Ive read most of the Pendergast series and picked this up on a whim. I really cant see why everyone is making such a giant fuss about it, I thought it was decent and completely in line with what P & C have offered up before. I suspended my rational senses several times throughout the Pendergast series (especially the first one), and I didnt really see that this one asked much more of me. Its not perfect by any means, and Gideon isnt exactly the most personable of characters, but I enjoyed it. I guess if youre expecting more Pendergast than youre in for a disappointment, because clearly hes not in it.
This is a spoiler free review. First of all I have to give this book its just dues based on the fact that I have listened to it non-stop with the exception of two nights of sleep and a few bouts of work. This had me hooked from the beginning, though I felt a distinct alteration in my attention based on the three parts that the book is divided into. At first I was hesitant, though hesitantly hooked, as the marriage of Nick and Amy began to slowly reveal itself through the very opposite points of view of said parties. They have a marriage much like everyone else in which no one is a saint and everyone is certainly suspect when the he-said she-said thing starts playing out. The giant mystery unfolds itself pretty early on, but those few and far between gems that suddenly drop the floor out from the story and get you chomping for the truth are sparse at first. I did think to myself at one point that I was a bit tired of hearing the run of the mill American love story gone bad, but the ever-growing divide in the alternate narrator's stories had me deeply invested. And after the true crime dramas that have played out over tabloids and news channels in the past decade I found the increasingly incriminating nature of the first part deliciously devious. Someone seriously, seriously messed up, but by now everyone had started to look guilty. Part two came with a sudden and almost violent shift of the gears. I was enthralled, I was enraged, and I was loving every moment of the reveal, but here in the book is where things got slightly out of hand and somewhat unbelievable to me. Where I had taken the characters at face value and believed the author's every word I found myself questioning the reality and suspending disbelief more than I had in part one. What kept me grounded was the other characters and the giant question of how in the world this was going to wrap up. Part three offers the final resolution to a story that has to end with the biggest possible bang ever. No matter what happened the ending had to be awesome, and no, it couldn't end in that way, the slightly disappointing way, the way that it kind of had to end, the way that seemed obvious....but it did. I wasn't angry, and I don't even think I was let down, but I had seen this ending as a possibility early on and thought, "nah, Flynn has something awesome up her sleeve!" But alas.... Besides these few minor moments of disappointment the book really did deliver a whirlwind of a story that had me possessed, and I found the narration to be superb except for the occasional weirdness that came of the female narrator' version of men's voices.
I bought this just yesterday looking for something light and fun to listen to and I was not disappointed. My only hesitation had been that the eleven year old heroine might be a bit childish, but I was very surprised to discover that I liked the intelligent tomboyish Flavia immensely. She is a precocious, mischievous little Sherlock Holmes who never once lost my attention. The stodgy English backdrop to this little mystery is full of wonderful characters that flesh out the scene and give life to Flavia's world. The mystery is reminiscent of a Holmes scenario and it too had me itching to get back to the audio book as soon as I woke up this morning. It's a very intelligent story full of interesting chemistry tid-bits and historical references that made me feel as if I'd found a delightful juvenile detective series on BBC to lose myself in for a bit. And I found the narration to be superb! I listened to the sample as a few reviews suggested and never once found Entwistle to disappoint. Im downloading the second book now without hesitation!
Ok first of all, Jeremy Irons. Is. A. God. I would listen to him narrate the phone book to me, and not just because he's Jeremy Irons, but because he really and truly brings this book to life and I know he would make every name in the yellow pages ring with significance and meaning until I cried with the beauty of it all. His every intake of breath is part of the story, every pause is there for a reason, every single syllable is spoken in just the perfect way to put you inside poor Humbert Humbert's sad mind until you start mentally narrating your routine daily life with the same sinister intonations. I honestly believe Irons' narration is superior to his performance in Lolita the film because here you get frontal lobe seats to the nymphet obsessed HH just as Nabokov intended. Second, the story is, and has always been, one of my favorites. Its perversely delightful. All the wrong things happen in this story, and yet Nabokav does it with so much wit and frank honesty that you cant help but laugh out loud as HH details the seedy depths of his intentions and secret dreams. The writing is extraordinary!!! Nabokov submerges you in his prose and takes you to the intimate depths of a world where a pervert's fantasy becomes reality. This is truly a gritty experience that leaves you dusty from sitting between HH and Lola on their cross-country motel spree.
