Reviews in a Minute: March Mediocrities

I have such… non-feelings about these, honestly. I told Cait @ Paper Fury, on her post about how writing reviews is hard, that I wanted to say “I nothinged these books” and call it a day. Guess I can’t really do that, but this might be close. Let me be clear: I didn’t dislike them. I just… meh. So here are some March Mediocrities. 

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
100 Hours by Rachel Vincent
Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller



Reviews in a Minute: March Mediocrities Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on March 14th 2017
Pages: 384
Format:eARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Edelweiss
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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

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So I was responding to Amber @ Du Livre’s review of this book as I was trying to write my own review. And for awhile, I felt like the black sheep- I’ve seen tons of positive, glowing reviews, and I figured maybe I was missing something? But she felt very similarly, so I said in response: “I am trying (in vain, tbh) to write my review of this right now, and I just… I have NOTHING. Like it was fine, I guess. I have no feelings about it, really. The romance was okay, but not like, swoon-worthy. The story was fine, but I mean, I’ve heard it before haha. Maybe this is what my review will actually SAY 😉 ”

So there you have it. I just really didn’t have strong feelings about this book. Yeva was a fine character, though I didn’t feel particularly connected to her. I enjoyed it enough while I was reading, hoping to find out what happened. But I also felt as though I knew what would happen, it felt quite predictable, and maybe that is just because it is a retelling? I am not sure.

The romance was… there. Look, I knew that “Beauty” (Yeva’s nickname from her dad) and Beast were going to end up together because… hello, it’s the whole original story, right? So I never felt a real sense of urgency there, nor a ton of chemistry. Especially since for a long part of it, he was her captor and I think he wasn’t even actually human, so there’s that. Val @ The Innocent Smiley did a whole post on the captor-captive relationship in regards to this book, if you’re interested in that angle!

I think I was actually more interested in it when she was with her sisters and such, and not so much when she was hanging out alone with Beast, but this could be me missing the point. I did enjoy the Russian part though. That was probably my favorite thing about the book. And that Yeva was a pretty tough MC who was willing to do anything for her family.

Bottom Line: By no means a bad book, just a bit underwhelming for me. Yeva was a strong character, the book was readable enough, I just didn’t feel that “something special”.


Reviews in a Minute: March Mediocrities 100 Hours by Rachel Vincent
Series: 100 Hours #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 28th 2017
Pages: 368
Format:ARC, eARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Edelweiss, ALAMW
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A decadent spring break getaway on an exotic beach becomes a terrifying survival story when six Miami teens are kidnapped and ransomed.

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.

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This is a book that I also felt a bit “meh” about, but for completely different reasons. Reasons that I can actually put into words, oh happy day! We shall start with the things that made this book enjoyable.

What I Liked:

  • The setting was fabulous. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be reading about a Colombian beach and jungle and such? I don’t think I have ever read a book set in Colombia before, maybe even anywhere in South America, so this was fun! And the atmosphere was written quite convincingly, too.
  • The adventure piece of the book was definitely exciting. I was very curious as to what was going to happen, who was going to survive. I love a survival book, and this one definitely delivered to that end.
  • It was fast-paced (it took place in the span of 100 hours, after all!) and was definitely compulsively readable, from an entertainment standpoint.
  • There were some twists that I absolutely did not see coming. And I liked that aspect of it- especially toward the end of the book, when the suspense was at a high point.

What I Didn’t:

  • Oh, these characters are complete asshats. Most of them, anyway. Spoiled, rude, rich, completely selfish asshats. And I don’t think I am even adequately describing them, but I am trying to keep the profanities to a minimum? Trust that I yelled tons at them while I read the book. Along with a lot of “why are you all the actual worst people ever?” And look, I get that sometimes characters are not the best, and maybe that is part of the story, but they were hard to stomach. And even harder to care about the fate of. I did have some feelings for Maddie. She was less… rude than the rest, though she was still kind of judgmental. But then, so I was I, so could I blame Maddie? No.
  • Which brings me to my next gripe: If you are in the middle of a hostage situation in a damn foreign jungle, maybe you cool it with the drama? I understand that they are teens but… I was also a teen. And I promise, I would not be worried about who was hooking up with who at what bar if I were a hostage. I would be 100% concerned with not getting shot. Hookups can come later. If there was a later. Because I would be a hostage.
  • Some of the outcomes seemed a little… convenient. Or unbelievable. Some were both. Still entertaining, but required some suspension of disbelief that I wasn’t always able to muster.

Will I Continue the Series? Possibly. I am moderately curious to see what happens, and hoping for some character growth. I won’t be sprinting to get it, but yeah, I’d give it another shot.

Bottom Line: While it was definitely exciting and entertaining, it was hard to overlook all the issues I had.


Reviews in a Minute: March Mediocrities Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland, Michael Miller
Series: Kaitan Chronicles #1
Published by Delacorte Press on March 21st 2017
Pages: 400
Format:eARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository

"Firefly" meets DUNE in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.

Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.
Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

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Ah, this is the one I am most conflicted about- and also the one I liked the most. I think. Rather, this had the most things I liked in it? The characters, especially Qole and the others on the Kaitan, were pretty great. A diverse and extremely loyal, strong-willed group, they made me root for them immediately. Nev was more hit or miss for me, though I did grow to like him quite a bit more by the end; in the beginning he really grated on my nerves.

The space adventure was certainly fun, and I liked learning about the Shadow, and the power- and destruction- it had over the people of space. The book was a bit slow to start, but then I became invested in the characters, the plot, even the politics of the universe. But then the excitement started to fade a bit again for me. There was a lot of unnecessary information, and I often found myself skimming a bit and not really missing anything. I felt like the pace could have been picked up, certain scenes could have been cut shorter or eliminated, and the story would have been the same- and more readable, certainly.

