For all of those who are unaware, DNF stands for Did Not Finish. Usually, even if I hate a book to its very core, I’ll still force myself to finish it. Even in these 5 cases, in 4 of them, I at least forced myself to finish that particular book. Number 1 is actually the only case of me actually putting down a series mid-book, hence why it is number 1!
So, this is my personal list of the Top 5 (actually, more like a bottom 5) books or series that I was simply unwilling to finish. It could have to do with the writing style, plot, characters, or anything else that simply made me not want to continue on.
For each book or series, I’ll explain what the particular issue was for me. If you disagree with me and love some of these books, please let me know down in the comments section what about a particular book on this list made it great for you – and i may consider picking it back up! Enjoy!
Without any further ado, let’s begin…
***Well, … okay, this is hard for me. Mostly because the original part of this series is absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite fantasy series of all time. It’s this … spin-off… that makes me soooo sad.
5) “The Wax and Wayne Series (Mistborn)” by Brandon Sanderson
Yes, yes… I know. Sanderson is my absolute favorite writer of all time. He’s such a literary genius and such a kind man! He is passionate and sweet and full of life. He is an amazing writer in every way – and certainly is my favorite writer of all time! That being said…
He really should have stopped the Mistborn series at Book 3. Resurrecting the series with Waxillium Ladrian was … just… okay, ten miles off the mark. I hate it. I do.
I tried my best to love it. I read the first two books in the series: “Alloy of Law” and “Shadows of Self”. I even own “Bands of Mourning”. I just can’t bring myself to read it. “Alloy of Law” was just okay – but still somewhat entertaining. “Shadows of Self” was painful. The characters are unappealing. The story is just simply boring. The magical system is ruined. There is just so many flaws, I can’t keep them all straight.
I can’t bring myself to read the next book. I’m sorry, Mr. Sanderson. I love you and your work, I really do. But… please stop. Focus on the Stormlight Archive… please.
Goodreads.com Link: “Mistborn – Alloy Series” by Brandon Sanderson
4) “The Ender Saga” by Orson Scott Card
I read the first book in this series, “Ender’s Game” and even watched the film. The book is not bad! In fact, it’s quite entertaining! Several sci-fi subgenres clumped into one – The Chosen One, The Special School.. and even The Plot Twist! It had everything!
…. and that is why it should have stopped at book one. Really. There was nothing more to say. It truly wasn’t about the story, the characters, the writing, anything like that! It just…didn’t need to continue. Everything that could and should have been said was said in book one.
I tried starting book two. I really did. I couldn’t get past the first 50 pages. The story was simply not, in my opinion, meant to be a series. Go read Ender’s Game! It’s a great book! The others… eh, not so much.
Goodreads Link: “The Ender Saga” by Orson Scott Card
3) “Rebel Belle Series” by Rachel Hawkins
A tale of a girl who becomes a bad-ass warrior paladin! Er… well, not really. That’s how it’s marketed! But, that’s not what you get.
What you get is a whining teenage brat who cares about nothing but hair, clothes, and formals – throwing the main plot line (the paladin) to the background while she whines. I can’t even finish this discussion about the book, let alone the book itself. Moving on!
Goodreads.com Link: “Rebel Belle Series” by Rachel Hawkins
2) “The Bill Hodges Trilogy” by Stephen King
I really tried to like this trilogy. The first book wasn’t terrible. I think the background of the murderer was probably the most interesting out of everything in this trilogy. It was pure and real and absolutely vile in every way.
The main character is what killed this for me. Bill Hodges is absolutely the most dull and lifeless main character I’ve ever come across. Practically everyone else in this series is more fascinating. Hodges – well, he has the personality of a wet mop. It doesn’t get better.
What makes this series is everything that happens around Bill Hodges, primarily regarding killer Brady Hartsfield. But, Hartsfield is only in books 1 and 3, really. And by the time I had finished trying to sludge my way through book 2, I was in no mood to pick up book 3. Especially since King added a patently ridiculous supernatural angle to the story – making it just seem buffoonish and definitely not worth any more of my time.
I love King as a writer, but this series is just five steps backward. I thought even Dreamcatcher was better than this, and that’s saying a LOT.
Goodreads.com Link: “The Bill Hodges Trilogy” by Stephen King
1) “The Remnant Chronicles” by Mary E. Pearson
We have finally arrived at the one book I’ve ever picked up that I just could not bring myself to finish. I can usually trudge through a bad book pretty well, but not in this case. I forced myself to make it about halfway through book one before permanently relegating it back to my shelves.
Why was this one so bad? Oh, I had such high hopes! A favorite book-tuber of mine, Regan from Peruse Project, recommended these books – and we generally agree on what books in the fantasy genre are worth reading and which are not – with relatively few exceptions…
Aaaaand this was the exception. I’m not going to sugar coat this in any way. This book was just terrible. It had so much potential! The story of a girl who was running away from being forced into a politically arranged marriage! There was so much the author could have done with this! But, for all Ms. Pearson’s great plot summary – she dropped the ball in making us care about the characters.
I never was able to give one, let alone two, craps about any of the characters or their storylines. The main character was selfish, spoiled, and downright annoying. The side characters were dull and lifeless. The plot felt like a tire stuck in the mud, helplessly spinning its wheels in hope of getting free – but only succeeding in sinking further.
It was just depressing. I couldn’t do it.
Goodreads.com Link: “The Remnant Chronicles” by Mary E. Pearson