Part mystery, part coming of age novel, this book also takes on the southern racism angle full tilt. Add a terific narrator, and this is the kind of book that keeps you sitting in the car in the garage after you get home, listening to the end of the scene. Fully developed characters, and the author resists the temptation to bludgeon listeners with plot twists, instead giving us the credit to figure out a few things on our own. Highly recomended!
I'm so glad JKR was "outed" as the author of this book, I'm afraid I never would have found it otherwise. This was a fabulous book, fantastically well read, and I really hope there is a series to follow.
Others have outlined the story, just add my voice to those praising the book, the author, and the reader.
Highly character-driven, and the characters, while not especially likable, were very compelling. It's a rare book that allows a reader to actively dislike more of the characters but still ardently pull for them to turn out OK. The ending felt unfinished, but that's typical of a lot of "literary" novels, of which this is clearly one. Not sure Id have gotten through the text version but the audio had me listening in my driveway, and while doing housework.
The story was a bit overdone, but worth the ride. The narrator was just weird. His voice and inflection would be far better suited to reading children's books. He had no feel for the material, and read all the dialogue with a sort of wide-eyed sincerity that seriously detracted from the book itself.
The writing was adequate, characters were stick figures, and at least one bad guy was someone I'd hardly noticed. Few surprises, but not a terrible effort. If I every try another by this author, I'll read it rather than listening.
This book presents a far more optimistic take on current events than most in the genre. Entertainingly written, smoothly performed, and convincing in its belief that we as a species not only can think our way out of the worst we have done to ourselves, but are well on our way to doing so. Diamandis is an example to anyone.
The writing style ad reader were pretty good, definitely enough to keep me listening to the end (and that's not a given!) I might try another title by this author. But there were huge gaps in timeline and logic, and poorly researched medical details, that frequently took me out of the story. I can't give details without major spoilers, butI think with experience and more available time for research, the author might be okay. I liked the characters for the most part - though the main guy's voice sounded oddly feminine despite the narrator being male. They were well developed and interesting. The plot could have been wrapped up much more tightly at the end but it wound up giving a sense of real life by not wrapping everything up perfectly.
Bottom line (and I don't know if this is the case) it reads like a second o third novel where the author is under deadline pressure, still working a day job and trying to promote his prior book while also spending time with his family.
Michael Robotham is probably my favorite mystery writer of the era, and his books as a group are so well read on audio that I make a real effort to listen rather than read them. There has been a delay getting some of them in the US, and I'm just so glad they are finally available! (Note: I'm writing this review some time after listening to the book!)
MR is a master of creating an intolerable situation - in this case two girls held captive for years. His characters feel like real people, laid bare - no excuses, no whitewash, and as a reader I don't feel manipulated into rooting for an impossibly perfect character or hating someone who has nothing likeable about them.
I did find the ending slightly contrived, but that's usually the case with thriller. There weren't many real susprises if you've read a lot of mysteries written in the past 20 years or so. I won't go into details as this didn't detract from the listening experience, just be aware that the end is not the best part of this one!
This is a fairly typical offering from the author. It really grabbed me at the beginning, then maybe 20% in I couldn't listen for a day and when I got back to it for some reason was less captivating. That said, it moved forward with only a typical amount of belief suspension for the genre, plenty of sympathetic characters, plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. It is a good example of a suspense thriller, it is NOT a mystery. If you've never encountered this author before, it's a very good introduction.
This book is aimed at fans of "true science" books, and follows the basic formula: Interesting anecdotes interspersed with challenging factoids, with bits of history mixed in and some personal sharing by the author. This is a very well written example of the genre, using clear language and telling me lots I didn't know before. It is smoothly read by Leyva, who correctly pronounces just about everything, easy to listen too without being intrusive.
Every decade has its twist on the various genres. This is very new-gen. I suspect it is better than I can appreciate in my older-than-I-feel 50's, but it's a nice insight into the future of horror! Or should that be fantasy? Or maybe comic suspense? I guess that's the whole point.
Quirky, yes. Suspenseful? Sort of. It's so over-the-top I never really worried about any of the characters, first because I could not relate to them and second because I never once thought of them as real people. That doesn't mean they weren't sympathetic, in their own way (think nephew you don't much like but have to be nice to cause your sister's their mom).
There are no cliches in this book, at least not yet. There are plenty of didn't-see-it-coming. I'm not sure if I'll read more from this author, but I sure won't rule it out!
I went into this one with my hopes unreasonably high. French's first book was just amazing and her follow ups have also been very good. She has a way with dialogue that makes me want to be part of the characters' lives.
This one made excellent use of current events and paints a compelling picture of Recession Ireland. If some of the characters are a bit more cliched than her in previous efforts, they are still more complex and interesting than the great majority of fictional players. If the ending isn't quite up to her other books, it's still well worth the ride to get there. I recommend it.
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