taken out the ridiculous sex scenes, or quit pretending this is a straight-forward novel.
The book starts out okay enough. It turns south for me pretty much as soon as they introduce Jamie Fraser, the perfect man who only exists in the imagination of undersexed housewives. He's strapping, tough, yet sensitive and virginal. He's completely unrealistic. Then he and the main character spend a better part of the second half having sexy sex in every scenario imaginable. Don't let the "historical fiction" moniker fool you: this is bodice-ripping mom porn at its very core. That is of course before it turns into psychotic man-rape. After 35 grueling hours i finally reached the end to find no resolution whatsoever. I will not be plowing through the rest of the series to see this horribly over written piece of filth meet its conclusion.
I feel it is my duty to warn people about this book, because something so disturbing and horrifying happens in the last 2 hours of the 45(!) hour book that felt like such a sucker punch. I'm not spoiling any key plot points with this reveal, but it is an important event. So, while the 7 kids (whom are all 11 might i remind you) are lost in the sewers, the lone girl in the group convince the boys that in order to find their way out, they all have to have sex with her, one after another, right then and there in the dank drainage pipes. And it is described in horrifying and graphic detail. It was so bizarre and disturbing! I have read several Stephen King novels. I know he doesn't shy away from sexuality, but this was far and beyond anything i've ever experienced from the author. It was so perverted and obnoxious that I just HAD to warn anyone who was considering this book. It really ruined the whole thing for me. It was like trying to have a good conversation with someone who just broke your nose.
Even besides that, this book had problems. There's at least 3 decent separate books that King tried to combine here. A homicidal clown was all anyone wanted or expected from this book. Why he decided he needed to turn that into an eternal creature that spans space and time and multi-dimensions is beyond me. I even looked up forums on the subject so i could try to understand the final battles, but I still can't wrap my head around it. The sequences with the children are great. The rest is questionable. The whole thing dragged on far too long and took far too many deviations from the main plot. I would have preferred a 25 hour abridged version and after listening to the whole thing, i can guarantee you that a 40% reduction like that wouldn't have even removed a single actual story beat.
The performer had an aire of David Hyde Pierce to him that was very interesting to listen to, and very, very appropriate for the setting of the novel. The only problem i had was with some of the female voices, which were very grating on the ears, and came off like the mom on Bob's Burgers. This was a great listen, and a quick one too.
Man, half the time i was wondering to myself if the makers of Megamind optioned this novel before they proceeded, because the portion of the book narrated by the supervillain sounds so much like the titular cartoon character, that it's almost as if Will Farrell was parodying the performer of this audiobook. (run-on sentence much?)
The first third of this book was massively engaging to me. It was a uniquely voiced take on the very familiar superhero genre. I equally enjoyed both points of view, both that of the villain, and of the hero, herself a newcomer to a Justice League-type hero team.
However I the book started losing a lot of steam when i realized that the majority of the story was going to be given in flashback. That is a really terrible way to tell a story: to set up present events and then spend 75% of the book having the characters recollect past events. Why? It was just so unnecessary. One example: Near the beginning when the hero gave a quick summary of a past event wherein one of the heroes sacrifices their own life. I thought it was brilliant. Then later on when we got an excruciatingly detailed description of the same event i was rather frustrated. That same problem repeats over and over again. Near the end i kept thinking they must be done with all the backstory exposition, but nope, they just kept going.
So ultimately the book runs out of steam and the ending is fairly unsatisfactory. It's too bad. I really enjoyed the setup. I really didn't mind that so many of the character archetypes were ripped straight from the DC mythos (CoreFire=Superman, Blackwolf=Batman etc) because i like to see authors have fun outside the box with those familiar characters. However this book just can't quite pull everything together in the end. A decent effort, however flawed.
Having said that, if there was a sequel wherein the characters moved FORWARD instead of spouting nonstop exposition, then i would totally pick it up.
***** for Boehmer's performance
***1/2 for Marlo
This is a truly original and terrifying new vampire lore. This third entry in the series does not disappoint. It is both satisfying, but tonally equal to its predecessors. No yub yub Ewoks making it artificially light. There is gravity to the consequences of the characters' actions, and you continue to empathize with all of them, even when they're trying to kill each other. I kind of wish the events of The Strain and The Fall happened in the first novel so we had 2 novels to explore this post vampire world more, but that's a small quibble.
I didn't enjoy the narrator's overly dry reading, and i didn't particularly like the book.
Not having read or listened to anything else in the series, i am hesitant to say.
Not familiar with enough narrators to comment
It could make a very good franchise. I really want to see Josh Holloway as Roland.
Again, i haven't read anything else in the series, and it may take me a while to get around to it given this sluggish, taxing book.
Absolutely essential reading for comedy fans everywhere
I didn't expect this to be so gender-centric but it was cool to see how Tina Fey overcame a lot of biases and stereotypes to be the success she is today.
You have to hear her say out loud:
yes, given the time
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