Danville, AR, United States | Member Since 2007
Although I typically like to read series in order, I purchased this in one of the Audible sales. It does work as a stand-alone novel. Holt gives an homage to Agatha Christie in the setup to this novel -- the classic trapped strangers scenario (she has her protagonist reference "And Then There Were None", during the early scenes.) The forced closeness of a group of trapped strangers in a hotel in wintry Norway adds edginess, as does the plight of the protagonist herself, a paraplegic former detective, who is doubly confined without full mobility in a multi-story hotel. Yes, most will find Hanne rather irredeemable, but I love the misanthropic detective (like Lovesey's Peter Diamond) and I love strong female characters and we find both in Hanne Wilhemsen.
I found Kate Reading's delivery a bit uneven in this volume, which gave the story a bit of stilted feel. However, this is still a good read I would recommend to any lover of classical mysteries.
This is definitely not the best book in the series, but was still an enjoyable read. I think a lot of the inconsistency is due to Ms. Harris trying to give a cameo to as many of the pertinent characters in the series as possible, which led to some odd transitions in place, time and point of view. I was afraid that Ms. Harris would present a Seinfeldesque trial with all the past characters appearing in court, but at least we were spared something that derivative (although I did chuckle at Sookie's reminisces in jail of all the people she had killed.)
I think this will be a enjoyable read to anyone fan of the series who doesn't have an emotional investment as to the outcome. Yes, the plot was a bit contrived, the loose ends all tied up a bit too neatly (and everyone seems to be getting married or birthing babies, so may come off as a bit saccharine to those of us who like a bit more sauce or action in our books.) But, if you lower you expectations and enjoy Johanna Parker's stellar delivery, especially of those very Sookie phrases (e.g., "someone pushed the perc button on their ethical coffee maker"), this will be a credit you will not regret spending.
Although this may be the last Sookie Stackhouse book, I would not be shocked if Ms. Harris features some of the characters in future books outside of Bon Temps (much like Kelley Armstrong has created 2 YA trilogies in her Otherworld milieu.) Still, I will miss the unique voice of Sookie in future books. I am fond of Ms. Harris's other works (especially the Harper Connelly series), so I look forward to her future efforts.
The storyline sounded great and Amazon posted an average rating of 4.5, plus I LOVE fantasy novels, so I thought, what could go wrong. About 4 hours in, I realized I just didn't care about this character or what happened to her. She meanders from town to town, and although on her own for years, is so clueless about personal safety, I don't see how she lived 2 weeks on her own. The biggest flaw -- nothing interesting ever happened. I don't understand how a magical, war torn world could be boring, but it was. I decided to give up instead of continuing to plow ahead, hoping I would begin to care.
From the blurb, I expected some romance, but expected the base of the story to be mystery with fantasy elements. Instead, this seemed more like a romance with a
dash of mystery and a pinch of fantasy thrown in. The sex scenes were very graphic and sometimes rather gratutious. The narrator did a decent job, but some of the male voices were a bit campy. Those who love their romantic fantasies/mysteries steamy may enjoy this volume.
If you are looking for a well-plotted mystery, I suggest you look elsewhere.
Well written, thoroughly researched and enjoyable account of the 1938 storm that greatly affected the Eastern coast of the U.S. I listened to this non-stop on a (business) road trip and it kept me captivated, even in the wee hours of the night (during which I usually listen to scifi or mystery or other plot-driven fiction to keep me from drifting.)
Highly recommend for any history aficionados or storm watchers.
Great first book in a new series by Stabenow, best known for her Kate Shugak series set in Alaska. This series is also set in Alaska, following Liam Campbell, who has just been demoted from Sergeant to Trooper and reassigned to the Alaskan Bush. We are familiarized with his past through remembrances as the story progresses, which can be a bit confusing if you don't pay close attention, but is a good way to keep the plot moving while still providing the backstory. I was surprised at how much I liked this book, as I was afraid I would continually compare it (unfavorably) to the Shugak series. Stabenow introduces characters I look forward to learning more about in later books. I was enveloped from the beginning, with Campbell observing all his fellow air travelers, assigning them nicknames (moccasin man, old fart, the flirt) and predicting what future crimes they might commit.
