I've been in the mood for a little Revolutionary history lately. I read The First American and really enjoyed it. It whetted my appetite for more founding fathers bios.
This was not as good as The First American but it was a good historical look at an amazing man. I found the story to diverge at times and then have to back up to pick up the main thread which made keeping up with where we were on a timeline a little difficult but it's all in there.
The author shows a definite slant toward Jeffersonian politics and you get a distinct dislike for some of the other major players of the time. If you read other books, that will become more evident. I've started Founding Brothers and I feel I am getting a more balanced view of certain political movements. However, this is a bio of Jefferson so I think it's fair to taint it toward his views. Just be aware that the other side isn't as evil as you come away thinking it is.
Hermann did a masterful job with the narration. I would definitely listen to him again.
I recommend this book to all history buffs who really want to get to know Jefferson.
There was a point where I thought maybe this was going to turn around into something interesting but I was wrong. All of the characters are selfish and unlikeable. The one saving grace was Edwards did a remarkable job of portraying a young person with Down's Syndrome. The rest of the story was dull and unremarkable with the sudden switches between characters making it difficult to follow the story. It also had the feeling that the author was following a prescribed list of writing tips to include, for instance when Nora answered the phone, to build suspense, you should talk about how she remembered this moment in the years to come.... It all added up to an aggravating slog through an uninspired story.
Ilyana Kadushin did a decent job with what she had to work with but there was no variation in her inflection except for Phoebe and that never truly sounded correct to me.
Definite pass on this one.
This story had me captivated. I listened to it eagerly awaiting the point where the 2 story lines converge and everything would make sense. There were hints of something supernatural going on and I loved that we didn't know what that was. Then in the last 1/4 of the book, the main character turned into a terrible jerk and the story just ended without a resolution. The author seemed to think he was so clever that we wouldn't have any clue about who was behind the murder but that part was pretty transparent to me. I was so incredibly disappointed with this book esp since it started out so well. Skip it.
Plus, the narrator didn't even try to do an Irish accent but he did appear to have a bad case of dry mouth as he can be heard smacking, gulping and swallowing throughout the entire book. This is a MAJOR irritation with me so some may not find it as obvious but I'm extremely sensitive to it.
I wasn't completely overwhelmed with the first book but wanted to continue the story so I got the second. This book was not as good as the first and I really struggled to get through it.
Clash of Kings is a transition book. People are moving around with little blips of action. I found most of it to be quite boring.
The worst part about it was how Martin introduced magic. It was thrown at us out of nowhere and was ridiculously over the top! It left me scratching my head saying, "Did that really just happen?" I told my husband it was a "Jump the Shark" kind of thing and when he got to that point, he completely agreed with me.
Probably what I was most disappointed in was where he brought some of the characters. Catelyn esp let me down. She became a bit of a whiner. We never hear from Rob and he's turned John into a bit of a jerk. Too much time was spent with Dani and nothing was accomplished. Everyone just maneuvered into position in this book
I have started the 3rd book in hopes that this was just the sophomore slump many authors go through.
Martin is a decent author and his characters are complex and strong but I wouldn't put him at the top of my favorite fantasy author list.
The book jumps from person to person which is normal in a book this long. Some people like this, others do not. I don't mind it but I do enjoy some of the characters more than others.
Many people have complained that main characters get killed off. Those people must not have read much fantasy because in every good series I've ever read, main characters get killed off. This is not a romance novel or a Stephen King novel where the hero is left standing with all his favorite people. The fantasy genre is known for killing off main characters. This is why I truly believe this series is as popular as it is because of the HBO version of it. People who would normally never read a fantasy book are picking it up because of the amazing job HBO does with their series.
That said, what HBO does best is skim over the less glamorous parts and highlights the action. Martin tends to get bogged down in political minutia and I find myself tuning out. The first 1/2 of the book was slow to ramp up and the second 1/2 is where all the action happens. To me it was a very typical introductory book to a very long series but not my favorite series.
I will listen to the next and most likely the entire series simply because some of the characters are very cool. I would not put this in the same league at Tolkien or Sanderson but he has potential and a neat premise. I'd like to see where he goes with it.
As is the case with most sophomore novels; this is not as good as the original but it's not terrible. I didn't think the first was great. This fell off a little.
