I saw Lia over at Lost In A Story do this tag last week and thought this would be a perfect way to tidy up the bottom TBR stack. Try A Chapter Tag is pretty much self-explanatory; you read one chapter of a book and decide whether you’re intrigued and would like to continue, or if you should just unhaul it straight away. I have about 70 books on my TBR shelf and some have been there for several years. I’ve selected five books in this post which are among the bottom half of my TBR, though they are randomly selected.
Obviously, I chose my books without a dart needle! No books were damaged in this selection and no-one volunteered, lol. But I did close my eyes and pointed my fingers to choose.
This blog is quite long so I have divided this blog into two sections; before and after I read the first chapter.
My selection and initial thoughts are:
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
Goodreads rating: 3.27
I remember buying this thinking the cover looked amazing with the one little red blood drop from the branch to the left of the “n”. I also loved how the “y” turned into a tree with a house on.
I’m not a big horror fan or a horror reader, but I have this one. I think I initially thought horror could be like a Scandinavian noir set in the past 🤦♀️ 😂 Now I don’t know what this will be or if I’ll like it. I have to admit I still love the cover 😍
Initial prediction: I have no idea if I’m going to like this or not. Deep down I want to like it but not be scared by it, if that makes sense.
Snake Ropes by Jess Richards
Goodreads rating: 3.59
I bought this from the broken section of Waterstones during a clear out. It came without a dust jacket. Thus there was no synopsis. I have no idea what it is about. I have no idea why I bought it… 🤦♀️🤦♀️
Reading on the Goodreads page this looks to be a dystopian mystery set on a Scottish island. I think I initially thought this was a middle-grade adventure… Not even close.
I’m telling you, this is the reason I do not enter a bookshop without a shopping list and a very strict budget! I just end up buying stuff I will a) never read, and b) I don’t even know the synopsis of.
Initial prediction: I might like it, but I’m not sold on the synopsis.
Thief’s Magic: Millennium’s Rule (book 1) by Trudi Canavan
Goodreads rating: 3.83
I always wanted to read some of Trudi Canavan’s books. Clearly, the fact that I already own the entire “The Black Magician Trilogy” but have never read, isn’t enough I need more. Obviously. 🤦♀️
I don’t remember why I bought it. I don’t know what it is about. I know it’s high fantasy and it’s got magic, and probably someone learning magic, and some awesome adventure (or I hope it’s awesome anyway).
I have heard good things about her writing and her books so I’m curious about this book.
Initial prediction I could like this…
The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton
Goodreads rating: 4.21
I think I bought this at the same time as The Loney, and I believe the reason was so I could try out Space stuff. Obviously, a book over 600 pages should be enough as my introduction to space books. 600!!? 🤦♀️
I’m ridiculous sometimes. If time travel was invented I would go back in time and sort myself out.
It has got good ratings on Goodreads though so I might like it even if I not sure about the setting. We’ll see.
Initial prediction: Basically, I have no clue if I’ll like this or not.
The Demon King: Seven Realms #1 by Cinda Williams Chima
Goodreads rating: 4.2
I initially saw this on booktube, especially on Regan’s channel. I tend to like the books she likes and she was gushing about this series and Cinda’s writing. That is the reason I bought this.
“finally a proper reason behind buying a book”
I know it’s YA fantasy which is my go-to genre. I know it has magic and is set in a high fantasy world (I think). I’m not sure if there is a demon in this. I’m not sure if there is a king in this. But it better be good.
Initial prediction: I think I’ll like this. I hope I like it.
It seems I have accidentally ranked these books in order of their Goodreads rating.
Also, my predictions suggest one is a yes, three maybes and one probably not.
So after I read one chapter, what was the verdict?
Thoughts after reading one chapter:
There is a bible passage instead of a quote in here. I’m not sure I like that…
Chapter title: 1
Nothing to get from that
The first chapter
The first chapter is 3 pages… Not a lot to go on, but the 3 pages created some interest and questions in my head. Apparently, they are recovering from a flood which also created a landslide in Coldbarrow. The name of this place reminds the character of some bad things happening there to/by her and a friend who now is a priest/pastor or something. I don’t even know the characters name as it’s written in the first person. It ends with the characters thinking about going to the press before the priest and beat him to it.
I have no idea why, how or where but for when, it seems to be around the present day.
I want to know what happened. It’s amazing what you can create in 3 pages…
Initial verdict: Maybe – “no idea if I’m going to like this or not. Deep down I want to like it”
New verdict: Yeah I’ll read it, but maybe not first.
Nice title page
Chapter title: Mary
Seems we may have a multi-perspective book here.
