Top 5 Wednesday: Most Misleading Synopses

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and  is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes if you want to know a little bit more about them you can check the Goodreads group here.

 


This is a great topic, it was hard to come up with five answers because first of all, I don’t like reading synopses since I’m always afraid that it is going to spoil half of the book. I tend to skim the first half of it and if it sounds interesting, I pick up the book. Of course, sometimes, since I don’t read the whole synopsis, some of the books that I pick up tend to be far from what I expected from them but I don’t really mind that.

I tried to find five synopses that really suited the topic so here are my answers!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

“Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”

This is the synopsis of the first book in the series, the Raven Boys. When I first read that, I thought that there was no way I was going to enjoy this book. It made the books sounds like it was a very cheesy YA book with a hint of paranormal elements. This book is way darker and interesting than that. It’s not straight up horror but it has a very eerie and dark feel to it. The story is really good but the characters are the most fascinating part of the book. I would highly recommend this quartet, I don’t read much YA but this is definitely a series that I would recommend to anyone even if you are not a fan of YA literature in general!

Phèdre’s trilogy by Jacqueline Carey

“The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good… and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission… and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair… and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.”

When I first read the synopis, I thought that this book was straight up erotica. Because of that, I didn’t plan on reading it until I heard amazing thing about this series and Carey in general on a fantasy forum I was part in at the time.

This has now become one of my favorite series of all time. Yes the main character is a courtesan and yes, the book has a lot of sex scenes. However, the story, the characters, the worldbuilding, the writing are just wonderful. This is really amazing, if you like political fantasy and you haven’t give it a try, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Jacqueline Carey is a master storyteller.

 

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan

I won’t quote the entire synopsis, I think G.R.R. Martin’s blurb is enough:

“It’s like a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones”.

I mean what? When I read this, I was so pumped about this book, however, I can safely say that’s it not amazing at all. Heck, it’s not even good. It was a boring fantasy novel with a weak worldbuilding and a poor worldbuilding. And a ton of sexism. The cover is gorgeous though but save some time and don’t read this book, it’s just not good. It doesn’t even have that much dinosaurs in it…

Dark Matters by Michael Dow

“When an unlikely duo finally unravels the mystery of dark matter… will it save our world? Or destroy it?

Take an epic journey to a not-so-distant future of extreme income inequality, controlled by a handful of the über-elite. A world where wealth, science, and the power of the human spirit get one last chance to determine humanity’s ultimate fate.

Rudolph “Rudy” Dersch is the newly minted CEO of the world’s largest, multi-trillion-dollar corporate conglomerate. But the job comes with an unexpected twist–an invitation to join the Consortium, a small, secretive group of global elites who effectively decide what’s best for the rest of humanity. How does Rudy’s struggle to reconcile business and family impact the world’s future? And who, if anyone, can break the Consortium’s iron grip on the status quo?

The answer may lie with a renegade physicist, close to unraveling one of the universe’s greatest mysteries. And a headstrong art curator, driven to find the meaning behind her increasingly compelling visions. From a life-changing moment in a crowded Singapore marketplace, to the business end of an assassin’s gun, they face a power beyond any the world has ever seen. To survive, they’ll have to decipher the truth about dark matter–before the Consortium can achieve its ruinous end game.”

This synopsis gave me sci-fi thrillers vibes. I was expected it to be full of cool science and fascinated characters and it really didn’t gave me what I wanted. It’s not a bad book, it’s well written but everything in it felt way too easy. Basically, every time the characters encountered a hard decision or a problem, everything was solved in a page. I wished it gave me more suspens, more science, more female characters.. just something more! If you’re looking for a great sci-fi thriller though, just read The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, this book is the bomb.

Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip

“Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, Heloise tells her son the truth about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen; and, Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.

As Pierce journeys to Severluna, he learns that things are changing in that kingdom. Ancient magic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to legendary glory—or destroy it.”

Reading this synopsis, I was expecting this to be an epic arthurian retelling. Well it is. But it’s not. I mean, it does make a lot of reference to arthurian myths, the main character is on an epic quest to restore an old artefact, however, the synopsis doesn’t mention the fact that this is set in a modern setting! It’s pretty undetectable in the first chapter but the moment the main character mentionned his car, I had a little bit of “say what?” moment. This book is really good though, just not at all what I was expecting to read!

However, I have to say that it has the best descriptions of food I had the pleasure of reading in my entire life. And also if you enjoyed the Raven Cycle I actually think that you might really like this too!

Well this was a lot of fun!

What about you? 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: Most Misleading Synopses

  1. I can’t think of any specific misleading synopses off the top of my head, but I do know over the years I’ve seen many. I think even worse are the “____ meets ____” comparisons or the “for fans of ____ and ____” claims though. Whenever any of the blanks are filled with Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, alarms immediately go off in my head. To date, nothing I’ve seen have come anywhere close to those series, which I think will always be in a league of their own ;D

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  2. Oh my! I passed up “The Raven Boys” for the same exact reason you quoted: I was afraid of the usual, tired tropes you can find in too much YA fiction. But now that I’ve read your comments, I’m going to give this book a chance, so thank you very much!

    And I have to agree with Mogsy: every time someone mentions a comparison with GoT, I think that people have really NO imagination at all! The last time I remember seeing this unfair comparison was for The Expanse space opera series. Unbelievable… 🙂

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    • The Raven Boys is excellent, I don’t have a ton of patience with YA usually but I really enjoyed this!
      Yeah I also saw that the Expanse was compared to the SF version of GoT.. I can’t even with publishers sometimes xD I mean, yes it is epic and it has several POVs but it’s the only similarities!

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  3. I had the same thought about The Raven Boys. My friend lent me her copy, but I always put off reading it because of the summary. And once I started reading about 6 months later, I’m like ‘Why didn’t I read this sooner?’ lol

    Nice list btw~ 🙂

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  4. It’s crazy when you get a synopsis that is so out of whack with the actual book. I know I’ve seen some, and been like, WHAT?? that is not at all what this book is about! But can’t remember them now. I don’t know what purpose that serves, as people that get really excited by the synopsis, may be let down when they get the actual book.

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