The first half of the first book in this series was excellent. It goes downhill from there. I think I am through with this author. I kept hoping to see more of what I really liked in Dragon Bound but I think she put her best first and now it's a real stretch.
It gets 2 stars because, technically, the writing is very good. The author has good pace, nice balance between narrative and dialogue and it is a well constructed story. But that's where it ends.
I just didn't care for the characters. Khalil was interesting -- but it was a little strange that he was a "spirit" who had never made himself into a human. Grace was awful. At one point in the book, she complains about volunteers who help her do yard work (no, it doesn't excuse it because she thinks to herself that she might be ungrateful for complaining).
In the big scheme of things, raising your sister's kids is not that big of a deal -- I know many people who are raising their sister/brother/child's kids and consider it a privilege.
I really don't understand why Grace couldn't get a job...?? Because she had a bum knee from a car accident? I worked as a single mom. I didn't complain and I didn't expect people to show up and do my yard work for free. And if they had, I sure as heck would not have grumbled about them not working hard enough. Geez!
It was a boring story about selfish characters.
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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