The first chapter
The first chapter is 16 pages and we follow Mary as the tall men arrive on the island to trade. I don’t know who or what the tall men are, but anyway. She sells her broidery and her dads fish, but while she is making these trades her brother goes missing just like her dad’s friend’s sons has gone missing. Out of grief she falls into a fever and dreams of Barney, her brother, and her deceased mother, and lots of ropes around her ankles
It’s interesting the way it’s written. Obviously, it’s a Scottish island and the writing reflects the dialect, referring to ‘him’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘his’, and also the word ‘taken’ is replaced with ‘took’. It’s effectively simple which reflects their living situation; poor and simplistic.
This could be interesting. I have no idea yet whats going to happen, but I want to know.
Initial verdict: Maybe – “I might like it, but I’m not sold on the synopsis.”
New verdict: Yeah I’ll read it, but maybe not first
Chapter title: Part One: Tyen. Chapter 1.
Multiperspective story or a place? You never know with these fantasy stories…
The first chapter
So Tyen is a person trying to graduate as a sorcerer-archaeologist…?! Which sounds awesome! On the first page, he is on an expedition to a grave site (Egypt type) and finds one untouched by graverobbers. He finds a talking book, Vila is her name, and she knows his thoughts when he touches her and can spell out replies. Again awesome! Though she is made from her previous existence as a human… Then the local figures out where he is and is not happy. The entire expiration makes for a quick exit with the local on their heels. Exiting!
This could be very interesting. A sorcerer-archaeologist and a talking book with lots of knowledge. He is so getting into trouble, I can smell it!
I will definitely read this!
Initial verdict: Maybe – “I could like this…”
New verdict: Yeah I’ll read it and soonish
The Abyss Beyond Dreams
It’s got a map! I didn’t really think space books had maps, but this is cool. Also, it starts with a general timeline history and a list of characters. I tend to find this very useful in other books so I’m guessing it’s the same here. I really don’t like it when a fiction book has explanations or character lists or vocabulary list in the end. You cant really look at it before you finish the book, unless you want to risk accidentally seeing the last page or something.
Anyway, chapter one here I come!
Title of chapter one: Book One Twenty-Seven Hours And Forty-Two Minutes.
With a name like that this could be the beginning, the end or the middle of the book.
I do hope it’s the first chapter, not a first part. I have read a book divided into four parts and not a single chapter. It was a short book to be fair, only 200pages, but this one is over 600pages and I would really like some chapters. Let’s see.
The first chapter
So this book does not have chapters… Only books and parts. But the text is occasionally separated by stars. I stopped at the first star on page 16, because book two starts on page 94.
Based on the first 16 pages it seems we’re in a world where ageing, if you can afford it, is out of fashion. Altered Carbon anyone? The main character is Laura Brandt and she can afford it, along with her entire family and entourage. Laura along with some of her family was on their way to a habitable planet when they got sucked into the void which produced special powers like telekinesis and mind reading. Nobody knows why they are there, or if they are in danger or not. Laura is sent out on a science mission to a nearby cluster of something as the main ship approaches a somewhat habitable place. They hope.
Based on the first “chapter” I’m very much intrigued. The writing is really good, and the science is fascinating. I have no idea what going on but I want to figure it out. It’s definitely an adult book due to its dense writing. This will not be an easy read. I will be continuing with this book.
Initial verdict: Probably not – “I have no clue if I’ll like this or not.”
New verdict: Yeah I’ll read it at some point when I have time, maybe on holiday.
The Demon King
No map?! What a shame…
Chapter one title: The Hunt.
I wonder if this is someone being hunted or someone hunting.
The first chapter
So the first chapter is 19 pages and introduces us to the main character Han and his friend Dancer (sidekick?). There is also a villain, Bayer, who I already really dislike. He’s a bully and a rich prick! He is the one belonging to the hunt. Trying to impress the princess (the girl/love interest?), Bayer was creating magical fire to chase the animals into the line of fire. Though he underage and not allowed to use magic yet. He is in some deep trouble with his dad, again rich prick… Han though I like as a character. He is definitely getting into trouble very shortly.
Already in the first chapter, we are introduced to what seems like the main character, his sidekick, the villain and the girl.
Seems I’m already emotionally invested. I’ll definitely read this.
Initial verdict: Yes – “I think I’ll like this. I hope I like it. “
New verdict: Yeah I’ll read it, probably first too 🙂
I think I easily pleased…! Seems I’m keeping them all. I was hoping I could get rid of some of them, but clearly not. The worst thing is I have just started five new books…
Have you read any of these? Any recommendation? No spoilers, please 😊