Try A Chapter


I’ve seen the Try a Chapter Tag on YouTube a few times now, and I was really inspired to try it for myself. I usually decide which book I’m going to read before I start reading though, so I’ve never found the right moment for it. But “Try 3 Chapters, Then Pick One to Continue” was a prompt in last month’s Biannual Bibliothon, so this was the perfect chance to give it a go.

I picked out Stolen Songbird, Gilded Cage and Pantomime to try. Here’s my initial reaction to each.


I didn’t read the backs of the books before reading, so my impressions are completely based on the first chapters. Does this mean I’ll make a total fool of myself? … very possibly…


Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen


Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…


Her mother’s a bit of a bitch.

The family dynamic is a bit weird — why didn’t her father and siblings stay in the city as a family. Her father could have sold the farm or appointed someone else to run it?

The writing is nice, very readable.

VERDICT? I’m not super keen on the sleazy, leering dude or the kidnapping as a plot device. Or all the guff about girls behaving properly… Why is this always a thing? Even in a fantasy world… Sigh. I’d probably keep reading though. I’d peg this as an other-world fantasy?

Pantomime by Laura Lam


Pantomime (Micah Grey, #1)Gene’s life resembles a debutante’s dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female. Then she displays unwanted magical abilities – last seen in mysterious beings from an almost-forgotten age. Matters escalate further when her parents plan a devastating betrayal, so she flees home, dressed as a boy.

The city beyond contains glowing glass relics from a lost civilization. They call to her, but she wants freedom not mysteries. So, reinvented as ‘Micah Grey’, Gene joins the circus. As an aerialist, she discovers the joy of flight – but the circus has a dark side. She’s also plagued by visions foretelling danger. A storm is howling in from the past, but will she heed its roar?


The summary on the back of my copy is really different from this one. It gives a lot less away and I actually thought Micah and Gene were two different people at first.

I felt less of a connection to the main character than I’d have liked.

I read the first two chapters as Chapter One was only  two pages.

Mentions “exotic features” on page 4… Red flag?

I love the circus setting though.

VERDICT? I’m not super sucked in, but it’s intriguing and the setting definelty strikes my interest.


Gilded Cage by Vic James


Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.


I only read the Prologue, not actually Chapter 1.

It’s really intriguing. I’m guessing Libby is going to be the raised-with-privileged girl who falls for the underprivileged boy?

I do like the writing style.


The magic/ skill system is pretty nifty, I want to know more about it and more about the three brothers. So I’d keep reading. It seems like a dystopian but could be this world or a fantasy (what with the magic).


Honestly, all three would appeal to me. At the moment the setting of Pantomime is winning, with Stolen Songbird running second. Since they all sound good, I’m going with Pantomime because it’ll count for LBGT-a-thon too, but I’ll hold onto the others to read later.

So there you have it. Let me know if any of these books have interested you, and if you’d like to see more of this type of post.

8 thoughts on “Try A Chapter”

      1. Exactly!

        This try a chapter thing is very fun. I don’t think it would work for me because if I liked it I’d just want to continue immediately, but I might try it once to see how it works… (Although some books I’m reading lately have either no clear chapters or really long ones.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d basically decided I was going to read all three (still to get to Gilded Cage through) so it was really just picking what order to go, rather than putting them aside forever. That helps, I think: knowing you can go back really soon anyway.
          I think it’d be fun to do with Amazon ebook samples? So you’d HAVE to stop reading each story and complete the tag. If that makes sense.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. This sounds like a fun way to get excited about books. Maybe it would work for a reading slump? Depending on how long it takes me to finish my current book, I might do this for my next book pick.

    Liked by 1 person

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