East Coast, Canada | Member Since 2007
I wanted to read the Bosch series from the start so I picked this up. It was nicely paced and the characters were believable.
The twist in the story was a bit predictable and the IAD investigation which fills a large part of the storyline is not really explained/justified and I finished the book still unclear as to why Bosch is so "bad" that he needed to be investigated.
I didn't really enjoy the military sub-storyline (it wasn't quite political but had a tinge of politics), and don't understand the antagonist's motivations even though they are spelled out at the end.
The narration is good.
I'll read the next in the series because I suspect Bosch will turn into a very interesting character.
I didn't know what to expect when I started this book. It seemed from the write up that it would have a very heavy supernatural bend to it. It does, but it doesn't at the same time. Hard to explain, but the world, the characters, and their motivations and behaviours do not feel supernatural, even if their existence is (this is a good thing, by the way). The "bad guys" are varied and supernatural in nature, but their actions are realistic, and how they are dealt with is believable.
The background/history of the characters and the world and how they got to where they are was really well-doled out/paced. We aren't subjected to lectures or long histories, but little snapshots of the past just in time to stretch out some suspense or fill a gap. There is a fairly consistent sense of humour throughout which actually comes across quite well as it fleshes out the main character, and certainly makes him more likeable.
There is an oddly placed fairly detailed erotic scene as we get close to the end of the novel. Not sure why this scene was so far into the story, nor why it was so detailed when other similar scenes were more cursory in nature. It was a well-done scene, just so much more detailed than other scenes that it felt more like it was fulfilling a specific requirement for X pages of erotica, instead of progressing the story.
I think the story ended at a logical point, but it isn't really resolved... and it doesn't feel like justice was properly served (but, then again, there wasn't a huge 'wrong' to be righted here, just a general sense that immortals are bad and should be removed). It seems clear that there are more books planned for this series; I would certainly read them.
When I first started the book, I thought the choice of a female narrator was a bit odd since the main character is male. That being said, however, she does an excellent job, and you can tell each of the characters apart easily; no exaggeration... she really does a terrific job, but it was still a bit odd when the narrator made a reference to being male (particularly in reference to sexual activities).
There are some sex scenes, but they are not particularly graphic. There is some non-graphic violence and I don't recall any foul language.
This warning is probably too late but... if you haven't yet started this series (it was released in 3 parts), DON'T!!! Save your time and money.
Episode one was the only installment even worth the paper it was printed on - and its plot just stopped mid-scene. Book two was full of abnormally (and inconsistently) behaving characters and had a distinct Jurassic Park feel to it. This book - Episode 3 - is bad. Plain and simple.
The biggest issue with Episode 3 is that the characters do not behave normally, at all. For example: they are told, specifically and directly, that if they do X, then people will die... so, what happens?? they go ahead and DO X. Then (yes, seriously) in the NEXT scene, after two people died from their first stupid ignoring of instructions, they DO IT AGAIN.... and guess what... more people die!!! wow... what a surprise... If you have the only potential cure for humankind, are you going to go wading through hordes of infected, 30 minutes after you just lost two of your party to the infected? No... I didn't think so...
That, and the 'bad guy' (added to the story at the last minute) was ridiculous and gave the book the same feel as some very trashy low-brow zombie novels out there.
Anything redeeming in this book??? hmmm... the epilogue... was probably the only part worth reading after the first half of the first episode. And no, I am not exaggerating. The underlying story might have been half decent, if only the characters didn't behave like imbeciles.
It is not graphic or gory and there is no sex. The narration is good.
This is a strong sci-fi/alternative future/fantasy novel. If you have read any of Hamilton's works before, you will find this one has exactly the same style, tone and pacing as his other works... if you didn't like his style, tone or pacing in other books he has written, you won't like this one either.
For those of you who haven't read Hamilton before - his books are THICK. The science is relatively detailed (but not hard-core), the plot is divided into 'threads' that start off completely unconnected but tie together at the end, and there are a LOT of characters to keep track of. Sometimes this disconnected thread approach might cause you to get lost... and sometimes there is just a bit too much time spent on side-stories (in this case: the alternative sexual/relationship possibilities of the future). But these side stories do fill out the space-opera requirements, and give the reader a fuller sense of the world/reality being built.
I actually quite liked the 'fantasy' component of the novel. I thought it was, in many ways, more interesting than the 'sci-fi' part since it was a single storyline, not the multi thread line of the 'real' world story. Again, though, all these threads do come together in the end, but you have to get through probably more than half of the book before you can see the potential connections. There is just a smidge of moralizing but it is short and dispersed throughout the story so it doesn't become too annoying.
