Well I finished it... finally. I think I downloaded three books in between bouts of listening to this one and finally finished it when I was out of credits. There was something about the book... maybe the narrator... that made it very hard to stay connected. I'm glad I did though... it did pick up about two-thirds the way through and was worth the listen.
I love to read and have since I was a kid. I remember reading all of the old King novels, The Shining, Pet Sematary, Salem's Lot, Misery, It... and so many others. I remember loving and hating them at the same time. I'm not one that really likes the horror stuff... I prefer to see good triumph over evil... and I HATE when the main characters die or we are left with ridiculous cliffhangers... (just my own pet peeves as a reader). When Stephen King entered a different type of writing, beginning with The Dark Tower and on from there... I entered a different type of reading and strayed away from many of his newer novels.
I was almost scared to get this book... scared because I was so happy that Danny and his mother had escaped and I DID NOT want to see this table turn. I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams the type of book that this would turn out to be. It was AWESOME! Don't get me wrong, I almost stopped listening at one particularly SAD and AWFUL part when I realized the nature of the evil (what happened to 'The Baseball Boy') but I stuck it out and I'm so glad I did. Even that evil came back at the bad guys with very special irony.
This book had tremendous character development, a terrific plot, and it brought Danny's life truly full circle in a great way. The AA inclusion was relevant and integral and not the least bit of a drag. Everything was so well thought out and written... even the very realistic thought processes that would go on in the minds of regular people when confronted with some of the extraordinary circumstances. And as for the thoughts that go on in the people that have guilt or sins to atone for... well that was an emotional journey that actually brought me to tears.
I normally listen to audiobooks while doing house chores, with a busy family I rarely have time to myself to sit down and just read. The book started out good, I didn't have a great grasp on the direction but it was very interesting... and stayed that way until about halfway through. At that point things just took off... it was like a steam engine loaded with nitrous oxide barreling toward an end that you hoped would be there for Danny and the other main characters. For the first time in my life, after many years and hundreds of audiobooks, I actually sat down at about the middle of the book and just simply listened. No cleaning, no cooking, just listening.
I can see the difference in the writing style from his earlier books... the maturity and skill of writing in this book was absolutely captivating. "It was a very loud and awesome HOWL"... if you listen to the author's prologue you will understand.
This book was well worth the credit... I would have even paid cash! :)
After reading some very critical reviews about books 4 and 5, which negatively reflected on both the narration and the stories... I feel that it is only fair to give a different perspective. This series is unlike any I have read before... some of the killing is gruesome beyond my comfort levels... when I am sure one thing is going to happen, the opposite happens instead... many of my heroes have fallen and most villains seem to prevail... but somehow, among the ashes seems to be a glimmer of light. These books are masterfully written, and I for one am sticking it out... I'm in for the long haul. I have faith that there will be another book and it will give us our deserving winner of the Game of Thrones. I really hope that Mr. Martin knows that we readers need and WANT our heroes... or at least a few of them, to prevail. Killing off the ones we have been rooting for through 5 whole books and then inserting a few new good people just doesn't cut it. I have found that I have a list of those I hate, like Arya, of all the villains that I would like to see 'get their dues'. I am happy that I have been able to scratch a few of them off.
What is unique about this series and the character development is that no one is perfect, the villains have moments of heroism and the heroes have moments of stupidity, stubbornness and even cruelty. I don't care what anyone says... despite the gruesome killing and weirdness (I would starve before drinking clotted blood or clotted mare's milk), I have thoroughly enjoyed these 5 books.
The books are also very aptly named... and each of them contains a huge amount of character development very true to their Titles. Feast for Crows for instance is the story of the seven kingdoms, torn apart and ravaged by war.... being picked clean by anyone and anything left with ability to dig for scraps. I found that each book in this series has been Titled appropriately. I read many critical reviews of the last two and I differ in opinion because I really felt like these books were necessary to bring us to a level of understanding of how desperate things really are for almost every single character. Everyone, good and bad alike, is fighting for survival.
I will concede that the narration of books 4 and 5 is not near as good as the first three for a few of the characters. The good thing, is that the narration was so awesome in the first three, and I had such a clear picture in my head of the characters, that I was able to mostly ignore the irritating voices of the last two books. Would I have liked it to be just perfect, of course, but it wasn't... I also didn't want Ned or many others to die, but they did. Bummer.
