I appreciate a GOOD story about an alpha male -- even as a feminist -- but these "alpha" males, who practice BDSM with each other, drive tricked out SUVs with limo tinted glass, listen to hardcore rap music (which demeans women and glorifies useless violence) and call each other "brother" every other word, are totally NOT hot.
* Terrible plot, terrible writing and awful-terrible dialog. "You feelin' me, brother?"
* Whipping each other (these guys are supposedly the kind of friends who would die for each other -- and we're told a thousand times they're "brothas") for a "punishment" that is supposedly deserved. The crime? He let a girl stay in his room. (Gasp!) But somehow it's all okay for them to whip their "brotha" because "they HAD to do it" and were supposedly really sad about having to do it. They all wear black hooded robes to the whipping ceremony....blah, blah. GROSS! Some people might really get off on this BDSM -- blood, physical pain and violence -- but in my book that is NOT romance.
* Weak willed women and even weaker "brothas" who are ruled by a heartless god who's made an edict that they will be punished (think barbed whips and beastly possession) if they dare to ask questions. ("Why can't they ask their god questions?" One might ask. But that's not something the author tells us -- she might be punishing us for daring to think a question.)
* Bad narrator (but there is only so much a narrator can do with a crappy story).
* A literal Dues ex machina (truly -- a black-robed god in the last chapter to make everything tie up neatly).
* Their god is this all-powerful woman -- well, if she's all powerful, then why does she need them? And she's a cruel being -- I'd find someway to kill her, not serve her. But these "alpha" males just lope along and jump at her every command.
* Total confusion on what the conflict is...what do these "brothas" do? (Besides sit around and whip each other.) What's their purpose? And what is driving the supposed bad guys in the story? The author doesn't even attempt an explanation at why they hate the vampires. And where does all of the money come from? Between the whippings, the constant workouts, the occasional fight and the commiserating with each other -- just who is out earning the dough to pay for their weapons, special facility, designer clothes, and the junked up SUVs?
* Incredible that the author thinks someone in late stage cancer -- apparently days from dying -- is feeling good enough to have several bouts of active sex. Really? Come on! Spend some time in an oncology ward and see how much energy those poor people have. Barely enough to go to the bathroom on their own, if they're lucky, let alone have great sex with a vampire. Lord!
* I got it on sale. But I still feel cheated because I can't get those hours spent listening back. I'd pay good money to recoup my time!
Hopefully, this review might save you from making the mistake I did.
Happy reading! (Though I wouldn't look for it in this book.)
Well crafted story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing right to the very end. I loved it. One of the best in the series.
I enjoyed this book mostly because of the characters -- they were real, with flaws and strengths. The writing was smart and I found myself really caring about what happened to the characters.
The story was also interesting - for me it was unique, having only read a few stories with Jin and Golems, so the world was still newish for me.
The pace was decent - a tad slow in parts - and the author's writing style is smart. She uses dialog between characters to build the story, which I think always makes for a better read.
I'm looking forward to the next installment (I hope there is one...)
Reminded me a little of Still Life with Crows, maybe because it featured Corrie. Preston & Child do an excellent job of weaving the story, making it fast-paced and exciting. I found the Doyle/Holmes angle different and interesting.
There were a couple of twists and turns that I did not expect! (As usual.)
I would have liked to have heard more about Constance and his son(s???) but that's a minor complaint.
I stayed up most of the night to finish it, it was that good. If you're a fan of the series you won't be disappointed. If you haven't read any in this series, I envy you! Start at the beginning and enjoy...
The narrator was excellent, but the book dragged, maybe because he read it slow. But had he not been so good with proper emphasis and great tone, I wouldn't have made it as far as I did.
The story is uber-boring. Even before he has met her, he's willing to sacrifice his life and his "team's" life for her. Really? He was supposed to be a hardened mercenary, not a naive young man or an idiot. It just was not believable. And I didn't see anything special about her or what she did for him.
The pace was super slow....it took hours just to describe a scene that in the book lasted for maybe 30 minutes. Way too much inner dialog; not enough real dialog between the characters.
Repetitive, repetitive, repetitive questioning by her about him...please! He had just risked his life to save her and she's sitting there suspecting that he is going to kill her. Makes no sense! Either the author had to fill up space or the heroine was really dumb.
