I have listened to the entire Pendergast Series, one right after the other, and I have really not enjoyed this "Helen" trilogy. Is it just me or are these getting more violent? My penchant for murder mysteries usually means that the stories will carry some level of violence, but these last few have made me physically cringe. And Pendergast comes across not as a bit unusual, but like a cold-blooded, thoughtless killer. I miss my D'Agosta. I hate the fact that he acts like a little puppy trailing behind and begging for the attentions of Hayward. I miss the all-knowing mysteriousness of Pendergast. I liked that his wife was dead and that was all we knew. I can't go back and un-listen to it...but I almost wish I could.
I really enjoyed the first book. I found the Factions the Initiations and the beginning of the war very engrossing. I was OK with the teen relationship and I found Tris to be mostly relatable and found her strength and fearlessness to be engaging. In this book, having made it only halfway through, I want to tell her to get over it all. Her guilt, her self-doubt, her lack of self-esteem...she seems to go on and on. And I find it difficult to determine whether Tris is talking or thinking to herself due to the narration.
I find myself not emotionally invested in Tris with this book and wanted it to delve into the war and the differing factions. A little bit of Tris and her feelings would be fine. Add a little bit of Four into the mix and I am good. But Tris’s emotions are examined ad nauseam. I have listened to about a third of this book and so little actually happens except some running around, visiting factions, and over-examining Tris’s emotions. I expected more but all I got was a whole bunch of teenage strife! I guess that is what you get when you are a middle-age adult reading a book meant for young adults. (Although I didn’t feel this way when I read the Hunger Games.)
Disappointed …. Now to find a grown-up book!
I am not an avid review writer, but I do like to mention when I have issues with a narrator, as, obviously, an audio book's success with me relies almost entirely on the talent of the narrator. This narrator leaves much, if not everything, to be desired! His character voices were peevish and whiny and their individual voices seem to change as he moves through the story, so much so that I could not even differentiate from one character and the next. I kept having to rewind the story to try to figure out who was talking. Along with that, his monotone style of reading did not engross my brain in the story and I found my mind wandering...again, more rewinding. I finally gave up and removed the story from my player. I am very disappointed as many people say this is one of their favorite Georgette Heyer novels. I could not embrace the story with this narration and found no enjoyment in this novel as I usually do with Heyer novels. I will try another, but will avoid this narrator int he future.
HORRIBLE. The narrator reads the book tolerably well, but his voicing of the characters is beyond what I can stand to listen to. His deep, blustering characterization of the Marquis brings to mind an old, fat, bellowing man! I just could not picture him as the hero of this story or that ANYONE would be attracted to him or that he could be at the top of the Ton! I could even get beyond the occasional cockney accent that would slip in during the narrator's reading of Frederica, but, without the hero of the story (in my mind), this book fell flat and became just background noise for me. I found myself replaying parts over and over again as I would find my mind wondering. I love Georgette Heyer, but I will avoid this narrator in the future!
I preferred her first book, A Discovery of Witches, and the mystery surrounding Ashmole 782 (or however that is spelled). This book instead moved in more of how difficult it is to love a vampire. I love books about the unknown, lots of mystery, a little romance...this became all about the romance. Or at least it did until I just could not take it anymore! I stopped little more than a quarter of the way through and have NO desire to finish. Too bad, I would have loved the mystery!
Perhaps I should not review this if I actually was unable to finish it, but I absolutely could not get over Elizabeth McGovern's performance of Cora with "old-lady" creakiness in her voice even though Cora is only 36! She comes across as Louise's crotchety old grandmother, instead of being a mature,but still vibrant, woman. I did not feel the story in the first quarter was compelling enough to make me forget about the part of the narration and I had to turn it off. Perhaps another time...
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