I just finished this 3rd book in the series. I find myself missing the story. The main character is charming and funny and his dog Oberon is great. The story meanders around a lot, but there's lots of action.
Luke Daniels is one of the best Narrator's I've ever listened to. He really brings the character to life. He has voices for all the characters even with different accents. Oberon is maybe a little too Skooby Doo, but it's also charming.
I'm looking forward to the 4th in the series.
When I stop and think about this book, it has a lot of things that I normally dislike in Romance novels. Cooper, the male could really be a macho jerk. The woman was at times way too submissive and naive. Yet, I couldn't stop listening to this! I stayed up all night!
What is it about Sandra Brown's writing that makes me more tolerant of things I hate in other novels? Perhaps in spite of some of the bad (to me) formulaic themes of the writing, she knows how to spin a story and create heat between characters?
I thought the narration was fine. Perhaps not the best, but acceptable. Didn't bother me.
This book is hard to review because I have so many reactions to it.
Just in case it isn't clear, this is a romance/suspense novel and does have graphic sex scenes. (Which are quite steamy.)
The writing is often very good. I kept imagining the movie "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (Tennessee Williams). Not for the plot line, but the overall feeling of family embroilments, etc. It also brought up another old Paul Newman film, "The Long Hot Summer" (William Faulkner). There is something, rich and deep in this book. Then at other times, the writing veers into cheesy romance and quick summer read suspense.
This book was written in 1988, so there are aspects about it that are perhaps not very "politically correct" for today. I sure hope race and class issues are a little more open today in the South, but perhaps not!
The male character smokes cigarettes and is closed off emotionally. I think she goes way too far in painting this stiff, macho, woman-user facade, but if you pay attention, there are a lot of little details and back history that shows there is more to him than this.
I find myself wondering if this book was re-written a little bit to expand the main characters romantic interactions to be richer and less formulaic what a truly great book that would be. Still, Sandra Brown does a good job of writing books that are suspense/romance/pot boilers - but that are well-written. I appreciate that because most romance novels completely insult my intelligence and are horribly written.
Bottom line, like other readers, I became very engrossed in this story. (I stayed up until 3 AM to finish it.) I'm sure I will end up listening to it again. Give it a chance. In the beginning, there were times I rolled my eyes, but I ended up really getting into it. The writing has some faults, but it's a story that somehow gets to you. Isn't that what's important in the end?
The narration was OK. Not being an expert on Louisiana accents, I guess they are OK, but I didn't really like Chase's voice on this. I found myself longing for movie quality dialogue on the narration, which I know is unfair - but on this audio book, it occurred to me if reading it would in some ways be better because you could imagine the accents.
This would make a really good movie! Correction. It would need to be a mini-series.
I have mixed feelings about this author and series and especially this installment. On the one hand, Juliet Marillier has created a world and characters that we've come to love. While there are certain predictible formulaic aspects to the stories, she does not write cookie cutter stories. She often takes chances with her plots and characters. They aren't always the typical hero/heroine.
She also takes her time in her writing. Really takes her time. Which is not always good. This book could have been trimmed at least 20% and lost nothing. She has a tendancy to go on and on and repeat things until I start to lose patience with her. This is a long book, which I normally love and I don't feel like I'm a person who needs non-stop action, but for half the book almost nothing happens. We're mostly waiting for the male character to get well. At one point, she spends at least 15 minutes telling the story of Son of the Shadows over again. Perhaps it's because I've been listening to this series in succession, but it annoyed me for her to spend so much time repeating a story we already know.
The story itself has few surprises. It's pretty easy to guess where the story is going. This is also a weakness of this author that her plots are often pretty transparant.
The narration of this didn't help. Felix, the main male character sounds too whiney. Everything is too dramatic and drawn out, which does not help this story which is already too drawn out. I found myself wondering if I would have liked the story better if it was read differently.
So with all those negatives, would I recommend the book. Yes, if you like this series. It's still a part of the 7 Waters story, which I quite like. When I think of this story as a whole, it's a decent installment, just not 17 hours worth of story. Make sure you have something else to do while listening to this one.
