The author, yes. Absolutely not from the narrator.
When I grabbed the ebook version and read it on my Kindle Fire
The narrator's voice is very sugary, she uses essentially the same voice for all the characters, and she reads in a sort of upbeat monotone with very little pause in between sentences or inflection. I felt like a cheerful female robot that was running out of juice was rushing to get this read to me.
I enjoyed 2 of the 3 prequels. I thought they were setting the stage for something bigger, however it turned out they were just mini versions of the novel.
First, I should say that this is NOT a bad book -- it's just not a scifi book. The premise and promotion seem to be designed to hook in those looking for a great scifi tale, and this just isn't it.
Forgetting the above, it's a decent tale that tries to deliver multiple messages at once, and I appreciate that, however it falls very flat. There are a few tales interspersed that only have a vague impact on the main story, which is fine since the main story isn't really all that epic on its own. The story plods along, all the while you're hoping it gains steam. It never truly does -- perhaps this is the first in a series?
Either way, I'm not sure I could recommend this book.
This short tale works very well as a pilot to the forthcoming book. It focuses on a single "returned", and just by telling his tale and the tale of those he left behind, we're immediately educated on just how emotional, disturbing and disastrous the premise of the upcoming book can be.
Short and sweet. The narrator did a great job as well. I've preordered the book.
Hill is new, but Heart-shaped box was a great tale. King is a legend. So, together, I expected something AT LEAST half decent. I was disappointed.
As others have reviewed, this story is more about an abundance of gross details than actual plot. There's no real explanation for anything -- but don't worry, you won't really care.
I won't ruin it, but suffice to say this is a short story I'd expect from some entry-level hack, not a legend and his offspring.
It's a murder mystery, but it's also a paranormal tale in some respects, and in others it's a tale of a young man coming of age.
This is a shorter King tale (around 7 hours). I knew that going in, but I got so sucked into the story and the world, that it took me by surprise when the mystery began to unravel. That's the beauty of this tale (and most King books). There's stuff going on, but like a Harry Potter tale, you tend to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.
Narration was great, though many of the voices had the same cadence.
Would definitely recommend.
Coming from some of Maberry's other novels, I knew this one was geared toward a younger audience, and was prepared for that (after all, the Rho Agenda series was for YA and it was enjoyable). Indeed, much of the interaction was shallow and the story was developed much as you'd expect a story for Young Adults to be. Slow and deliberate.
However, even seeing past that, I couldn't recommend this tale. For one, I felt the characters were fairly flat. I had no real desire to get to know any of them. Benny is annoying, Tom, while mysterious doesn't seem to harbor any secrets beyond the obvious, and the "lost girl" is just as uninteresting.
More importantly though, I didn't feel any desire to know more about this world. Maberry teases us here and there with bits of information that you just know will lead to revelations, and some of the dropped clues get addressed/resolved in this book. However, none were developed in a way that was all that interesting, which left me not even caring about the others.
Perhaps one day when I've run out of his other material I'll revisit this series, but for now, I'm content leaving this one as a standalone tale.
After the first installation, I left the series alone for a bit. It was a decent listen, but there were some irksome things (like the droning on about weapons) that just didn't lead me to want to pick another up right away. Add to that that I didn't find the synopsis of Vendetta very interesting (it sounded like it'd be cliched and painstakingly-so). However, I'm glad I was wrong. The guns are still here, but we get more story more than the explicit explanation of each and every one weapon Owen picks up.
Second-in-series books typically aren't so hot, but so much happens in this book that it's like a coaster ride that just won't quit. We've got a mystery with twists, we've got action and we get LOTS of background info and story on many of the characters from the first book as well as the second. Owen comes more into his abilities as we see him "level up" both in "power" and influence, so it's not tedious exposition either; you actually WANT to dive more into Owen's flashbacks.
There's very little I disliked in this tale. Sometimes Owen can be slow and repetitive and there can be a LOT of characters (both good and bad) to keep track of, but it's nothing that ruined the experience for me.
Adding the next installment to my library right after I publish this review :)
Sigh. This book had both highs and lows, so I'll just begin there. How about some pros?
-- Decent zombie tale, grounded in reality with a bit of a supernatural twist.
