Orson Scott Card is a favorite author, and I enjoy his column here on Audible. I did not enjoy Pastwatch; I'm afraid he missed the mark in this ambitious undertaking. If you read the book, you'll understand the title about the redemption of Columbus. It promises more than the book delivers.
Both the plot description and the sample were intriguing. Although the book started well, it foundered towards the end of the first part and stuck that way well into the second. The "philosophical" arguments were repetitive, tedious, and often just plain silly. I found myself wanting to shout at the characters that they were talking nonsense -- then this nonsense turned into resolution of the book! The worst of it came from the female characters who initiated the "dialogue" out of sheer emotion -- not that the males were exempt, not by any means -- and gave me a creepy sense of a sexist undertone. None of the characters inspired empathy in me, nor could I identify or empathize with much of their behavior. I found them to be flat and two-dimensional, very much just vehicles for the creeping, tedious "advancement" of the plot.
Most of the time I rewind and listen to passages again to make sure that I haven't missed anything; it's easy to do with an audiobook. Not with this one. I often fell asleep with this book, as one reviewer said it was little more than background noise. I could hardly wait to finish it, and discovered that the parts I may have missed didn't make a bit of difference.
The narrators do a splendid job, they just don't have that much to work with.
Grisham is on my list of favored authors, and I pre-ordered this book. How sorry I am.
The story line is obvious, I didn't like the main characters, and the narrator is boring. After three tries, I gave it up as a waste of time.
I may be a little more careful in the future about what I buy from this author. Very disappointing.
This could have been a good story, but the author doesn't develop it, and the ending seems disjointed from the beginning. There are segues into tailoring, fashion sense, art, wine, food. It's only mildly interesting that Brunetti notices the cut of a jacket, or the stitching of a cuff. These segues interrupt the plot development to the point that parts of the plot just seem to drop and a new line picks up. The plot fails to hold together in a coherent narrative; it left me dissatisfied. I was just glad to finish the book.
Characters pop in and out of the storyline without development, and often without explanation of who they are. I was too often confused who was doing what to whom, and why.There are rather a lot of them too.
David Colacci is one of the worst narrators I've ever listened to. I don't know if he's really Italian and the accent he uses is natural to him, or if it's affected. Either way, it's distracting, and often confusing because of the way he pronounces the names of the rather large cast of characters. His tone of voice frequently makes a character's dialogue sound brutish, in a stereotyped manner. It was extremely off-putting, and I doubt I'll listen to another book he narrates.
I gather this is a series. I won't be reading any more of it, and probably won't buy anything from this author again.
Readers of the Vampire Chronicles know that the first vampire, Akasha, was created when the spirit Amel entered her dying body and became one with her. He entered Mekare when she killed Akasha, and he must continue to live in his host or all vampires, everywhere, will die.
In this book, Amel become sentient. I can't say more without writing a spoiler, The premise is interesting, even if the resolution is predictable.
Rice is obviously providing for the continuation of the chronicles in a new environment. There's a huge cast of new characters, so much so that she provides a listing of them at the end of the book. Some of them are, like Amel, spirits; but unlike Amel, these spirits have learned to assume tangible form. I'd expect to see at least some of them in future installments. I'm hoping that Claudia will return based on the inclusion of the other spirit characters.
Prince Lestat shifts approach, providing a fresh storyline populated by new characters, that should keep us reading the Vampire Chronicles.
Simon Vance should not narrate them, though. His narration of this book was so off-putting that I shifted to the companion Kindle edition after only a few hours, and finished the book that way. He cannot differentiate accents for the various characters, in fact, his "accents" are awful. French is no different than American Southern than ancient Roman. Nor does he provide "voices" for the various characters, so often I didn't know who was speaking.
Vance also narrates books written by Ruth Downie, set in ancient Rome. One of the characters is Tilla, and I heard Tilla's voice in Vance's reading of Prince Lestat. I think that's when I bought the companion Kindle book.
Because Vance's awful narration caused me to spend more money to buy the Kindle edition, I'm thinking of returning the audiobook.
Overall, Prince Lestat is an enjoyable entry in the Vampire Chronicles, but Simon Vance's narration isn't. I hope he doesn't do any more books in the series.
Overall this is another enjoyable entry in the series. It's like a familiar and beloved pair of slippers that give you a sense of well being. In this book, the character of Charlie is explored a bit more than in previous books.
