Average sci-tech thriller
I liked that the science fiction portion had a plausible explanation.
No one REALLY stuck out, but Bishop was interesting.
Not really, though there were some cringe-worthy parts where you just wanted to slap characters.
I listened to this book because I ended up downloading a book that came later in the series by mistake and figured I should listen to an earlier entry to gain some sort of context. It worked for that, but as a starter of a series it was a tad weak.
Good "popcorn flick"-style read, but nothing too deep.
The second novel in this series is definitely a worthy followup. It sort of continues the episodic structure of the first book, but all of the events follow each other in a much closer fashion. This is likely due to #1 it taking place on a roadtrip/journey to a destination and #2 because we got the backstory in the first book, so were free to move forward.
The narrator also seems to have gotten into his stride and his reading is much better this time around (for me anyway).
As for the story, we continue following Ross as he heads across the country to go after his long lost father. We make some stops on the way, all of which contribute to Mike's growth as a character. Mike makes some interesting allies and his powers (and knowledge) grows.
The final battle and resolution is far from lackluster, and though it leaves the door wide open for a sequel, there is no cliffhanger and this book stands firmly on its own.
That said, this is not a book you should read without first taking in the first in the series. The author does some explaining of past events, but not enough for someone jumping in to fully appreciate things. Read the first book!
Some folks have compared this book and its world to Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series. I can see the comparison given the theme and the humor, but I think this tale can stand on its own
It is similar though, in that our protagonist has a connection to the supernatural world and becomes quite notorious within it, causing him to face a great number of dangers (in this book alone). Also like within The Dresden Files universe, our hero slowly finds out he's a bit more special than he thought.
The ghostly world gets quite fleshed out in this book as well, while still leaving some mysteries open for future tales. We watch our hero perform experiments and gather info that leads to various understandings of the rules of the semi-afterlife. We also see our hero learn some lessons the hard way via some unexpected avenues.
I said this story was a bit rushed, and it was. If you've ever read the Harry Potter novels, imagine them condensed (devoid of anything not absolutely relevant to the overall story) and in one book. That's sort of how this book felt.
That's not a bad thing mind you, it's just a different style. It reminds me a lot of "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman. Each chapter/episode is a new adventure in the life of our protagonist, so while it does jump forward a bit, it keeps the story moving.
The downside of the above would be the narrator. Even when in the same chapter (or even page), it's usually clear when the writer wants to break and shift to a new scene; however this narrator plows right through, leaving you feel a bit like you just missed a step. Makes you wonder if they had limited time in the studio to do the reading.
The narrator also does a fairly poor job at various voices and even tones while reading. Most of the prose is read in the same tone of voice and can easily blend together if you're listening while driving or some other activity.
Overall, I'd give the story a solid 4-4.5, it was enjoyable, even if rushed (including the resolution). If you consider the story a compilation of adventures, that should help with any jarring transitions.
I'd have to give the narrator a 3 though.
A bit disorganized
Perhaps consolidate some of the "side" and "back" story to streamline things. As it stands, this came across as two tales shoehorned into one.
This is the first time. Narrator was perfectly fine.
A race against the past?
If you split the book into two separate mysteries, it likely would have been more focused. I'm not sure if they would have been able to carry separate books on their own, but they certainly would have been focused.
The problem here is that there are two mysteries in this book. One is in the past, the other is time-sensitive. The way the mysteries are joined is tenuous at best. It just feels forced. On top of that, as the character progresses through the mysteries the bits and pieces that come out only serve to confuse things. Are they related? No? Who knows!
Again, had they been separate, the story would have felt more focused.
As an aside, it got VERY annoying hearing the name of the dating website the protagonist used over, and over, and over.
First off, some reviewers have noted the annoying teenager and the voices used. I'll have to concur here. The book could have existed without the daughter, and it's possible it could have been better without her. The voice used for her (and most other characters) was definitely annoying.
That said, it doesn't get in the way of the tale which grips you almost from the beginning. A few chapters in, and it got easy to ignore the nasal and irritating tones the narrator used for various characters. I deducted a star for this.
On to the story: A widow and her daughter move to an art boarding school in upstate NY to restart their lives. The school and town have a rich history which is slowly revealed through characters, stories and a long-lost diary.
The "mystery" was great in my opinion and kept you guessing. The story had an eerie supernatural feel to it that only added to the charm for me.
They say a story is about the journey and not the destination. Often, that's true, and I can live with it. I didn't have to this time around. Not only was the journey thoroughly enjoyable, but the destination was as well.
The story wraps in such a way to not only bring closure to the adventure, but to leave you replaying major plot points in your head to see how it all "fit". It DOES "fit" too, bringing everything full circle and leaving you wholly content.
Absolutely recommend it.
I didn't read the print, but since I prefer audio books in general, on a personal level, I would have to say yes.
As usual mayberry does pacing and story-telling right. Even with flashbacks and such, the story kept moving and was never hard (or a chore) to follow.
Ray IS Ledger. The voice is perfect. The sarcasm, the inflections. He just does it right.
No extreme reaction.
