Summerville, SC United States | Member Since 2013
Tragic. Powerful. Heartbreaking.
It was thorough, and linear. A lot of books seem to jump around in the timeline for dramatic effect (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't) but this one doesn't do that.
The story of Little Miss 1565 broke my heart. Afterwards I decided to do a search online and easily found her picture. Seeing it and knowing that was a real, dead little girl made everything hit home for me. After I was done with the book I just kept wondering how on Earth she hadn't been claimed. It's possible someone claimed the wrong body, but how? She was (one would think) the most identifiable of all the victims. Her story stuck with me.
A lot of people have posted reviews complaining about the narrator's accents, and yeah they're bad. The narrator seems to think that anyone who might be somewhat haughty is British. I don't recall the Shadowhunters all being British. Is the accent something they learn while training for combat?
Thankfully the narrator isn't so bad that I can't listen to the book, but I don't know if the fact that I've read it before has anything to do with that. Overall I give it a three on performance because other than the accents the narrator isn't too bad.
I'll just get this one out there now, and this review may include mild spoilers. This book is about a guy who is so overcome with guilt that he decides to stalk the only other survivor of a car accident he was involved in. He involves himself in her life repeatedly, even going as far as to break into her email account. This is not sweet. Stalking is not sweet. Stalking is not sexy. Stalking is not romantic. Stalking is scary, and awful and it would be nice if authors would stop portraying it as some kind of sign of true love. I really wanted to like this, but I found myself constantly appalled by the lengths this guy goes to so he can stalk his victim. This would be a fantastic prequel to a crime novel but not to a romance.
The narrator is great though. So there's that.
I read multiple reviews that said how awful the narrator was for this book, and I nearly turned away but had been convinced by the high overall rating the book had. I'm glad I ended up doing that. I'm not sure why those people thought the narrator did a bad job. Okay, her male voices sound a little silly sometimes, but the variation in her female voices is great. Her overall narration is very good too.
I'm not big on writing reviews because let's be honest, I'm not very good at putting my thoughts into words. But at the very least I wanted to make sure to do my part to assure people that this lady knows what she's doing. I'll let people smarter than I am review the book itself. (Which is good by the way. One of Ann Rule's best.)
I'm of two minds about this book. Parts of it, particularly when giving details of the patients' lives, how they reacted to L-DOPA, etc. were interesting. Though after a while it got a little repetitive, and eventually I started wondering why on Earth anyone thought this was a good idea. Seriously, it seems like at least 80% of reactions to L-DOPA were awful, so overall it just seemed like kind of a cruel experiment. But that isn't a valid book critique, just my own observation.
Unfortunately, the book got very dry and very boring after a while. I haven't even brought myself to finish it yet because it is just dragging on and I'm having a hard time staying awake.
I would probably read another book by the author (even if I do question his judgement and moral composition) just to give him the benefit of the doubt since so many people rave about his books. And I would definitely listen to another book read by the narrator, who did a fantastic job.
The author? Sure, as long as it interested me. The narrator? Not a chance.
I didn't really like the narration right from the start. She quickly jumped from the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next, seemingly in the same breath. There was also just something about the rhythm of her reading that I didn't like. If those were the only two issues I wouldn't have really been bothered, but halfway through the book it's like whoever edited it just stopped trying. The narrator has to repeat herself many times, she'll get halfway through a sentence, stop and read the sentence over again. At one point she mispronounces a word so many times she stops, you can faintly hear her saying it to herself, and she starts again. (She did pronounce it right that time though.) She can also be heard clearing her throat at least one time. I'm only giving the performance two stars instead of one because if all of those issues had been edited out or if she'd been asked to read pieces of it again I would have only taken off one star. I actually feel bad for the narrator.
The book itself is well written, even if it is a little dull in parts. It also starts off fairly slowly, but that's often the case when it comes to the telling of historical events. But due to the narration I could only recommend it to anyone if they didn't have to pay for it.
I guess the obvious one would say The Amityville Horror, but that's touched on very lightly in this book as well. The other obvious one would probably be The Exorcist, but I haven't actually read that one.
Oh wow, where to begin? He really brings life to the characters in the book, and he literally gives them voices, and rather distinct ones at that. I immediately knew who was talking every time before the narration even specified. I really cannot get over what an amazing job he did, if I could throw on some extra stars in my rating I would.
I don't know if moved is the correct word, but as soon as the Annabell story mentioned the doll I said "ah hell no" out loud. That definitely got a reaction out of me.
I'm an atheist. This book didn't give me a sudden belief in God. It did however, bring demons "alive" (figuratively speaking) enough for me that I got to thinking how many possible near misses I'd had in my life. It also moved me to decide it was time to throw away the Ouija board I've had for the past sixteen years. I'd only used it a couple of times within the first two years of getting it, and it's spent the rest of its years tucked away under a bed, but better safe than sorry. I have enough problems without demons thank you.
It's not the best but it's somewhere between the middle and the best. It's a very well done book.
Probably the general existence of the red room. I want to know more about that!
There wasn't anything I didn't like. For some reason I feel like whenever he read the new chapter titles he sounded really creepy. Maybe it had to do with me being caught up in the story, but either way I loved it.
That pigs can be creepy? I'm not sure if that counts.
I know that this story is a controversial one, and that people will probably be debating whether it's true or not forever. Personally, I don't care. Enough of it rings of truth that I could believe it, even though at times I found myself thinking that little parts just seemed way too weird. (Hoof prints in the snow? That's bizarre, but it creeped me out.) Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good horror story. Don't get hung up on whether it's true or not.
Normally when I think of scary books I think of monsters or serial killers or something along those lines. This book is scary on a whole new level. What it lacks in monsters it makes up for in glitches and close calls that could have literally been hours away from starting a nuclear war. Think about that. A computer glitch could have caused a war. More than once. And I wouldn't be surprised it there were even more that weren't made public. I used to think that government cover ups were just things that over eccentric people ranted about, but clearly I was a lot more naive than I thought I was.
My only criticism is that the timeline skips around a bit, and while I didn't find it too confusing, I did find it annoying. Even with the weird skippy timeline I would recommend it though.
The book itself is great for the most part. While I can't find myself sympathizing with the men, I do find myself getting caught up in the story and eagerly waiting to see what happens next. That's not always the case with true stories. Story wise my issue is with the graphic details of killing the whales and turtles. Don't get me wrong, I knew there'd be death. It's a whaling ship, of course whales will die. But I think the author got a little overzealous with the descriptions at times. (Do I really need the intricate details of the men slitting a sea turtle's throat and drinking it's blood? Eew.)
My issue with the audiobook is one that I've seen at least one other reviewer mention. Sometimes mid sentence it'll suddenly skip ahead. And on top of that the entire narration sounds different. It's like they recorded the book on a bunch of different machines, and at least once I wasn't even entirely sure it was the same narrator. That's such a shame too, because I love listening to Scott Brick read.
Overall I would recommend this book, I'd just warn ahead of time that it's a little wonky and a little gory.
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