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Top Ten SF/F Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks to the gals of The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this meme every week!

Today’s topic was one I wasn’t originally sure I wanted to tackle. It seemed a bit negative when I first saw it, but then I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to get some feedback about older books that I own and am not 100% dying to read anymore. I also have a monthly features called Flames to Embers where I discuss the review books that I didn’t get a chance to read and am not sure I will be able to, so feel free to chime in there too ;-).

It seemed like a good idea at the time…

Matched Dualed The Vicious Deep Linked

  1. Matched – I think I bought this one because of the hype when it was coming out and I wasn’t sick of dystopians yet. I’ve had two friends absolutely love the series, but they don’t read as much as I do, so I’m not convinced that it would appeal to my tastes these days.
  2. Dualed – I grabbed an ARC of this when a friend was cleaning out her books because the premise sounded vaguely interesting. I get the impression that it isn’t anything mind-blowing though right?
  3. The Vicious Deep – I was doing a mermaid read-a-thon last summer and bought The Vicious Deep fully intending to read it then. However, I still haven’t and am now just wondering if the fantasy/merman elements are cool enough for me to try to read the whole trilogy or if I can skip it.
  4. Linked – I probably bought this totally because of the cover >.>. It’s about twins with an inconvenient link right? With the sequel recently out, I’m curious if anyone loved them.

Conflicting Feelings

Control Tiger Lily The Killing Moon A Natural History of Dragons Artemis Fowl Throne of the Crescent Moon

  1. Control – I saw mixed reviews on this one, but most of the negatives were about it being too hardcore sciencey for what YA readers are used to. That makes me feel like it might be perfect for me, but I’m still intimidated now D:
  2. Tiger Lily – I haven’t read any Anderson yet so I have no idea if I like her writing and I get the impression that it is kind of a divisive thing. The negative opinion I heard first was from a huge Peter Pan fan who didn’t like the change, and I am not that hardcore into Peter Pan. That also worries me though since I won’t enjoy it just because it is a Peter Pan story….
  3. The Killing Moon – I love NK Jemisin’s world-building in the one book I’ve read, but The Killing Moon super intimidates me for some reason. I think when I first saw the cover I decided it was a vampire story for some reason even though that makes very little sense, so I just really need someone to get me excited about the epicness ;-).
  4. A Natural History of Dragons – Oh look! Another book that I’m crazy intimidated by! I know that there is a lot of love for these books and I’m really excited to have read them, if that makes sense, but I worry that the pacing will be too slow for me at the moment. Would you say they are slow paced?
  5. Artemis Fowl – I completely missed this generational read and kind of want to find out what I missed, but I don’t know if it is middle grade that still appeals to adults. I need your help!
  6. Throne of the Crescent Moon – I snagged this when it was a Nebula-nominee and I saw it on a crazy sale. I like the idea of fantasy set somewhere other than Europe, but those undead on the cover kind of scare me and I haven’t heard many opinions on it. Anyone read it?

So those are the books that I would love getting some opinions on! They are sitting on my shelf currently, so I need to know if I should keep holding on to them and make sure they stay out of the donation bin or not ;-). I’m pretty sure that deep down I do want to read some of them, but I need help at getting excited about them again :D. What are you not sure you want to read but want help with?
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Matched is good if you look at it as a romance and not a dystopian. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Tiger Lily, right now it’s on my not to read list. I missed Artemis Fowl too so it’s interesting to hear what people think about it. Nice list. :)

  2. The only one of those that’s on my radar is Matched – I didn’t buy it but it’s on my TBR. I like dystopians but at the same time I can only take so much of them in a stretch, if that makes any sense. If I owned it I would be more likely to get around to it, but as it stands I probably won’t. :/
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…“Sassenach” S1:E1|Outlander ThoughtsMy Profile

  3. DanaSquare says:

    I have seen nothing but good thing about Tiger Lily! I am hesitant about Matched too. I have it, but now that they hype has died down I am not so sure if I want to give it a try.

