Cross the Line was a pleasant listen, but not an exciting one. It was not a bad story, but I simply felt unexcited, which should not be the case for a thriller-type story.
Jack Patterson wrote this story well. It was clear he had done the research and had put a lot of thought into it. I thought the story flowed perfectly. The story let me down because of the dialogue between characters. It simply was unrealistic. A few of the characters often went off on tangents when talking to someone about things they had discovered along the way. These tangents, which clearly were dialogue and not narration, were too-journalistic. I know a few journalists, and even when I get them started on a topic they're writing about, they still don't *talk* like they write. These characters spoke more like they were reading an article, rather than sitting at a table drinking coffee. It just felt unnatural. There were also a few times the characters used rare synonym's to describe things when talking to someone (again not during narration), even during the intense scenes. Most people I know under would go for the easiest word to describe something when under pressure, not the unusual synonym. (i.e., blue vs. azure)
Perhaps all these faults would not have been so disappointing (or rather, distracting?) to me had I read the book vs listened. The narrator was not horrible, he had a pleasant voice. However, the book was simply read to me, not narrated. He lacked the vocal talents needed to pull off not only a book, but especially a thriller. There were no differences between male and female voices, and often I could not tell which character was talking because there was no difference in dialect. The non-American bad characters in this book had normal American voices (even in their home country), and were not frightening or manipulative at all. Another fault, there were two very intense parts of the book that simply require some voice excitement, and there was absolutely none. During the part in which the son was kidnapped (forgive me for not marking this as a spoiler, but as it was in the book description, I didn't think it was necessary), I completely missed it because the narrator was so soothing and calm that I had no clue something big was happening. I literally had to go back a few minutes to re-listen to that part. Later in the book, during another big event, I had a similar unexcited response because of the calm tone. Overall, the narrator was pleasant and soothing, but I do think Cross the Line could have been done a lot better with someone who had more narrative vocal talent.
Cross the Line is a great book, despite all I've mentioned. And I do recommend giving it a try. Jack Patterson is a great writer, and I have enjoyed his work for a while now. I look forward to his future books.
If you're a fan of the Night Huntress series, this book might throw you off. It's different than the others.
First of all, Cat is not in grave danger herself. Instead, she seeks it out to help others, which I guess is similar to other books, but there was very little threat to Cat in this book as there was in others. It didn't feel as "edgy" as the others.
Secondly, the dialogue is very different. There is a lot more thinking than there is dialogue, and frankly, I got tired of Cat's ramblings.
Lastly, Bones is well, not Bones in this book. He hardly talks at all, and when he does it's one sentence quips. It's not the sly, coming up from behind way of thinking that I've grown accustomed to in the other books. He went from being a leader and protector, to a follower. He lets Cat make decisions that are not like his character. The other thing about Bones is that his voice is very different in this book. So different, in fact, it doesn't feel like the Bones I've known from the previous books, at all.
Overall, I honeslty kept wondering why I was still listening to this book. It wasn't as enjoyable as the others, nor was the storyline as intriguing. If you are expecting another book like the rest in the Night Huntress series, you'll be disappointed.
I will do my best to separate my emotions for this review.
I have loved this series from the beginning. I loved the way Veronica Roth wrote and how she told a story. I loved the way she built her characters and allowed us to see both the good and bad in them, and how the characters were not "saved" from consequences of their choices. I always felt the characters were real to themselves, even in their most confusing and self-doubt moments, and that made me love them more. So... despite how angry Tris' decisions made me, it still was "true" to her character (in my opinion). I wouldn't have expected anything less of her.
That said, though, I still felt this couldn't be the "end." To me, it felt there was still unanswered questions, and problems had not yet been resolved. Despite all the characters remaining true to themselves and some of the "big" conflicts being resolved, I felt no closure to the series, and actually found myself searching if there would be another book. It just did did not feel like the right fit to the end, even if the ending was to be a gut-wrenching one.
As an avid reader, to pre-ordered the last two books in the series, I felt like I was strung along, to be hurt and confused by a bad breakup or something. I'm not sure I can recommend this series anymore. I was extremely excited about the movie coming out, too, and now... I'm not sure I want to even bother.
Use caution, if you're debating whether to give this series a try.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written. I went into this book expecting more of the supernatural aspect that I've come accustomed to with Kelley Armstrong... vampires/werewolves/etc. It was not like her other books, however, for which I was pleasantly surprised. It took me a while to get beyond my expectations, but once I did, I enjoyed the story from beginning to end.
I normally do not like two narrators, unless it is to tell the story from male and female perspective. In this case, the second narrator was reading from more than one person's perspective. It was confusing at first, but I adapted. I grew to enjoy hearing the "other" side of things at the end of almost every chapter. It brought depth to the story, which could not have been seen otherwise. It also helped open up more questions for not only this book, but the rest of the series as well. I'm interested to see where this story goes.
