I’ve decided to start a new thing where I post my DNF (Did Not Finish) books with an explanation for why I felt the need to put the book down. Then, if you LOVED the book and think that it was a huge mistake on my part to abandon it, you can try to convince me to pick it back up. Or, if you also disliked the book, you can share that as well and make me feel not-so-bad about not finishing the book!
DNF Explanation for Valley of Dust by Karoleen Vry Brucks
How far I got: 44%
Okay, so Valley of Dust‘s narration is quite strange. It alternates the type of narration as well as the point of view. The first chapter is told as first person narrative, through the POV of Selene. Then, the second chapter is told as third person narrative, through the POV of Lucian. I found that to be very weird. This didn’t turn me off, however; it was other things…
So, there were plenty of spelling mistakes and basic grammatical errors. Not to mention all the awkward sentence structures and very immature/weak writing. This is a debut novel (or novella — it’s very short), so it’s understandable that the writing would be so weak. But, it’s soooo weak that I had to put it down. A lot of the dialogue felt very forced. And there were lots of inconsistencies. The one inconsistency that stuck out to me was with Selene’s thoughts — you know, the italic ones. Some of her thoughts are in past tense (like the narrative is) and some are present tense. This just struck me as sloppy editing. I think it’s pretty clear that her thoughts should have all been in present tense (like dialogue is in present tense no matter what tense the narrative is told), but it just wasn’t caught during the editing process. It’s easy to make mistakes such as this when you’re writing the narrative in past tense, but it should be fixed before it is published.
I also hardly felt any connection with the secondary characters. When Lucian found out he was betrayed by his brother, Anton, I never really felt his emotions. He was devastated, but it didn’t come through in the writing.
Through reading this first 44% of the book, I found myself constantly trying to keep my eyes open. It was nearly impossible not to fall asleep while reading, which is the main reason (probably due to the reasons mentioned above) I decided to put it down and mark it as a DNF. Pretty cover, though.
I don’t think I’ll ever dislike a non-DNF book enough to give it a 1 star rating. So, 1 star ratings are basically reserved for DNFs. This book gets one…for now…
Have you read this book? Did you like it? Is it worth continuing, or am I just going to keep falling asleep while reading??