  4. I did read Artemis Fowl, but it was just the first book and it was around my middle and high school years. I thought it was pretty good, but I’m the type of person that sympathizes with the main character no matter if he/she is evil or good.
    Valerie recently posted…Review: Dreams of Gods & MonstersMy Profile

  5. We are too much alike. I own all of these as well, EXCEPT – Control, The Killing Moon and Artemis Fowl (but i’ll get Artemis when the boy gets older)

    I also haven’t read a single one of these EXCEPT A Natural History of Dragons I’m halfway done with on audio – but I decided I’ll power through the rest in print. because the middle part is seriously slow so far that is why I set it aside and delved into The Way of Kings audio.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Dark Eden by Chris BeckettMy Profile

    • Haha, we are wonderfully alike, you love it, don’t lie ;-)

      Hmm, I was excited that you were listening to Dragons on audio for a second there, but I can’t handle slow audiobooks since it makes me sleepy while driving D:

  6. I still haven’t read Artemis Fowl either…but I did read the first graphic novel adaptation! Way faster. ;)

    For everything else, what I’m telling others (and will hopefully follow myself) is to do a one-chapter speed date with each book you’re still interested in and then continue or part ways after. No pressure. :)
    Kel (Booked til Tuesday) recently posted…Updates: Family & Book BuyingMy Profile

    • HAHA, I’m so weird with graphic novels, I feel like I don’t know how to review them so then I tend not to pick them up. I have one that I still need to read because it was recommended by my professor and lab mate. Maybe that’s what I should have picked up when I felt too tired to read!

      I do like the idea of reading just one chapter, I should really start doing that with all the review books when I’m not sure which to pick up next! Just keep reading one chapter until I find one I want to continue. I sometimes have the problem of not feeling strongly in either direction though not because the book isn’t good but because I just don’t like making decisions >.> yes I’m weird!

  7. I love the Artemis Fowl series! I read the first few when they were first published and then reread and almost finished the series as an adult (I still have to read the last one). From and adult point of view, it is very obvious that it’s middle grade, but it’s one of my favourite MG books.

    I haven’t read the other books in this post, but I like the idea of a book being too hardcore sciencey.

    • Awesome! Would you say the plot of the Artemis Fowl books is still fun to read? I find with some middle grade that everything is so obvious and predictable that I get annoyed, but other middle grade still manages to surprise me!

      • Definitely fun. There were parts that were predictable, but it managed to surprise me more often than most middle grade books that I’ve read as an adult. I haven’t read many middle grade books though, not even when I was younger, so I can’t compare it to that many books.

  8. I’m a huge fairytale lover and I can tell you this: Tiger Lily is one of the best retellings I’ve ever read :)
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  9. I absolutely loved Matched, but I can’t speak for the rest of the books in that trilogy as I haven’t read them. As for Artemis Fowl, I liked them when I was younger and I can still read them now. I don’t know if that’s because they’re already sentimental to me or not, so do with that information as you will. I own A Natural History of Dragons and I started it, but due to moving I had to set it aside and I just haven’t picked it up again. But what I read, I enjoyed.

    As for Tiger Lily… Not so much. I was really disappointed in this one. I should know by now not to fall for a pretty cover.

    • Hehe, I do enjoy reading middle grade fantasy, so I think the Artemis Fowl books might work for me, we’ll see. I think I’m going to try the audio since apparently it’s awesome :D

  10. The only one of these I’ve read is Tiger Lily and I was REALLY wary of it too. I’m not a big fan of Peter Pan at all, but I think that’s why I loved this book so much. It was all about Tiger Lily (who is much more interesting, imo) and told from the perspective of Tinkerbell (whom we hear little from in the traditional stories, if at all), and the writing was beautiful too!

    Most of these others, I’m wary of them just like you are. The only one I’d halfway consider is the Natural History of Dragons, but for some reason I also find it intimidating!
    Kelley (Oh, the Books!) recently posted…Writing in the Margins | MapheadMy Profile

    • Yeah, it sounds like Tiger Lily is perfect for people who aren’t fans of the original Peter Pan, haha. I’m getting excited to read it!

      I think Natural History of Dragons is intimidating since it is adult so I can’t assume it’ll be fast-paced like YA usually is and because it’s pretty long. We should try though, because it sounds like most people really liked it!

  11. I read Matched and the second one in the series. Couldn’t get behind it. It was pretty meh, sadly. Not worth the time, imo.

    As for Dueled? I got super excited about it and then got halfway through before I decided it was just boring. It sputtered out like a bonfire in a rainstorm.

    I’m meaning to go back to Tiger Lily myself, readalong?

    • Good to know about Matched and Dualed, it definitely looks like they won’t be worth the time.

