With a title like "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter", I (a guy) was expecting some sex and a ton of action from the Anita Blake series--this is the first one I've tried. Boy, was I wrong. A bit of sex, and a ton of talking about each other's feelings--Anita's and her ten (or so)lovers--including vampires and lycanthropes. VERY LITTLE action. I was half way through when I stopped listening to the drivel. It's a romance novel with a silly twist. If you're a guy with any testoserone in your body whatsoever, don't bother. (By the way--do get it for your wives--my wife can't get enough of the Anita Blakes-she loves them---and let's just say, she's very friendly when she stops reading...). I gave it two stars because the narrator is quite good, as is the quality of production.
I enjoyed this book -- it's well written and well narrated. O'Reilly brings some new, interesting takes on the story--for me, it probably was a bit too brief in the "meat" of the story--the assassination, the events following, and the after affects--but there were several points I'd never heard before, which is saying something because I'm well read in Lincoln lore and the assassination in particular. If you like reading about Lincoln, if you like history, specifically Civil War era history or Presidential history, this is well worth the time to listen.
The book starts off well and is a frightening reminder of those dreadful years during WWII. The narrarator is excellent, doing the main characters (a middle aged woman and a young girl), children, elderly men, elderly ladies, and middle aged men, all effectively. There's a bit of a dichotomy in this book for me. I was extremely interested in the young girl's story, and what happened to her in the 1st half of the book. Interwoven with the girl's story is a modern woman's story. Later in the book, partially out of plot necessity, it becomes completely about the modern woman. And to be honest, the modern story half was fairly cliche and uninteresting to me--the parts with her in it read like a dime-store romance novel with a twist. It was fairly annoying to deal with her, and I didn't care for the character all that much. That being said, I'm glad I invested the time to read "Sarah's Key"--I just wish more of Sarah was in the book.
I've read all three of the previous Langdon books. This is the worst, and overall, I give it an average 3 stars. The plot is somewhat predictiable, especially the "twist" at the end. The characterization is ok, not great. Narration is average. What bugged the crap out of me was a portion of the book regarding a dark corridor the characters must travel thru repeatedly to get to an office space. The author describes deep fear by the characters regarding this situation. There's no deep fear for the reader tho--just a roll of the eyes and a "ever hear of a flashlight?" response every time the annoying sequence rears its unlikely head.
This combination love story/adventure story about a young female journalist that enters the jungle of New Guinea to find her lifelong mentor has a few issues.
First, the good news--the narrator is absolutely excellent--one of the best I've heard so far, after listening to about 20 books or so. She gives each character a distinct voice and flavor that many narrators attempt but very little achieve, in my experience. The adventure part of this story is excellent. The characters are fully formed and the story moves along well. As I see it, there were two issues with this book. One is the dialogue between the two lovers. It's incredibly unrealistic and sappy, especially on the part of the male love interest. The other, without giving too much away, deals with the main character's motivation for doing some of the things that she does--including the main journey. To me, there just wasn't enough there to make me believe that a person would do what she does with the offered motivation that she supposedly has.
Besides the negatives, however, this was a truly enjoyable book for me, and I would recommend it. The look at different, "primative" cultures, and the journey of physical and spiritual testing that the main character goes through were dramatic and entertaining.
What happens to a young boy and his father when the world is turned into a barren wasteland, full of ash and people who have nothing to eat but each other? In "The Road", the author uses the relationship to show us good and evil to the nth degree. This is the "1984" of our time. The prose is excellent, the situations and relationships are realistic and heartfelt.
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