• Gina Denny

Best and Worst Books of 2012: Part 2

Today I feature the most disappointing books of 2012. Books I ought to have loved, or was really excited for, but was underwhelmed by.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I really, really loved the first three books in this series. The prequels are pretty much a steampunk version of those books, so they’re fun, if not particularly innovative. This second story arc, which was supposed to feature Simon (or so the legend goes…) is turning out to be really blah. Instead of Clary and Jace getting to be happy together, Clare continually finds ways to have them having Angry Make Out Time. Simon is still in the background, even pushed further back by the introduction of some new secondary characters. And for being an urban fantasy, we spend a surprising amount of time watching people make out and have sex. Seven different couples make up the bulk of this story, and clunky writing fills out the rest. If you’ve started the series, stop after number three. The rest of this stuff is useless.

The Second Empress by Michelle Moran

It’s not that this was bad. It wasn’t. It’s just that it wasn’t nearly as good as the other stuff she’s written. I’ve loved all of her books except this one. It was very short, given the fact that she was writing about Napoleon’s court and had TONS of source material and novel-worthy-nonsense to write about. This is her lowest rated book on Goodreads, and for good reason. I just didn’t feel like it was as good as the others.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I know, this is really old. But the fourth, and final, book was released at the very end of 2011, and I barely picked up the series for the first time this year. It was underwhelming, to say the very least. A whole lot of words that don’t actually amount to a whole lot of plot. Weak characters that don’t ever do what you expect them to do. A semi-built world lacking in details and intrigue. Cheesy-kid-book details (Eragon = Dragon With A “E”, a blue dragon named Saphira) with adult-level violence (brain matter spattering on a sword, an infant impaled on a spear). On the surface, it’s fine. But it just doesn’t hold up under any kind of scrutiny. 


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Gina Denny is a writer, homeschooler, and former classroom teacher who writes about parenting and education issues. She also writes science fiction and fantasy for teens and lives near Phoenix, Arizona with her family. 

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