, so I decided that I was going to make myself read the book before I watched the DVD.   I kinda skimmed what I had already read, and it seems that I had stopped reading just before it got good because I managed to finish it within a day then quickly devoured the other 3.  Now I've read each of them 4 times, but I always still skim over that first part of "Twilight".



Last Edited on: 6/30/10 12:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2010 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
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Emily, I did the same thing - in fact, reading the Jane Yellowrock short story is what made me go out and buy the first book.  I really liked it, and I have the second book in my TBR.  Same actually with the Jim Butcher series - I read a short story and then the first book, and I really like that series (I'm only on book 3).

But MIchelle, I'm definitely the same way.  I am contemplating just posting the Cassie Palmer series because I couldn't really enjoy the first, or the second! book in that series.  But I know people love them, and I love her other series the name of which is escaping me....

I was also that way about the Rachel Morgan/Hollows books - I didn't really enjoy the first book but loved the second and now can't wait to read the rest of the series.

I know there are others out there....

Some series just take up a lot of the first book to introduce the world and the people, and sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn't. 

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
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Christine, I'm the same way on both series you mentioned. I tried both series, and couldn't get into them. Black Jewels, Kate Daniels and Jane Yellowrock are the series that I started, couldn't finish but want to! I still have all the books and I think I'll give them all another shot. I'll have to see if I have Strange Brew!

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2009
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Last Edited on: 8/11/10 12:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2010 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 4,000
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I hated the first BDB book, I thought it was soooo silly! But, again, I swore to a friend that I would at least get through book 2 before I gave up. I kept my promise, and promptly read the rest of the series over the next week and half. Book 2 is much better than book 1 and then it keeps getting better and better. It was the same way with the Dark-Hunter series for me, I actually stopped reading book 1 so many times I had to go back and reread because I couldn't remember anything. Once I made it through book 2, I loved that series as well.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 7/1/2010 6:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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I did not like the 1st Kate Daniels book either but for some reason I read the second one and now like the series. I read the Edge but wasn't crazy about it, will try the sequal though.  One seres I couldn't get past the first book is Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series. Hated the first book.

Alice

Date Posted: 7/2/2010 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 4,000
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I really liked the second book in the Riley Jensen series but then it started to drag. The last book was good though. I really need to try the Kate Daniels series again. I once again tried the Black Jewels series yesterday. I again stopped. It was too weird (and I do weird pretty well). I just kept daydreaming and that can't be done when reading this book. So, I am officially giving up on the Black Jewels series.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2009
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I ended up posting away the dark forgotten bk 1 and bk 2 (ravenous and scorched) I read book 1 and just could not get excited about book 2. It dragged to me, not enough paranormal in my point of view. I love the hollows *reading white witch black curese right now* but can't read more than 2 in a row. They are kinda long so I have to take breaks. I have been lagging on my reading lately since I have school reading to do now, but I have Morganville vampires coming up...8 books straight through. Lets see if I can do it lol. 

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
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Morganville vampire series, that is another one, after book 4, I was finished. Too many books and after a while I didn't care.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
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Hmm...  I adore the Black Jewels books, but the first half of the first book is really hard to get into.  It's more back info then story!  I'd also call it dark fantasy more than paranormal, and yup, it's definitely weird! 

Now I feel better that I can't get into the first of the Hollows series!  It's weird because I don't usually put books down once I start them, but that one gets put down before chapter 4 and everybody raves about them.  I also thought the first BDB book was pretty contrived and almost stopped there, but now I'm so glad I didn't. 

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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The Black Jewels series isa reread series for me, but it does take a bit to get into the first time.  The beginning is much better on reread.

 

I started the Hollows series by reading Book 2 first, because I picked it up while waiting for a train at a small book stand.  I really liked it and went back and read the first one.  I had actually picked the first one up many times in the bookstore, but I never felt compelled to buy it.  I think I never would have started the series if I hadn't started with the second book.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 2:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 4,000
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Ok, that is it! I will, no matter what, finish book one of the Black Jewels series. No more excuses!

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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oh good.  i *love* the Black Jewels books.  or really, anything Anne Bishop writes.  i finally got to read The Shadow Queen recently, and am really really hoping the library will get Shalador's Lady so i don't have to wait for the paperback.

if you *still* can't get into it, maybe try one of the other series?