Will I Continue the Series? Maybe. I did like the characters enough to want to know what happens next, but I also don’t know if I can deal with another long-winded book.

Bottom Line: While I enjoyed the characters and the story, I often found myself succumbing to periods of boredom.

Have you read any of these books? Planning on it? Let’s talk about them! 

Posted March 11, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in In a Minute, Review / 20 Comments


20 responses to “Reviews in a Minute: March Mediocrities

  1. Two of these were sorta on my radar- 100 Hours and Shadow Run. I like survival stories too so I might try this one even though it sounds like the characters blew chunks more or less. That’s a pretty sweet cover . Shadow Run I don’t know- it does sound kinda good? And Hunted- another awesome cover but a Beauty and the beast retelling? Hmm I’ll have to check out Val’s post, I always thought the captor/ captive dynamic was kinda weird but maybe it was just me? Will be curious to see what others think.

    I love these 3-in-1 reviews!!
    Greg offers us this fabulous post…Bookcover Spotlight #91

  2. I feel like Hunted is getting a lot of mediocre reviews lately… so whelp. Probably gonna pass on these… haven’t been too thrilled with middle-class reads lately.

  3. I haven’t even HEARD of the last two.😂 So probably no, not that interested in reading them…I HATE MEH BOOKS. Sometimes they’re even worse than rage-inducing books because like I have no feelings??? And it’s just like “stuff happened and I didn’t care”…so awkward to review.😂I have Hunted for review but have felt vaguely uninterested in it since ACTOAR fully turned me off Beauty and the Beast. I’m asking myself why I requested it but I DON’T KNOW. I AM JUST A DELUDED GRAPE.

    Anyway the “meh” feeling reviews struggle is real. *gives you cake to help you through this trial*

  4. I’ve been wanting to read Hunted as well bc of the reviews…but you make a good point. I guess retellings are my fave but I think sticking too much to a formula can be tedious.
    Shadow Run sounds promising but after reading your review, I’m a little hesitant to pick it up. I guess we will see!
    Excellent reviews!

  5. Nothinged 😀 that’s a great word! Love it. Totally have read books like that, but thankfully not lately.
    The ones on your nothing list though, I’ve heard of them a lot on other blogs lately. Well, some of them. But never did decide to read them, so maybe those were good decisions 🙂
    Evelina offers us this fabulous post…Envy of Angels – Sin du Jour #1

  6. Kel

    That’s an excellent summation of Hunted! Not bad, enjoyable enough while reading, but nothing special and a bit underwhelming. I concur. 🙂

    I like the general concept/premise for Shadow Run, but I wasn’t really drawn to it before, and I would definitely have problems with that pacing. Thanks for the heads up!
    Kel offers us this fabulous post…The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (3 stars)

  7. I’m in queue for Hunted at the library, and I’m pretty nervous about it. The cover is gorgeous, and it looks well-written, but I’ve never been one for retellings. Like you said, I’ve heard the story before. There’s no element of surprise in terms of how it’ll turn out, especially with a fairytale I’ve read and seen countless times.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality
    Ellie @ On the Other Side of Reality offers us this fabulous post…Mini Reviews #14: Unknown and Underrated

  8. It’s hard isn’t it to review books you just don’t reLly care about who you have finished. Pre-blog I would have just put ten them down and forgotten about them, now I feel like I have to write something, even when there might not be anything to say.
    Emma offers us this fabulous post…Book blogger hop: advance reading

  9. I have seen a lot of meh reviews of Hunted and now I’m not as excited as I was before I read the reviews. As with a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it always touches on Stockholm syndrome which is very real. It is also a sensitive topic? So, I’m not really sure. I actually didn’t like ACoTaR which is also a B&B retelling so maybe I will just wait and see if I will be picking this up. 😀

  10. I’ve never heard of 100 Hours, but it has a really cool premise!! I do kind of hate when people are going through some BIG THING and they can’t let go of their petty drama during it. Like, you are about to die, it is NOT important about some boy you have a crush on and what some bitchy girl did to try to steal him. UGHHH.
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books offers us this fabulous post…Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage– Wanted to LOVE IT, Settled on Meh.

  11. I kinda know what you mean by Hunted. I did enjoy it a lot but it wasn’t as…grand and epic as I hoped it would be. That\s definitely too bad about the asshat characters in 100 Hours! Hopefully the later half of March gives you some better books!
    Cyn @ Book Munchies offers us this fabulous post…Weekly Wrap Up (02)

  12. I feel like the characters in retellings have to be either incredibly spectacular or extremely relatable for me to like retellings. Like, if it’s a story I don’t know then I could be super interested in the story or if it’s more of a reimagining or a “based on” tale then I’ll be more invested. Y’know? So I totally get what you’re saying about Hunted. It’s how I feel about Cinder.
    -Monica @ Tomes Project
    Monica offers us this fabulous post…IRL Book Friends | Recently in Reading #2

  13. I have heard a lot about Hunted and people did love it, but I can see if it is a similar story to other books that you read that it might be blah. I do feel those are the hardest reviews to write to, like the book was ok, but it could have been better, but you also don’t want to discourage someone else from reading it. Great mini reviews!

  14. I hate when I don’t have strong feelings either way about a book. Those are the hardest reviews to write. You did a great job with these, though! I’ve been interested in Hunted. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I’m sad to hear there wasn’t much chemistry. It wasn’t high on my TBR to begin with, but now I’m definitely not in a rush.
    Lori offers us this fabulous post…Waiting on Wednesday: Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

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