Fun Lists

The Worst Books I Read in 2022

“Perhaps it was a tired thing, all the references the world had already made to the Ptolemaic Royal Library of Alexandria.”

First line in The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Last week, I posted my top ten favorite reads of 2022 so now we’ve made it to the worst. There was a lot. So many that I actually haven’t included all of them in this post. Usually, I’d say anything below 3 stars belongs in a post like this but that would have made this post way too long (and I didn’t have time to write all that), so I’ve simply picked the books I felt like talking about, the ones that would give me the greatest satisfaction to rant about.
The books aren’t in order of anything but I’ve split them into two groups: The ones I had higher hopes for and the ones that left me seething. Enjoy!

The Ones I Had Higher Hopes For

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Rating: 2 stars

My high hopes came from this book so often being compared to the masterpiece that is The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden but that’s just straight-up insulting. Novik is more preoccupied with describing trees and snow like the reader has never seen either before than she is developing the characters or the plot. I was so bored! I love atmospheric reads but don’t waste my time like this. Much like how there was only one interesting character but his arc was completely botched because it would have taken the focus away from one of the plain characters. If the point of the book was to make me frustrated, it certainly succeeded.

Elantris and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Rating (of both): 2 stars

My feelings on these books are so similar they get to share a spot. I put them here even though I wouldn’t say I had extremely high hopes for either one, although they somehow didn’t even manage to live up to those low expectations. What is up with all those plot conveniences, Sanderson?!? AND the terrible character development?!? I’m only getting more and more confused as to why this man is hailed as one of the best within modern fantasy literature.

Sistersong by Lucy Holland

Rating: 2.5 stars

This was a 5-star prediction for me and I’m still depressed about it! 😭 My main problem with it was that it failed to make me believe it took place in 500-something. It was set in 2022 and that’s not what I want when I read something marked as historical. It was way too idealistic and by no means dark enough. Also, I read a lot of books with bad endings in the past year, but this is a strong contender for the most ridiculous one.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Rating: 2 stars

The popularity of this book still baffles me. It’s literally just being pretentious while doing absolutely nothing for either the plot or the characters. Like, how is it even possible for a book to focus this much on characters and still have everyone standing still? There was basically no progression for anyone! I’ll also never forgive Blake for making me read about Parisa because she’s just terrible without being interesting. What’s the point then?
The one reason I’m glad I read this book? Reading rant reviews of it is now my favorite thing to do.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Rating: 2 stars

While we’re on the topic of books with a hype level I don’t understand… Cemetery Boys belongs in that category, as well. Nothing happens in that book so I was just subjected to following the characters around as they do normal menial tasks and everything just took forever. The pacing of this book was way off and the characters couldn’t win me over either.

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rating: 2 stars

This book is mainly hampered by a terrible main character who’s immensely hard to root for. Like, I don’t mind characters who are bad people but I need to be sure the author knows they’re writing such a character and I believe I was meant to like Rowan here. It means that the development I felt she needed to go through didn’t happen and I end up being confused about why the other characters like her.

The Ones That Left Me Seething

The God of Lost Words by A. J. Hackwith

Rating: 1 star

This is the final book in Hackwith’s Hell’s Library trilogy and oh how I wish it didn’t exist. It destroyed everything the first two books had built so now I can’t really think of them the way I used to either. My favorite character was turned into a plot device and I’m so mad! Generally, the writing felt lazy, like Hackwith couldn’t be bothered to set up plot twists or have characters act out their growth instead of just telling us about it.

Mordew by Alex Pheby

Rating: 1 star

Reading this book felt like watching a movie where you’ve skipped the first hour so now you don’t understand anything of what is going on because you’ve missed all the set-up and explanations. The book expected me to follow along despite not explaining anything about the world or the plot, and I was so confused for 550 pages. I really don’t understand how this got past an editor. And also, none of the characters had a personality. It was so weird!

Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb

Rating: negative 500 1 star

So Fool’s Fate is not only the worst book of 2022 but also the worst book I’ve read in my entire life. The amount of stuff and setup Hobb ruined in this book for mere shock effect is astounding. She treated this whole trilogy as a joke and ruined two of my favorite characters ever in the process because she thought her other characters were more interesting (they weren’t). Throw in some queer-baiting and some fanservice for good measure and she had me researching whether it was possible to give less than one star on Goodreads. As I said in my review of this, I would laugh if I wasn’t so depressed.

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

Rating: 1.5 stars

I hated this book for several reasons but the most infuriating thing about it was how it constantly throws it in your face that it was written by a man. I was not allowed to forget it with its need to describe the bodies of the few female characters every time they appeared (their bodies might have changed since the last time they appeared) and also with one of the main male character’s knight-in-shinning-armor complex (the women often needed to be rescued despite the author also insisting they were “strong and capable”). Then there were also minor details that made me hate the book such as the lack of plot and characters that spend the entire book learning stuff but only get dumber.

That felt good. I’m sorry if you loved any of these books but I had to be honest. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my opinions, and maybe send some positive vibes my way so the books I read in 2023 are better than the ones from 2022. I clearly need help. What was the most disappointing book you read in 2022?

9 thoughts on “The Worst Books I Read in 2022

    1. Yeah, I know I’m one of the few who didn’t vibe with it but I’m glad you loved it! I do know it was a retelling although I’m not familiar with the song itself. However, from what I understand, Holland also added a lot of the plot and I think my problems with the book came more from that (I read it in spring so I’m a bit fuzzy on the details). I didn’t mind what happened between the sisters but instead, I had issues with how the plot with the Saxons was resolved. I think from Holland’s setup of it I had expected more because I did actually really like the first half of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel like it’s very unfair to degrade Fool’s Fate to the worst book you’ve ever read when there are pieces of utter trash such as Cursed Child out there 😜 Still, despite you throwing it and the beautifully atmospheric and wonderfully character-driven Spinning Silver under the bus, I’ve gotta say that reading this was highly entertaining! πŸ₯° We’ve got our fair share of overlap on these lists as well – at this point, I’m wondering if it’s humanly possible to have worse buddy-read-picking-skills than us πŸ˜…πŸ™ˆ – but I think what I loved most was your rant on The Emperor’s Blades πŸ˜‡ That comment on the women’s bodies possibly having changed had me in tears!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Suffice it to say: I’m staying well clear…

    Oh, and also – if you’d like to join in on my apparent new hobby of recommending The Atlas Six rant reviews, go right ahead πŸ‘€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stand by my opinion that nothing beats Fool’s Fate in being trash 😁 It’s just as much about the expectations. If I’m being fooled into thinking I’m about to read a great book, it belongs more in the trash when it isn’t. I didn’t expect that from Cursed Child and since it’s also a play, it’s not really comparable.

      And I mean we got off to a great start with the buddy-read-picking when we by total coincidence read To Paradise πŸ˜‚ I’ll admit it’s been a very steep decline since then! πŸ™ˆ Just no more Sanderson!

      And I’m primarily relying on you for Atlas Six rant reviews because you just seem to find all the amazing ones πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm, I don’t know… I still feel like the mere fact that J.K. Rowling said Cursed Child is supposed to be canon makes it extremely trashy, regardless of the play format 😀 And since I’m happy with how Fitz and the Fool’s storyline ended overall, I am willing to be a lot more forgiving of Fool’s Fate, despite my issues with it! 😁

        Does To Paradise fully count, though? πŸ€” After all, we didn’t plan it and you were almost finished by the time I started reading… I am still skeptical of our book-picking skills πŸ˜‚

        Oh, and also: Ash @ Ink, Words & Ash has just made me aware of the fact that Katherine Arden is currently hosting a Winternight read-along on her instagram account, where she’s sharing daily behind the scenes looks at her books… I thought maybe you’d be interested, too πŸ˜‰

        P.S.: I love Ylfing now 😭

        Liked by 1 person

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