When I first started listening to this book I was very hopeful. It has an interesting conceit - a world which contains a force that responds to human thoughts and shapes the physical environment accordingly. I found the protagonist, a warrior-priest with a mission, a refreshing change from the usual.
Alas, I got bogged down in the book and found getting to the end difficult. The development of the plot and the characters did not fulfill the original promise. Instead, the story became tedious and repetitive. Motivations were not clear. By the end I didn't care anymore.
Too bad, because it had a great concept.
That being said, others seem to like the book so read the reviews carefully. Perhaps it will be your cuppa tea. Sadly, it was not mine.
It's been a while since I've read a VI Warshawski book and I enjoyed this one a lot.
Recently, I've been disappointed at the quality of writing that I've encountered in a number of mystery novels. Not here. Sara Paretsky is an excellent writer.
The plot in this book relates to World War II and the Holocaust. It's not always the easiest material to listen to but it's clear that Paretsky has done her research well. The intricate plot weaves the current mystery with a back story that feels realistic and detailed.
It's also clear that the author has concerns and a position about current issues. She weaves them in but does not bludgeon the reader with them. As a result, I found the references to current issues like privacy and government surveillance added to the sense of depth.
I have one long-standing gripe with Ms. Paretsky that I had forgotten but which re-emerged when I "read" this book. Many of her characters are hard-edged and interactions are often nasty. Perhaps that is the way of the world but it's a bit of a downer. I am always amazed by VI's ability to maintain her cool in the face of verbal assault.
With all that, Critical Mass is a good and engaging listen. I found myself engaged and wanting to keep listening. The ending is satisfying and the author ties up a lot of lose threads -- another grip I have about many books that seem to end far too abruptly.
I give this book 4.5 stars. It's well worth a listen.
14 is a fun book and a worthwhile listen. It might have been a deeper and more powerful book but many questions are not explored and the conclusion is rather swift and sketchy, That's why I left off the 5th star.
But it is enjoyable, light-hearted (for a supernatural thriller) and good-natured.
Worth a listen., especially if you are looking for escape and you don't want to slog through a 30 hour fantasy novel.
Books like this remind me of TV shows. The characters are not deep and the plot is not realistic. If you really thought about it you would find lots of holes in the story.
That being said, the characters are interesting and the story engaging.
If you are looking to shut off your mind and listen to a good, if implausible, story you should enjoy the book (assuming you like mystery and horror).
If you want something more, you might be disappointed.
I must admit that I purchased this book with some trepidation. I thought that the concept of time travel and changing history was a bit strained and the book was likely to be hokey.
I was wrong.
Stephen King has written an engaging novel which, in some ways, is reminiscent of the Dark Tower series (although much shorter). What makes the book, in my opinion, are the wonderful characterizations and level of detail. For example, there is one scene in which the protagonist, Jake Epping, has a migraine headache. Rather than just mentioning it, King weaves the throbbing pain into the narrative in a way that any migraine sufferer will relate to.
The book is well-researched. The novel revolves around events related to the Kennedy assassination and it is clear that the author did his homework. He talks about the research in an afterward.
The ending of the book is satisfying. I often feel that novels end far too abruptly. Not this one. The ending takes a good hour and ties up a lot of loose ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.
If you are someone who enjoys the fantasy genre and Patricia Briggs. this first novel is worth a listen. It is far from her best work but it is pleasant and you can see the seeds of her later work in it.
I really enjoyed this book. It is the first published novel of Jim Butcher and (according to Wikipedia) he had a heck of a time getting it published. Not clear why because the book is well-written and kept me engaged.Often in this type of urban noir fantasy mysteries the characterization is superficial. Here there was depth and interesting twists.Neither the author nor the protagonist seems to take themselves overly seriously and that is all to the good. Is it a perfect book or a classic -- no. But it's fun and engaging. I plan to read the rest of the series.My one complaint is the heavy breathing that James Marsters indulges in. Not sure if this was deliberate or poor audio editing but I found it distracting and annoying. Too bad because his reading is otherwise fine.
I found this book disappointing. The book is formulaic and, in my opinion, not particularly well-written. I did not enjoy the reader's voice or style. What was most troubling to me is that the characters did not seem to act in ways that I found convincing.
That being said, the book did improve with listening. I was about to dump it before finishing the first section but continued and felt it improved.
Obviously, some other listeners found the book great, so listen to the sample and make your own judgment.
I found this book to be rather superficial and tedious. It was hard to get excited about either the charaters or the plot.
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