This was my first experience with Rhys Bowen and frankly, I bought it a lot for Katherine Kellgren whom I love. In the end, I fell in love with the book too. It was a lightweight, but super fun book. The "mystery" part was interesting and fast-paced enough to keep you going and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the characters.
I also thought it was an extremely fresh and unusual view of the British royal family and I found it delightful to contemplate the complexities of being the 34th in line for the throne.
I have enjoyed EVERY Eve Dallas book. J.D. Robb hits the target every time, but this one stood out for me because there were a few elements that seemed more personal and I felt that I really got to know Eve/Rourke even better. Loved it.
I missed Peabody, however. She played a very minor role in this book and I felt like she was a good friend who was on an extended vacation and I missed her.
I listened to Black Out and All Clear back-to-back and found All Clear to be so confusing that I spent 95% of the book going, "huuuh?" It is excessively detailed and very convoluted. It was, however, perfectly put together in the end, but wading through 2 lengthy books to figure out what the H was going on was a bit much. Connie Willis, is a brilliant writer/researcher though and I have loved her writing style despite the confusion.
OK -- first, I didn't expect it to be as heavily religious as it was. That was really not a problem. What WAS a problem though was how wierd some of the situations were. The dialog and narration were well written and was even "uplifting" in many ways, but I had a hard time tracking with the story as a whole because so much of it was so contrived. I don't really want to say too much because I don't want to ruin it. Suffice it to say that I'm not UNhappy at having read it, but would not read it again (which I do with most books I like).
It is really hard to separate the awful narration from the book. I can't decide if the narration made the book awful or if it just wasn't a very good book. It seemed really disjointed and a lot of huge plot leaps that felt like I was reading an abridged version vs. the whole book. I think the narration is what made it a grating read though.
I enjoyed this book overall. On the upside, it was quite unusual and was well written. On the downside it was somewhat confusing with abrupt introductions to characters and types of "beings" that make you go back a few pages and say "what did I miss."
Finally, I cannot believe how many words were mispronounced. I liked the reader well enough, but how is it that the producer/author/reader can get through an entire book without checking how words are actually supposed to be said/pronounced? It happened SO often that it became highly irritating and caused me to drop an entire "star" because of the production of this book.
I have probably listened to this book 4 times now and it still makes me chuckle.... I love Wodehouse and this is one of the funnier ones to me.
What can you say? I don't think Wodhouse ever wrote a "dud".... the humor is sometimes subtle, but always terrific.
I absolutely loved the narration and the story. I guess the only thing that dissapointed me a bit was that Nathaniel remained "snippy" right to the end. Please don't let that put you off though, because it's a terrific book and a fabulous narration.
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