I listened to this over a three month period whenever I used the Stairmonster (even if it is a long book, it's a good thing it's not my only form of exercise, eh?). The story kept my interest the entire time. The sci-fi isn't window dressing to the mystery; it's a fully-drawn, complete world. I did guess parts of the mystery and it added to the tension for me (so I imagine it was intentional by the author). The characterization is truly excellent, complemented wonderfully by the narrator, whom I loved. This is the only book I've read (listened to) from the series, so I can say that it does stand alone nicely. I've read other reviews that said I would have appreciated it more if I'd read earlier books which take place chronologically later, though. The ending, while satisfying, was certainly open to a sequel.
The first, “Shards of Honor,” introduced Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan, Beta Colony and Barrayar. You wouldn’t have to read/listen to it prior to this one, though I strongly suggest you do. This book tells of their first year together on Barrayar. It’s a rough one. I loved the first book—great sic-fi romance. This one was even better, though less of a romance and more anthropological/socialogical sci-fi. Cordelia’s wry humor worked well with the political intrigue and the difficulties of learning to negotiate a different culture. The writing is finely done without overwhelming or slowing the story down. There’s enough action with the intrigue to keep the pace moving, but it’s the characters who make the story. The ending immensely satisfying, while still setting up for more books in the series (which I can’t wait to hear). Though most of the book is from Cordelia’s perspective, the (male) narrator on the audio book did a wonderful job capturing her “voice.”
Great world-building with equally great character development. Cordelia is wonderful heroine--intelligent and calm. Since most of the story is told from her perspective, I was surprised the (male) narrator pulled it off so well. Aral was beautifully-drawn tortured hero. While the romantic element is a foundation of the story, there are no love scenes. The story has a lot of political intrigue and doesn't shun the horrors of war. Much of its depth is realized in the choices the characters make in the imperfect world they inhabit. Some reviews say this is one of the weaker stories in the series. If that's even partly true, I'm in for some seriously gratifying listening because I loved this one.
The narrator was excellent. She really brought the characters to life. LOL funny. The romantic element was subtle enough that I didn't feel like I was listening to bad porno. The hero isn't present for most of the book, which does inhibit the romantic development to a degree. It's not as much of a problem as it could be, since this is a second-chance romance (which ventures well into chick-lit). The addition of the ghosts made for an exciting and occasionally chilling plot. There were a couple of things which bugged me, but not enough to derail me from the story. I found it hard to stop listening and get off the Stairmonster (which should tell anyone who's ever used one how good this book is). This was my first Jennifer Cruise; it won't be my last. I'll be looking for more of this narrator and this team.
This is my first book by David Rosenfelt (even though it's the fifth book in the Andy Carpenter series). I didn't expect to laugh out loud on the Stairmonster listening to it. This is a wry, main-character-driven mystery told by the mc. While the other characters added interest, as did the romantic element, only Andy and the mystery plot felt truly developed. It also seemed to me that the author spent just a bit too much time being cute/funny, but I was engaged and entertained up to the last listening minute. The ending was satisfying in all respects. I found the (brief) discussion of perspectives on faith interesting (it's a made-up religion, so not to worry).
This is definitely a police procedural, with lots of those kinds of details. It seemed very well researched (not that I'd know). The protagonist, Harry Bosch (and the fantastic narrator, Dick Hill), really made the book for me. The mystery was pretty good. I liked the backstory of the Vietnam War.
A smooth blend of fantasy world-building, character and plot developments, everything moving at an adequate pace. It's told from the point of view of the main character, our reluctant but steadfast hero. The narrator did a great job with the voices, even the women. A pleasure.
Beautifully written DARK GRITTY mystery/thriller, fabulously narrated and ultimately satisfying. A bit less beauty/noir would have moved the story along faster, but whether that would have made it better or not is a fine line only individual taste can determine (I'm less a fan of literature than one of great stories and have consequently graded on that preference). I would think this book has enough of both to satisfy most. A first read (listen) for me by either the author or the narrator, I'll be looking for more audio books featuring them both.
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