I found this one of Johansen's best works since The Search and Dead Aim. This one actually had its own plot, whcih did NOT involve torturing Eve Duncan's emotions again. The characters are far better developed and more believable than many she's written lately. I loved the submarine backdrop and how the author developed the story around it. The save-the-day maneuver at the end was cheesy, as was the iten it led to, but okay. The rest of the tale was written well enough that I didn't feel too disappointed. Hannah's facing down the Russian man and sticking to her decisions made me cheer for a strong female personality who could carry her own; she wasn't just a plot machine. More single novels like this would be a real treat.
I adore Lois's style and imagination, but they were only present in this work in the opening scene (and the Sphynx, which turned out to be almost insignificant in the Big Picture). She has clearly lost Miles's Hugo-winning creativity overdrive in making Miles a middle-aged father and bureaucrat. Her unprecedented gift for creating mind-boggling plots (i.e., Diplomatic Immunity, Cetaganda, Barrayar) was only evidenced in the denoument, where we were shown just what had been the villains' true intentions. I miss the Dendarii. Lois, you let me down.
Pathetic. Although the narrator did a fantastic job of bringing the written words to life, Johansen blew it on this one. Her writing is still technically excellent, and the back-and-forth between Eve and the killer will thrill many OTHER readers. The "cemetery" showed some good creativity. But this one just didn't work. While the twist at the ending IS a twist, and unexpected, it wasn't the kind of twist that satisfied me. The author should find a new direction to take the whole Bonnie thing; I'm very tired of the real issue for Eve never being resolved. I don't do psychological thrillers and I can't stnad soap operas, so I guess I'll have to leave Eve and Bonnie to people with more patience than I have.
I'm wildly disappointed in this work. Weber spends more than half his writing giving us political backstory and far-too-detailed technical exposition on the mechanical changes Merlin tries to implant in the new culture. Someone should remind the author that characters are people who DO things of their own, get their feelings and egos hurt, get into trouble, and basically don't just follow along some teacher/leader like mindless morons. Weber clearly sees this as another long series, but I will not be wasting any more of MY money or free time on Safehold. (I abandoned Honor a long time ago too.)
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