Shifting Plains - Jean Johnson I rarely* rate books I didn't finish, even if I gave it a decent effort and still hated what I read. Mainly because there could actually be some redemption at the end that I hadn't read and my rating would technically be higher had I finished. But what I read of this book was so bad, I felt it would be an injustice to other books if I didn't give it one star and negatively effect its rating. Chew on that a moment, if you will. ... Now you get it? It was that bad.Why was it so bad? It is the epitome of an infodump. Just crap, piled onto crap, heaped onto more crap. Not that the writing is crap or the plot is crap. I just mean... it's useless info. It doesn't matter. It's not interesting in the least. It's a waste of page space.I gave this book like 4 hours of my time. FOUR HOURS. That's really not a lot for a book. It is a lot for a book I didn't finish. It was so tedious, I don't think I even made it halfway. And tedious really is the best word to describe it. The reader is so bogged down in descriptions of unimportant and arbitrary things, the plot is completely lost. Literally, we're given every single minute detail of how to set up this special tent. I get it, it's an interesting tent, but I do not need a physical description of all 50 pieces and how they fit together. This is supposed to be a romance, but all I'm getting from this is a "Man vs. Wild" feel... like how to survive if you get stuck in bumfuck Kansas for a while. And happen to have horses and wagons, I guess. I dunno. I basically just spent 4 hours reading a documentary about how settlers out West survived. What the fuck? This is not fucking Oregon Trail, dammit.Pages and pages of info that can't possibly play a role in the story later on. It's world-building in the extreme. Maybe this is due to the fact that it's the debut of a series and the author has to launch not only the world (which IS unique), but the Shifterai race. Unfortunately, the author focuses on entirely mundane aspects of the world. This meandering along on the way from one place to another can only be part of the whole story. But instead of using it as a way to give us a lot of information quickly, the author gives us a lot of boring information very slowly - about as fast as the characters are traveling, it seems.I really pushed myself to continue reading this and I'm mad at myself for continuing to do so, because I've wasted hours I could have spent on an entertaining book before going to bed.I cannot in good conscious recommend this book to anyone that isn't a masochist.* Thinking on this a little, I went and checked to see how often I actually rate my DNFs. I rate them a little more often than I had thought, but each one I rated was a DNF because the characters or plot were so terrible, they deserved a negative rating.