I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (historical mystery) - Speaks the Nightbird is a great book. The main plot line follows a witch trial to its conclusion. It's interesting to see how it unfolds -- the investigation, the trial and learning the beliefs/motives of those involved. There are lots of characters and lots of clues, but it's still very easy to keep things straight. Don't try to figure out the ending because you probably won't be able to.
The book has some very dark characters and some very endearing ones. The main character, Matthew, grows from a young adult to a mature one during the span of the story. I really liked the way the author addressed his relationship with the accused witch.
I considered rating the book a 5 but made deductions for three small things: (1) a few scenes make me wonder about the sexual inclinations of the author, (2) some scenes were too dark and/or gross for my taste, and (3) even though it's never, ever boring, it's bit long for my personal taste.
PERFORMANCE - Wow! Wonderful expression, timing, foreign accents, perfect portrayal of an evangelist and a character on his deathbed. I'm going to check for more books read by this talented narrator.
OVERALL - (Actual rating 4.5) I've read some harsh complaints about this book, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable and recommend it highly. There is sex, language and some gore, though, so it might not be for those who are sensitive.
Unafraid to read from any genre.
Solid, enjoyable whodunit, much in the style of an Edwardian mystery with keen-witted Matthew Corbett, judicial clerk, as its Sherlock. Set in the late 17th-century Carolina colony, Matthew and his master, Magistrate Woodward, have been summoned to the small village of Fount Royal in order to try Rachel Howarth for the crime of witchcraft. Matthew does his own sleuthing on the side, finding out that Fount Royal is dealing with an insidious villain much more dangerous than its citizens realize. The prose is masterfully paced and full of excellent detail. Author McCammon frames his young protagonist in heroic style, and the reader can't help but root for the boy throughout the story. Everything sets up for a series surrounding his further crime-foiling exploits, and indeed, there are now four other books in the Matthew Corbett set. I'll definitely be checking them out.
Narrator Edoardo Ballerini is superb.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
The overall premise of Speaks the Nightbird and the underlying story is a good one, but it was ruined for me by 1) the obsessive need for adding unnecessary deviant sexual content AND 2) it was way too long. It could have been told in less time and been a better story. I am a big fan of historical fiction. This one ran off the tracks with distracting side stories. The mystery of what was happening in the town and tale of the witch being held in the jail for execution could have been and should have been told much more tastefully. The narration was first rate.
I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.
Burn a witch? Reveal an conspiracy? History comes alive in this crisp retelling of an horrid era in Colonial history…witch trials and the intersection of faith and law.
The reason why I am recommending this audiobook has nothing to do with the story (which is phenomenal). It is a tale of one boy/man and his intellect, against a myriad of biblically-misguided Colonials who see darkness with every twist of fate. I want you to listen to this book so you understand from whence we have come as a Nation.
There are some eye-rolling moments, however, they are so infrequent that the story abides…as does our Nation. That is, America abides…even though we were at one time serious ignoramuses.
Go for it!
I totally enjoy a well written novel with a great narrator!
I would say it ranks in the high five.
The transformation of the storyline from a witches brew to a romance.
Gosh golly it's hard to say, there's so much action in this audiobook. I would say, the escape from the .....can't tell because it would ruin the story for someone.
The most interesting point that stands out in this book is you never know if Matthew really and truly loses his virginity or not.
No, actually the audio span was so long and the storyline so massive I enjoyed listening to this in intervals.
This was my first Robert McCammon novel however I see that his character Matthew has a series of novels where I believe he becomes a detective. I am certainly interested in reading up on young Matthew and seeing how things go for him from this point on in his life.
I would recommend this book, but only to individuals that I know their preference in stories. I enjoyed how the story was narrated, and it helped keep my interest.
I think it's similar to some of Baldacci's books, without the government conspiracy elements.
I enjoyed the slave house scenes as well as the indian village scenes.
It was good enough for me to quickly download the next in the series. It won't disappoint.
O.K. Imagine an author has a good idea for a book. He sketches it out, builds up some interesting characters and situations, and sets it in the latter part of the 17th century.
Now imagine he gives it to Mike Tyson to flesh it out.
This was a Hardy boys novel, set in colonial north America, and meant for grownup adolescents. It was not a bad book, i enjoyed most of it. But the language was clumsy, to say the least. " i shoveleth the walketh of snoweth this morningeth" Anachronisms abound. Modern slang spoken by colonists of yore. The use of words twelve letters long apparently just for the fun of using them. I sometimes got the idea the writer had a list of words on his desk that he just had to use somewhere, and fit them in where he could.
If you are not a fusspot where language is concerned, (I am, and this book made me laugh out loud more than once) and historical inaccuracies don't bother you you'll probably enjoy this. Not bad, but definitely not high culture.
I don't remember the last time I enjoyed listening to a novel this much. I got drawn in as soon as the magistrate and his clerk got to Fount Royal to investigate and determine the fate of a woman accused of witchcraft. This was 1699, and it didn't take but a few loose accusations to condemn a woman to be burned at the stake. Unfortunately, mob mentality takes over too easily when there are a few people encouraging their fears.
It's not about the witch----this is a story about what happens when evil wins if good men do nothing. In this novel we have a very good man--the clerk Matthew Corbett who assists the magistrate Isaac Woodward. Is the beautiful Rachel a witch, or the target of nasty gossiping women? Or is there another reason she has become the focus for all the evil acts which threaten to bring down this new town? The author masterfully keeps us guessing until the end.
A complex story with suspects galore! Matthew in his quiet, soft spoken manner, goes about investigating on his own when the magistrate falls ill. He is steadfast in his determination, yet never lets anger or frustration interfere with his goal.
A small caution for the squeamish--there are some graphic bloody scenes and some explicit sexual language (including people and animals) -however, these types of acts probably are true to that period and as such - are not inappropriate.
- - - -and what is it about that voice of Edoardo Ballerini that makes it possible to listen for hours without ever tiring of it? Truly one of the best narrators on Audible.
This book was painful. I made myself listen because I had spent the money, but it was a terrible book. Seriously! It didn't help that the narrator made me want to scratch my earbuds out. Over dramatic whether he was talking about eating breakfast or running for his life - there was no difference. In this sense it was nearly comical, except that the book is so long that I nearly stopped listening countless times. REally, apart from the money spent, the only reason I kept with it was to find out what would happen with the witch.
The writing is just painfully bad. The guy is maddeningly verbose. This book is stuffed full of words that get the story no where, and make me care not ONE BIT about the characters which is one of the main criteria for judging a story - do I CARE about anybody I am hearing about. In this case, although there were plenty of people I could have cared for, by the time McCammon was done with them they were as lifeless and flavorless as yesterday's chewing gum. Dont bother.
This story has a great depth. I wanted to read more McCammon after listening to Swan Song (which I also loved), even though the Corbett series is vastly different from Swan Song and maybe not exactly what I was expecting I nonetheless found it rich and entertaining. The main character Michael Corbett is like an early American version of Sherlock Holmes. Edoardo Ballerini is an excellent match for Corbett's character; Corbett has a quiet confidence which is masterfully relayed by Ballerini. I have also listened to the next in the series The Queen of Bedlam and can say Corbett's character continues to grow, his logic and curiosity takes him on a fateful adventure which will lead me to the third soon.