I read the first in this series and loved it. Loved the characters...could not wait to follow them further. Second book was kind of a let down (attributed it to the subject matter and it getting in the way). Then I downloaded 'Barrington Street Blues,' the third one in the series...and I could not even finish it!!!
The "great characters" that showed up in the first novel do not change...at all! I remember saying in my review of that first novel that I could not wait to see how the characters evolved. Well, they don't. Their petty fights and doubts and conversations (which were endearing in that first novel) get ANNOYING. You find yourself saying: "SERIOUSLY? You are thinking that AGAIN?!!!" or "You are making that mistake in your relationship AGAIN?" or "We are having THAT conversation AGAIN?"
The flaw in character development COULD be overlooked IF the mystery was better...but it's not (granted, I did not finish this book -- maybe the conclusion is brilliant). The clues and leads seem to "drop" into our "A-Team Investigators" (a philandering priest and an attorney who's been making the same exact mistakes in his attempts to reconcile his differences with his ex-wife for three books now) as if by magic....And if you thought the parenthesis in that last sentence got in the way of the "sentence"....well, that's a preview of what happens in this novel (the personality "dramas -- and they ARE dramas -- become an annoying distraction)...I will certainly NOT download another Burke & what's-his-name mystery again. I wish them well.
It takes a while for the story to get going because, for a very long time, it seems like you're reading two books. There's a brutal homicide and a woman who wakes up from a seven-year coma...and for almost a third of the novel, the two stories are only connected by the investigator. Then the two stories come together and the book becomes a lot more interesting. Could have been shorter, but it was still entertaining. So much so that I was hooked by the preview of the second in the series and am in the process of downloading it as I write this review.
A dark and painful tale of misery and lives-gone-horribly-wrong, told exquisitely by an author in full control of his audience (and narrated by the perfect voice). I loved it!
The tragic events of a day long ago when the two protagonists were 11 years old are revealed chronologically, and interspersed with what's happening in the present day, when a dreadful coincidence brings the two women together as adults. It's hard to say what's more hypnotic: the dreadful events that are unfolding, or to see the paths their two lives took as a result of that one day in their childhood. I could not tear my eyes (ears?) away. And can't wait for more novels by this author.
To call this is one of the best 'zombie' books I have ever read (I do like zombie books) would be to make it much smaller than it is. Sure, there are zombies, but this book is about human interactions--about humanity. Without giving any of the great turns and twists away, I have to say that the character development is absolutely brilliant. I can't recall a single instance in the book where a character went off-course in an unexpected way--those who changed (and many did) changed because they were reacting to something outside themselves (and the changes were powerful and moving); those who didn't change didn't change because nothing could have made them do so. You come to know each one of them well, especially Madeleine--the little girl at the center of the story. And what a story it is! M.R. Carey has crafted a tightly knit plot that will keep you at the edge or your seat (or wherever you happen to be while you listen) from start to finish. This was one of those audiobooks that I couldn't wait to get back to. Finty Williams is PERFECT for the narrator. Her rendition of little Madeleine's voice is particularly great (conveying innocence without ever being saccharine). Loved it! Can't wait for this author's next novel.
I plodded through 5 hours of the first-person 'narrative,' thinking that any minute the story would 'start,' but simply couldn't take it anymore. Zero character development. Zero originality (I like these sorts of fantasies so the plot seemed to have promise when I read the publisher's summary, but the characters behave along extremely stereotypical lines). The combination made for a very boring listen. I am planning to get my credit back.
Skip this one and read "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card.
The book is really two stories (a terrorist's plot and a murder mystery) that are force-fitted into one novel through a very implausible connection. That said, both stories are actually quite clever so it keeps your interest from beginning to end--a feat given the length of the book. In fact, I would say Hayes' ability as a storyteller is both the book's salvation and it's biggest problem. He keeps digressing into sub-plots (his childhood, the cop's past bravery, etc., etc....A problem (it seems that he can't help himself), but since all the stories are told well you almost don't mind. The excellent narration by Christophre Ragland helps.
It's hard to review Jo Nesbo novels. One tends to compare them against the author's previous work and it's hard to measure up. I did not think this was one of his best (it's not Snowman). Some of the plot twists are a bit too farfetched and there is never any good reason given for Sonny's ethereal qualities. (Did not really felt the novel needed him to be such an other-worldly guy...Simple goodness would have been just fine.) Still, the story moves with unrelenting pace and the mystery is a good one. Yes, I suspected how it would end sooner than I would have liked but I think that's simply because I am aware of Nesbo's tricks!
If you have not read Nesbo before, try Snowman first. If you are a fan of Nesbo, by all means download The Son. And enjoy!
I could not stop reading/listening. The book is not really a "mystery." It's about right and wrong choices. It's about relationships. It's about human nature. Carla Buckley makes this all come to life in a book that grabs you from the start with an obvious, but true, insight into what seems to be happening 'out in the open' (in the light) and what's really happening 'behind the curtains' (at night). The reader is quite good.
[I googled the disease of the main character and almost found the websites as gripping as this novel. Kudos to the parents who have to deal with this heart-wrenching and life-altering diagnosis for their child--and to the patients!!! Wow.]
I was disappointed to read the reviews of the author's first novel (it sounds like she was testing the waters for this one). However, this one was good enough to put the first on my 'wish list'.....and to hope that her third one comes quickly.
I absolutely loved this book. The story is absolutely great. So well thought-out -- the plot (don't want to give anything away), the details about "Eden" and how the characters interact with their planet. The depth of each of the characters! And yet, the story is about much more than just the story--it's about history and how we can interpret (and misinterpret) it, how it affects our lives...it's about religion, beliefs...it's about leadership, society...about change.
I usually don't like books with multiple narrators, but they worked perfectly here. Each and every one was outstanding, especially the voice of John Redlantern.
The book does not need a sequel. I simply want one because I was so sorry to see it end. I noticed that the the copyright for the book was 2012 and the audiobook was 2014, so perhaps Chris Becket has been busy working a new one for the last couple of years! Whatever he writes, I will download. In Eden-speak, "It was clever-clever and I was sad-sad when it came to a close."
I love this series but I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed in this one. Part of the fun is discovering the latest creatures and villains that have been concocted in Jonathan Maberry's crazy head...In Code Zero, the evils are recycled from earlier stories. The new villain is somehow not up to par with previous ones. It was a fun read...but simply not of the same caliber.
After reading a number of mediocre books where the plot went nowhere, "The Cairo Affair" was a breath of fresh air. The plot unveils in layers, each chapter revealing a new shade of meaning to what you knew before. The characters find out what is happening right along with you. Each one is holding his or her own piece of the puzzle...and in the end it all comes together seamlessly. It's hard to say much without spoilers, so I will simply recommend this for those of you who like spy thrillers and intrigue that is ultimately human.
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