I used to be a die hard Orson Scott Card fan. But, "Earth Afire" is very disappointing. The book is bloated, characterization is half baked, and the narration is a mess. One narrator would have been sufficient. I suspect that Card is trying to emulate Larry Niven by working with a second writer. But Niven works with very good writers; Aaron Johnston doesn't seem to live up to his, or Card's previous, standards. I would very much like to recommend this book out of respect for Card and the many hours of pleasure I've had from his books over the years; but I can't.
This book smashes the detective story mold to smithereens. In addition to a fascinating murder mystery that will have you guessing until the final part of the book, In the Woods provides remarkably rich insights into the backgrounds and psyches, including heartbreaking flaws, of members of the fictional Dublin Murder Squad. I found the book to be brilliantly written, a brilliance enhanced by one of the best narrators I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Steven Crossley's performance is breathtaking. Highly highly recommended.
I'm not sure that this book would be particularly meaningful to non-lawyers. It does, however, contain some interesting insights into trial practice, particularly his discussion about cross examination techniques. Those thoughts could have been expressed in half of its 4 plus hour length. If a voice alone can be called charismatic, Spence's voice qualifies.
This is one of the better Reacher books. More tightly written than some others with rollercoaster like excitement. In fact, the action comes so quickly that one forgets how implausible the premise is. This is not great literature, but if you are a Reacher/Lee Child fan (as am I), you will love it. This would be a good introduction to the Reacher franchise for those who have not yet sampled it.
"Beast's" is the utterly fascinating story of an American academic's (and his family's) gradual recognition of the horror that was the Third Reich and, sadly, the State Department's (and much of America's) failure (or unwillingness) to do so until it was almost too late. The book traces the appointment and experiences of William Dodd, a Chicago professor of history who was the third string choice of Franklin Roosevelt to be America's ambassador to Nazi Germany in the years just prior to WWII. Written from Dodd's perspective (and that of his family), the many detailed account of his interactions with Nazi officials and other German figures in society, media, and the arts, the book reads like more like a novel than a history tome. The book is obviously heavily researched, yet doesn't come off as pedantic in any sense. Beast’s gives the reader a sense of the time one doesn’t get from more academic histories. I personally think this is an important book that should be read by anybody who has only read academic histories of the period.
John Scalzi has a rare gift. He writes imaginative science fiction with a dollp of satire and much wit. Who would have thought this was possible. I enjoyed it immensely.
The concept behind this book is potentially fascinating. But, it's worked to death and resolved in an unsatisfying way. The book is probably twice as long as it should be. I wanted to like it; but I cannot recommend it.
Mr. Correaia has lots of imagination. What he doesn't seem have is the ability to tell a story that makes you care for characters and doesn't involve hyper violence all the time for its own sake. I'm not bothered by violence in general; but this story goes way overboard. The characters are not very believable. Granted, its fantasy, but the situations the characters are placed in are, to be blunt, largely absurd. But for the great talent of the narrator, I probably would not have bothered to finish it.
I was becoming concerned that Jim Butcher had finally run out of ideas for the Dresden series; I was wrong. Ghost Story is immensely inventive and entertaining. And, John Glover does an excellent job of narrating. While it was a bit disconcerting at first listening to somebody other than John Marsters (who I love) narrating, within 15 minutes I was hooked. Glover's narration style differs from Marsters; but he's excellent nonetheless. Dresden/Butcher fans should not miss this one.
I really wanted to like this book. But, about two-thirds through I started getting really angry. The plot line is incredibly contrived. Almost nothing about it seemed remotely probable. Enormous amounts of psycoboble. The characters are not likable. The author puts them in jeopardy (of one sort or another) over and over again; in each instance they respond in the dumbest manner. I "read" it all the way through just becasue I wanted to find out how it ended. I wish I hadn't bothered.
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