This next addition to the Sookie Stackhouse series brings up the possibility of new directions for Sookie. I love this series, and while I rated this book highly, I have to count it as not as good as some of the earlier books. It feels like Sookie is tired, and perhaps a little jaded. I don't want to spoil anything for the reader, so I will refrain from comments of a specific nature. I will say that I am looking forward to the new directions some of the occurences could travel.
The narration is only so-so. Sookie sounded like she needed a shot of lithium to perk her up a bit. Narration is certinaly an art, and while this vocalist is clearly good, I think Sookie can be matter of fact, and still retain her southern spunkiness.
I bought this book based on the length, and that it was a mystery. I had never heard of or read Tana French. I was pleased enough with the initial few chapters to go look for her first book, and to purchase that with the expectation of reading it prior to _The Likeness. However, I was immersed enough that I didn't want to wait to finish it.
Several reviewers point out that the plot is implausible. It is, but Ms. French doesn't let that stop her, and I for one am glad! It is fiction, after all. To be totally truthful, the first 3 hours of the book lagged a tiny bit for me, but were clearly necessary for the plot development. Once it got rolling, it didn't stop. I really appreciated the dynamics between the characters. Furthermore, there is enough substance to them to create the layer of realism that makes the plot work. Ms. French uses her descriptives freely, and when combined with lovely narration, I felt as though I was wrapped in the mist of the Irish countryside, and living in a house with five other people, as the observer. I recommend this book to those who can take their plots with a bit of suspended disbelief. Realistic crime story readers should look elsewhere.
The characters are to a person, unrealistic, and in most cases, unlikeable. I found myself hoping that the heroine would display some traces of depth, something with which the average woman could identify, and at the end of the reading, was actually glad to finish. As a rule, I love British humor, with it's quirks and bawdy delivery, but in this case, it came across as just mean. I just didn't like any of the characters enough to see them as human, funny or not. In several cases I actually felt sorry for them, much the way one does when poorly directed actors fumble around a stage. What a shame, this author is talented, and I suspect could write with much more realism, while still keeping the bawdy humor factor intact.
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