This post isn’t about books that were flat-out bad. This post is about books that should’ve been great, that we should have gone SQUEE over, and that just weren’t all that, in defiance of all prediction.
Fly By Night: This was so close. It should’ve been a big hit. And indeed, it was ok. Why did I not love it? I just don’t know. Partly I didn’t like one of the characters… maybe it was the writing… I did like it, but am somewhat lukewarm.
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. This book had every element that I should have loved. But it went on waaaaayyyy too long and I hated most of the people in it, and it wasn’t cheerful, and I wanted the plot to go a different way, and all the events were unrelentingly dismal like the characters, and it needed tightening.
The Good Fairies of New York, by Martin Millar. How can something blurbed by Neil Gaiman be unenrapturing? Too many info-dumps, that’s how. Yes, you did your research about Scottish music! Great! Now shut up!
We had some discussion about The Magicians and Mrs. Quent and this list. In the end we decided it was too much of a miss to be a near miss. The nicest thing we can say about it is that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies steals less material from P&P and is more open about the theft. The people who loved the book had obviously not read any of the classics it stole entire characters and plots from without so much as a wink or nudge. They were great literature the first 20 times we read them, you know, in Jane Eyre? And not so in need of editing. (For how to do a GOOD job of stealing from the classics, we recommend Deanna Raybourn’s The Dead Travel Fast, which we loved.)
#2 adds: Can I mention the last 3 Harry Potter books, or is that heresy?
Have you had any near-misses?