Sherborn, MA, United States
Where is the confident, take no prisoners Scarpetta gone? Over the last 20 books she has steadily deteriorated. Readers want humanistic heroes, but Cornwell allows her character to slide more and more into the abyss of self-doubt. This novel does not hang together and does not move any of the people forward you care about (except Lucy – for once and only just barely).
The first half of the book goes into way to much autopsy detail and drags on and on and on and on and on. The court case backdrop was not believable; nor, did any real resolution happen in it or to the confrontations that were provoked by it. The story is just flat-out weak. The general theme of Marino screwing up has been done to death (pardon the pun). It would also be nice to see a little more communication between Scarpetta, Lucy and Benton – the non-communication theme has also been played out. Conrwell glosses over this breakdown with flimsy one line justifications. One the positive side, at least Lucy might start to finally catch a break.
If Cornwell wants to keep this series going, she needs to find more inspiration. A great case, a thrill of the chase, let’s get the characters outwardly focused instead of inspecting their own navels. Let Scarpetta and her characters kick some butt instead of having their butts kicked. C’mon Conrwell, Scarpetta deserves better than this!
The first half of this book is a wandering series of sentences with no plot or theme. It is absolutely dreadful. You are four hours into listening and you are thinking, "what the hell is this story about -- literally?" The second half of the book at least has a plot (of sorts). I am tempted to think that Davidson mailed this one in, she had half a novel -- the end -- and no way of getting to it, so she just rambled with retreaded early book one-liners till she had enough pages.
That being said, the second half of the novel was plausible if not disagreeable. Hated the ending, hated the premise of the ending, though Davidson had twisted the characters and motives in a way that well outside the bounds of the story-line well beyond a writers license to twist.
I have no idea how, if ever, she will recover from the disaster which is book 12. This is a train wreck and I would suggest you avoid it even if you read the whole series. Wait for book 13 if there is one and read them back to back with the hope that 13 will be a resurrection of sorts. I am not holding my breath.
The long anticipated book 8 of this epic did not disappoint. Its been a long time since I read her last and I have to say I missed her flowing prose and description. First the plot: in this book she opens and many plot lines as she closes down. One thing I am very satisfied with is her ability to eventually get around to bringing clarity and closure to early open questions. For example, she closes a question raised in book three -- this kind of attention to detail is commendable in a writer and Gabaldon certainly demonstrates her mastery in this work.
She introduces more characters and lines in this book than I though necessary and I would have liked a little more focus on Roger and Brie and Jamie and Claire shifting some of the attention from Lord John and William -- after all they have their own series. That being said, she still crafts characters that I love and she does it with such grace and art. Got to love Jenny and Rachel and Ean and Dottie. The dialog of plain English was exceptionally well done.
This book is something to be savored, I though Galbaldon showed more of the human side to Jamie and Claire (certainly how they are ageing) and I very much like they way she did. I've read some criticism about her history and timelines and only say to those critics it is historic romantic F-I-C-T-I-O-N and a great one at that.
Must listen to book eight. Must listen to the series. Her blog says she hasn't started on book 9 and hints that book 9 might be the last. It will be torture to wait another two years but it will be worth the wait. Davina Porter rocks it out of the park -- who else can do Claire?
Love the ending -- that all I'll say! Please listen to this series.
We want to learn something new about Stephanie, new about Ranger or Morelli. Yikes, the characters have turned into caricatures. I won't even bother to discuss the plot opening because you can pick any of the last 10 books, change the character names, pick a pedestrian crime of interest and viola you have this plot - yawn.
Evanovich spiced up the language in this book a bit which was okay and Lorelei Kind did a good job as usual doing Stephanie. But we HAVE to see some forward motion in this series. Wow, now I am interested how long she can keep this series going without conflict or content. Do something Evanovich; give Morelli a love interest that threatens Stephanie and has Step do something; bring Ranger and Morelli to blows; have Stephanie move in with Ranger just to get him out of her system -- anything to stop the boredom.
At this point, this series is car wreck -- you can't look away. Only listen if you must; otherwise pass. By the way, the movie "One for the Money" didn't help.
This short story fits in very nicely with the entire series. The story centers around one of the prime players -- Eve Levine. Armstrong adds to her depth while creating the instant tension needed in a short story. The action is secondary to what you learn about Eve in particular; there is no romance. If you are reading the series, this is a definite must listen. I do not recommend you listen if you have not read the entire series; which or I should say witch is well worth your while.