Another great entry in the series. I think Mayberry may have been a bit misleading in his social media marketing of the book as a return to Book 1 (as if the same people were involved), but it does heavily include the zombie virus from the first book.
I really liked the baddy in this book as it did deviate from the norm a bit. I also like the way the interludes wove the character into the backstory without seeming forced.
The action, humor and plot were all top notch as usual. If there were any things I didn't like, it would be the 2 things that I don't like in ALL the Ledger books:
1) His "rational man" persona is annoying. Listen, you're a special agent that has dealt with the insanity of your job for years. Enough of the "oh my god, we killed PEOPLE! They were actual PEOPLE! It hurt is so bad inside!".
It's also annoying when Joe gets all uppity in situations that those around him are perfectly calm and rational in (like when discussing things in the DMS war room and he goes all WELL $#% what do we DO?!?!?!". Come on Joe... So not you.
2) Love interests always seem like a side plot and an overly mushy intrusion into great action. This book is no different, sadly.
I'd say make it a bit longer, but really, what's the point? It's a short story that doesn't seem to say much (while saying a lot), and wouldn't be any better in novel form.
Not likely. Some of his earlier stuff I liked, nowadays it's like he gets an idea in his head, writes it and has no idea where to take it so just trails off and leaves us with a slapped-together finale.
I don't. Everything was wrapped up here, and though you could perhaps extend the tale, there's no real use. There's no real mystery or suspense here to draw on. It's literally a fairly dry telling of a series of events.
I wish I could go back to the old Koontz where things were a bit odd but "clicked" in the end. Now it's just weird for the sake of being weird, with no real "world" or story behind it. I'll pop back in in another year or so to see if things have improved with him.
Books 1-4 Again.
Not really surprised. If you've read any of the previous books, the author loves to have the protagonist plod along while whining and throwing out childish quips, then suddenly have a revelation that makes all the convoluted pieces fall in place. No different here.
Probably the very last. It wasn't unexpected, but it was still a nice scene.
I like this series. I do. But Amanda keeps writing the same book with different elements.
The outline is pretty much that Allison is presented with a case that she doesn't want to investigate. She whines and mopes and eventually does it based on some silly reason that could easily be gotten around. She plods through the investigation making glaring mistakes and oversights while relying mainly on her ghosts and daughter for true insight.
Throw in a bunch of "comedic" moments worthy of a 90's sitcom and then we get to the resolution where intuitive leaps are made and a seriously convoluted plot gets (somewhat_ unraveled. This book's intertwining and resolution are particularly confusing.
The sad thing is, there's a lot to enjoy here without the silly resolution to the mysteries. These stories would be just as enjoyable with a normal whodunnit resolution. I could also do with less of Allison's whining and 2nd grade sarcasm. For good or bad though, Ronconi's voice gets her personality across perfectly.
Idiot's love tale -- and only because I feel the protagonist is an idiot. The tale really revolves around his love, but he's such an idiot you can only shake your head.
There really was no one to TRULY like in this tale, and I found myself pitying the protagonist.
On the whole, probably Merrin, but (and this is a credit to how well Hill crafted the story) you'll even hate her at times.
The performance was decent, though nothing spectacular. On the plus side it didn't get in the way of the story.
There were several parts of the tale that elicited emotion -- good and bad.
To maybe help folks navigate the content a bit:
For those queasy about religious matters, this may not be a good listen. Hill doesn't get preachy, but he definitely takes a few liberties and shots at the church.
For those worried about vulgarities, violence and sexual tones: while there isn't a LOT in here, what IS here can be a bit graphic and disturbing (rape, burning people alive etc).
For those who hate that sort of thing, this book does employ the whole "tell a bit of the present, then tell a bunch of the past" technique that can be a bit annoying. I'll admit, he got me hooked in the beginning, but the first flashback was slow and initially hard to get through.
On to my take of the story...
I'm not sure if Hill just didn't like his protagonist or if it was intentional, but Iggy is an idiot. He can't fight, he's overly idealistic and slow on the uptake. I suppose crafting him this way lent to the exposition of the story, but it sure was hard to get through at times. The guy basically stumbled his way through the pages -- his girlfriend is the true champ.
Overall, it was a good tale. While I did not find myself rooting for the idiot of a main character, I did find myself fascinated with how Hill wove various bits of the tale together to form the ending that -- while I should have -- I didn't see coming until it was right in my face.
Because Dr Sleep was coming out and billed as a sequel to "The Shining", I figured it was time to finally listen to the critically-acclaimed source material.
I'm not sure I can say much that others have not said repeatedly over the decades, but this book was worth the hype. It's classic King told in a manner to actually elicit chills as you listen.
Though it's not 100% necessary, you'll definitely want to listen to this before Dr Sleep.
This is a well-constructed and told "ghost" story. The scary moments are well-executed and the story moves along very well. If I had to deduct any points it would be because the final resolution to what the author built up to fell a bit flat.
This book stands well on its own, though it seems to be written to set up a series. That would be fun to see, but I am glad the book doesn't need any sequels to feel complete.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.