Part country-house farce, part chaos theory, part time travel fantasy and all fun. This book was long but held the interest and had moments of laugh-out-loud silliness. There wasn't a rush to end the story but a careful playing out of the tale that lent to a sense of near perfect closure as loose ends were neatly woven together. Highly recommended.
Life in a silver mining town in Colorado and hard drinking, crime solving female saloon owner Inez are the center of this mystery. I had high hopes for this second book in the Leadville series. Unhappily the story turned out to be very slow and scattered. It felt like reading a long series of letters from distant family with updates, sometimes partial and other times microscopic in detail, about people you barely know. The characters are so poorly developed that they seem like ghosts. Shadowy people milling around in a complicated, overly repetitive tale. Even worse, the final two or three chapters of the book are spent trying to dig the story out from under piles of unnecessary and discarded details. This final rushed writing works hard to make some sense of the previous 11 hours of listening. The closure, to me, was a let down. The smooth and languid reading style that added atmosphere in book one now feels just slow, monotone and boring. Can not recommend this visit to Leadville.
I just love the way Griffiths brought the characters back from book one in the series as old friends. They are people that have been changed by their experiences together in the previous book. Often I find in a series that the main characters are too static as personalities. Not so with this author. Even better, this book continues to develop these interesting, flawed but fascinating people without missing a beat. This installment picks up just months after book one finished. Probably best to start with book one if you are new to the series. The books do build on one another and it is assumed that the reader already knows much detail that is not reviewed. A good thing-- as I dislike a great deal of recap in a series.
The mystery and backstory were as well thought out, engaging and as spooky as they were in book one. It was also funny in spots! I really enjoyed this listen and loved how the whole tale played out. Creepiness, brooding wild sea coast, archeology and history all perfectly intertwine to make a really enjoyable listen. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Really good and recommended if you enjoy a good mystery.
This story is set in a mining town in Colorado during the 1870's. Filled with atmosphere and history of daily life in the post Civil War world of silver mines and money. So many twists and turns before it all becomes clear in this award winning first book in a series.
Kristen Potter read in such a silky smooth languid voice that at times I had trouble telling characters apart. Most of the time she just read the book with an occasional accent--probably for the best. Her voice had a mesmerizing quality.
Often while listening I thought that the character development was too minimal. Some characters became nothing more than names that were hard to place. In the end I thought this lack was part of the author's build up of intrigue and suspense--creating a feeling of not knowing what people were about. Not knowing who to trust, who the good guys were and who to watch out for. It definitely added to the level of danger and feeling of all around mayhem in the book.
If you enjoyed the HBO series Deadwood you will most likely love this book. If you are like me and try to listen to books in the same season they are set in--this installment should be read during the winter--December, January and February. It is a cold and wintery tale that was a bit out of place in the August heat of my listen. Unseasonal issue aside, I enjoyed this whirlwind suspenseful story. Be prepared for many gruesome details and a great deal of filth in the alleyways and off the wooden boardwalks of Leadville. The listening time flew by and I am left wondering about what happens in book 2 of the series.
I enjoyed this book as an easy summer listen. Positive, happy in the face of difficulties, and strong community feelings empower this light story that engages but does not stress the listener. I really enjoy quilt shops and quilting so I could relate easily to the background story. If you are not interested in quilting you might not find enough here to hold your interest. As always I like Pam Wards reading style--she does a good job evoking the country homey tone of the book. Glad I gave it a try.
I really had high expectations and was ecstatic when I heard that Kostova had written a new book. I had enjoyed "The Historian" very much. It was something I devoured in the print version. While listening to "The Swan Thieves" I found myself wondering if the difference I was experiencing was due to the audio versus print experience. As this story progressed I became more and more disenchanted and realized that it wasn't completely the narration. I really tried to connect with this odd story of obsession, art, and history. It just never happened. I found myself thinking "what??" as each new twist occurred. In the end, on finishing the book, I sighed with disappointment and chalked it up to rushed writing and poor story development. So much potential and so little follow through.
This book was supposed to be an adventure about two women breaking the mold and setting out to do something out of the ordinary. That it not what it is. Instead it is a partial history of the Rockies and a spotty story about the settlement of the west. While I love history that it not what I was buying when I chose this book. I wonder if the people who write the publisher's review have even read the book? The narration was deadly and overly plodding and ruined the story for me. Really disappointing. Can not recommend this boring book.
As the author states in the afterward of the book-this book is part biography, part fiction and all true. It tells a sweeping story of living in poverty in the tenements of NYC through the eyes of young Elka. The book reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at first. However, I can understand why it isn't on a youth reading list anywhere. This story is peppered with frank talk about sex, infidelity and off-color jokes. Much of this was unnecessary for the story. It is a shame that this content makes it inappropriate for young people because it is an engaging tale filled with growth, insight and change.
I agree with another reviewer that I would have liked a better time line. I found myself wondering what year it was when the action took place and hoping for an easier tracking of time progression. Instead there were vague mentions of "the war". Having firmer grounding in time would have made the story fit more easily into the world going on around it.
Lorna Raver, the narrator, did a great job. I really enjoyed her enthusiasm. It was a long book but the listening time flew by and my attention was held effortlessly. Parts of the book are difficult listening, as the poverty, chronic illness, filth and constant struggle are harsh realities. That said, it is a good story and I'm glad I listened.
This book was difficult to listen to and I finally just gave up after many grueling hours of hoping it would improve. It is a graphically violent story about war, betrayal, hatred and extreme loss. Disturbing on so many levels. I don't understand how this book could be considered a "wonderful holiday listen" to quote several reviewers on amazon.
I usually enjoy Caroline Lee's narration, but listening to her Australian voice reading in the Russian accents was painful at times.
The "mystery" was so predictable that it was just plain boring to boot. I am sorry that I wasted as much time on this book as I did. It was hopeless. Can't recommend it in any way at all.
Overall a beautifully written story about Ireland and Irish history. This is a book that entwines mysteries from both past and present which in the end fit together fairly well. It uses archeology, forensics, history and local lore together nicely.
However, I can understand the negative reviews that others have written. To me this was related to the lack of a clear voice telling the story. Instead the book was written from a variety of perspectives and this slowed the flow of the story and made the book seem scattered. The disjointed threads at times did not fit together making it difficult to follow a clear path. This wasn't because there was too much information, but instead because there were a few spots where things became implausible. To me, these unbelievable parts distracted from what was an engaging interweaving of past and present in the story.
Recommended if you don't mind a slower story and are able to overlook a few far fetched bits.
Short. To the point. Helpful with getting through the pondering and oft times paralyzed stage of projects and creation. Upbeat and encouraging. A book I have listened to several times and will definitely play again. A highly recommended positive motivator.
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