by Rick Riordan
ages: adult
First sentence: “Fourth of July morning, Will Stirman woke up with blood on his hands.”
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Two things before I get going: I still adore Rick Riordan. And there are things I just can’t read about. Serial murderers out for revenge are on that list.

I was 70 pages into this very gruesome book before I realized that I had to abandon it. I can handle lots of swearing (at least reading), I can handle dark and gritty. But the opening chapter involving a prison break pushed me almost to my limits. But when the main bad guy tried to kidnap Tres’s boss’s 8-year-old, Jem, I realized that was the end of the line for me. I just don’t do violence against children: it’s one of my secret terrors (secret in that I tend to bury it down deep), and I don’t like being reminded that there are bad people out there, and something could happen to my girls at any moment.

I did flip through the rest of the book, reading a bit near the end to see how it all resolved (thankfully Jem is kept safe; sorry for the spoiler, but it was something I needed to know). I know I missed some things, especially between Tres and his girlfriend Maia Lee. But, I’m not sure my life will be worse off for not finishing this one.

You can’t win them all.

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