-- Writer injects a lot of humor
-- Some memorable characters whom you connect with
-- To sort of counteract pro #1, while the origin of the zombies was believable, the supernatural bits thrown in don't fit as well, and, at least in this book, aren't explained
-- To counteract pro #2, the writer injects a lot of humor. The writer injects a LOT of humor. The problem is, the writer can't go a paragraph without trying to elicit a guffaw from the reader/listener, and while there were some quips that drew a grin or a chuckle, they were lost in a sea of jokes that either fell flat or they just got run into the ground so badly that the effect was ruined. There are jokes and tangential stories that just drag on for what seems like forever, and never really hit home.
-- To counter Pro #3, the characters I actually liked and took an interest in were in the minority. The aforementioned characters didn't include the protagonist, and con #2 is just a single reason why. The two main women in this book (there's a third, but she's barely mentioned) were the protagonist's wife and daughter. The daughter was whiny and useless (while still being a worrisome PITA for the other guys), and the wife was created to be the snarky counterpart to the husband, while also filling the stereotypical role of "wife rules the roost". Not a chapter went by when we weren't reminded he was a dummy compared to his wife who had all the power. "Yes Dear!". It got annoying (especially since she wasn't particularly strong, clever or insightful), and just further added to the feeling I was reading something aimed directly at the low-brow humor readers.
We also meet the protagonist's supposed lifetime buddy, and his wife (the third woman never really mentioned) who both manage to be useless tag-alongs.
-- We also didn't get much in the way of explanation for a bunch of the events that happened in the book. The book seemed to wander from random story to story until it culminated int he typical fashion for zombie books, and left you hanging on all the bits that were actually interesting.
As for the narrator, he did a good job, except he made the character seemed even more hokie. I'm guessing that was the intention, but it wasn't to my liking.
I'm not sure if I'll examine any of the other books in the series (if there are any). A lot of books came out recently, so I'll likely see what else is out there before subjecting myself to a round 2.
So, we have a tale here, that begins in a very startling manner. From there it all moves pretty quickly and there's very little to no formula. Somehow though, it flows, and it all feels fairly realistic.
As mentioned, the tale is fairly enjoyable. You alternate between tagging along behind the private eye who is trailing a killer and the killer himself. We get treated to various scenes and encounters which, on their own, are fairly enjoyable. Both the killer and the detective are somewhat interested creatures with their own tales.
Some problems though: we never REALLY get to know the main characters (even though we're treated to backstory) and everything (including the ending) moves just a tad too fast to really have any significance. Many events happen, very little of them actually matter -- and just when you think it's going to get good, it's over. Just like that.
The reader did a great job, no complaints there.
Not likely, just because I'm not the type to re-read a book or re-watch a movie. That doesn't make it bad though, just that I already know what happens.
Probably Jackie or Stephen. Jackie had an adorable kind of innocence and caring nature. Stephen was pretty quick and a standup guy. Would have been cool to see his story in the next entry.
I haven't, but his performance here was awesome. If I had read this I would have lost a lot of nuance of the dialect -- he delivered perfectly (to my outsider hearing anyway).
This is a great entry in the series. We have Frank, who is someone you can't really love, but you still care about his tale. Even though Frank is far from a "tragic hero", I did appreciate that Tana gave him a better ending than she did to the protagonists of the last 2 novels.
The first novel's ending was sad, and by the end of the second I pretty much hated Cassie, but Frank's closure felt natural. Nothing sad, nothing amazing, just a perfect "fade out" of his life.
The characters were so well-developed that you felt you were part of their lives.
An awesome narrator that nailed the accents and voices of both male and female characters.
Indeed I did. There were very few dull moments.
This tale was very well done. It stood alone, yet wove bits and pieces of the first novel in. You can enjoy it as a standalone tale or as a sequel. I felt a connection to all the characters as well.
Tana did a good job of showing enough of the character's daily life to flesh them out and make a connection while still moving the story along and keeping the developments flowing. The pace was excellent, and to be honest, I would have been fine seeing a bit more mundane day-to-day activities.
I left the first novel really liking (and feeling sorry for Cassie). Towards the end of this tale though, I felt much less of a connection and began to care less for her than for her dead persona. Still, that speaks more to how well Tana developed the character and made you feel the emotions.
Well done all around!
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