The Dickensian story of Jacky Faber in Bloody Jack is heartwrenching and joyous all at once, a truly enthralling tale. Katherine Kellgren's narration is beyond "wonderous good" - frankly she is the best narrator I've ever hoped to listen to.
This review contains spoilers. This book was a three star listen for me - not because it's average, but because it contains hints of brilliance surrounded by boring, and also seems to include some pretty bald-faced plot devices. The first half of this book was quite slow at times, and hard to get through. It seems to lay the groundwork for the major plot twist early on, then spent a lot of time trying to distract the reader before the twist. Amy's character is particularly unlikeable, ultimately, of course, but was also really inconsistent in a few places. For example, Amy is incredibly controlling and wary. She can see intended harm in the most innocent actions of friends and takes immediate steps to protect herself and punish the "offender." But she's somehow also lax enough to be robbed by strangers she has willingly spent significant time with, taken essentially no measures to protect herself from, and, most out of character, made no effort to control or manipulate. The robbery just feels like a clumsy plot device to make the reader feel a tiny bit better - something bad finally happens to evil Amy - and to move Amy toward going home.
All in all, a decent story I enjoyed very much at times, but not one I'd bother with again - it's too much of a downer, and not quite clever enough to make up for that.
The author creates caricatures, not characters
Nothing impressive in the narration
I'm guessing the author has quite a few friends who write reviews for her, as I can't imagine any other way a book as bad as this could get such a high rating.
Less complaining would have been helpful.
The fairly constant complaining about the author's lot in farm life detracted from what would otherwise have been a fairly interesting sequence of events.
The author has single-handedly created the stupidest, most credulous heroine ever, while insulting the reader/listener's intelligence throughout. Chloe is unbelievably dim, freely telling just about everyone she meets (including, of course, the killer) what all the clues to the treasure are, and exactly what they mean. This is despite the fact that her father's last message was that the treasure issue is what got him shot, and that they shouldn't trust anyone.
She's also extremely whiny, with serious mommy and daddy issues - "poor me, poor me my parents didn't pay enough attention to me" is a recurring theme we re-visit about every 10 minutes or so. Don't waste your time or money.
Will the real Sandra Brown please start writing again, because whoever wrote this complete piece of trash has no talent. It violates the most basic "show don't tell" rules with totally inane statements like "she knew he was asking a rhetorical question and so didn't answer". The hero and herione are both completely unrealistic people with no flaws whatsoever. They're also the most well-educated and forward-thinking people the Depression era ever saw as regards mental illness and race. The end is about a nanosecond long, but conveniently resolves everything - almost as if the author herself couldn't even be bothered with it anymore. The narrator does what he can with this, but it's beyond redemption. Don't waste your money or your credit.
As someone who actually read the four-star book years ago and is now listening to the audiobook, I was disappointed by the narrator's portrayal of Claire. She is very off-pace, and scenes that are hilarious in the book are ho hum, thrown off by the narrator emphasizing the wrong parts. She does do a very good Scots accent, but really detracts from my enjoyment of the story.
Absolutely loved this story - Gentlemen Bastards Forever! You will grow to truly care about these characters. Be warned, there is much swearing and a good deal of violence. Given the storyline, though, this lends the realism so often lacking in novels of this genre. Michael Page as narrator is incredibly good, capturing the very diverse cast of characters with the individual personality they deserve.
While Kate Reading does a very good job narrating this book, the story could have been told in 1/3 of the time or less. What could have been an interesting story line is essentially ruined by Stephanie Meyer's repeated, laborious descriptions of the SAME EXACT THING OVER AND OVER. Yes, we get it, Wanda has a thing for Jared as does Melanie and this is both a conflict and commonality/sympathy point between Wanda and Melanie. There's also the Wanda/Ian dynamic, not to mention Wanda's self-sacrificing nature. Do we really have to revisit these same ideas literally 100s of times? Each? I liked Twilight (really only the first book), and I love long stories, but this one is like beating a dead horse with a wet noodle. Which in my opinion is exactly what should happen to Ms. Meyer's Editor.
While there were some tender and touching moments in this book, and the narrator was good, in general the characters and plot were very unbelievable - really? ++Plot spoiler++ An orthopedic surgeon who climbs mountains in his spare time is also stupid enough to get on a small plane in the middle of a storm with a pilot who has a bad heart. And as we find out near the end, all this rush was so he could get back to his dead wife...who he hasn't minded being apart from during his work/mountain climbing trip. Please. Also, if the author was hoping to convince anyone that abortion when facing imminent maternal death from placental abruption is immoral, he has failed miserably.
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