      Oo definitely! Tiger Lily sounds like a book that most people absolutely love so I’m thinking I need to read it asap haha

  12. First, I’m glad to see this list. There are so many popular stories out there that I have no interest in reading and though ‘am I the only one?”

    As for your list I’ve only read Matched. Got throught the whole series actually and wasn’t impressed at all. There was so many things about it that I hated or areas I wished the author fleshed out more but didn’t. The thrid book in the series was a huge diasppointment. Donate it or use it to level out a table.

    • Hehe, thanks! I definitely hear you, I feel like I could do a regular feature and call it something like Take it or Leave it with how many books I have sitting on shelves that I’m not sure about anymore

      I definitely think I’ll be skipping the Matched series, but I’m sure there are teens who would love to own it, so to the library they go!

  13. I thought Control was meh. And it wasn’t the science that bugged me. I actually liked that she got the science right! You don’t see that often in books. I just couldn’t connect with the characters.

    I really enjoyed both Tiger Lily and A Natural History of Dragons!
    Jessie H. recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To ReadMy Profile

    • I think the science being accurate is the biggest draw to Control for me since I’m ready to be amazed given how often I’m frustrated by that hehe.

  14. Tiger Lily and Matched would be on my list too! I love retellings, but Tiger Lily sounds a bit sad for me, and I’m also burnt out on dystopians. I didn’t love the first Artemis Fowl which relied very heavily on potty humor but at least in high school, I enjoyed the rest of the series.

    • I think those are the two most popular ones for people to comment on, haha. Yeah, Tiger Lily does sound sad, but I honestly like crying since it means I really connected with a character and feel their pain ;-)

      Hmmm, potty humor is a bit annoying, but good to know the subsequent ones are better, we’ll see

  15. TIGER LILY! OMG I LOVED THAT BOOK SOOOO MUCH. I hope you consider reading that one!! I would be VERY interested to hear what you think!

    I haven’t read Matched but pretty much from people I trust I get the impression you will not be missing anything TRULY if you skip it!

    • Woot! I think I’ve definitely finally gotten the excitement I need to grab that beautiful hardcover of Tiger Lily that I got as a birthday present two years ago, haha. Maybe I’ll read it during Bout of Books since it’ll be nice and fast >.>

      Yeah, I think I’ll be skipping Matched, too many other books I’d like more to read!

  16. I haven’t read A Natural History of Dragons but pretty much everything I’ve seen about it has been positive. I didn’t put Tiger Lily on my list, but it is one sitting on my shelves that I’m a little wary of, just because I’ve never been the biggest fan of Peter Pan. Apparently lots of readers love this retelling, though, and it’s a big tearjerker… so perhaps I’ll try it when I’m feeling in the mood for one of those.
    Danya recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Sitting on the Fence AboutMy Profile

    • I’ve also seen a lot of positive things about A Natural History of Dragons so it is weird that I’m still wary, haha. I think I finally have gotten to push to just dive in though so yey!

      From the comments on this post, it sounds like if you aren’t a fan of the original Peter Pan, you’ll like Tiger Lily better since it changes some of the original story, so that could be good :D

  17. I read Matched a couple years ago and kinda hated it, I haven’t read the rest of the series though and I’ve heard some people say it gets better. I too am not a big Peter Pan fan but I loved Tiger Lily it’s one of my favorite books!
    Nobody@TheStoryGoes… recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #26 To Read Or Not To ReadMy Profile

    • Hehe, I’ve been hearing people say the Matched series gets worse, so maybe it just depends on how much you liked the first ;-)

      I feel like people who aren’t completely obsessed with the original Peter Pan like Tiger Lily better since they don’t mind the story changing, and I definitely fall into that category so yey!

  18. I think you’ll really like A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS. I wasn’t bothered by the pacing at all – I thought the plot moved along at a decent clip (it does cover a rather large chunk of time!).
    Cecelia recently posted…top ten books i’m not sure i want to read (anymore)My Profile

    • (I fixed the typo, no worries ;-) )

      Good to know! I can see it going well especially if I’m in just the right mood for it, which I feel like I am these days!

