I went for this because of the steampunk aspect. I mean, how can a story with an airship in it be bad? Well, it's not bad, really, but I was disappointed by the story. There was too much emphasis on arguments between the mother and teenage son and less emphasis on developing the plot. I thought the Boneshaker machine was going to be at the midst of this story, but it was off to the side. Too bad. And frankly, I can do without zombies.
Maybe. I had high expectations for this story but the beginning put me off the main character until about halfway through the book. I am repulsed when a character starts out by whining and feeling self-pity before I've had a chance to decide whether I even care enough about this fictional person to keep reading or listening.However, I think Elly Griffiths did a good job of putting the mystery together and it wasn't obvious who the murderer was until very near the end, although he was one person I had suspected. (Makes you feel good when you guess right, doesn't it?)
The book opened with what I'd call an info dump as Ruth was feeling sorry for herself. I don't like whining; it might have been more acceptable if I'd met Ruth and knew a bit more about her before the info dump hit. As it was I just wanted to scream at my speaker, "Stop whining!"As for Harry Nelson, his character began as a trope -- the dumb cop. I actually felt more sympathy for this character because he was being stereotyped by the main character and the other characters in the book.
I though Jane McDowell did a good job of handling all the characters, even the men. It's difficult for men to speak women's roles and women to speak men's roles without sounding slightly ridiculous, but I think she did very well and managed to convey different voices without overacting. She was also consistent with delivery of the different character's voices.My only complaint is that in some places the volume changed dramatically -- one scene were Nelson shouts jarred so much I had to quickly turn down the volume on my speaker. That is something that should have been smoothed out by the sound engineer, but otherwise the sound was good.
This could possibly be a movie, as it has all the ingredients for a good TV mystery. There are a lot of things in the book that would make wonderful visuals, such as the Druid and the henge and the saltmarsh landscape. I don't know who I'd suggest for the roles.
My pet peeve was that I felt the author was speaking down to the reader too much by overexplaining basic archaeological terms such as Iron Age. Nelson the cop is used as the dummy so Ruth can explain all about the archaeology, thus setting the stage for another info dump. Now, I wouldn't necessarily expect Nelson to know about some of the finer burial practices of Iron Age peoples, which is after all Ruth's purview, but I expect most readers will have heard about the Iron Age and Stone Age and have an idea of which came first. Nelson, sadly, didn't have a clue. It's not that these things shouldn't have been explained for readers who aren't into archaeology, but I think it could have been handled a little better without making the other characters into dummies. Another peeve: Late in the book Ruth in in a spot to wonder if water conducts electricity. For me this takes away from her scientific background and makes me wonder about the holes in her education. Now if she had wondered whether salt water was a better conductor than fresh water, I think that would have showed both her worry and her scientific thinking at work.Spoiler Alert: the ending wasn't exactly predictable, but it was somewhat maudlin. I am a woman, yes, but I don't connect with stories that just want me to know how wonderful motherhood is and paint childless women as weirdos until they discover the "religion" of mommyhood. This will probably keep me from buying the next book unless someone convinces me that the characters grow in complexity in the next volume. I want to see Ruth solve another mystery, not just hear about her female issues.
Edit about half of it out. There was a lot of information about climbing, which wasn't bad. Until it was repeated several times. There were also step-by-step descriptions of how a character climbed a particular rock wall and lengthy descriptions of equipment.
This information might have worked if it had been blended in with action, but it was an info dump worthy of the Sears catalog (of sporting goods).
I enjoyed The Terror and I wanted to enjoy this, but 14 hours into the story I just could not bear to listen to the info dumps any more.The "As you know, Richard," type of writing was just too cliched, and only served to introduce an info dump (and possible reader coma).
Driving in the car to Snowdonia before they did any climbing.
I never finished the book, so I'd have to say disappointment and boredom. I tried to finish it. I made it halfway - 14 hours out of the 29 or 30 hours, and then I just said, "Hey, I'm not enjoying this. There is no reason to make myself continue listening." I bailed out at the point just after the sky burials.
The main character Jake seems a bit of a jackass. He's young, but he's also a bit bigoted and after awhile it rubs thin. I had to wonder why climbing pros would take this irritating kid along with them.
I wanted to enjoy this book because the era is interesting to me. But the protagonist starts out strong and then turns to jelly as soon as a handsome man appears on the scene. Too predictable; I don't mind the romance but this was a tepid as they come.
I was expecting the Sybil character to have a main part in the story, but she's put away after the first few chapters. I thought that aspect of the story might have been a lot stronger. Annie became annoying and I found myself not really caring what happened to her. The only character I was curious about was Nate.
