It's possible I didn't care for this book because it was abridged and skipped too many passages that might have connected the story more smoothly. However, this is about the 4th book I've read - ***Spoiler Here*** where a "look alike" or twin has been inserted into an investigation. It's a plot device that's really wearing thin, never believable and I expect better from Val McDermid. I realize she wants to take her characters outside their comfort zone, but this wasn't very well executed in my opinion. AND, on top of that, the narrator is American and can't figure out what he wants to do with his accents. He's not consistent and it's almost comical. Lastly, it really annoys me when fairly common terms like: "Die Welt" (German newspaper) are mispronounced. In German "Die" is pronounced like "Dee" not "Die". And, "W' is pronounced like a "V".
I really enjoyed this novel. I was a Biology undergrad and never heard of Henrietta Lacks. What a shame that her family has been treated as they have. It's also shocking to learn that we do not (still do not) own what happens to things removed from our bodies by doctors. Are we supposed to ask for these items to ensure they aren't used for things we wouldn't approve of. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for bettering the common good. But, unfortunately most doctors are no longer in it for the common good. It's all about money. Anyway, it's very educational while still being an interesting read. Kudos!
I think Junot Diaz is a gifted writer, but I don't feel I was his target audience. I didn't like any of the characters and didn't feel badly when their relationships fell apart. ****SPOILER ALERT**** All of the men were cheaters, all of them. All but maybe one or two of the women were users. If this is Junot Diaz's reality, then I feel really badly for him. I guess it would make anyone cynical. I didn't enjoy it and couldn't recommend it to anyone.
I quit reading the Gabriel Allon series because Daniel Silva's characters are so 2 dimensional. Women are all bitchy, whine-y and needy (Chiara from the Allon series, Elizabeth from this series). Additionally, the sex scenes are pretty laughable. I'm not sure if he's put them in for the male or female readers, but everyone climaxes together and he loves to say "breast" ALOT. Anyway, I though by reading the first book in a different series that I might find some differences, but there are none. The plots are predictable, there's nothing new here. No more Daniel Silva books for me.
I really enjoyed the book for about the first 2/3. But, (POTENTIAL SPOILER) I feel the author made the relationship between Amy and Nick overly complicated and later downright unbelievable. Maybe I have an overly developed sense of justice or of what a reasonable person might do, but the ending just defied sense. I felt so let down and wished I had my 19 hours back!
I always like starting a new series and getting to know new characters. I figured out everything pretty much halfway through and then had to listen through the 2nd half to determine I was correct. I was a bit disappointed that it was predictable and some things tied up so neatly. I was also disappointed about ***SPOILER ALERT*** things which happened with Poincare's family. I thought the mystery would have been fine without that distraction.
This book had such great reviews and from so many sources, I thought it was a really great choice. The book is incredibly long, and if good, I would have never wanted it to end. But I found myself wishing the author would hurry up. I like the premise of the book and it had so much potential and true creativity. But it failed to deliver in so many areas. These are just a few of the problems I can think of:
1. Several events, feelings, etc., were repeated over and over again. It made me wonder if the author was paid by the word. The meeting between Tengo and Aomame for instance.
2. Too many red herrings that lead no where. One such example is that of the NHK stabbing someone and this story being overshadowed by the Akebono standoff. Why even bring this into the story unless you were going to tie back somehow later on (i.e., with Tengo's father)
3. Significance of the "little people" -- I realize the book about the Air Chrysalis was contingent upon them, but it never explains how they tie to Sakigake, if they are the origins of the voices that "Leader" hears
4. Tengo's married lover disappears. Her husband calls and tells Tengo she can't see him anymore. He goes over it and over it and it's never explained what happened. I think that this character was unnecessary except for the gratuitous sex scenes which were laughable
5. Why two moons?
6. Tengo and Aomame remembering their one brief hand holding experience all their lives and knowing they are in love with each other. Tengo remembering how she gazed at the moon, wondering what she "gave" the moon or what transaction transpired between them. There was none. Why bring it up?
7. The young girls "compelled" to have sex with "Leader" but it's not really sex and therefore not really his fault.
8. Aomame not realizing that to go back to the real 1984 she needed to go back in the way she came out until so much later in the book.
9. Aomame and Tengo escaping without any hair raising chase by members of Sakigake and seem to ride off into the sunset.
I liked the concept of the book and would have thought it truly original had I not seen "Memento" several years ago. Losing one's memory is an interesting plot device and I thought this one fairly well done. SPOILER ALERT: I thought the ending was too "happily ever after" and did not buy the fact that family and friends weren't more engaged in the protagonist's life or at least status. The first half of the book is fairly slow, but the second half did build momentum and kept me engaged.
This is my third Jen Lancaster book and I'm still entertained! I thought it was great to hear about the struggles of weight loss (been there, down 30 pounds and hovering) and it was actually pretty inspiring. The only gripe I have about the narration, is the consistent mispronunciation of words: "Re:" is not pronounced "Ray". "Re:" is "in response to" or "in regard to", so should be pronounced "Ree". Also, she should check her pronunciation of "chorizo". The "i" is pronounced as "ee", not "eye" or "ih". I know this sounds really petty, but it was so odd considering what a perfectionist I thought Jen Lancaster was to have the narrator mispronounce these things.
I was surprised after reading so may positive reviews that I didn't enjoy this book more. I'm not usually hard to please! But, there were plot lines (red herrings) that went off in directions that really were unnecessary. It seemed like the author was trying to make the book deliberately long. Additionally, it jumped from time to time (past / present) without warning and I found it really difficult to follow. The main character was a cliche, a flawed, alcoholic detective with a past: "women love him, men want to be him." I didn't get it. And, I thought that the reasoning behind the killer becoming a killer was really, really far-fetched. I won't say more than that, I don't want to ruin it for anyone else. Bottom line, I just didn't really care for the book and won't be reading any more in this series.
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