This true story is so good. It's heart warming, suspenseful, and sobering. You can feel the love and respect that the author has for the main character and it makes you love him too. The store moves along nicely, it's easy to follow, it's a well told, good story.
With that said, be prepared for some flaws. The author is the narrator and the narration starts out just awful. She warms up and gets better, but the first couple chapters are almost unbearable. There are small errors too, she mispronounces a couple of key words and she usually talks about herself with "I" or "me" but will occasionally refer to herself as "Laura" which is confusing. Don't let the amateurish moments take away from this great story.
I just finished listening to the story of your last unintentional adventure. You know, the one where you get called in to fix an international crisis because from your past, you are the only one that can save the day? ...Yeah, that one.
I loved it. It seemed like this story and the last couple of your adventures have been solved with more cerebral effort than just 100% violence. I appreciate that about you. You are not only a big guy, trained in every possible fighting technique, but you are also generally smarter than everyone else in the room. The humor in this story was what I especially loved. I laughed out loud at least a dozen times. You've become snarky and funny as you've gained wisdom. I'm not used to laughing during your stories, it adds a great dimension--well played.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the action in this story. It was all there. You haven't lost your step, your cunning, or your speed. And you threw in some surprises which made it especially fun. The bad guys don't have a chance with you on the case.
I liked your relationship with the female in this story too. In your younger years, I flinched at the occasional sexist moments. You guys were great together on this adventure. You were supportive, and taught her a bunch, and helped her along--it was another very satisfying part of the story.
We've been through 19 stories now together. They haven't all been 5-star worthy, you've had your ups and downs. This one has the depth, the surprises, the pace, the relationship development, and a little bit of fun that made it a full 5-stars--well played.
As for Dick Hill being your narrator, as always he's the right choice. His accents and voice changes are smooth, and he captures the spirit of your stories every time.
I'll recommend it to friends.
Does the title of my review make you feel like some of your brain cells are dying? Well, be prepared for 20 hours worth of that kind of scintillating conversation in "The Secret Place." (By the way "totes" is short for "totally" in case you aren't up on high school girl vernacular.)
I love Tana French. I devoured her first four novels in this series. I loved each one and I recommended them to several people. This book was a complete disappointment.
The story is of a murder that happened a year ago near an girls' school, and two Dublin police-people get a reason to go back to try again to solve the case. The entire book is about eight high school girls--did one of them commit the murder, and why.
90% of the content of the book is conversations between the girls and the girls and detectives. It gets tedious to the point of annoying. It was filled with squealie "OMG!!" and "Totes Amaze-Balls!!" and "Duh!!" A major part of the detectives job is to determine who had a motive, so that leads to literally hours of discussion about who had a crush on whom, and which girl doesn't like the other girl because she said her thighs were fat.
There is also this underlying theme that some of the girls have slight magical powers, which just made zero sense, had no actual bearing on the story, and was never explained. I kept waiting for that to be explained, but it ended up just being another annoying distraction.
The story reads like a really bad novel written for tweens. The content and dialogue were shallow, overly-simple, and embarrassingly cliche. It was like listening to a 20 hr "Keeping up with the Kardashians" marathon.
Concerning the narrators--the female narrator was great. The male narrator had a terrible time with the high school girls voices, they were bad. Luckily, he didn't speak as them very often.
A LOT of people are still going to listen to this book no matter what I say in this review, because it's Tana French, I don't blame you, I would have too. But I feel burned by this book. I will now hesitate before I listen to another Tana French. I will certainly wait until it has been thoroughly reviewed.
The premise, the story, and the characters were all good. Kick, the main character, is a great herione, and the potential of where this series can go is very intriguing. But there were some flaws in the development.
The character development was odd to me. There's a difference between giving the character some depth and history and making the character someone the reader cares about and believes in. There was a lot of energy and detail around Kick. She has a lot of history, and a lot of emotions that go into her solving mysteries--all of that was really interesting. But there were some contradictions in her development that I had a hard time with, so I was taken out of just enjoying the story by stopping and thinking "hmmm, that didn't make sense."
Kick's relationships with the other characters weren't developed very well. I didn't buy the relationship with the other action hero Bishop, or her friend James, or the man from her past, Mel. She liked them then hated them, then trusted them, then pointed her gun at them, then cried over them, then cared more about her dog then she did her friends, it was just too contradictory to be real.
With all that said, I WILL read the next one, with hope that the bumpy writing smooths out. The potential is that good.
The narrator was great, she was perfectly invisible, I didn't notice her and could just concentrate on the story.
I recommend this book, but would say keep expectations low. Think of it like watching the pilot of a show that could be really great, once the kinks are worked out.
I've never experienced a book quite like this one. I'm exhausted from listening to it. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire story. As each new fact was revealed I was impatient to see what happened next.
I laughed and laughed dozens of times. And I cried once, standing in the grocery store holding my breath waiting to see what happened. I was totally invested in the character and story development.
What makes the writing truly genius was that all of the reactions I listed above came from small, simple things that happened in the story. There weren't big, unbelievable action scenes or sweeping romances, just daily, simple, life-happenings that added up in just the right (or wrong) way.