I will read the rest of the series, and probably any other books Hamilton comes out with as well. His stories are strong, his characters distinct, and the science/potential is very believable. The only thing that would make his books a bit more enjoyable would be the cutting back of about 100 pages of side-story filler - this would increase the pacing a bit, and I don't think we would miss out on much if we didn't get to hear about what people wear in Hamilton's worlds.
The narration is very good. There is occasional swearing, but there is no gore or graphic sex (though there is an exploration of mature alternative sexual activities). Oh, and keep in mind it is a trilogy so the story isn't wrapped up here; the cliffhanger is somewhat mild, but you will probably have to get the next book in the series if you like full resolutions.
I don't know why so many people say this book is funny - I didn't find it to be particularly funny (and yes I do have a sense of humour). I will admit, however, that it is light and fluffy, so maybe that is what makes it funny? dunno... but there certainly weren't any moments that made me giggle, nor did I notice any moments where I thought the author was aiming for funny and missed...
It is a fast read, and it's not very deep, but you wouldn't be reading Harper for a deep novel anyway, would you. The mystery is just entertaining enough that you kinda wonder who the bad guy is, but mostly the story is about the main character's personal life/growth so the bad guy - and the entire 'suspense' thread - is mostly irrelevant.
I almost felt there was a problem with the time-component of the story. The vampire is staying for one week, then two, but we're told 'several' days pass a couple times, so I am not sure if they fell in love in 3 days, or in 9. Either way, it is a rapid about face for an ancient vampire. But, to be fair, these books assume 'true love' will happen nearly immediately - that is one of the reasons people buy them, for the romance (or soft-porn as the case may be).
In this case, there are no graphic details (but they do have a bit of semi-detailed sex), and it is not gory. Really, it is a lighthearted vampire romance novel with a tiny bit of non-romantic suspense to it. I would read more by Harper, but only if I wanted some brain-fluff. The narration is very good.
I liked the first one enough that I bought this one, even though I was a bit annoyed at the way the first one ended (it was stopped mid-scene, with no form of resolution for the story, as if book one and book two were one book chopped in half).
This one does manage to resolve its own story (i.e. the story that this book is about is ended), but the overarching storyline started in book one is carried on to book three. I am okay with this because I expect there to be some loose ends in the middle book of a series and the resolution of this book's story was satisfactory (I don't mean, in any sense, that this is a good story, it is just a resolved one).
And that brings me to the story itself. This is Jurassic Park. Almost exactly - 'cept without the excitement or good writing.
The characters are not fully rational (sometimes they act in ways that no normal person would in the same circumstances), and they are not consistent in how they behave (they behave one way at the start of the story but at the end they act in ways completely contrary to how they began).
As an action adventure it was barely okay... too reminscent of other jungle adventure gone awry stories, wishy-washy characterization, and no suspense or significant development of the main story line of the trilogy.
I had already bought the 3rd book in the series (and you kinda have to if you want to know what happened with the parasite), but if I had known how the story was going to progress (or not as in this case), I would not have started this series in the first place. The narration is good, but... the story is so lame that even good narration couldn't infuse any excitement.
Pretty straight forward non-gory, non-noir fantasy novel. It isn't necessarily written for young adults, but it could be read by them as it is pretty tame (no foul language, no graphic anything).
There is definitely a moral to the story (being an outsider, definition of family), but it is relatively subtle and didn't make me roll my eyes.
The race(s) are pretty interesting, and very well created. It seemed believable that such a world of creatures could exist and the dynamics between the species also made sense. Even the "bad guys" were a logical extension of the world's species, and their behavior was believable.
I quite enjoyed the story, even though it was a bit slower-paced - and lot less dark - than my usual fare. There is a lot of world and character building and the only part of this that was a bit on the weak side was the 'romantic' component(s). This romance was required by the story, but the angst between the love interests was told, not shown, and had little tension or "oh no" sense to it.
The narration was good and I did buy the next in the series from Audible.
I enjoyed the story while reading it: nicely complex, believable character behavior (well, as long as we exclude the female character, she was odd), and a reasonable bad-guy.