When someone described this as the Da Vinci Code without all the action they hit the nail on the head. It starts off great and had me interested instantly. A young girl discovers an unusual book in her father's library and begins unraveling a mystery that spans the globe and dates back to the days when impaling one's minions was all the rage. There is a ton of travel, a wealth of brilliant accents, and a lot of suspense at the core of it all. The lack of action wasn't necessarily a detriment to the experience, but I kept chuckling to myself as the "action" parts unfurled: there's the eerie moment in the library, the edge-of-your-seat thriller that occurs while someone works on their master's thesis, a high-stakes confrontation by the card catalog, the man lurking in the shadows of a monastery, and of course, the evil librarian!!!! Its as high-octane as you can imagine the library can possibly get. And yes, the evil librarian does exist, is actually referred to as such, and he poses most of the threat for a good amount of the book. What I enjoyed about the book most was the characters; they're fully fleshed out interesting people that you grow to care for. This more than anything got me to the end. The details and the historical background in the story are no small feats to overcome; I spaced out on a large chunk of them more than once, though it didn't leave me guessing as to what was going on at any time. My only real complaint is Dracula. He's the orginal un-dead, the artist formerly known as Vlad the Impaler!! but man he's kind of wimpy in this. I wasn't expecting a campy Van Helsing showdown or fisticuffs, it just seems like Dracula and his dark forces do a lot of hiding around corners, watching from across the piazza, or more often than not, hanging out by the card catalog. When someone gets too close to the truth they rearrange all the cards and make it impossible for you to find the text book you need!!! Drat!!! No, I'm kidding about that last part, but there really are card catalog show-downs in this baby, so brace yourself. Despite this minor point I do recommend it for the lovers of thickly detailed books. Maybe better for long trips and hospital stays, I myself stuck with it through a bout of manual labor as ordered by a judge from the state of Ohio. Kidding!!
She fits the main character very nicely and rounds her out as a street-smart girl of the appropriate age. Only once in a while does she go over the top and make it a bit cheesy.
All in all I listened to this start to finish with few breaks in between. It definitely had me hooked.
I skipped the first book of the series and went into this one instead. As criminal mysteries go it was pretty good. The gruesome murder had me hooked right away and guessing all the time as to who had done it. The police work was mostly believable, though a few minor parts seemed unlikely to happen in the real world. There were some very interesting plot lines merging together to keep me hanging by every word, but in the end I was disappointed by the whole
Do you ever get deep into an audio book and find yourself loving everything, only to find yourself abandoning it later? Well that was this for me. I loved the characters, I loved the narration, I loved the story, then towards the middle it got bland and boring, then it only got worse, and finally I just didnt care anymore. I got probably 3/4 of the way through it before I finally admitted I was done. I think the story just loses its focus in the middle and then unravels from there.The main character is enjoyable though, and that might be this book's only saving grace.
Not bad but I never finished it. I just kind of didnt care anymore. And by not finish I mean I abandoned it with only an hour or so to go. I think I had kind of figured it out on my own and that was good enough for me. So, good story but not compelling enough to finish....?
There's no deviation in this book from the excellence of the series, and if anything it has more moments of shocking revelation than the first two. Go downlaod now!
I loved Game of Thrones and this is more of the same excellent storytelling by both author and narrator. If you love the characters by now and are consumed with what happens next, rest assured that Martin pulls out all the stops and thrills his readers as the story goes on. It starts a bit slow because new characters and story arcs are added, but since book one left more than a few burning questions unanswered Martin holds his readers at bay just long enough to get you foaming at the mouth to know what happened to Arya and the rest. This one has stome heart-stopping moments that will leave you wanting more.
I feel like the only person passing negative judgement on this book, because what drove me to purchase it was the pages and pages of glowing reviews. I was instantly drawn into the story though I have to admit King's narration was a bit nasally-whine-old-manish and that didnt really align with how I saw the characters, but either way I kept telling myself that I was in for a thrill ride. There were so many mysteries racking up and then King dropped the Rebecca reference in and I was chomping at the bit to get to the meat of it all. He spoke of Manderley and I was instantly transported back to DuMaurier's spooky novel that has always been one of my faves. And then there was more of the same, and more of the same, and I found myself checking to see if I'd somehow skipped back by accident. Hadn't I heard this part before? Could I really be six hours into the book and still nothing new had happened? I listened and listened and tensed for that edge of my seat moment to happen, and I was so invested that when I finally found myself checking the chapters once again to see if I had somehow rewound by accident I nearly threw my ipod across the room. I gave it up and read the rest on wikipedia just to see if anything ever actually happened. I really feel as if it was a waste of time.
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