DNF Review: Sadie Sugarspear and the Weeping Willow


  • Author: Nicole Arlyn
  • ISBN: 9781633700260
  • Publisher: Full Fathom Five
  • Genre: Adult Fantasy
  • Pages: 53

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


The reason why I stopped reading this book is because of the two scenes of sexual violence that occurred not even halfway through this 53-page novella.  The blurb on Goodreads is much better at pointing out the fact that this book may trigger some readers, but all the blurb on Netgalley says is, “This book is intended for mature audiences” and Sadie’s step-father’s “cruelty.”  I didn’t know that was code for “graphic sexual violence.”  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have requested it.


DNF Review: Escape from Netherworld


  • Author: David Kuklis
  • ISBN: 9781595719942
  • Publisher: Word Association Publishers
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Pages: 231

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


I thought this would be the perfect humorous Fantasy novel and I would fly through it within a couple of hours and rave about it on social media.  It would have been that kind of book if it weren’t for the majority of it being horribly written dialogue.  I’m not talking silly one-liners.  It has plenty of those, but I was expecting that with Escape from Nether World.  No, I’m talking about the kind of dialogue that doesn’t have any slang or natural contractions.  The characters spoke like robots.

The other issue I had with this book was that after the characters find themselves in Nether World, the story plays out like the very beginning of any video game, but nothing ever seemed to get any more difficult for them than that.  Everything up until I gave up on the book (at around 50 pages) happened too easily.  I just couldn’t take any more of what seemed to be an entire story of Level One, “here’s how you play the game” training mode events.


DNF Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic


  • Author: Meghan Ciana Doidge
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Pages: 280

This book was my book club’s selection for February.  Usually, I wouldn’t read a book like this since it’s Paranormal Romance, but it was free on Amazon at the time, so I thought, “Why not?”

I did not DNF Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic because it’s Paranormal Romance.  Even though it’s not a genre I read much of, I figured this would be a nice, light-hearted read for around Valentine’s Day.  The reason I quit reading is because the MC deliberately did things she knew would get her into trouble and then didn’t understand why things spun out of control.  As with, The Magic Shop by Justin Swapp, another book I DNF’d for the same reason, I was beyond annoyed at the constant “I know I shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to do it anyway.”  On top of that, the plot seemed to be heading towards Jade falling in lust with the overly alpha male vampire who is just on the other side of being a controlling, abusive stalker.  I could be wrong about that, but since this is a Paranormal Romance, I could see that happening, and if there’s any Romance I despise, it’s the kind that involves the female lead hooking up with the A-hole for no good reason.  Besides, is there ever a good reason to do that?  The only example I can think of is when Buffy hooked up with Spike, but she never let him pull any of that supposed creepy “alpha” crap with her, at least not that I remember.

If you’re the type of person who fantasizes about being in a relationship with a possessive, violent stalker, then by all means, check to see if the book is still free on Amazon.  Otherwise, I recommend checking out a considerably better Paranormal Romance series.  Perhaps the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead.

DNF Review: Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book I: Yasamin


  • Author: J. Matthew Saunders
  • ISBN: 9780986333101
  • Publisher: Saint George’s Press
  • Genre: Horror

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I got through a few more than 50 pages before I gave up on this book and stopped reading.  First of all, the story seemed like a bad facsimile of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, right down to a Turkish secret society bent on destroying vampires and a historian trying to find out if Dracula really exists and nearly getting himself killed in the process.  Secondly, the dialogue was so contrived that I felt like I was watching a B-movie.  Thirdly, I felt like I’ve read this story too many times before.  I know it’s difficult to come up with a vampire story that is somehow different from all the others, but I kept getting a feeling of deja vu while I was reading.  It was as if I had read this before, even though I know I haven’t.  Finally, there is a scene in which two of the characters get in a car wreck that was bad enough for the airbags to deploy, yet they weren’t hurt at all.  They were able to not only get out of the car without any problems but were also able to fight off two goons, both of which are considerably bigger and stronger them.  Can you say 1980’s bad action film?

I’m sure there are plenty of readers who would love this book precisely because of how horrible it is, or because they love anything involving vampires no matter how bad.  As much as I love vampire stories and the occasional brain candy/B-movie/action film, I couldn’t take reading another page of this book after the car accident and fight scene.  I’m not saying this book doesn’t deserve a chance.  It’s just not for me, and life is too short to continue reading a book I can’t stand when there are so many other books out there I might love.

Review: Feast of Fates


  • Author: Christian A. Brown
  • Genre: Fantasy

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was a DNF book for me.  It was so horrible that I was debating on whether or not to review it.  However, I’m reviewing it because, unlike The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich, I didn’t DNF it because it was horribly written, but because of two back-to-back absolutely disgusting, horrifying, graphic, completely unnecessary rape scenes.  I’ve been unsettled by violent scenes in both books and movies, but this wasn’t just unsettling.  These scenes were so disturbing that I felt physically ill, betrayed by the author, and unable to move onto another book.  I had to take several quiet hours to myself to recover.  The next day I tried to continue, but a victim of one of the assaults forgives her husband and thinks to herself that it wasn’t his fault because he had been taken over by some kind of evil being.  I had this reaction:

DNF(click on the pic to watch the video)

I can’t recommend Feast of Fates to anyone, but if you decide to read it anyway, please understand that “trigger warning” is an understatement for this book.  I’m not even going to give it one star.