There is one flaw in this story. The main narrator, Carine Montbertrand, made me cringe! At the beginning of each chapter, she was not quite relaxed and therefore had a high nasally tone that sounded like she is plugging her nose for the first 2 minutes of a chapter. CRINGE. That sound is like nails on a chalkboard for me! Yikes!! Other than that, though, she did a great job switching between narrating and alternating between voices, though. There were very few flaws there. I plan to continue with the series.
Give it a try!
You know you're a Grey's Anatomy fan when you recognize the voice of Dr April Kepner in less than a minute of this story (especially when you had no clue she was the narrator)... but, that is not necessary for the review. :D
I am somewhat tired of the dystopian theme in novels, but I am glad I gave this one a try. I really, really enjoyed this. It was very different from others dystopian novels out there, and I'm very curious where the story is going to go from here. I thought Lauren Oliver wrote this very well. The plot was well thought out, as were the characters, and she wrote Lena exactly like a 17 year old, in her thoughts and actions. I thought the sub-characters were just as important as the main characters. Hana and Carol helped form Lena's personality just as much as Lena did. I am looking forward to learning more about Alex in the coming books though. There is still so much mystery there. Aside from the story and the characters, I really appreciated the bits of flash fiction mixed in with the story. It didn't feel out of place, and actually helped bring out the stress of the moments. I enjoyed it.
Lastly, this story was brought to life perfectly by Sarah Drew. Sarah captured the emotions of the story very well. She knew when to read quickly (stress, anxiety), when to slow down or pause (hesitation, nervousness), and what tone to use to express the emotions as well. It was very well done.
The two of them, Lauren Oliver and Sarah Drew, have created a unique and nearly perfect pair for an audio book. So much so that, I find myself on my computer writing a review and downloading the sequel within minutes of finishing the first book... that's rare for me! Kudos to the two talented ladies!
I'm thoroughly enjoying this series. Tris has grown up a lot in this book, finding herself in real love and friendship, relationships that are not based on being told what to believe or how to act. She also is grieving, hurting, angry, and passionate about her cause. I felt like she was more "human" than other characters in other books, because of how she acted/reacted to situations. Sometimes her anger blinded logic and sometimes her impulses created huge problems. Isn't that the human way? Acting too quickly creates chaos. Anyway, I enjoy this series and will be anxiously awaiting the next book!
I personally found this book to be my favorite in the series so far, and I think that's partially due to the expansion of views in the story. We hear from Jamie, Brie, and Roger frequently, which I thought was a breath of fresh air compared to only Claire's POV. I also felt the stress from miscommunications (or lack thereof), and the torture and heartache brought on from those errors. I don't want to give the plot away, but I thought all the characters were very "real" in their actions or reactions in this story. But, then again, I think they seem very real in all the books. Diana Gabaldon is a truly talented writer, and I enjoy her books so much. But, I honestly don't think I'd enjoy them as much if I were to read them. Davina Porter is an exceptional narrator! She brings this story to life and it's nearly a movie inside my own brain. I can picture things so clearly because of the way it's written and narrated. I've already downloaded the next book, completely prepared to give 55+ hrs of my life to Jamie and Claire again.
I gave this book six hours, and each hour felt extra long. The story was so boring, and the narrator didn't help. She was monotone and unemotional. I wasn't excited when it was exciting, nor did I feel the lust when there was some. It was just dull. I'm not entirely sure the book itself would be better, instead of audio, because many of the sentences seem to run on too long. There were also misplaced tangents of history, that were confusing and distracting. Overall, I just did not enjoy this book. I'll be returning it.
This was not my favorite in the series. In fact, I kept thinking "what is the purpose of this story?" It just didn't seem to "fit" with the other books. It felt like the author was struggling to find a good storyline to continue the series with. However, I still enjoyed Tavia Gilbert's narration, she is brilliant!
Parents, be warned!! This book series constantly involves kids going behind parents backs and participate in sex, drinking and even skipping classes. There is a fair amount of sex (talk AND participation), some drinking and skipping school. I realize it's "normal" in the high school era to be tempted by things like this, but these books do not hold back, which is why I am surprised they are YA (even if they are based in high school). Not only that, but the parents of these teenagers in this book are still barely involved in the kids lives, and the parents who are (Matthew, in this case) are comfortable with these kinds of decisions made by those he considers his own children. It's dangerous territory for young adults, in my opinion.
All that said...
I still enjoyed this series quite a bit, when I thought of it outside of the high school realm. The characters are built well, and I think they react in a "real" way when faced with tragedy, heartache and loss (real for high schoolers, especially... over reacting, high emotions and miscommunications). There is a lot of self discovery in this book; I appreciated how much Dee, Andrew and Ashley grew up.
I agree with another review I read about the ending. I was expecting this book to wrap up the series as well, and was quite surprised when it didn't! What a cliffhanger ending!! I am anxiously awaiting the next book, which I know will be a while.
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