I have no idea who writes four and five star reviews for this book. The first book was intriguing and engaging. This book is cardboard characters and way too many circumstances of convenience for the author. Worse, it's just the author's soapbox, and whereas the first book raises legitimate questions and ideas this one is paranoia conspiracy-land. It doesn't stand up to any sort of analysis, be it literary, technical, or political.
I'm currently listening to Gone Girl, but it's dragging on a bit so I may need a break from it.
Utter, total disappointment.
My standards for Tana French are high, and this just doesn't cut it. Development is very slow, and the end result is not worth the wait. I don't have to like her characters, though in all three of the other books I have in fact liked one or more of them. I do have to understand and be at least a bit sympathetic to one or two of her main characters. Not in this book!
There was too much telling and not enough showing in this one. And the telling was quite repetitive.
I do highly recommend any and all of her other three books.
Good character separation. Not perfect -- he sometimes took a few extra seconds to transition from one speaker to another -- but quite good.
The whole approach to getting us to know these characters just doesn't work. It's not about cutting scenes, it's about changing the approach. What goes on in Richie's head is important, but we can't get at that very well because he's not the narrator, and it's critical that the narrator be ignorant of what's going on in Richie's head. Not enough was done to let the reader figure things out that the narrator couldn't.
I hope the fifth book returns to the previous quality! I'll certainly give it a try.
I didn't realize this was written in the 1930s. Mea culpa. It's vaguely interesting as a period piece, but it's not a great mystery or a great character study. I suppose it's almost good at both.
For the first half of this book it sounds like the narrator is reading the book without ever having seen it before. His dramatic emphasis is often misplaced because he begins reading the sentence he expects to see and is then surprised when it turns a different direction. Words that have multiple meanings are often a source of annoyance -- he emphasizes them as if they have a different meaning from the one that actually fits the context.
As another reviewer has said, the narration does get better in the second half but I don't agree that the narrator "hits his stride". The narrator becomes adequate, with errors of emphasis still occurring but becoming much less frequent.
The book itself is not the best in the series. It is apparently the first in the series and it sounds like it. The author spends too much time telling me what the character thinks and why he thinks that way rather than showing me. Also, the author fails to make the central female character a believable seductress. He justs insists that her power over men is unbelievably strong, and it is just that ... unbelievable. The Brawly Brown book is much better written. I love the Rawlins character, but this book doesn't do him justice.
The science fiction here has been done better long before now. The science concepts are nothing new, nor are the motivations of the principal characters. I assume the main point is supposed to be the character interactions or perhaps the storytelling itself. That's a more personal call, but I found neither particularly compelling. It was entertaining to listen to, but I carried nothing new away from it.
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