A good short story opens in the middle of action, this one did but the action was uninteresting. Originally published in a magazine, I found the premise reasonably but the character utterly unbelievable. Weiner did not convince me that Mrs. Piper DeWitt is believable. She failed to make her argument and to create any sort of conflict or tension. The 1 hour and 11 minutes were a meandering and rumination that is best left unread or in this case un-listened. The only bright spot was the narrator. Save the credit and look elsewhere.
This is the story of Ambassador Dodd and his appointment to Germany in the early thirties to Hitler's Germany; his appointment lasted lasted four years. Although there is a family of four: Dodd his wife and two adult children; the story centers around Ambassador Dodd and his daughter Martha (24). I am of two minds in this story: 1) I admire what Ambassador Dodd did; how he approached problems; I was able to connect with his thinking; and 2) I did not think much of his daughter. I recognize Dodd's great difficulties and appreciate the way he dealt with those difficulties. Had men like Dodd been listened to by out administration, instead of filtered by the "Old Boy Club" in the state department, perhaps there might have been a different outcome. Although, if the prevailing sentiment in US was indeed as portrayed, then perhaps he was just a "poop player full of sound and fury signifying nothing."
His daughter Martha however is a completely different story. It appears she slept with every man she met, our allies, our enemies, any man that crossed her path. There were so many trysts that I became desensitized -- an eclectic woman with even more eclectic views. What tragic historical figures her and her brother ultimately become and in such contrast to her fathers contributions.
I enjoyed the book but I think there are better works out there. The "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer is a great read back by primary documents which is excellent. If you'd like a more fictionalized account of WWII: I suggest the "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" by Herman Woulk (one of my all time favorite reads). The Woulk novels are long and even the TV series spans many DVDs.
On the whole, I think this is worth the listen but think of it as a back-story.
This book is a solid introduction to fiction writing. I listen to as many as 5-7 fiction novels a month and so I like to read about the mechanics of fiction; how they are assembled; what makes them work; what keeps a reader interested. There are definitely commonality in theory across genres. Overall, this novel does do a fair job at providing that overview. However, I think a much better, more detailed and exceptional book is "The Hero's Journey" written by the late Joseph Campbell and popularized recently by Christopher Vogler in the "Hero's Journey." I highly recommend these two works as they are an excellent complement to this work but provide a clear framework.
This is a short listen and for that I recommend it, especially because Lorelei Kind narrates. She is one of my most favorite readers. I would have graded to book lower hadn't it been for her familiar voice. So read this if you want a taste for theory this book, Vogler if you want clear formula and Campbell if you want mega knowledge.
This short book was recommended by a friend who has impeccable taste. I was a little unsure, but a recommendation from her is worth a great deal. The bottom-line, this book is fantastic!
This is a story told first person in question and answer mode from an autistic 13-year-old's POV. He is able to communicate via an alphabet glyph enabled computer and has written this book. He answers many questions and pries your heart open to the autistic community. He answers many questions, including why he jumps (name of the book). This is a very short listen and will change your perceptions and challenge what you've been told. I am sure parents are immersed in literature already; but, for the person who knows little this is eye opening. I give it my highest recommendation.
Robie and Reel are back in this third thriller from Balacci. Book three starts of with Robie and Reel dealing with the aftermath of their actions in book two. Suffice to say there are some in the CIA that want Reel dead and other that hold her in respect for her actions. With this as a backdrop "The Target" really starts to follow two seemingly separate story lines. You learn quite a bit more about Jessica in this novel and you have cameo appearances from Julie.
The plot is tight and engaging and it moves quickly. I found this novel Baldacci let Reel and Robie be a little more cerebral to offset their the CIA hitman persona that we saw in book two. Jessica has been a fantastic addition to the story line in these lat two novels.
This novel has wide appeal to thriller readers and should be on the reading list. You can read it as the first one so it is accessible. However, I would suggest you read the series starting at book 1. I give this novel a bit thumbs.
I always don't read anything about a Coben book before I start into it. One of the best things about this author is he ability to build the suspense early by opening just the right amount of questions. I liken Coben to a magician, a magician used diversion to astonish the audience. So too, in all Coben books, you think the story is going in one direction and then it goes in another. You think, wow, he has given away a too much in foreshadow only to be wrong only a few chapters ahead.
This is a story about a woman, a cop, and her murdered father who-dun-it. That's where the pedestrian plot end. I recommend to anyone from a later teen onward. You will be enthralled. I just can't give away any of it because you have to experience it for yourself.
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