And the ending...perfect. It was worthy of the rest of the story. The ending was long and satisfying.
I loved the narrator. I think she really added to it. Her voice squeaked and cracked and felt very real.
I loved, loved, and enthusiastically recommend this book.
Wow this book was great. I found myself holding my breath several times during the last two hours. The ending was awesome. The ending was the best ending of any of Burke's books. Whew!
I'm a big fan of Burke. His Robicheaux series is great, and "The Lost Get-Back Boogie" is one of my favorite books of all times by any author.
Wayfaring Stranger though, is different and better than most of his previous. It feels like Burke stretched during this book and it paid off.
The amazing level of detail that Burke usually brings was all there: descriptions of the scenery, the smells, the appearance of the different characters so you feel like you are there. And it's done with a poetry and smoothness that is beautifully artful.
The cadence, the twists, and the unexpected turns that made me hold my breath were what took this story to the next level. I was on the edge of my seat for so much of this book that it almost felt exhausting. I'm sad it's over.
The one thing that makes this store only "near perfect" for me was the character of Linda Gail. I didn't like her. I probably wasn't suppose to like her, but she was in the story a lot and a couple times I wished he would get back to Weldon and Rosita and Hershel, because she just wasn't very interesting to me.
Will Patton is flawless as usual. He and Burke make the perfect pair. I think as Audible listeners we get a bonus over reading this book, Patton makes the whole experience just that much better. .
The perfect book and the perfect narrator come together here to create an American treasure. I don't have the vocabulary to speak highly enough of how special this book is on Audible.
Sissy Spacek's narration of this story is genius. She goes beyond even the great narrators like Patton, Hill, and Hurt. Her performance is not just technically perfect, it's illuminating. She's so smooth between characters. I can't even detect how she changes her voice and tone between Jim and Scout, but she does, just ever so slightly. It's hard to explain how amazing it is. I can see the dirt road, I can smell the dirty kid next to Scout in her class, I can feel the summer breeze on the back porch where they sleep. Yes, it's Harper Lee that creates that amazing imagery, but Spacek makes it an intimate experience that I felt honored to be a part of.
The book and story of course are above being "reviewed." It's a beautifully crafted story where every word is so intentional. The writing is dense with meaning while flowing perfectly.
It's a shame that Harper Lee only had one book published. Or maybe Mockingbird is such a gift that maybe it needs to stand alone.
I loved the fact that the author was the son of the ranger. I just loved that point of view. The story started really strong. I was really interested to see where it was going to go.
The character development for the first half of the book was really interesting. Then the action and details around the key part of the story just never unfolded.
It was disappointing. I listen to a lot of non-fiction and the key seems to be how much information the author can get their hands on. It's seems like Hall didn't get as much information as he needed to tell a comprehensive story.
It just really fizzled.
The narrator was just ok too. He stumbled over words, he mispronounced words, and several times it was obvious he was just reading from a script. There was no flow or naturalness to his narration.
This series is going strong and book number four does not disappoint. With each book, I kinda hold my breath, waiting for it to be bad and to be a let down, but "Groove Back" is awesome.
The story line is good; the complications, the twists, the who-done-it-ness, are all great. What's even better though, is the continued character development, that is the real genius of Rowland.
Angel is a flawed, reluctant hero, that makes me laugh with her and root for her. I love how she is growing and learning in her new life. I like her better maybe than any other character I've ever followed. I love the complexities of her relationships with her boss, her work peers, and her ex-boyfriend.
The ending of this one was the best ever. It was just really good.
If this is your introduction to this series, Rowland does a nice job of catching readers up, but she also gives away a lot, so you can't really go back and read them out of order because there are spoilers. This series really is read (listened-to) best in order.
People who are reading this series instead of listening to it are missing out on McLemore as the narrator. She really brings Angel's character alive, I mean, she is a real treasure, she takes this story from 5 star to a 6 star.
To start with, the narrator, McLain, did not do the book justice. He was dead-pan and monotone and there was some seriously twisted action to get excited about, yet his voice remained in a tone as if he was reading the phone book.
With that said, I liked the story, the writing, the characters, and especially the twists. I gasped out loud more than once, saying "no way" to anyone around me. The unexpected action was great.
I loved the character development. Many authors don't take the time to develop the characters of the "bad guys," but McBride clearly loved his bad guys. They were dirty, and smelly, and just fun to hate. And the "hero" of the story was flawed, and on the edge, and real.
Upon reading the other reviews of this book on Audible, I'm apparently going to be a slightly dissenting voice. This book was good, it was entertaining, but it was predictable, and sloppy in places and didn't stretch my mind and imagination as much as I'd wished it would.
During the big "action" scenes of the book, the characters did some dumb things that made me roll my eyes--obvious set-ups for big confrontations to come.
The attempt at creating depth of the characters was poorly done and felt pasted-in by an editor, there were several scenes that just didn't fit with the rest of the story.
I enjoyed the ending, it wrapped up in a creepy, ominous way, but I even it was a little predictable.
The book was good. It was a fun ride, and worth four stars. But don't expect a mind blowing new look at a post-apocalyptic story.
Do I recommend? Meh, yeah, I guess.
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