  19. I’ve not read any of these. But I have owned Throne of the Crescent Moon for quite a while. Just never seem to get to it.
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    • I feel your pain obviously, haha. The worst part is I’ve read the first page or so right when I bought it because I was waiting for someone to pick me up and then just never got back to it D:

  20. Oh my! I LOVED Tiger Lily! I thought it was just awesome! And the weird part is that in the original Peter Pan, Tiger Lily didn’t really play a huge role! I read the actual Peter Pan story a few months back and liked it, but yeah Tiger Lily didn’t play a role, much like in the Disney movie. She was just kinda there for a bit and then not. So getting her story was awesome! True the “magic” is changed, but I thought it was cool! Plus it’s told through Tinkerbell’s eyes and that makes it even more cooler I thought!

    But yeah, it does kind of change the entire Peter Pan story around, so I guess that’s what this reader is mad about. Hoping they are comparing it more to the fairy tale and not the various movies. Even my love for Disney cannot effect my love for a fairy tale in its original format. Sure they were gory and Disney made them kid friendly, but their way is not THE way.

    Sorry for the rambling rant. I love Disney movies to my very core, but I also love my fairy tales too in their original format and don’t always like the people who sometimes think Disney’s way is the correct/original way. But since I have no idea who the reviewer/reader was I am not at all trying to judge, just stating my opinion and possibly theorizing the ways and whys of their not enjoying said book.

    Okay done rambling! If you ever care to try Tiger Lily I recommend it! It was one of my most fave reads of that year it released!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…Early Review–Visions by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

    • Tiger Lily sounds like a really interesting book for the artistry if nothing else! And since I don’t care much about how faithful it is to Peter Pan, oh well ;-) and yeah, she was comparing it to the original Peter Pan, no worries, hehe.

  21. Nice list! Throne of the Crescent Moon is a great book, very Arabian Nights with some fantastic characters (the MC especially is an older man for one) and an intriguing magic system. I reviewed it here, if you’re interested:

  22. Don’t be intimidated! Control was REALLY good! Especially the sciency parts :D Also: hot boys.
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Not Sure I Want to ReadMy Profile

  23. I bought MATCHED ages ago and did really like it but – like someone else said above – I’m not sure how I’d like it now. I was a bit disappointed by the final book in that trilogy for sure.
    Becky recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Not Sure I Want to ReadMy Profile

    • Yeah, since I’ve read so many dystopians with love triangles etc, I feel like I won’t like it as much as I would have before I read Hunger Games…

  24. Natural History of Dragons is slow, but it’s also one of those books that doesn’t really feel slow because the characters are so compelling. I loved it, and am really excited to be able to read the second one soon.

    And I still need to read The Killing Moon and Throne of the Crescent Moon. Too many moons!

    • That’s reassuring to hear about Natural History of Dragons. Perhaps I’ll start it soon and see if it clicks and just keep coming back to it until it does, ha.

      All the moons! ;-)

  25. I wouldn’t read Dualed. I’ve read both books in the series and as a whole it’s pretty frustrating and disappointing. The first couple Artemis Fowl books are fun, but I dropped the series after everything was resolved but you could tell the author just wanted to keep dragging it. I’ve seen good things about control and Tiger Lily!
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    • Thanks for the warning about Dualed!

      Hm, good to know about Artemis Fowl, I might do the same and just pretend there aren’t more books ;-)

  26. The only one I read on here was Matched, it was okay but I’ve read way better books since that one. The second book was so bad too, I didn’t even want to read the last book.
    I do want to read Tiger Lily though, I’ve heard good things, even if it’s different from Peter Pan.

    • Yeah, it sounds like the series struggles, that’s unfortunate. I’m a reader who doesn’t need to finish series to be happy, so I could read the first, but I’m not sure if I’ll really like it, we’ll see.

  27. Definitely do not skip out on THE VICIOUS DEEP! It’s one of my absolute favorites. I didn’t really like TIGER LILY, but other people really liked it, so you could still give it a try if you wanted. I absolutely loved the MATCHED trilogy. I feel like people don’t like it because it’s kind of slow, and they go in expecting a thrilling dystopian. It’s very poetic in its writing style, and I really enjoyed it!

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    • Sounds good! The Vicious Deep is kind of a perfect summer read too so I really just need to dive in (haha, puns). That’s good to know about Matched, poetic writing is lovely, but definitely hard if you aren’t expecting it haha

  28. I’ve heard that Control has awful reviews because the MC has some serious issues with her sister and a lot of people have branded it Slut Shaming. Nevertheless, I’ve not heard anything too terrible about the story itself. I have A Natural History Of Dragons on my shelf waiting to be read, I hope I get round to it soon!

