Abandoned Ships – race to the sun (Rebecca Roanhorse) & the devil and the dark water (Stuart Turton) – unpopular opinion time!

Ahoy there me mateys!  Here be reviews of two books I thought I would love but ended up abandoning both.  These have great reviews from others in the crew but this Captain cut them loose to sink to the watery depths. (click on titles to add to yer Goodreads Ports for Plunder List):

race to the sun (Rebecca Roanhorse)

I was intrigued by this book because it features Navajo (Diné) mythology by an own voices author.  It was Matey Paul’s enthusiastic five-star review that moved the author’s books higher on the list.  I listened to three quarters of this book in audio and have to say that I didn’t like it much.  I thought the main characters were fine but that the plot was very poorly written.  I felt that I wasn’t getting a very good understanding of the Diné elements, partially because of the blazing fast pace and partially because they seemed so lightly explored.  The resolution of the characters’ problems were too easy and/or unbelievable.  The bad guys were one dimensional.  I didn’t understand the hype at all.  Then I went on a search to read more about the Diné culture only to find that Rebecca Roanhorse used the myths of a tribe that she doesn’t belong to (she be Ohkay Owingeh) and that many of the Diné find the book distasteful.  It seemed to be a weird choice for the Rick Riordan imprint to choose a non-Diné to showcase this culture.  Native American tribes are not interchangeable.  I also didn’t enjoy Roanhorse’s own explanations for her choosing to write this story.  Given me own distaste for how bad I found the writing, I am not sure I want to read any more of this author’s work.  Here is one link to opinions about Roanhorse writing this novel.

“Na’asho’ii dich’izhii means horned toad,”
― Rebecca Roanhorse, Race to the Sun

the devil and the dark water (Stuart Turton)

I really enjoyed Turton’s the 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle.  I thought I would love this because it is historical fiction set in 1634 and deals with a murder mystery on the high seas.  Should float me boat.  Nay, sunk like a stone.  One issue was that the writing felt too modern for the time period in both dialogue and in how the characters acted.  Life on the ship was boring!  I mean seriously it takes a lot for me to not care about a sea setting.  All the similes got on me nerves.  The narrator of this audiobook also did not help.  The production had strange voice choices and odd speech pacing.  I made it about a quarter of the way though before the boredom and historical inaccuracies made me abandon this one.  Arrr!

“And you know, amid all this brocade, it doesn’t even have pockets. Not one.” She tugged at the material where the pockets should have been.”
― Stuart Turton, The Devil and the Dark Water

Side Note: I was trying to find decent quotes but didn’t want to spend anymore time on these books!

8 thoughts on “Abandoned Ships – race to the sun (Rebecca Roanhorse) & the devil and the dark water (Stuart Turton) – unpopular opinion time!

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