There were too many descriptions of clothing and backstory and not enough real mystery. I don't care how So-and-so got their clothing unless it relates to the mystery. The epilogue was a poor excuse at wrapping up the book. I felt like several chapters were missing and the author just got tired of writing and filled in the blanks to get it over with.
"Sparks fly?" Not really. There's plenty of tinder here, but no logs to keep the flames burning. The story's premise is sound but it just doesn't deliver.
I haven't listened to any other narration by Cynthia Wallace, but this annoyed me. Sorry. I thought her attempt at doing the men's voices was pretty good, although there were a few glitches where she slid from one voice into another and it should have been edited out. The women's voices were all pipsqueaky or breathy and Southern-drawly. Cynthia's own voice, when she just read the narration, would have been fine for Annie's voice. I thought the gushiness was just too over-the-top.
Most likely not, although I won't close the door on them entirely.
No, I like the genre.
I think the reading speed was far too slow. The drawn-out "male" voice for the butler when he answers the phone was the last bit I was able to listen to. It was just laughable and destroyed the credibility of the story. I want entertainment while I drive, but I can't afford to be put into a stupor. I think the narrator tried very hard to differentiate the voices, but the character of Billy sounded like a young kid and not an older war veteran. This is just one of those things -- women doing men's voices and vice versa -- that don't always work well. However, I give Rita credit for managing to remain consistent (at least the two hours I listened to) for the character voices.
Where do I even start? I'm not sure this story would survive much cutting because much of it seems to be internal dialogue and thoughts. There simply was very little action in the first few chapters and trying to edit it down would reduce that to zilch. However, in some places the internal dialogue could probably be sent the way of the dodo. In particular, the internal dialogue in the scene where Maisie is having lunch with her first client's wife in the restaurant could stand some pruning. When Maisie holds hands with the woman and thinks about how the other women in the restaurant might be interpreting that action, I think that's a fair bit of fluff that can go. I don't think it adds much to the character or the story. I know it's supposed to make us understand that Maisie has feelings for others, but it's over the top for me. I found it maudlin, to say the least.
I really wanted to enjoy this story, and it has generally good reviews so I thought I would like it. I am also quite interested in history and historical novels are a favorite of mine. But this was far too slow for my liking and I could only manage to listen to two hours of it before I gave up. My biggest concern is that I quit listening just as it *might have* been getting good, but I don't know. In all honesty, I think I could possibly stand to read the book because I could skim over the parts that annoy me, but I just can't sit and listen to the inner dialogue. It's just tedious.I know that as a first book in a series the characters aren't always as well formed as they become later on. I didn't find Maisie objectionable as a detective, but the womanly bonding thing was puke-ready. Sorry. I just found it put me off too much, or maybe it was just a data dump. I'd rather see her feelings through her dialogue or her actions, not constantly be told what she's thinking.
This is probably in the top five books that I've listened to. At first I thought I wasn't going to like the story because it seemed as though it was going to be more about relationships than ghosts, but that lasted for about five minutes before I got sucked into the story. I think the narrator does a great job and I really felt like she was the author speaking, not just someone doing an interpretation.
The story was well told and not predictable.
I don't remember, but I really enjoyed the scenes at the cottage and how the light played across the ceiling as though thrown by an invisible prism. The description was eerie and beautiful and mysterious
No, only because I can't sit still that long! I listen to books while commuting, but there were a couple of times I sat in my car a few minutes after getting home to finish up a scene
I'm a student of history so this appealed to me on several levels -- not the least because I was also writing a research paper on Newton at the same time. I enjoyed the fictional aspects of the story, but I listened closely for historical details, too ... and they're there. Check out the author's website if you are interested in Newton's history.
There was a lot going on in this story -- murder, mayhem, zombies, an airship accident, a spunky female Victorian protagonist, a mysterious and talented main character, and a mad scientist. Maybe it was too much; there were some scenes that seemed like they should be part of another book, such as when the main character, Newbury, is in his room lying in a pentagram. It was never clear that this had anything to do with the storyline. Frankly, I found the mystery curious but the gross descriptions of zombie fights a bit over the top. I'm not into guts and gore; the story could have cut half of the fight scenes. And really, what is it with zombies? Are they just thrown in for comic relief in all books these days?
This book shows promise of good character development for subsequent stories, but the plots need no extraneous elements -- and that includes slavering zombies. I want more of the Victorian/steampunk elements and less monsters.
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