I am a sucker for a great sweeping gothic saga and I loved Morton's The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden. The Distant Hours didn't disappoint. I found I had to forge through the first few chapters, but it was worth it. The early exposition of the characters and the tragic decay of the house set the stage for the suspenseful second half of the book. I cannot say enough about Caroline Lee's narration. She has the ability to move me back in time and over an ocean.
I love this book. I'm pretty picky about fantasy and science fiction and get turned off quickly if the fantasy/sci-fi elements seem too contrived. In this book, the fantasy elements supported and added to the well-developed characters and storyline. Nick Podehl is a great narrator. Each character has a distinct voice and he seamlessly switches between them. I had a hard time pulling myself away from the book and am excited to see what happens in the sequel. (Warning: the third book of the trilogy doesn't have a release date yet. If you start the series now, you may get frustrated by having to wait to find out how the story ends!)
I really loved this book. The combination of suspenseful mystery and historical detail kept me listening well after I should have turned it off and done something productive.
The first 2/3 of this book had me listening every spare moment I could find. During last third, while the suspense remained, the plot became a little absurd. I came away feeling a little let-down by the conclusion. Overall, however, I enjoyed the listen and would recommend the book.
First of all - you will cry. Probably not just a sniffling wipe your eyes cry, but possibly an ugly choking cry. However, you won't mind. The characters and compelling and the story beautifully told. The narrator gets it just right. Somehow, you never feel sorry for the characters and are touched deeply by not only their strength, but also their insight and determination to face their challenge on their own terms. The Fault in Our Stars will stay with you for a long time.
Chief Inspector Gavroche is as charming as ever, but this convoluted plot never fully comes together. This is the first Louise Penny novel I haven't enjoyed.
Wonder is truly a wonder of a book. I got the book for my 10 year old son and read it on his recommendation. I urge you to give the book to your children or children you know, and to listen to it yourself. You'll find yourself rooting for August and his friends, and experiencing the heartache of pre-adolescence along with them. My only issue is that while many of August's experiences rang true, it felt almost too easy for him to find his place in middle school. Even so, the characters were so compelling that I found myself connecting with not only August and his friends, but with his parents, teachers and other minor characters.
Let me start by saying that I am an avid audiobook listener. I'm a little embarrassed by the number of books in my library. Having said that, Beautiful Ruins is among the very best of them. I fell in love with the characters and was transported by the scenery. I found myself rationing the last few chapters of the book - I didn't want it to end. Happily, the ending was as special as the rest of the book. Listen to it! Then listen again.
Like so many others, I loved The Passage and was counting down the days until The Twelve was available on Audible. Sadly, the book did not live up to my expectations. All the compelling tension of the first book seemed to be missing from this one. The story had its moments, mostly in the second half, but characters that seemed so complex and 3-dimensional in The Passage felt flat. Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators, but I felt that he contributed to the slow pace of the novel this time. I ended up listening on 1.5X speed which helped move the book along. Will I take on the third book in the trilogy? Probably, but I hope Mr. Cronin listens to his critics.
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