It brings me back to the overall love/hate problems I have with this author. I love her characters and worlds, but I wish she had an editor that forced her to tighten up the repetitiveness and drawn out drama in her writing.
I'm really enjoying this series. It's easy to get very involved in this world and characters.
I wasn't wild about this narrator at first. I didn't like her male characters in the beginning. I almost wondered if I wanted to stop and get the e-book instead, but it got better as the recording went on. I don't know if she got more comfortable and found her voice as the recording progressed or if I was so engrossed in the story I didn't notice anymore. Maybe a bit of both. It's interesting that Rosalyn pronounces Sorcha differently that the first and 3rd narrator.
I wondered what I was getting into with this book because several reviews said it was dark, sad, and the main character was not someone they liked. Since, I'm into the series, though, of course I bought it.
While it's true that this story is very different from the first two in the series which had female characters who were strong, pure and good, I found this story and heroine to be very rich and intriguing. She was in ways, more complex than the other heroines.
I'll try to explain without giving any spoilers, which is hard. This character struggles with the good and the bad in herself, but a lot of that is laid on her by exterior forces, history, etc. I found this to be a story about finding your true self and finding what you value. The story has consequences, but I didn't think it was sad.
There are a lot of story lines from the previous books that come to resolutions in satisfying ways. Not always "happy" but there was a balance and development that felt right. (Again, hard to elaborate without spoilers!)
I quite liked the narrator. It's unfortunate that the production quality had frequent bits where the quality was inferior, but it wasn't so bad that it ruined the story.
I found this to be a very satisfying installment to this series.
This is a long listen, but I couldn't stop! I actually spent all day long one day in my PJs, crocheting and listening to this. (I was in bed a little sick.) This is the second book I've listened to by this author and she really takes her time and goes into great detail. It can drag a little and be a little repetitive at times. I saw that some reviewers suggested listening to it at a faster speed, but I don't think this is the answer. You just have to relax and enjoy. I look forward to listening to more from this series.
I debated between giving this 3 or 4 stars for the story. On the one hand, I quite enjoyed the adult fairytale, but on the other, there were times I was exacerbated by the author repeating things over and over and the "mystery" was rather transparent. This could have been edited down a lot more. I found myself sometimes thinking: "Yeah, we get it—now get on with the story!" There was a lot of build up to a revelation that was pretty obvious. There was a small twist to mystery that I hadn't guessed, but overall, no surprises.
In spite of the complaints above, the characters and world are pretty well-developed and I found it a relief after wading through a number of really bad fantasy and paranormal romances I've listened to recently to just read a nice, decently written fairy tale.
I wish this story's plot was a little more complex, but it was a pleasant and refreshing book and I will be checking out more by this author. This is a good book to listen to while you are doing something else.
The narration is excellent. All three do a good job and it was nice having different narrators reading the 3 main characters' perspectives.t
I got tthis based on the glowing reviews. I guess people look for different things in a book. This is one of the worst books I've listened to. I've listened to 3.5 hours thinking I'd give it a chance and was doing a task and wanted to liten to something, but I don't think I can finish it. I generally expect these type of novels to be escapist and formulaic, but this one doesn't have anything to redeem it. The dialogue is uninspired and the characters flat. The narration is also quite bad. The main character isn't too bad, but most of the other women sound like you would expect a Barbie doll to sound and the male lead voice is terrible. Sounds more like an elderly uncle than a man in his prime. I will run, run from any other books by this author or read by this narrator.
I agree with other reviewers that this is Grisham at his best. This story just flows along effortlessly and kept me completely engaged. I have to admit I had an idea of how the story would end long before the final revelations, but I usually guess the ending of most mysteries. It was still a great story. Absolutely worth a credit.
As usual, Grisham deliveres a well-written story. This was also very educational about the conditions of coal miners in the Apalachian mountains. Wow.
I hesitate to criticize the depth of information, but it sometimes made the story itself drag a little and at times felt more like a journalistic exposé than a novel. It was still a good story, but I listened to Sycamore Row right after and that story flows much smoother than this one. Don't let that stop you from listening to this if you like Grisham novels, just an observation.
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