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2010
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I am also trying to get into the first book of The Hollows series.  I read about the first 70 pages and then started something else.  I know I want to read it--just can't get motivated to do so.

Another one I started and put down was Dark Prince, the first of Feehan's Carpathian series.  I read about 100 pages and didn't like it at all.  I keep reading on PBS how everyone LOVES C. Feehan, so I don't know what's wrong with me!  I'll start the series again sometime because so many people rave about it, but there's too much I'd rather read in the meantime.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
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Ellen, I am determined now to read the Black Jewels series. The beginning is just so weird, I have a hard time figuring everything out, like I need to take notes or something. In other words, I feel stupid!

Renee, I've never tried the Dark Prince, or any books by her, I wonder why? At least I don't think I have, if I have, they must not have been memorable! LOL

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2010
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It's nice to know I found one other person who hasn't read her books!

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
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I also was reading the Hollows (Harrison) book and just couldn't get into it.  Have already sent it out. 

Kitty Norville's books (don't remember the author),I couldn't get into them.  I did try harder, read the first three, but that was all I could take.

Emma Holly's series, Catching Midnight, I am unable to finish it. 

On the Dark Prince, the Carpathian series by Christine Feehan the first book wasn't that great.  What helped me was that I read the third book first and really liked it.  In fact, it is what got me into reading paranormal books, LOL.  Went to Amazon to check her out and was caught up by two different conversations, about how the first one wasn't that great and the discussion of Dark Secret,of how Rafael treated Colby.  So, decided to read the first, expecting it to be okay.  Glad that I did, LOVED the fourth one, Gregori's and Savannah's story. 

It is best to read them in order, but if you want to great a real idea of the series, read D. Magic first.  Grigori is the "bad boy" of the Carpathians, he is the one sent out to kill those who have turned, and he has, to protect himself, withdrawn from his people.  As you can tell, LOL I love the series.

I realized, by looking at the books that I didn't like, the majority of them have the same characters in all of them.  I like series, but I like to read about a new character each book, not what is happening to a main character.

Janette

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
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Janette, I am almost exactly opposite of you. I like to have the same character throughout the series (like in the Shifter, Mercy or Sookie series). If the main character does change in later books, I want the original characters in the earlier books to have a significant part of the series (like in the Dark-Hunter or BDB series how the books all have different characters but all the previous characters play an important part in the later series).

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2010
Posts: 6,010
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I'm trying to read Holly's Kissing Midnight right now (I decided to start with the vampire trilogy) .  It's ok, but I don't mind putting it down to do other things--a bad sign with a book for me.  Unless it gets better, I won't be reading the rest.  There are too many other books out there that I want to read.

Thanks for the advice on the Carpathian series.  That first one just bored me to tears.  I could probably get through the rest of it knowing how much better it gets.  I knew it had to get better somewhere because so many people love them!

I'm the same way about one character running through a series.  I loved Cat and Bones, and I can't wait to read the 2nd Chicagoland Vampire book, but that's been the exception for me so far.

ETA:  Oh, Michelle, I forgot about Sookie--love those!  And I do want the characters to keep showing up throughout the series (I also LOVED the Dark Hunter and BDB series).  The Dark Hunter books wouldn't have been the same without Acheron, and I think his book was my fave of the entire series.  I'll get my Mercy Thompson books tomorrow, and from what everyone says, I'm sure that will be another exception for me.

I trust your jugdment, so I'm going to put the Shifter books on my wl or rl.



Last Edited on: 7/5/10 4:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 4,000
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Renee, the shifter books are one series that I put down over and over again during book 1. The entire series gets better and better after each book, that by the time I reached the most recent release, the series was one of my favorites. I hope you like it!

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2010
Posts: 6,010
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That's good to know about the first Shifters book.  Now I'll know to stick with it. 

This is a really helpful topic, Michelle--especially for someone new to a lot of the PNR and UF authors, like me.  I hope more people respond with other series that we shouldn't give up on.  It helps to know if it really is going to get better, especially for those series that have 10-20 books.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
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I agree Renee. One of the best books I've read this year "Feed" by Mira Grant was super boring for over 200 pages (it is 600 pages long) but for some reason, I felt I had to finish it. It turned out to be an incredible story, one that I'll never forget.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2010
Posts: 6,010
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Saw it when I was reading your reviews the other day--already put in on my RL!  Told you that you were effective at convincing people that books are good!

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