Like "Dead in the Water" of the Shugak series, I learned something of Alaskan industry (in this case, herring fishing and aerial spotting, whereas it was crab fishing in "Dead in the Water.") This was an extra bonus to the book. As with the Shugak series, the Alaska setting only enhances my enjoyment of the volume.
Highly recommend this novel for any fans of mystery.
Gavin, as usual, delivers an excellent performance. A female narrator may seem an odd choice for a book with a male protagonist, but Gavin has proven to be THE voice of Stabenow's Alaska, and does not let her listeners down here.
The principal protagonist, Max, is a ghost (or becomes one quickly into the book) and refuses to go "into the light" until he brings his killer to justice. To this end, he elicits the assistance of a private detective, Joe.
This isn't a straight-forward murder mystery however, because Max revisits moments in his past in an odd homage to Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." This book, too, imparts a message, but I won't go into that or give any more of the plot away, as this book is best enjoyed "fresh", without any foreknowledge.
It is humorous in parts but also introspective, a tough combination to achieve well. We become invested in the relationship between Max and Joe and want to learn what will happen next.
The narrator does a fair job and has an agreeable voice; however, he doesn't clearly delineate between the different characters, which can cause some confusion if one doesn't listen closely.
Highly recommend for any lover of mysteries who can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the fantasy aspect.
If you are looking for a similar book (ghost aiding someone to solve his murder), I also highly recommend "Morgue Drawer Four" by Jutta Profijt. Profijt's novel has much more humor (and little introspection), but both are wonderful mysteries.
The protagonist is foul-mouthed, cigar-chomping, kick** military sniper whose father just died. She is on the run from her own emotion (after the funeral) and then an avian, a winged alien. Throughout her journey, we come to learn much about her violent world, her disturbed past and begin to realize her bad attitude overshadows a few insecurities. There is a lot of action, although interspersed with some tedious data-loaded conversations. I think the next volume in the series will be greatly improved as hopefully the author will not feel compelled to repeat the voluminous information.
Despite, the occasional dull bit, the book is faced-paced romp through an intriguing universe. The big plus is Junco is not your typical teenage heroine. Highly recommend for any sci-fi fan tired of the usual teenage angst-ridden worlds of vampires, werewolves and fae.
The narrator does a good job with the various characters.
Due to the language, not recommended for a young adult audience.
This book is a departure for Kate Shugak -- she is hired by a wealthy woman to free her mother from prison due to a conviction on the arson murder of her eldest son over 30 years before. Kate reluctantly accepts the case, which takes her to Anchorage with Jim Chopin on her heels.
This is a good mystery and it is interesting to see Kate mingling with high society; but this novel does suffer from departure from the Park and its denizens. Also, there is a lot more sex in this novel than in previous novels, which might be a bit off-putting to some fans.
I found the mystery intriguing and this novel a difficult one to which to stop listening. Highly recommend.
As usual, Gavin delivers an excellent performance.
It must be very difficult for Stabenow to write a bad mystery book, as she doesn't disappoint here. This book is a bit more sombre fare than some of the earlier Kate Shugak stories, perhaps because we get flashbacks to earlier deaths from the point of view of the victims. The setting is the Park, so we get further development of the Park Rats we have come to know through the previous volumes and we become invested in learning the outcome of the events. I recommend reading as many of the previous books as possible to get more out of this story.
Dunne did a good job with the narration; however, those who have become acclimated to Marguerite Gavin's narration of Stabenow's universe (both the Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell series) may be distracted by Dunne's rendition of the voices. I am fan of Dunne's other narrations (particularly of "The Sharing Knife" series), so I wasn't off put by her narration, although it did take an adjustment at the beginning of the book.
I am a big fan of Maria Snyder's adult fiction (particularly the Poison Study series), so decided to give this book a chance, despite not being an aficionado of dystopian fiction (well, with the exception of those works involving zombies -- I have a soft spot for the occasional zombie romp.) Also, it seems that most YA fantasy books nowadays seem to require a sappy love story (or triangle) interspersed in the plot, so, despite being a fan of Snyder's other work, I didn't start this book with high expectations.
Snyder, though, does a good job of world building here and I became invested in learning what became of the characters, even though this novel wasn't non-stop action. I was glad I stuck it out until the end, though, as this was well plotted and although there was a love interest, it wasn't sappy.
The narrator did a good job of delineating the different characters and her narration didn't distract from my enjoyment of the story.
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