The problem I had with it is that 2 days after reading it I couldn't really remember/distinguish the plot. I read a lot of books of this type - this book, while a sound and interesting read while reading it, did not have that 'thing' that makes the story and/or the characters stick in your mind. Oddly enough, it was only the main character's name that allowed me to recall how this book was different than the other thriller-terrorism books I read.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing though - I don't really expect these types of novels to have some deeper meaning that sticks with me afterward.
The part I liked best was that even though the characters are 'super soldiers', they didn't come across as unbelievable or smarmy, and the novel as a whole doesn't waste time with lectures or morals re terrorism, or the military, and etc. There was a tad too much, err, we'll call it 'interest' in motorcycles - they are described the way most authors describe women. And the only female character here did not ring true on any level. She wasn`t written like the simpering bimbo most women in these types of novels are, but it felt like the author was trying too hard to make her come across as 'strong' even though he wrote her based on stereotypes.
Anyway, she isn't significant to the story. Nor is the stereotype 'buddy' who gets called in to help (but doesn't really do anything other than talk about his wife). No matter though... I will definitely be reading the next in the series. For its genre, it is well above average. The narration was good. It wasn't particularly graphic and there is no sex in it.
Wow. I don't recall how this author came across my radar, but now that he has, I don't know how I had missed his writing for so many years!
It fits with my favorite reading "topics" perfectly:
a) a main character who has a moral compass, but where the morals aren't stogged down our throats
b) vigilante-style justice where the bad guys get what they deserve
c) a dark world where the norms of behavior might be altered, but where justice still wins
d) an author who provides a reasonable "mystery" and an interesting world without having to lecture us on its origins.
The narration is great, the story is suspenseful and well-plotted, the pacing is nice; there is no graphic violence or sex, and not much, if any, foul language. I have already bought the next book in the series.
The title indicates that it is Episode One - which I took to mean that it was the first part of a series... i.e. book one of, say, a 3 book series. This was not the case: this is more like an Episode 1 in terms of a storyline arc in a TV series... i.e. as if you were watching part one of a 3 part TV show where episode one sets up the problem, episode two explores how it can be resolved, and episode three resolves it.
In the latter example, you do expect a cliff-hanger at the end of each show, and you will tune in next time to find out what happens. This novella is exactly like that... the characters get to a certain point, in the middle of the plot, and the story just stops. It does not resolve any single component first, it just ends at the end of a scene.
This is why I have only given the novella 3 stars (yes, the word novella is accurate - it is too short for a novel, and if it were a short story, it would have had a resolution). The story is decent and suspenseful but... a written story ending in the middle of a plot point is just jarring. You are absolutely required to get the next book in the series if you want to know anything about how this story is resolved (and my guess is that you will need to buy the 3rd one as well).
If novella 2 of a series is MANDATORY in order to have any sense of resolution to a story, and each part is too short to be a proper novel in the first place, it should be packaged and sold along with novella one.
Oh, and the price of it does not reflect the fact that it isn't even a complete story. You will buy it thinking you got a proper book on the cheaper end of the scale, not 1/3 of a complete story which will end up costing more than many other 20 hour audiobooks
I did buy the next one because the story was engaging; I am just a bit annoyed at the marketing ploy. There is no graphic violence or sex, and not much in the way of foul language either. The narration is quite good.
I liked it better than the first Jack Lennon book - this is partly because by reading the earlier book I was more familiar with Jack and could relate to his tribulations a bit better, and it was partly because this story is more realistic. (And, it was partly because I had actually read Collusion because I thought it was about Gerry Fagan and was disappointed that it was not; in Stolen Souls I knew it was about Jack from the outset.)
Okay... maybe this story isn't really more realistic, it is just that there is no character with 'super human' abilities in this one. The bad guys are a bit far-fetched, but the basic premise is believable. It seems as though the author wanted us to like Jack more and tried to make him seem more human here (i.e. he contemplates the moral repercussions of his prostitute visits)... but I think Neville should just stick to writing engaging violent thrillers and give up trying to write 'sappy'. We like these novels because they are dark and to the point, not because we want to know if the main character has an emotional epiphany.
Like the earlier novels, it is set in Ireland, but this time there is no reference to the political turmoil that country has undergone. I think this improves the thriller component of the novel since we North Americans don't have to figure out if the tension is based on religion or politics that are foreign.
It is violent, but not gory, and the underlying theme is dark and unpleasant. There is no sex, and there is some foul language, but it was not excessive. I will read more by this author, and more books about Jack Lennon. The narration is excellent, though it is read with a pretty thick Irish accent throughout which might take some getting used to.
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