So, I devoured Discovery of Witches in print and through audible.com, and eagerly anticipated this sequel. Throughout the book, there were glimmers of delight, but it was such an obvious 2nd installment of a three-part series, that I wish I'd waited until the 3rd book was released so I could read both books back to back. Perhaps the many facets that were lacking in this story wouldn't be so noticeable if I had the 3rd book to immediately go to once this was finished... as it is, I have a very anticlimactic, unsettled feeling remaining as I finished Shadow of Night.
The story proceeded as expected, but without the intense action and suspense of the first book. The rich historical detail was lovely, but did nothing to enhance this very lukewarm story. There are also a few annoying plot holes that I hope will be filled in once the 3rd book comes out (I don't want to get into details and spoil anything for those of you who haven't read it yet, but the holes are pretty significant).
The performance was good, the reader using a nice variety of distinct voices for the MANY characters in the story (I read in another review that there is an index of characters in the print version of the story... and that there re 85 of them!). There were a few unusual 2 - 3 second pauses throughout the story that were a bit distracting, as well.
I wish I hadn't had my hopes up so much. I wish I had waited until the 3rd book came out.
Sigh... I am kind of regretting using a credit on this book.
Now, I've read ALL of the books Nora Roberts has written and I always look forward to her new releases. This story was not only one her worst stories, but one of the worst stories I've ever experienced. Not one character was compelling enough to have me thinking of them when I was away from the story, and there was a complete lack of the usual sparkle and suspense of her other stories.
The lead female character was certainly a nice enough character, but I found myself rolling my eyes at her life choices and the unbelievable 180 degree life turn around described. Even her name "Abra"... short for what?
The Narrator must be a relative of someone at audible. While his gravelly, sandpaper voice might lend itself to a story with a male cast just fine, this man should never be let near a female character, unless she has a 3-pack-a day cigarette habit!
Gosh, I really couldn't recommend this book... print or audio, to anyone not facing weeks of traction or a transatlantic flight. What happened to Nora?
I know in the current literary world, a mystery set in the days just following WWI, surrounding the ups and downs of a penniless, distant relation of the English royal family might sound a little "Ho hum", but I encourage you to give this series a chance. Start at the beginning and enjoy the wonderful narrator and the fun, often suspenseful hijinks of Georgie and her supporting cast. You won't be sorry!
So I am rediscovering my favorite Nora Roberts stories through audible.com and knew I would love this series since I'd read it years before... which I thoroughly did... heartwarming and unexpected.
I didn't approach the story with a preconceived idea about how the voices should sound, since I'd read the story so long ago, but, my goodness, the voices the reader created for these three brothers were a bit off the mark. One brother was fine. One 30-ish year old brother sounded like a toothless, octogenarian, and one, also a 30-ish year old, sounded like a whiny, pre-pubescent boy... it was jarring, to say the least.
Usually, if a voice doesn't quite match my image of a character, I am able to be swept away in the story by the end of the third chapter and realize that I don't notice the disparity between what I imagined and what I am hearing. But this time, every time one of these brothers entered a scene, the horror of their voice performance was a fresh and undiluted as the first time I heard it.
I noticed that the same narrator performs the 2nd but not the 3rd and 4th books in the series, so I will l probably continue listening... BUT the 2nd book is the story told from the point of view of the 2nd brother (the toothless octogenarian I mentioned before)... and I truly don't know if I can manage to listen to the reader's rendition of this character for a whole book... sad because it was my favorite of the series.
I am 3/4 though this book, so I don't know how it ends, but two things are apparent to me at this juncture: I long for the days when handwritten letters were lovingly composed and people listened avidly for the sound of the mail being delivered, AND, I am approaching the last third of this wonderful book and can't bear the thought of it ending and saying farewell to the wonderful cast of characters the authors and narraters brought to life. I am literally feeling a little depressed to think that it will all too soon come to an end and, as much as I want to finish it, I am trying to savor this last bit. I've actually been googling Guernsey to find real photographs of the island and have found a new interest in WWII and the area. I am loving this book, especially the way the different narraters bring each character so vividly to mind. One of my favorite listens, for sure!
I've read books from this author before and always enjoyed the mystery and suspense. This story, however, had many flaws that should have never made it past the editor's desk. The story references back to an incident that occurred about a year ago, involving Rose, the female lead and her large extended family and many of the members of the close knit, New England town where she lives. This was supremely irritating, and actually caused me to stop and consider seeking out what must be a first book in a series, to clear up the cobwebs. I did not ultimately do this, because due to the enormous cast of characters in the book, I never really cared enough about the female and male leads to find out more. The ending was a complete fizzle and I am still left wondering who the villain really was. There are so many characters, throughout the whole book all except the leads are often referred to by their first and last names! Sigh... I'm glad it's over and I'll never venture to Carla Neggers's world again.
I listen while I walk, and took countless extra trips around the neighborhood to be able to finish chapters in this wonderful book. At the risk of repeating the summaries of others, I must say that I found the characters felt like old friends after the story was long over, and the narrater did a wonderful job with pacing, expression and bringing the characters to life. Bravo!
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