Allen, TX, United States | Member Since 2006
A refreshingly new approach to the action "hero" who happens to be a woman. Monroe cares about right and fairness, but doesn't mind getting her hands VERY dirty in the process of achieving it. A wonderfully flawed character who tries to keep her work as "just a job," but can't manage it, as her inner life is so complex. Fighting her own demons and fighting the bad guys are all in a days work. The story literally covers the globe and introduces us to lawyers, oil men, mercenaries, child victims, government officials and....Vanessa. One of the freshest characters I've read lately. Caveat: LOTS of vividly described violence, but not unnecessary to the story. I am usually hard on narrators who can't do dialects, but have nothing but praises for Hillary Huber: male, female, African, French, Standard American, Southwestern--she does it all beautifully.
This volume of the 3 PINES series doesn't take place in 3 pines, except for a couple of scenes, which adds a bit of newness to the undertaking. Rather than serving as a catalyst, Inspector Gamache and his family are central figures. (Saying more will give important discoveries away.) Another family is the primary focus - their history, their current relationships based on the past, and how their childhoods influence their adult behavior. Much more of a psychological profile of life and death than is usual in these books, but Penny is able to add grit while maintaining much of the humor and coziness this series is known for.
This book is a series of bloody action scenes punctuated by sophomoric dialogue. It is the tale of stop-at-nothing, can't-be-killed ex-CIA hitman with a soft spot for children. The attempt at a human interest subplot of violence from the viewpoint of a child is jarring amid all the bloodshed and hardware. The story could have been interesting in the hands of a more skilled writer, but falls far short here. This may be the reason it was free.
Anyone familiar with Donna Tartt knows that she never wraps things up with a "happily ever after." It is also true that her stories are long, complicated, and packed with characters. This book is so beautifully written that I am sad to see the end of these characters, even after more than 30 hours of listening. She and Ken Follett are among the only writers who can keep one completely captivated in a book requiring this sort of time commitment.
Our hero/antihero, Theo, is deeply flawed, although he didn't bring it all on himself. His friend, Boris, is more scarred and troubled, but has a better grasp on how to navigate the world in many ways. Together, they muddle through adolescence, and the resulting impact that their behavior has on their adult lives. This book illustrates how art, beauty and love can malevolently intertwine with danger, betrayal and self destruction. A number of great character studies combined with beautiful story telling make this a great book. Mr. Pittu makes every voice and accent believable. Buy this.
Not only is this trilogy a good grouping of stories in the Bosch series, it is an economical way to hear 3 stories for the price of one. The link between the 3 is Harry's relationship with FBI agent Rachel Walling, but each story is a stand-alone in the series. A further subtle link between the tales is the notion of how passion to do the right thing sometimes oversteps rational choices, to both good and bad ends. Len Cariou does an outstanding job, not only as Harry, but in portraying women, men of various ethnic distinctions and people with vocal abnormalities. I never had the sense that he was "doing a dialect," but rather than the character was actually speaking through him. If you like Harry, you'll enjoy this set.
This book is entertaining, but I expected more. The first book of this series provided a tantalizingly unique "what if..." about the rise and fall of the Knights Templar. This book picks up in the same space with the same characters, but seems to have been a contract requirement for the author rather than an exciting new twist in the story. Same interesting characters, in impossible situations, with a few new bad guys thrown in. The best part of the tale is the back story of the 13th century monk who....well, listen and find out why he becomes a legend.
Don't expect a lot of Middle Eastern cinematic descriptions, nor exotic locales. This is a good thriller, but could have just as easily been set in Cleveland. Well-drawn characters, but pretty stock types. Several dove-tailed plot lines seemed a bit contrived to bring them to a single conclusion, but there is enough high stakes intrigue to keep it interesting.
The history of Australia is fascinating anyway, but this book really portrays a unique view of the early English settlers going to the continent. Everyone has an angle and everyone has instinctive qualities that allow them to succeed, despite the terrible conditions under which many of them arrived. I can't wait to hear the 2nd installment of this trilogy. The narrator creates nuanced individuals of each of the MANY characters. Numerous accents, pitches and vocal mannerisms are skillfully played.
This book is billed as a prequel to the legends of King Arthur, and there are references at the end of the book that refer to parts of the legend of the Lady of the Lake and the sword in the stone, but this is an extremely minor aspect of the story. It is more the story of the Roman Legion in Britain and how the collapse of the Golden Age of Rome affected the rest of the Empire. The author and narrator do a great job of creating believable people with complex lives and relationships in their own times - no fairy tale view of the past.
Harry Dresden is a film noir-like character: private eye, helps the Chicago police, barely makes ends meet, not always great with the ladies....oh, and he's a wizard. If the cops need help that the evidence doesn't readily provide, they call in Harry to see if magic is at play. Turns out, it often is in the criminal world. A fun and creepy tale of criminal mischief being cleaned up by the good guys, with enough trolls, fairies, talismans and disgusting insects to make it exciting. This is NOT a children's or young adult series - entirely too graphic adult behavior. At least in this first book. I am looking forward to reading more.
This book defies categorization, in my view: part mystery, part class struggle study, part mood piece. Interesting characters and situations, the story told in overlapping vignettes from various character's points of view. It all adds up to a well written slice of life in a seemingly contemporary New York neighborhood, its residents alternately struggling not to slide into poverty, or struggling to rise from it.
The narrator seems sluggish at first, but stay with him - he improves as the story revs up and the characters develop. He does a good job with the variety of character types, each distinguishable without specific identification for each conversation. it may also be just really good writing.
Don't listen to this when in the mood for fast-paced action. It is in there, but this is a story primarily about the perception of individuals about their surroundings. A very satisfying character study.
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