DNF Book Review: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)

Wicked as you wisTitle: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)

Author: Rin Chupeco

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Rating: DNF @ Page 28

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….

This will be a rant-y, possibly spoiler-y review, but I only got to page 28, so…

I wanted to like this book.

Prior to receiving it in the December FairyLoot Box, this book wasn’t on my radar as something I wanted to read. I figured that having received an ARC, I should at least attempt to read it. Based on the synopsis, it sounded like something I could possibly and would probably enjoy.

So, I went into the book with an open mind and by page 5 I was confused. Honestly, that’s not a good sign. I took a breath and tried to focus, but that proved a bit hard the further I got into the story…which albeit, wasn’t very far.

The world is chaos and without a map (is there even going to be one in the finished copy?) I couldn’t make heads or tails of how it was laid out. I’m a pretty visual person, and I always love a map when it comes to fantasy worlds.

But it was more than just being unable to picture the world, but take every fantasy story, every mythology, lore, and history fact you know, and throw them all in a book and you’d have this. Then add a whole heaping of modern-day world problems and concerns and politics.

It was just kind of a mess, and I felt so loss amongst everything going on in the beginning of this book.

Now, maybe I’m in the minority here, but I absolutely hate it, and it’s almost always an automatic turn off, when a book includes thinly veiled, media hyped political rants that do nothing but bash the US. I read fantasy books to escape.

I’m in NO WAY saying that fantasy books shouldn’t include real world elements, whether it be political, social issues, etc. They should, because it rounds them out and makes them better. But if you’re just going to rant for rant’s sake because you’re pissed at some media hyped and exploited, parroted political rant, I’m almost never going to finish your book.

Usually, when books do this, or any variation, I can just roll my eyes and continue reading. I can usually just ignore whatever part and enjoy the book. That is always my goal when I go into ‘new to me’ reads. Maybe there is a purpose to the rant, and I just didn’t get to it. If that’s the case, it’s a shame that I have no desire to find out what happens next. I like escapism when it comes to fantasy, and that rant just hit a bit hard and a bit real, and I decided I couldn’t continue. I’m sure we all have one or two things that we adamantly don’t like when it comes to reading.

I know I won’t be picking up this book again and I’m not going to recommend it. I can’t.

I also can’t recommend it, because I haven’t finished it and now, I’m not going to. I wanted to like this book, because it really does sound like something I could get behind and love. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. If you read this, I hope you really enjoy it.

On top of that, I only got 28 pages into this book, I didn’t care for the characters, they felt very one dimensional and flat and I could not get behind the writing style.

I know there’s always going to be the argument of when it’s appropriate to show versus tell, and the opposite, but if you’re going to spend time telling me everything, you’d better make sure I understand what’s going on.

And guess what?

28 pages, and I still didn’t understand the world, the connections, the politics, any of it really. And yes, that could be because I didn’t read far enough into the book, that’s fair, but now we’ll never know. I kind of feel bad for maybe not giving this book the time it needs to capture my interest, but honestly, my interest is gone. There was a lot of info dumping, which didn’t help my confusion and didn’t clarify anything. I also want to state that I was already struggling to stay interested in this book, due to my lack of connection with the characters and issues with the writing style, but I was forcing myself to continue to read it, to give it a chance. I don’t like DNFing books, because I want to like every book I pick up. I want it to be my new favorite thing that I can yell about and convince everyone to read. This, unfortunately, just wasn’t the book for me, and that’s okay.

I don’t really know what else to say…I only read 28 pages of this book before I stopped. I can’t speak for whatever happens in the rest of this book I’m not going to recommend this book, because I don’t feel like I can, but I do urge you to form your own opinions. If you have any interest in this title at all, check it out! Read it! Potentially fall in love with it! This book wasn’t for me, but maybe it’s for you. I’m definitely going to be giving this author’s other works a go, and I’ve just been urged to read The Bone Witch, so that’s been moved up my TBR. Hopefully I haven’t put you off this book, and I hope you enjoy it if you do/have read it!





9 thoughts on “DNF Book Review: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)

    1. I wish I could finish the book – just to see what happens, but honestly, any desire to finish it is gone. Multiple people have commented saying that it’s just a rough read to get through, so I have even less desire now. 🙈Also, that’s…not good. From what I gather, just too much was going on in this book, and a lot of people are ending up confused.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re not alone. I’m about 70% through the ARC and I’m having some of the same issues with this book. I understand that the politics in it are important to the real world as well as the fictional one (the ICE agents do actually end up tying into the fantasy elements, but it takes…a long time to make sense), but even I, a super liberal person who enjoys political analogies, found it a bit too forced at times. That’s not my largest issue with the book, though: the pace is ridiculously confusing to me. So much happens in just two days, I think, and so many characters are introduced to the reader and to the MC, but we don’t actually learn anything about them until like two weeks later, when suddenly everyone is sharing their backstory? And while I love the fantasy/mythology allusions throughout, I feel like there are so many interacting with one another that I’m getting overwhelmed. I think young readers with a mild interest in fairy tales will like this a lot because it’ll make them want to learn more about fairy tales without being too invested in the actual story of WAYW. Sorry for this little rant lolol but I’m VERY glad I’m not the only one feeling confused and frustrated with this book that I really wanted to like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind politics and social issues in fantasy – they’re going to happen with any group of people, in any kind of setting. But like you said, it felt forced, and I don’t want that in my fantasy. I don’t want to feel like I’m having someone else’s ideals shoved into my face. Though, I am really glad that it ultimately does play a bigger part. I’m glad I was wrong about it just being a rant for rant’s sake. But even despite the political elements, the rest of what I read, I was already struggling with – like I said in my review. It was too busy, so much went on, and yet, I don’t get anything that was happening. And if I felt that way within the first like 5% of the book, I can’t even imagine what you’re feeling at the 70% mark.
      I wonder if the finished copy is any different.
      And feel free to rant away, but review was pretty much a rant, so fair’s fair. 😂
      I know the feeling of an anticipated read just falling absolutely flat and missing the mark. It’s so annoying and unfortunate. I am glad though, that I’m not alone in my feelings. I was almost hesitant to post this review, because reviewing it as a DNF and talking politics (in a broad sense) felt like such a dangerous thing to do. And I hate that’s a fear I have, when all I want to do is share my honest thoughts. So, thank you for reaching out, and ranting – I really don’t mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bravo for giving us a rare, honest DNF review. Not many people do, and then, never give us reasons why the book didn’t work for them. So I’m pleased to see you give us a your solid reasons why.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you. There was definitely a moment last night when scheduling this post that I almost talked myself out of doing it. Sometimes it’s hard in this community to be completely honest, because of the fear of cancel culture, and talking broad politics on top of it, just felt like a recipe for danger.
      But I also believe that any reviewer, any reader, should be able to speak their mind, and give their honest thoughts when it comes to a book, without feeling afraid to do so. I also feel like, if I’m going to review the books I love, then I also need to review the ones that just didn’t work for me.
      I had to rewrite the review a few times before scheduling it. I wanted to give my thoughts and opinions without it coming across as a call out, or just an anger charged rant that obliterated it. Finding the balance wasn’t easy, given the fact that I was quite annoyed and pissed out. So, I’m really glad you liked this review.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You handled it really well, and gave plenty of reasons and reasoning behind the review. And yeah, I know what you mean about the “other” side of book blogging, and those who police how we write our reviews. I already wrote about this too. It’s really frustrating that people don’t understand the need for balanced reviews. Anyway, glad I found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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