The mystery was compelling, plenty of clues and twists and an interesting setting.
However the characters were not very engaging, I didn't care a jot for the main character's love interest and for some reason the narrator chose to give the main character a voice more suited to a simpleminded, aristocratic idler.
Deanna Raybourn's strength as an author lies in creating such an atmosphere in her books, that the descriptions transport the reader to places with such richness and depth it's always a pleasure to dwell amongst colourful and unique characters.
However this time it was not enough to compensate for the authors greatest weakness - romance which has all the maturity of the Twilight series. In every book I have read by Deanna Rayburn the relationship dynamic is always the same - a seemly independent female falls in love with the strong male who "loves" her so much that he belittles, lies to her and generally treats her like a child (in this book Gabriel does in fact call Evangeline "child" several times) all for her own good, of course... Token displays of initiative by the female lead (which inevitably end badly) and some good come-backs are not enough to make this toxic relationship seem either interesting or romantic.
The reason it was particularly galling in City of Jasmine was because of the lack of narrative. The plot is very threadbare and the characters are simply thrown together with only brief and ultimately meaningless periods of action to relieve the constant bickering.
I will keep buying Deanna Raybourn's books because of her strengths and because her narratives are usually far better but I for one am sick to death of this type of relationship not only from this author but in the genre in general and I am constantly hoping for something more.
This book is exactly as advertised (for once). Nox Dormienda is in same line as other ancient mystery series but with a unique noir format. The world building, plot and characters were all excellent and it was evident that the author was thorough in his research. The only drawback was the romance which would even make a soap opera fan cringe but mercifully only occupied a small portion of the story. Definitely worth a credit and as soon as the next in the series is available on audible (The Curse-Maker) I'm buying.
Yet another book premise which appeals to entirely the wrong audience.
The main flaw (among many) in this book was the main character. Rosalind was such a doe eyed innocent it's hard to believe she didn't' die of fright when looking at her own shadow. Yet we are somehow supposed to believe she leaves her farm, family and small town to move to Chicago to investigate her sisters disappearance? It is baffling that the author decided to make her 23 years old (the author gives no reason why she had not married), if the author had simply made her 16 it would have made her timid, naïve, girlish behaviour more understandable (though not more likeable).
It took the author almost 15 minutes to describe; Rosalind taking up a tea tray to her mistress then exchanging a few greetings with a male member to the household, after which she had to lean against a wall and breath just to get over the stress.
The logical inconsistencies in this book kept piling up such as how Rosalind expected to find her sister and how she obtained a job in the household in the first place being an inexperienced milk maid. There were also some editing mistakes such as one of the main characters being introduced twice.
I recommend to anyone thinking of buying this book to have a look at some of the other titles the author has written (as I should have done) - if Christian fiction appeals to you then enjoy this book.
The story begins with a pointless party to celebrate (of course) Rei and continues on its journey to banality.
The writer describes everything in detail but instead of creating an atmosphere or depth it merely acts as clunky and unnecessary exposition. Such as Rei's shopping trip to get rainclothes, what rainclothes, where she got them, why she bought those particular rainboots and how she wrote it off as an expense,
The actual plot however; (Rei's mission, her career background or any interesting historical context regarding the artefact), is vague, glossed over or omitted entirely. There are also major plot points that do not make any logical sense. and character interactions and motives that are implausible. The writer also appears to have gotten all her information regarding history and archaeology from Wikipedia which is a huge disappointment
Rei is a uninteresting and shallow character with no redeeming qualities and certain actions she takes make her even more detestable. But then there are no interesting, likable or believable characters in the entire book so she is in good company.
Loved this book but after reading some of the reviews on goodreads I though I'd make it clear - it's a comedy, not a murder mystery, if you don't like parodies where everyone refers to each other as "me old banana sandwich" etc you won't like the book.
In short; listen to the preview as the book is more of the same - funny characters, inventive dialog, solid (if simple) plot.
A perfect example of the hardboiled detective novel that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. The characters are real and interesting each with their own agendas and the story is intriguing right up to the last page. Although a serious novel it is not so gritty that lovers of the cosy mysteries cannot enjoy.
The reader is good but mispronounces words so often, hence the four stars. However he is such a perfect choice for the voice Cyrus Skeen it becomes a minor gripe.
This book is a YA mystery and I would normally go near YA books (I don't know why I was expecting otherwise considering the protagonist is a teenage girl but for some reason I did) but glad I made that mistake. I felt for the characters, it was a great depiction of the period, the narrator was a perfect choice for the character and the mystery kept you guessing.
There are some definite YA characteristics however such as the main characters tendency to make assumptions and leap to hasty conclusions, some high school drama etc - in other words she acts like a typical teenager so no surprises there, but I still managed to like her.
Recommend to anyone who likes cosy mystery series or period mysteries.
Before buying this book I saw a review describing this book as a "coffee table book" and I cannot think of a better way of describing it. It is no historical thesis; it jumps from topic to topic in time and place - but as long as that's what your expecting it is enjoyable. It is filled with interesting historical and anthropological facts and is an excellent commuters companion.
I am a fan of the genre but hesitated to pick up this book because of the bad reviews on goodreads - and they were unfortunately correct.
Each small piece of the puzzle was revealed to the audience long before the main character slowly and agonizingly groped his way to the truth. The characters lacked any kind of chemistry, in fact the romance was so forced it was nearly unbearable, making it all the more perplexing since it was completely unnecessary to the story unless it was a failed attempt by the author to raise the stakes. The depiction of the period was nonexistent, where it not for the occasional reference to a tricorn hat I would have forgotten where and when the book was set.
The narrator was good overall except for some instances where the main female character actually showed some backbone - "spoken through her teeth" somehow translated to annoying whine.
This book is number 8 in the Dr Steven Dunbar series, this is absolutely not an archeological mystery (as I had thought when buying this book) nor does the book focus on history at all.
Despite being mislead by the premise I did end up liking the series which is about a specialist detective who investigates science-related crimes usually involving a conspiracy or two.
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