The narrator seems to have lost her feeling of well being though. She used to have voices for Mma. Ramotswe, Grace Makutsi, Mr. J.L.B. Matekone, and Mma Potokwane. These are no longer present, and as the book goes along she uses the familiar voices less and less and often mixes them up, using Mma Ramotswe's voice for Grace. I found this very distracting, and disappointing. Hopefully she'll regain her technique for the next book, if she narrates it.
This book has it all, a gripping story that grabs your attention from the first few words and keeps it throughout, well developed characters, and excellent narration.
The story has lots of twists and turns, and keeps you wondering until the very end. This is my idea of an excellent murder mystery. I especially liked the premise of a TV show re investigating cold cases.
Now that I've read this book, I'm going to read more by Alafair Burke, the co-author.
Jan Maxwell's narration is spot-on, one of the best I've heard. She can do both male and female voices, and has a good sense of pacing and emphasis. She's to be commended.
This was my first read of 2015 and it was a good way to start my reading year. I highly recommend this book.
I stopped listening this book, a rarity for me. I've read most of King's books, but this one is just plain gruesome. The graphic and detailed descriptions of the accident that takes the life of the pastor's wife and little son were stomach churning. The sermon he later delivers follows suit. It was too much.
Had there been redeeming qualities to either the characters or the story line, I might have continued, but there were none. It was gore for gore's sake, and for sensationalism.
This book is like skipping stones across the surface of water. It makes ripples, but only marginally holds your attention.
The plot of the book is, well, pretty silly. Columbus didn't discover America, Odysseus did. I don't want to write a spoiler, but it goes downhill from there. Details aren't developed. For example, ants rain down on Gideon, getting in his hair, crawling in his ears, but we never find out how he gets rid of them. A nit? Maybe, but I expect better from Preston & Child, at least a few words saying "Gideon did blah blah and got rid of the ants still infesting his hair." This is just an example, the book is full of them.
I won't return the book because I finished it, but I won't recommend it either. I'm not sure I'll read any more Gideon books either.
This is a perfect book for a summer read. It's got a good plot with some nice twists and turns towards the end, sympathetic characters, it's performed well, and it's very entertaining.
There's a good dollop of humor, as in most of the Stephanie Plum novels. The chihuahuas are a nice touch. Ranger gets some depth to him, and the "babe" exhalation takes on some meaning.
Lorelei King is one of the few narrators who can give voice to the opposite sex. Without seeming forced or affected, she uses separate and entirely credible voices for Ranger and Morelli.
This book isn't great literature and it won't tax your mind, but if you're looking for light summer reading that is just plain fun, you can't go wrong with Top Secret Twenty-One.
First, I listened to Lay Down My Shield. It was a shocking departure for James Lee Burke, the character of Hackberry Holland two dimensional and unlikable. The I read Feast Day of Fools. Not sure where that Hackberry fits in, but he was slightly better.
Now, Wayfaring Stranger featuring Weldon Holland. And I think I'm done with the Hollands. I love Burke's Dave Robichaeux series, gorgeous prose, tight plotting, and fully developed characters, the master at his best. At the end of Glass Rainbow, I sobbed as I'd lost my best friend, so great was the impact of the book.
The Holland series is another matter. Weldon is another two dimensional Holland, all brass and balls, but not too smart. His motivations are superficial in a macho kind of way.
Similarly Rosita Lowenstein seems more of a plot device than a real character. And don't get me started on Linda Gail! Are we supposed to believe in this woman who places her husband's well being in the hands of her lover as if he had any responsibility? Clara is a caricature. Roy too, is improbable, but a bit more believable as a spoiled rich kid, although that's a stereotype too.
The plot is just a bit too convenient too, the Nazi film reels in particular. The Bonnie & Clyde thing seems more of a publicity stunt, a way to gin up interest in the book, rather than an integrated aspect of the plot.
Finally, the master's prose seemed overheated in this one. The superficial Holland is presented as quite the philosopher and astute political observer. And he does quite a bit of it too, offering up dissertations on everything from the meaning of life to ecological disasters.
It grieves me to post such a review of James Lee Burke's work, I hope he'll write more books that don't contain any Hollands.
I almost stopped reading this book because the narrator was so annoying. Because it got good reviews from reviewers I respect, I bought the Kindle companion and read the book.
The narrator reads the beginning in a breathy voice that got on my last nerve. I suppose she thought it sounded childlike, but it was simply irritating.
The story hops back and forth between present and past. The narrator made it incomprehensible. I was totally lost. Once in the Kindle book, I had to begin over again to get the story sorted out.
I'm glad I did, it was a worthwhile read. The plot is novel, the characters realistic and engaging. The ending provides an interesting twist on immortality.
I recommend this book, but only on Kindle or in print.
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