Taking a lot of tired cliches and wrapping them around a lesbian character doesn't make the cliches any fresher. That being said there are moments of semi-brilliance when the author is able to bring the characters to life. Unfortunately these moments are interspersed with a predictable plot line and some dialogue worthy of network television. The overall book has it's moments and the information on the criminal aspects of the plot are good. Hopefully in the future there will be a time when her main characters actually appear three dimensional. As for the reader; the same applies to her. She has a good overall pacing and at times, the right tone. Other times she seems to think her audience is a class of fifth graders.
This is supposed to be a mystery, but what mystery there is in this selection could be solved by Encyclopedia Brown. The romantic situations in the book are equally predictable. That being said it was an enjoyable listening experience. It was especially interesting that the story line was based on immigration issues. A controversial subject currently in the news on a regular basis. A relaxing listen, and if you miss a few seconds; no problem. There aren't a lot of surprises.
A unique fictional view of global climate change. The setting is Greenland, which in and of itself is unique. There is information on Greenland's melting glaciers and a good back story pertaining to Greenland's history. It rescues a rather tepid and typical lesbian romance novel that bogs down too often in cliches. That was the reason I couldn't give this work five stars. I found both the setting as well as the subject manner intriguing. Jordan's history gives some explanation of her unwillingness to pursue the relationship. A good listen.
When the writer concentrated on the story this was a very good piece of fiction. Unfortunately far too much time was spent on detailing sexual encounters. The sideline story concerning S&M was given too much time and detail. In an audio format this isn't as entertaining as it might be in another medium.
Another issue was the reader. Most of the story was read in a monotone that grated on the ears. There was also some word fumbling as she had problem with pronunciation on some words. Overall I saw some potential for future works if the author concentrates on moving the plot rather than digressing into Penthouse Forum territory.
I'm not sure if this was a well written book or not. the reader was so god awful that pretty much any work would have been overshadowed by her. Teachers in kindergarten reading to five year-olds do a better job than this narrator.her dull flat monotone and her tendency to stumble over words made a couple of chapters almost painful to get through. I gave up and moved on.
The initial portion of selection; the part where the two ladies were in the elevator was both touching and entertaining. Afterwards the story drifted into the same basic cliches that all romance novels seem to devolve into. The promise that Meghan O'Brien displayed in the initial section of this book offers the potential of better works ahead. All that being said the beginning is enough for me to recommend this audio.
In the beginning I was thinking I'd found a great new author for my collection. A strong main character and a good plot line in the first few chapters soon devolved into an overly detailed mess. The constant back and forth inside the mind of the female protagonist soon became tiring. As did the moody non-communicative 'mentor' Jack. The protagonists patience with and submission to this character became tiresome as well. If three or four hours had been eliminated from this selection this might have been an excellent listen. As it was, it became a tiresome slog through the underbelly of criminal society. Ms. Armstrong is a talented writer and the book was well narrated. Hopefully her next mystery book will avoid the short comings of Exit Strategy.
This is the story of a few guys who predicted the sub-prime bust and got rich from their prescience. It also details the stories of the people who resented these men; even as they made their doubters ridiculously wealthy. It further details the mass insanity of a world that naively held the view that a boom could be perpetual. The insanity brought about by the erosion of regulations, up to and including Glass-Stegall that eventually broke the world economy evolved from a belief that markets are omniscient. Which in the case of a basic honest market may be true. However given the roulette wheel that is Wall Street is not only a baseless assumption, but a dangerous one. This book detailed the myriad of ways in which the system was manipulated. The story of the 24,000 thousand dollar a year Strawberry picker who qualified for the 750,000 mortgage is indicative of the what the lack of accountability does to the marketplace. As always Michael Lewis does a great job in breaking down complex financial actions into easily understandable language. Like most of his books it is a five star effort.
With the exceptions of some over reliance on cliches and a senseless breakup which seemed quite contrived I liked it. Even with a slight man bad; woman good attitude this was a nice listen. It made six hours of landscaping go by almost quickly. Even for guys I can recommend this book. It was a pleasant experience if you can overlook some of the obvious faults. The four stars were earned.
This one was a tough call for me. As a mountain born child who moved to the city; then returned to the mountains I relate to both the plot and the character. The characterizations of the townspeople was spot on, as was the lack of expectations for the majority of the area youth.
Now for the negatives. Belle Elkins was not a very likable main character and her daughter was even less so. The ending did not ring true either. it seemed almost as if she decided to redirect the narrative at the last moment. Hopefully Julia Keller's characters will become better as she continues the series. Though I was somewhat disappointed by this selection I will probably give the next book in the series a shot.
Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone series continued by Michael Brandman is beginning to slip. The first two Jesse Stone mysteries done by Brandman were close in spirit to the Parker series. He did turn deputy Molly Grant into Charlie Sheen's housekeeper in Two and a Half Men; but in general kept Jesse's humanity intact. This selection did so as well. Unfortunately the works have become pretty formulaic as well as quite short in duration.
I still find a great deal to recommend in the continuing Jesse Stone series. They are pleasant listens as well as affirmations in the morality of treating people as you would wish to be treated. A Chief of Police who encounters and takes down bullies of all stripes is a nice read for those of us who feel strongly about the current culture rife with so many different types of bullying. I continue to recommend the Jesse Stone series. Even if not as enthusiastically as I did when Robert Parker was the writer.
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