I am leaving the reins of this story in the capable hands of Mr. Martin. I may not like some of the things he has done, but I am fully committed and willing to see this through to the end. And if he ever reads reviews... please please please... just leave us a few of our heroes. Let us have Arya, Jon, Bran and Danerys. I also want Tyrion, Brienne, Jaime (if he stays good) and so many others to live but who knows... that's one thing that Mr. Martin has shown me in this journey is that you never EVER know what will happen. I am almost expecting the last book to be "The Dead of Winter" and everybody ends up as a big bunch of white walkers.
As a caveat, I will say this... if the last book comes and he does kill off the rest of my heroes... I'm filing a complaint and asking for my credits back. Nobody deserves that kind of disappointment after 150 hours of dedicated listening. 15 hours... go ahead and kill who you want... but 150?? Now you have an obligation to those of us that have faithfully ridden this runaway train.
I really enjoyed Dodger's character and personality! To have a life such as his and turn it into almost an art form... and have such a great attitude about it. It was an interesting storyline with fun and fascinating characters!
I don't know if I am cut out to listen to this type of book! I found it very interesting and was impressed with the amount of information and research it must have taken to have written it. I was however, confused about half the time and when I was mid-way through I actually started it over in order to get a few things straight. So many people have similar names and the sheer number of characters was a daunting task to keep track of. I finally just left it on and stayed partially confused... and I hate to admit that I googled a few things in order to clear up a few nagging questions. It was a very interesting and entertaining ancient Roman history (historical fiction, I guess) lesson!
This story is superbly written and narrated. Tana French has a way of weaving a story and connecting you with the characters on a unique level. With the economy down... this book has parallels with so many sad lives and people that wanted something different but their hopes and dreams went down the toilet. The detective is as broken as the criminals but he his trying so hard to find the right of things. In many ways, the personal look inside his mind and thoughts of his past made me feel like an intruder. You are just wishing for something great to happen to him... something happy. I gave the story only four stars because of the reason for the killer's (and other's) insanity. I cannot go into further detail without revealing spoilers but I found it to be far fetched. This story was moving and so very sad... I had to download something happy and funny afterward just to take my mind off it.
I was very disappointed that this book stopped completely at the moment that Elizabeth I ascended to the throne. This book is written more like a history book and is a dry accounting of the children on their way and upon the throne. It seems to have been based on records of the time and is fairly factual. Considering this, I was interested to see at least some of the contrast in how Elizabeth would handle the monarchy, as opposed to her siblings and the affect it would have on England. According to the title, I was not under the impression that I would have to buy another book to get the information on Elizabeth. I know she is book worthy... but it was very misleading. I believe Ms. Weir owed it to her readers to at least take the time to address the same main issues that plagued both Edward and Mary at the beginning of their reigns, and contrast how Elizabeth handled them as well. Very impolite to stop where it did.
The book, as much as it was, was well written and well narrated.
I really like most of Michael Connelly's books and but I felt like this one did not did not give us a clear ending. I don't want to 'sort of' know who did it... I want the book done, completed, the real killer caught or dead. The character development was great and for those Connelly lovers... if I were going to try to interpret stuff here I would say that this one was more about Harry and his path than the mystery itself. I buy Connelly books purely for the entertainment factor. I don't want to think too much and I like a clean ending tied up with a bow...the little synopsis or 'ah ha' moment where you find out exactly what happened. Unlike many of his others... there is no moment where it all comes completely together and you know exactly what actually happened.
I was OK with the zombie mayhem entwined into the story and the narration was OK... although I thought it made the characters seem too old. What I didn't like was that it lacked the romance that Jane Austin and the original book are known for. In being 'zombie superkillers', the girls' characters were completely altered and this took the book too far away from its roots at the core. The original sisters had very few skills and Elizabeth's winning character traits came from within, from her own pride, her honesty and ultimately her humanity. Sorry Seth, the zombies took over on this one... and killed off the pride and the prejudice. I would have been happier if more of the original book I loved was still there.
The book was good and the narration was flawless. I don't know if it was the subject matter or the fact that so many bad things happened because of things left unsaid or undone for too long... but this book just left me feeling empty. Happiness was so close and yet so far away and in the end... things worked out but only after so much damage. Interesting story and very unique perspective of the white indentured servant. Heartwrenching tale of the life of the slaves and what they must have endured under good and bad circumstances. Worth the listen but don't expect to smile much.
The book was OK, a Sandra Brown mystery with some romance blended in. I don't think the book needed any kind of twist at the end and I thought the villian was totally unbelievable. My favorite parts were the interactions between the leading man and the little girl... so cute!
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