Not every book is for everyone. Although this book has a strong audience it was not one for me, it is a sappy teen angst confused love story with an amateurish attempt at being an action story. If you are 14, and a girl, this will be a great story for you, and that is the target market. I was sucked in by people who loved the movie and some of the reviews that indicated it could be a great book for an adult audience as well as the aforementioned. I am not sure how this works for adults, for some it seemed to but for me it was just silly. Any predicament "Catness" finds herself in is rectified by some intervention and she skates through everything with only confused emotions and some mad higher ups in the ethereal "capital". If she is stung by mutant wasps, or thirsty, BOOM fixed in an anti climatic revelation, her biggest challenge is to continually keep the audience of the "Hunger Games" from seeing her cry. For me I am certain that the books most useful aspect is as a cure for insomnia.
I enjoyed the opening chapters of this book a great deal, the dialog was very snappy and well done, the narration is great and the characters were eccentric and pulled the story out of the herd. Then, for some reason the story began to get stale, the story took no new direction, the bad guys were able to win the day and the references to baseball began to dominate the story to the point of distraction and irritation - nothing happened for a long stretch, just the main character hiding out at his Aunt's home watching T.V. and growing a beard, then just like that the ending is wrapped up with a tidy little solution and all is well.
This writer has some talent and some of the dialog is so well written it makes the book enjoyable but there is such a dead spot in the story i am not sure it is worth a top recommendation.
If you have been tempted by this book and it is in your wish list, and it is your genre take a chance on it, it is not a bad book, but not great either.
Reserved recalcitrant recommendation
This book took me a while to get through, for the simple reason that my tires whining along the pavement was more entertaining than this audio book. The lead character was unlikeable, and his cohort made no sense, you never learned his motives for constantly pulling the journalists fat out of the fire, and you never learned the villeins motives either, it seemed everyone was trying to kill each other over some pictures the significance of which was never clear. So as you gather I did not care for the plot, or lack of one. Another thing the politics of this book were beyond stupid, a guy from Stalinist Russia trying to save a Brit from corrupt capitalists over -?- never defined, they just wanted those darn pictures. Anyway the narration was well done, I will give it that but as a war time British spy novel, one of the worst I have ever heard. Gravely poor plot, poor character development, long bouts of tedious poorly written dialog.
I liked the first book in the series and looked forward to this book, alas, this story never gets off the ground, instead it just plows through the same terrain as the last book just rearranging the sequence and adding a couple of new names and using the word "tourist" more than I thought possible. The love interest starts out stale - and then stays that way, there are no notable relationships formed, and the arch villain in this story is never developed beyond some shady form in the background. The poor girl killed in this story is just a prop used and discarded in the story for no purpose other than to add a hundred pages and some - as it turns out - useless - interrogation drama which ends up moving the story nowhere, it just ends.
The first book was an intelligent espionage thriller, this is just a phoned in waste of time.
I had a lot of optimism for this book and tried to like it long after I knew it was a dud. The writing is juvenile. The references to Buddhism fortune cookie like. The story starts with a couple of detectives tailing a man driving through town, and though the car they are tailing is stuck in traffic and moving at normal speeds the detectives are forced to drive through alleys, do power slides and fly through the air to catch up, only to find that some assailants on motor scooters have filled the car with deadly snakes, scores of them and they have killed the occupant. The story does not improve from there, everything is improbable, is seedy, and poorly written.
Adrian McKinty understands the world he sees and is extremely talented at describing it. This story takes place in Ireland during the "troubles" and peels back many layers of politics, religion and community while telling the story of a young police officer tracking down what he believes is a serial killer. The story moves fast and the intersection of events in dealing with the I.R.A. police agencies, neighbors and thugs is well built and has a feel of realism that McKinty is talented at bringing to the page. The story is tight with the tension built and outcome uncertain until the very ending, which is constructed well from the facts as they are brought before the reader. This is an exciting and well told story with an accompanying narration that is as good as it gets.
I am sure this book has the worst ending, or non-ending of any book I have ever listened to. The story moves along weaving a tale of supernatural events sloooooowly linking together people, and just when it seems the action may, kinda, sorta, maybe start and some answers to questions dealing with the cult, why they want the girl, what do the "little people" say to them, what the alternate world is - why are some able to move between them, ect, ect ---- the story just ends.
Let me put it this way, if this book was a restaurant review of a place you were interested in eating at it would be like this; This restaurant has tables, chairs a very clean bathroom, wait staff that are attentive and food that is brought out on plates, some of the food is served in bowels.
That would be it, but it would take 35 hours to say it.
Deon Meyer is a decent writer, and I like the fact that his books focus on a different person in the police department from one book to the next, yet still involve most of the subsequent co-workers in the storyline. The protagonist in this story carries the angst of loosing his wife in a murder while she was on the job, also as a police officer. As he tries to pull his life together he works out the clues to a tough case and faces a new and difficult boss. All of this with the backdrop of South African politics and culture. The book is fine, not great. It seems it takes a lot of lines of text to get from place to place in this book, nothing much happens for long stretches during which we are bludgeoned with the introspection of the main character. The ending as a bit of change up and so I will not spoil it here but it is worth the slog to get there.
If you like the genre, or are a Meyer fan go ahead with this one, but the story tends to be fairly grey for long stretches.
Recommended with caution
I like the Preston / Child team and tend to give them good reviews. This tends to be one of their flat spots. The book has moments, and the premise of peering into life below the city of New York, in all the abandon tunnels is fascinating. The fabrication and ultimate revelation of the monsters and their weakness was just to pat. Every time some thrilling moment was about to box the good guys in, some revelation released them from any real trouble. There was attempts to make the monsters appear to have the upper hand but it was never convincing and you always knew how things were going to end.
Far to predictable for a recommendation
Good narration though.
James Lee Burke is a stupendous talent. The story that is woven amid the carnage of New Orleans after Katrina is one of the best of its kind. The story is superbly crafted, developed on many layers, each character full and complete and so much more than window dressing - the plot twists and confuses and just when you thought a person was as disreputable as one could be they rise from the ashes and offer some thin strand of human conscience.
I love the amazing characters that Burke is able to bring to life in his books, and the villein, in this case plural are built from some creepy fabric and with the amazing narration by Patton come to life in a way that is very disturbing.
The whole series is highly recommended, but as the series goes on it only seems to get better, just the opposite as many others jump a shark at some point and loose me, not this one.
The opening scenes describing the carnage after Katrina are worth the price of admission, just amazing literature.
Very highly recommended.
I like this series, although I still have yet to figure out the order of the books (thanks Audible) the main character is someone you like very much, he is an honorable fellow and dogged in his mission. The people the author develops as characters are fun and well done and the dialog is first rate. There are books out there with more action and some with a preference for a high body count may find this series a little boring, I think the plot development is so well done and the people involved so fun to read about that it overcomes any lack of action. If you like classic whodunnit novels you will like this series of books.
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