    Check out my TTT!

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination
    Katrina recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for ‘Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read’.My Profile

    • Oo yeah that would be a problem for me since I hate slut shaming. Hmm, maybe I’ll try it and dnf if I need to. I hope you have a chance to read Natural History of Dragons too :D

  29. I feel like not many people agree with me, but I LOVED the Matched Trilogy. It had a lot of similar elements to the giver. It wasn’t one of those action packed fast paced dystopians that everyone else seems to prefer, but slow, poetic, and beautiful. People were disappointed by how slow book two was and how it all ended, but it’s one of my favorites. I love the genre and I’m sick of so many, but that one is worth the read, I think.
    I have Dualed, too, but then I realized it was a sequel and now I don’t even know if I should buy Divided and read.. ugh. Sometimes I request books and I have no idea why!
    Megan @ Love Literature Art and Reason recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday–Books I’m Not Sure I Want to ReadMy Profile

    • It’s always good to hear both sides’ opinions though so thank you :D. Are you generally a fan of love triangles? I find I’ve gotten a bit sick of them, so that might be a problem for me. Wait, I thought Divided was the sequel to Dualed?

  30. The only one I’ve read on your list is A Natural History of Dragons, and I’m the lone wolf who didn’t like it. Nice idea, but I got really tired of hearing how women are supposed to behave in this fantasy version of Victorian society, and how the protagonist is essentially a good girl who breaks a few rules to study dragons. And yeah, it’s kind of slow, especially since the opening section makes it sound like it’s going to be action-packed. It’s more like a setup for the exciting adventures that will follow.

    • I know how it is to be a lone wolf ;-). It definitely sounds slower paced which I don’t think I’m up for at the moment. Did you read the second book?

  31. I really liked Matches when I read it, but the next two books were really a let down. I advise people just to skip the series completely now, which is sad, but it just isn’t great.

    If you do audio books at all, you should listen to Artemis Fowl. Nathaniel Parker is, hands down, the best narrator I’ve ever heard. AF is kind of like Die Hard with fairies. I’m generally not a middle grade fan and I don’t think reading them would have worked for me, but the audio is amazing and everyone I’ve convinced to listen agrees.

    • Oh I love audiobooks! I just used up the credits I had, but I will put it in my basket just so I remember to get it next month ;-)

  32. I think The Killing Moon is wonderful. One of my favorite reads last year and in my mind much more accessible (though no less intelligent) than the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Throne of Crescent Moon was perfectly serviceable as an adventure story. It wasn’t my favorite book, and it i had a few flaws, but as a quick adventure read it holds up just fine.
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  33. Nice list! Here are my thoughts:

    Matched – I read this book a long time ago so I’m not sure I’d even like it as much now. But when I read it, I actually did enjoy the story. However, the romance/love triangle completely ruined the book for me and stopped me from continuing with the series. There are two guys: one is nice, smart, and funny. I adored him! The other one basically has no personality. The MC is instantly drawn to the second one. I just saw no chemistry there at all and it was instalovey. I could tell that I was rooting for the losing end of the love triangle, so what was the point?

    Dualed – Huge let down. So much potential, but not executed well.
    Ashley recently posted…Review: Landline by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

    • Haha, good to know on both counts! Yeah, a love triangle like that would kill me, I was team Gale and I just can’t handle that pain again ;-)

  34. I will vote for Throne of the Crescent Moon. I read it as an ARC way back and can best describe it as a sword and sorcery fantasy but set in the Arabian Nights backdrop. There is magic, but it does not over power the story. I would put this story in the same general bucket as something like Aladdin, Prince of Persia or the like.

    It is a fast read if nothing else.

    • Oo that is a great way to sell Throne of the Crescent Moon since I’m definitely feeling the shift to Middle East settings in fantasy. I’ll be sure to hold on to it ;-)

  35. I have Matched and have started it twice. Just can’t get into it!
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    • Ugh, good to know. I have the whole trilogy now since I wanted my friends who read the first to keep reading, but I might just donate them >.>

  36. So Dualed I had been excited about and then when I read it I had that eh feeling. I actually have the second one as an arc and I thought in my head. Why I wasn’t that into the first one.

    Linked on the other hand I wasn’t sure about and I ended up loving it. It was really easy to get into.
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