Although "Wonder" is written for a younger audience with a child narrator's point of view, the story is compelling for any age listener as it hits home on the issues of image and acceptance and the prejudice against people who are not physically perfect. The author does a nice job of telling the story without preaching, and the characters mature along with the story. The use of several different points of view is excellent, and each individual narrator adds depth to the overall plot. It's not the type of book I normally read but I'm glad I picked it up and would recommend it as a good listen.
I enjoy books with imagination and fantasy, and I was willing to give a zombie book at try. The idea of a book from a zombie's perspective seemed intriguing. After forcing myself to listen to the whole book, I can only hope that I bought it on sale because it was a big disappointment. The plot was very uneven. At times it was so boring I almost quit listening for good. At other times I felt myself drawn in and anxious to keep listening. The feeling of boredom was far more frequent. The fact that I was occasionally drawn into the story was the biggest frustration, since it kept me listening intstead of just stopping for good. Now that I've finished the book I can't say that I'm glad I did - I wish I hadn't been intrigued enough to buy it in the first place. Ultimately it left me thinking that the author could have made the entire book more compelling instead of a book with long stretches of dullness with an occasional spark. The switch in time and perspective was not very effective and ultimately added to the frustration. Some of the author's comments were just plain irritating - points where he stopped telling the story, and just lectured the reader on the reader's expectations. I can't fault the narrator for the story he was reading, and I would say he did a fine job with what he had to work with. It's not the worst thing I've ever read or listened to, but I won't be looking for anything else by this author, and if asked for a recommendation, I would never recommend this book to anyone else.
I have never played a video game in my life - but I fell in love with this story of a future video game geek and couldn't stop listening. In fact, I enjoyed the whole tale so much (and Wil Wheaton is the perfect narrator -) that having just finished listening, I'm going to listen to it again to really reveal in the details. It's like Slumdog Millionaire or Willy Wonka - the poor kid from the ghetto wins an unbelievable lottery against all odds - but the journey of how he gets there is as much fun as I've ever had listening to a book. Set in a depressingly believable future where the energy crisis has done its worst, the majority of the population escapes to an alternate reality on the internet. Cline does a great job of mixing 80's nostalgia with a not-too distant future reality, and the result is both entertaining and thought provoking - there's some harsh truths if you want to see more than just the fun of the game. And if you want pure entertainment - Ready Player One is at the top of the charts! It's on top of my list of favorites for sure - I'm already sucked into the story for the second time around.
Another reviewer said exactly what I was thinking - this book is a downward spiral of the Lynley series and nothing compared to the earlier books in the series. Lynley himself was quite two-dimensional throughout, with none of the interesting interactions with his "team" that made earlier books in the series so compelling. His main focus in this book was an affair that seemed both unbelievable and out of character. Lynley's affair was just plain boring and trite with nothing to recommend it. The plot was really a tangle of tangents with so many "sub-plots" it was hard to care about any of them. Instead of having one or two - or even three - subplots with good character development - George had at least seven different subplots with a heavy hand on sexual/gender issues that didn't improve the story overall. More is not better. Deborah St. James came across like an idiot and deserves better. Simon St. James got the barest whisper of a part and didn't fair well, either. The only long term character that seemed true to herself in this story was Barbara Havers, and since she was only tangentially involved in any of the miriad subplots she wasn't enough to carry the story. I used to wait with great anticipation for the next installment in the Lynley series. Not anymore. If the downward spiral continues I won't be reading the next one. A once good series is being slowly tortured to death.
Although Garment of Shadows is a great relief after the silly pirate story, it's not one of the best of the series. I agree with the other reviewers who long to see the series go back to England - and more interaction between Russell and Holmes. I didn't think having a separate male narrator for Holmes was a good addition, more of a distraction. It seemed like Holmes and Russell had two separate stories with not much time together, and it's really the interaction between them that adds spice to the series. Russell's memory loss made a great start to the adventure. I thought the Holmes part of the story much weaker and less compelling. Still, it was a good listen overall. I'd put it somewhere in the middle of the pack for this series. Worthy - but not outstanding.
I rated this book a "3" because I am on the fence about it. I've read several other YA dystopian series and this seems to be just one of a trend and not the best of the trend by any means. While some of the ideas in Pure were fresh and original, I thought the story really dragged in places and didn't always do justice to the ideas behind the story. I almost stopped listening several times because I just didn't feel compelled to find out what happened to the characters - and that is quite a contrast to other books in this genre where I can't stop listening because I want to know what happens next. It was a bumpy ride for me to get to the end of the book. I found the constant switch between different characters and narrators disruptive at times. Even though I knew it was only the first of a series when I started it, I don't know if I'll get the second book or not. I just didn't care that much about the characters or what happens to them. Yawn.
I'm not a huge fan of spy thrillers, but throw in a few monsters and a fantasy twist to the secret agent genre and you have the imaginative world of the Rook. The main character has lost her memory, and is guided by letters from her former self - an interesting variation on memory loss. The letters from the "former self" are a nice way to explain the backdrop of a world where monsters are mixed in with society and mutant children with super powers are raised to positions in a secret government agency. The main character is a young woman who gradually becomes aware of her own powers - both personal and supernatural - and the author does a good job of expanding the character throughout the story. The Rook isn't quite like anything else I've read - and I liked it much better than I expected to. If you like fantasy in the modern world with humor and adventure mixed in, you'll enjoy the Rook. If the author writes more books about these characters I will definitely read/listen to them -- but if not, the Rook was a satisfying story on its own. It's nice to find a book that can stand alone and isn't automatically the set up for a series or a trilogy in the making. This was a very enjoyable listen -one I might actually listen to again!
I ordered this book on the strength of other positive reviews, and I'm glad I did. The story is unusual and fun - not deep, but enjoyable. The character development really carries the story along, and the narrator does an excellent job with the different personalities and voices. Definelty recommend it to listeners who enjoy a bit of fantasy/science fiction with some interesting real life characters. A very imaginative tale.
If you are a fan of the Kincaid-James series, this is a welcome addition to that series. Relationships continue to grow with the main characters and their extended family, and the mystery has a fascinating backdrop of competitive rowing and a look at some of the uglier inside workings of higher ups at Scotland Yard. It's a good solid listen, one that was worth the wait.
This story started out a bit on the grim side for my taste with a close up look at some hardened criminals, but quickly evolved into a story of mountain lore and adventure that makes the Walt Longmire series so engaging. There are many references to the previous Longmire stories, so this book may be tough to follow for anyone who hasn't read the other books in the series. But if you are already a fan of this Wyoming Sheriff, you'll find "Hell is Empty" to be a worthy addition to the series. I wasn't sure I was going to like the story when it started, but by the time I was finished it was one of my favorites in the series. The narrartor is well suited to the character and the story makes a great listen. I look forward to the next installment.
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