not book 40: Steph Swainston, The Year of our War, achieved 48 pages and some skimming to see if anything was likely to happen. Found the climactic (forgive the pun) sex scene by accident. Regretted it.
This struck me as a bunch of really unlikable characters in search of a plot. The voice wasn't bad, and the writing was quite good, but I couldn't find anything compelling about the POV character and there was nothing going on in the world I cared about enough to chase.
This is probably just me not being up to the challenge of such a profoundly self-absorbed narrator, as the book has been widely acclaimed by better writers (and readers) than I. There's probably some really neat thematic stuff going on with these immortals with the personalities of poorly behaved, adolescent Greek gods, but I'd rather re-read the Chronicles of Amber for that.
not book 40: Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian 13 pages, and this book is actually irritating me so much that I am tempted to read the damned thing just so I can bitch about it. That's probably just the cold speaking.
In fact, after just 13 pages, I could probably unpack a tirade about the voice of the thing (why oh why is a fifty-something American ex-pat Baby Boomer who spent most of her life in Europe as an embassy brat writing in the voice of a humorless Gothic heroine, complete with mannered asides and blatant auctorial excuses/smoke signals for why she's a completely unbelievable character?); characterization (why would an overprotective father start, with very little prompting, telling his daughter his Dark Secrit? And why does he use the same voice?); and fact (Dracula was not a title, it was Vlad III's surname. It does not mean Dragon; it means "son of the Dragon." Dracul was his father's title, which he adopted as a surname, based upon the dragon sigil of a knightly order to which he belonged. He never used the name Vlad Tsepesh; it was an insulting epithet pinned on him by the Germans and/or Hungarians.).
...oh, Hell, I may as well see if I can push through this damned thing. At least I'll have fun screaming at it. And I've got nothing better to do for the next two days.