I haven't read any other works by this author and I don't think I will -- just isn't my style.
This novel could easily be read as a stand alone. I have read most of the Cynster novels and think they are good - some better than others - but this one is my favorite. Her characters are always strong and domineering, but she pairs them with strong and independent women and she creates very credible tensions with real relationship issues to sort through.
Her technical writing skills are superb. My only (very minor) complaint is that her love scenes go for a long, long time. I just skip forward a few minutes to cut out some of it.
The narration on this novel was excellent. He's not the same one who did most of the Cynster novels, which was fine with me. I think since this is a different series (even though there are some appearances by some Cynsters) a new voice makes sense and he did a great job.
Highly recommend this novel, even if you haven't ever read anything by this author before. But, be forewarned, she does write fairly explicit love scenes and this is first and foremost, a romance.
i enjoyed the lead character in this book. She was flawed and interesting. Nice, quality writing paired with a good 'who done it' and some interesting relationships mixed in. It's not your typical factory novel, but it still has some predictable paths, which was just fine for me. A good read to pass the time while cleaning the house or driving to work.
And the narration was top notch - very well done.
You have got to write more books, or longer books. It's too hard to wait in-between.
I loved this book. I loved your last book, and the one before that... but they are too short! It's like having to end dinner at the restaurant after they've given you your appetizer.
So, please, please write more. I'll come do your dishes if it means you could spend more time writing.
For all listeners...if you are undecided or have never heard of this author, get the book. It's excellent and you won't be disappointed. Crais' novels appeal to readers of many different genres - thrillers, murder/mystery, human interest, crime drama, spy novels, romance, etc.
Technically, the book is flawlessly written. And Crais has a rare talent for timing, dialog and internal narration that keeps the story moving and keeps the reader hooked. His characters are honorable and flawed and you end up caring about them greatly - this is hard to do, and just about no one does it as well as Crais.
Excellent book, excellent author -- he just needs to write MORE, please! :)
(And please write more with Joe Pike - he's my fav.)
I recently discovered this author duo. I picked up the series with 'Still Life with Crows,' though I skipped 'Cemetery Dance' (can't tolerate animal cruelty) based on what reviewers said.
I especially like how smart the writing is and the unexpected twists and turns. The protagonist seems to pull off Rambo-like feats, but without the "Rambo" cliche. He has faults and makes mistakes, but credibly still manages to triumph -- and he does it with true honor.
The secondary characters are very well developed and provide great color to the stories.
This particular installment is excellent! Though the Helen trilogy books are my favorites. I think you could pick this one up and read it as a stand alone, but it would probably be more meaningful if you went back to at least 'Still Life with Crows.'
The narrator is absolutely excellent. In a rare class.
I am a huge fan of Dan Ariely. I have read his previous two books (predictably irrational) multiple times and recommended them to friends and co-workers. And he continues that same work in this book by describing the experiments he's done that deal mostly with honesty. Many of the experiments are repeats from what he has described in previous books -- which was okay with me, because I like to hear about them again.
If he had stuck with the same format as his previous books and described his clinical work only, that would have been best. But, he goes on to offer explanations of why he thinks people are dishonest and of course, none of that can be supported with any evidence.
And he makes some pretty big leaps to conclusions on why people do what they do in the experiments he conducts. It's one thing to measure the outcome, but his conclusions (while put forth as speculation) are not based on anything but his own reasoning and logic. Which may turn out to be true, but the fact is there is no way (at this time) to determine the "why" and just because that's what he thinks does not make it so.
(ie - the sun rises around the same time each morning. Good, we've established this as a fact. Now, for the why...well because it's driven by a god in a charriot, of course. At least that's what some people believed thousands of years ago, but that didn't make it true.)
We have no way of knowing why people cheat and lie. Yes, he can measure that we do and that it gets worse or better under different conditions, but it's a big, big leap from that place to saying they do it because of X. There is no way to know X. At least not at this time. So he shouldn't speculate -- even when he doesn't state it as a fact it still comes off as if he's sure he's got the right answer for the why.
I wanted to like this book. Really tried. The writing is strong and fluid with a good mix of dialog and narrative. But the story and the characters were just...boring. No spark, no surprise, no conflict. Even the threat from the bad guys was ho-hum. You could see from the beginning how the book would end. Predictable. I give it 2.5 stars and have to round up.
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