There is the obligatory split between the young lovers, a lot of action and teen angst. All of which is the crux of most YA fiction. Roth goes into a little more character development in this book but they all still appear to be pretty straightforward. The action is a little too pat and action movie-esque. People are constantly getting shot and persevering. I've never been shot but I imagine a bullet wound to my leg would completely put me out of commission and almost certainly I wouldn't be able to jump a train with one in my shoulder. But alas, there is that necessity for suspension of disbelief.
One thing that really started to irritate me toward the end of the book is Roth's overuse of, "I/he/she said." to delineate who was speaking. Many times, it would have been obvious who the speaker was without it but and in the cases where it was necessary, it would have been prudent to use other words, eg: exclaimed, shouted, mumbled etc... Here is where Roth's age and inexperience as a writer was most evident. A little variation goes a long way. Even my second grader knows to do this! I think even Emma Galvin got tired of reading it since by the end of the book, it sounded like she was saying, "I said" with a sneer! It was only minimally distracting however.
I will listen to the 3rd book when it comes out, however, unlike The Hunger Games, I am not recommending this series to my husband. He was too irritated by the teenage angst in THG to put up with it in this one.
I hope Roth continues to write and grow as an author. I think she has a lot of promise and some interesting ideas.
I have listened to every single Pendergast book Preston & Child have written. I have been a huge fan. I loved them all up through Fever Dream. Then came Cold Vengeance which I listened to but was extremely disappointed in. I had to listen to Two Graves to finish out the story. I hoped Cold Vengeance was just a temporary lapse and Two Graves would rekindle the spark. I was wrong.
There was a glimmer of hope in the middle of this book but it was extinguished and never revived. It was a laughable premise and that's saying a lot based on the things they have come up with over the years.
I am sorry to say, I will not be listening to any more from this once great series.
I knew going into it that Cloud Atlas was written differently so that's not what threw me. I simply didn't find the story all that interesting. The characters were ok but I felt I didn't get enough time with any of them to really connect. Each story sort of built on the last but it was so far removed that it never really felt connected. I see where the author was going with it but it was too much of a conspiracy for me to really buy it.
The narrators were all very good which made the story easy to listen to at least.
I can't recommend this but I won't say don't bother. It's OK.
Founding Brothers is a fascinating story of our country's birth. Through the use of letters and anecdotes, we get a lighter view of the lives of the men responsible for leading us toward our freedom. That's not to say this is a light book, it certainly touches on the heavier aspects of the Revolution but it is presented in such a way that it flows easily and keeps the listener engaged.
Nelson Runger is not my favorite narrator. I could hear him smacking his lips and swallowing throughout the book and he has a tendency to pause at odd times. It however wasn't enough to ruin the book for me.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to get a good rounded view of the men who created our great country.
Divergent definitely reminds me of The Hunger Games. It's not going to go down in history as a great piece of literature that generations of people will grow up reading and becoming a classic. It is a young adult book.
Because of that, one must go into it with a good bit of willingness to suspend disbelief. They do not explain what happened to society to leave it in this condition but I found that did not really matter much. In an adult book where there are several plot lines that are all interwoven, it would be expected. Because the target audience is younger, this story has one plot line and we follow it from beginning to end. (Well, the end of this particular episode.) It is a very simple and therefore, fairly predictable story but that doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable.
If you are looking for a deep, meaningful novel with complex plot twists and character development, leave the young adult section. If you want a fast moving adventure story, give Divergent a try.
I finished it, listened to another book and now I have started the second book in the series so it did draw me back. I was curious to see where this was going. I hope it doesn't disappoint me in the end like Hunger Games did.
Obviously, I need to give up on Russian Lit, or at least Tolstoy. I enjoyed this more than War & Peace but this was still lacking.
Tolstoy did a much better job with depth of character in this one. They were quirky and entertaining for the most part but I ended up getting bored with them after a while. They just went round and round without ever really accomplishing anything.
I was hoping for more from Anna. She started out such a strong woman. Of course, in the 1870s writing about a strong woman wouldn't fly so he caved to popular opinion and crushed her.
It's a classic so it's on that must read eventually list but it wasn't my favorite.
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