Did I miss the part that alerted us to the fact that this is written as a grammar school level primer? The reader stops to say, "Note: at this time in America, slaves were..." Or he verbalizes the quotation marks as in, "Douglass said Quote, we are all brethren, end quote." It's ridiculous.
I've heard other books by this reader. She takes a little getting used to for me. The story was engaging, but it ended up having so many characters that I sort of lost my place with them. It was still easy to follow the general story, and it was good for a long boring drive. Kept me awake.
I love Terri Blackstock, and not having to worry about what kind of graphic sex or cursing I'll have to hear to get through a book. She's a relief and I can listen easily. This was the end of a series and Blackstock allowed the human situation to be messy, but still tied up the major loose ends.
This sort of a poor man's 1984 meets a slapstick Marvel cartoon character. After a quite graphic rape, she is rescued by Mighty Mouse. Ugh. Hate to give the reader too bad of a score. He could only read what was written.
I like the stories like this. The ones that take me out of my every day life and let me worry about someone else's decisions. I get to be worried, and opinionated, and learn from them, but don't have to make the same mistakes.
I have rarely understood the complaints people have about readers but this one was truly awful. Every character had a whining plaintive tone no matter what was going on.
I am a HUGE Blackstock fan, but in this series she is mystifying me a bit. Usually Blackstock has us all cheering for the "good guys." In this case, there are sort of set up, inherently evil characters, and the main good guy is a kid who is continuously sefl-centered, disobedient (not as in didn't-do-the-dishes, but as in gets-off-the-plane-his-mom-puts-him-on) and obstinate to the point that by this second book the reader knows that the very minute his mother says that it's really important that he does something, we can count on the fact that he will do something completely different. BUT he is not the one on drugs, so we're supposed to say "hurray for him."
Therefore I have to say, well written and keeps moving in Blackstock style, but a sort of different moral backdrop than I usually expect from her.
Since I'm certain that Rushdie is an amazing author, I will suppose that my taste is what is at fault here. It was tedious, random, had many difficult to remember names of characters and places, and was not unlike listening to a friend's demented grandfather ramble on (and on and on) about places and events you've never heard of.
I wish I'd read more of the comments about whining before I ordered this book. The pleading, grating, wheedling whine is incessant. If I didn't already love Terri Blackstock I might never listen to another one of her books. Ms. de Cuir interprets every emotion as a whine - fear, questioning, prayer, demands. And everyone whines - children, sisters, police officers, doctors, nurses. I actually think I like the story just fine. It has a good balance of suspense and plot turns, but keeps Blackstock's emphasis on faith and the power of people changing and choosing well. I still have half an hour to go and I'm not sure I can stand another 30 minutes of high pitched whines. I can't believe someone editing didn't stop Ms. de Cuir and ask her to dredge up ANY other voice.
The story moved along at a pace which is about my cup of tea. I thought more of the mysteries were going to tie together than they did, but...if I want that I guess I should write a book. It was easy to follow and distracting enough for the commute to work and back. The reader was very unusual. Ms Gilbert has perfect diction, I mean, when she read the line, "I liked to go there," you could clearly hear both the 'd' in 'liked' and the 't' in 'to' separately. She doesn't seemed strained at the level of perfection. But one character was read as continuously anxious. Every line of the character was worried and fearful and nervous. I supposed there was a slight difference between scared and terrified, but it got very old for me - like listening to a whiny child - because it was a main character. I suppose that if Sandra Bullock hyperventilating for 2 straight hours in the movie Gravity didn't bother you, then this won't either. It just diminished my enjoyment of the book a bit.
This is a great book for commuting. The story moves forward quickly. There are few characters to keep track of and the voicing is very clear for each one. It is not great literature, but it's sort of what I like when I'm decompressing from work on a busy drive home.
I love Terri Blackstock books in general. Every time I start a new one, I think "Well, you know she always gets you hooked in the first chapter," so I immediately begin to try to guess what she will use this time. Once again, I thought I had it all figured out, at least down to a "one or the other" sort of guess, but she did something I never thought of. I think is particularly challenging when she writes as an openly Christian author. You sort of know you're not going to have evil win, or soft porn love scenes, or gruesome death throes - and yet I was captivated by how she kept the characters moving as real, believable human beings. One of my favorite Audibles so far.
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