Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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2018 books: Gauntlet (Arena #2), The Cats of Butterwick Sands

Gauntlet (Arena #2) by Holly Jennings
Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I loved the first book in this series, but this second one just so so so completely did not work for me.

Set in the future, VR video games are the biggest, most popular things in the world. Gamers are the most fit athletes around, and usually the most beautiful/sexy/cool people as well. (Since games are so popular, the biggest players are used in most ad campaigns, so they have to look good.) The first book featured a woman and her team entering a tournament. This second book centers around a much larger, worldwide tournament.

All that would be well and good. I enjoyed the gaming and tech parts of the story, but in the first book it was the characters who sold me on it. In this second book, the characters were what drove me away...

In the first book, the main character had a gaming and drug addiction. MINOR MINOR ones, I didn't really buy that she was addicted, but whatever. A young man, Rooke, helped her get over them, because he had gone through the same thing. The two became really good friends, maybe/probably in love. Two halves of the same whole.

In this book, Rooke just left for no reason at all. Left without word. Literally without saying one word. She won't call him, he never calls her. 25% or so into the book, the team needs another player, so he just returns. It was the most stupid, painful, STUPID plotline ever. WHY DIDN'T THE TWO OF THEM JUST TALK? IF THEY WERE SO CLOSE, IF THEY MAYBE-LOVED EACH OTHER, ... ARG.

So anyway. I was curious about the game and the other teams and how the tournament would go, but the characters drove me off this book. Quit at the 28% point.

The Cats of Butterwick Sands by Gabriella Thomas
Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

What a cute cover this book has! Alas it was the only thing about it that I liked. Supposedly a book of stories about the cats in a town, but it felt more like it was about people who owned cats. Also, though it was published this year, it felt so dated. I would have believed this was a book that came out in the 1950s instead of today.

It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't for me. I stopped reading at 8%.

Partial book credits:
Point reached in these books: 28% + 8% = 36%
Previous abandoned book total: 464%
New total: 500% on the nose! Five book credits so far from partial books.

Currently reading: Tarin of the Mammoths: The Exile (Book 1) which feels like Clan of the Cavebear for very young readers.
Tags: #2, 2018 books, book review, book: gauntlet, book: the cats of butterwick sands
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