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 wasn't sure what to expect but I thoroughly enjoyed a new twist on a mystery story. The fact that the narrator/hero has Asperger's syndrome was used quite effectively to tell the story from a unique perspective. I was pleasantly surprised. The only real flaw in my view is that the police were portrayed as unrealistically ineffective, but it kept the tone of the story light and a bit humorous. I look forward to the next book in the series!
This was a potentially interesting plot that fell flat with a very contrived and soap- opera-ish tone to it. The characters were barely sketched out and the drama was
contrived. it's not the worst book I've ever listened to but I wouldn't recommend it because there are so many better books out there. Mediocre.
After just finishing a book that was so disappointing I returned it - I was dying to listen to something that would draw me in and give me the kind of enjoyment only a well-told story can deliver. I was a bit hesitant to start Elantris because of its length, afraid that a book that long might drag in places - but based on past good reads from Brandon Sanderson I started Elantris. The book far exceeded my expectations. The dry description of the plot in some of the reviews simply doesn't do justice to the story. The character development is outstanding. While I sometimes find switching point of view between several characters distracting, in this book that worked extremely well and each voice had some major contribution to the overall story. At times I thought I knew what was going to happen, and I was often wrong - the story was full of surprises. I had a very hard time stopping listening at any point along the way and I finally had to slightly speed up the narration just because I was dying to know what happened next. Although trilogies are all the rage, it was nice to read a stand alone story that didn't leave the reader hanging at the end of the book. This book firmly cements Brandon Sanderson as an author to watch for in my opinion. Five stars all around!
I always enjoy the latest Joe Pickett and this one was certainly worth waiting for. The story started off fast and kept going at a breathtaking pace. Yes - Joe ruins another pickup. If you are a Joe Pickett fan this is a five star listen all the way around!
I'm a Philip Pullman fan and this short story was a lovely example of the imagination that makes his writing so enjoyable. I was happy to get it as one of Audible's Daily Deals - it's a great listen!
I generally like Dean Koontz but this was not as good as the rest of his stuff. The gratuitous violence was excessive and detracted from the story. There were multiple narrators which was distracting and unnecessary. I sped up the narration just to finish.
I'm often persuaded by other reviews to try a book I'm not familiar with. In this case, I wish hadn't been persuaded. I like British mysteries because they often focus less on violence than their American counterparts. Not true for this story. I don't mind the fact that violence occurs - that's inevitable in a murder mystery. But I don't want to hear about it in excruciating detail, especially when I"m listening to the book and can't fast forward through the parts I'd rather skip. This book started out slowly for me - so slowly that I almost stopped listening. I liked the main character enough to keep plodding through, but I thought about quitting several times and I rarely quit before finishing a book. Once the story picked up I began to enjoy it - but my enjoyment was spoiled by detours into the point of view of some really disturbed characters, and excruciating detail of violence and torture. It's not as bad as many other books I'm sure - so if you don't mind descriptive violence/torture this may not be an issue - but if you're like me and want to have the mystery without a blow by blow of the horrible things people do to each other - give this book a pass. I finally sped up the listening speed so I could find out what happened in the end - but I just didn't want to hear all the nasty details. I give the book a 2 instead of a 1 because I did actually like the main character and her side kick - and the story itself was fine, but could have been told without bludgeoning the reader along with the characters. The narrator started out so breathless and intense that alone almost made me stop listening. She either calmed down or I got used to it. Overkill for both author and narrator. There are so many better books out there I'm sorry I wasted my time on this one.
First - I'll say that this is an adequate mystery, not great, but ok. I liked the main character but the supporting characters were weak. The overall story was fine - interesting enough but not brilliant. Unfortunately, what really killed this story for me was truly dreadful narration. I've been able to tolerate a wide range of narrators and get used to voices that are less than ideal. If this narrator had simply read the story it would have been acceptable. However, she tried to do different voices for the characters and her attempts to do so were painfully bad. She tried to use accents that fell far short of authentic. Several of the character voices were like grating fingernails on a chalkboard they were so bad. The story itself would sound fine and then she would switch to one of the phony accents and my irritation would rise immediately. I had to listen to the book in bits and pieces because I couldn't tolerate the narrator for very long. I've listened to a lot of audio books and never found a narrator that I would avoid before now - but I won't listen to anything read by this narrator again!
I used to put the Lynley novels at the top of my wish list, and couldn't wait to grab the latest book as soon as it was out. Not any more! The book prior to "Just One Evil Act" - "Believing the Lie" - was such a disappointment that I returned it and got my credit back (Thank you Audible!) as soon as I was done. "Believing the Lie" was full of "unbelievable" subplots and distractions, Lynley's behavior was totally out of character, and Barbara Havers was barely in the story at all. I thought "Believing the Lie" would be my last Lynley, but when I saw that "Just One Evil Act" featured Barbara Havers and sounded much more like the familiar solid plots of the earlier books in the series - I took a chance, hoping to be rewarded with the excellent story-telling that Elizabeth George is capable of. Nope. Anyone who knows the series knows that Lynley's wife was killed off in a senseless murder several books ago. Now it seems that George is equally determined to kill off (figuratively speaking) the rest of her main characters by having them behave in ways that completely contradict their personalities that developed as the series progressed. Barbara Havers had never been portrayed as stupid, yet in this book she does one unbelievably stupid thing after another. Emotional attachment is a fine motive for poor decisions, but Havers' behavior in this book makes her seem like a complete idiot. Lynley has been a deeply troubled soul, but also not stupid. His brains, like Havers, have gone by the wayside in the past two books and he, too, behaves like a cardboard caricature of his former self. Add to this the fact that "Just One Evil Act" is about twice as long as it needs to be, and George arrogantly inserts entire conversations in Italian that are not translated for the reader who expects the book to be in English - and I was left with the distinct impression that the author no longer cares what her readers think. I'm sure her books will continue to sell based on hype and past reputation, but for anyone who read the series when it was truly good, this descent into mediocrity is painful. I can easily overlook a book or two in a series that aren't quite as good as some - anyone can have a slump - but the last few books in this series have been a downward plummet as opposed to a temporary slump. If this had been the first book in the series I read - I would never have read another one. If you read the reviews on Amazon you'll see lots of 1 and 2 star reviews from former fans of the series - I wish I'd read them before I wasted my time on this lengthy slog. I'm done with this series. There are so many better books out there.
I admit I bought the book because it was written by J.K. Rowling - but that's the end of anything Potter-ish in this delightful new mystery. I love a good British mystery because they tend to be less violent and more intellectual than many of the standard American mysteries. The Cuckoo's Calling has everything in it that makes a mystery worth reading - an interesting main character who is neither perfect nor pathetic, a smart sidekick who thank god does NOT need to be rescued in the final scenes, a lot of clues but no dead give away to the final resolution, and supporting characters who are not simply two dimensional backdrops. No dramatic chase scenes or gun battles - just solid detecting and some intriguing plot twists along the way.
The narration was perfect and captured the voices in a way that was believable and engrossing. I had a hard time putting the book down to get any work done, and when the story ended I could only hope that Rowling/Galbraith is working on the next Comorant Strike mystery. Whether you're a J.K. Rowling fan or not really doesn't matter - if you like a good mystery, this is the best one to come along in a long time!
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