I had high hopes for this book in the early going but by the middle point it devolved to a muddled, over-complicated plot that required more thoughtful consideration than I wanted to give it. The narrator did little to help by soundeing very laid back and poorly suited to the story as well as having poor voice-acting that that only slightly differentiated between some of the male characters. While I love Wall Street/high finance novels, by the end of this one, I was ready to wrap it up and move on to my next book.
Absolutely, the best John Grisham has written since his earliest books 15-20 years ago. In Sycamore Row we are reunited with the cast of characters from his first novel, A Time to Kill. The story is compelling and engrossing and grasps you from the outset and does not let go. I don't want to spoil anything, so I will only say the twist in the end was very predictable and the fact that the main characters were surprised by it seems a little hard believe. But that small criticism does little to take away from the magnificence of this book. If you love John Grisham, especially his early work, then run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore or e-reader download story and get this novel.
I thought the first half of the book was good. I am more into the political side than the military of the American Revolution. As such, I personally felt that the last third got bogged down in military detail. I did like how the book, especially in the first half, married the political and military into a coherent , unified story. If you enjoy American history, you will like enjoy this book.
Really good book! My sister recommended it and I am glad she did. I normally don't read teen fiction but this is one of those books that is good for adults. No, it is not quite as sophisticated as adult fiction but that does detract from the story. I found the novel to be a bit darker and more grim than the movie about the tyranny surrounding the Hunger Games. I was so anxious to find out what happened next, I have jumped straight to the next book in the series, Catching Fire.
I am enjoying the Puller series by David Baldacci. It has interesting and, mostly, believable characters. This novel is a bit of a stretch from a jurisdictional sense. John Puller, being an Army CID agent, has no jurisdiction in a civilian murder in Florida, yet he plays a key unofficial role in an investigation. I would note that the female narrator is just not that great. Not terrible but they could do better. Some of her voice acting for certain characters is simply not believable. Also, this audiobook publisher using a A LOT of cheesy sound effects. Occasional, well-placed, subtle sound effects can enhance an audiobook but machine gun fire, punches, etc. especially as done in this novel, take away from the experience.
Another page-turning John Corey novel. I did think that about two-thirds of the book set the stage for the last third. For those who are not already familiar with the Corey character, this setup stage might have been somewhat long and drawn-out. But if you enjoy Corey's wisecracking, you had plenty of doses of that. I did think the ending had sort of a "ok, wrap it up", almost anticlimactic, type feel. However, this was definitely a good read!
The first half of this book was kind of ho-hum and I thought it was a pretty pedestrian, matter-of-fact plot. But wait for the second half. My perception went from "nice story" to "that was one of Grisham's best in a few years!" Mr. Grisham still has it! This one would make a good movie.
I am a fan of Harlan Coben's standalone books - I have never read a Bolitar novel. Unfortunately, his first three or four standalone books that I listened to were so good, they have spoiled me and everything of his has been downhill ever since. Stay Close falls into this category. Anyone who is a fan of Coben's novels knows that he has the ability to finish a book with the most mind-blowing of plot twists. Once, even though I had been conditioned to expect this twist and was looking for it and had even thought that novel was going to be a letdown, the twist blindsided me like a truck. Unfortunately, while a very good crime thriller, Stay Away did not blow me away in that sense. Because I am looking for a twist, I have come to look at and analyze just about every plausible character as being the key to a plot twist. When you do that, you can't help but figure out what the twist is and who it will involve. That being said, this novel is a well developed and engrossing story. I finished this audiobook in less than a week. I given it four stars because of the story - five stars for performance because it is read by my clear favorite narrator, Scott Brick - but, the lack of having my mind blown, won't let me rate it a five. His first few standalone novels shine too brightly for this book to receive that honor.
Overall, a good story. The description is a little misleading in that I expected a novel more about virtual reality worlds along the lines of "Ready, Player One." This book really is more of a mix of action thriller and espionage book with a large helping of international intrigue and terrorism. The biggest complaint is that Stephenson gets far too detailed in places. Sometimes this detail is welcome and adds to the story but in many other places the detail is tedious, leaving you thinking, "just get on with it." Along this line, some authors need to learn when to stop writing and move on or wrap up a story arc. I sometimes wondered if Stephenson had some target page count he was trying to reach. That all being said, this was definitely a "four star" story but the excessive detail causes me to mark it down slightly to "three and a half" stars.
How often do you pick up a Stephen King book and wind up with a NIcholas Sparks novel? I certainly did not expect that, but that is what I got with 11/22/63: A Novel. My experience with Stephen King has been hit or miss - mostly miss. But this book looked compelling. I expected a book filled with the perplexities and fascination of time travel. I certainly got that. The narration and voice acting is absolutely top notch. But the story...what an incredible story. Much like the movie Titanic, where everyone was waiting to see the ship sink, you slowly find yourself wrapped in the true tale of the novel - a beautiful love story. I woke up this morning feeling sad that I was done with this fantastic, engrossing story.
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