New Orleans, United States Minor Outlying Islands | Member Since 2012
Don't get me wrong! This is another fine entry in the Iron Druid series. I love that Coyote is back -- he's not called the Trickster for nothin'! And Atticus resolves his problems in the most interesting and entertaining ways! He doesn't have many friends to lose, so when one turns on him it is fairly devastating. I caught myself saying "What?!...No!" out loud to my iPod, but still...
As much as I love Oberon, he's like a potent spice and a little goes a long way. Tricked had just a little too much Oberon for my taste. He made me smile at the start of the book, but towards the end I was wishing he would just keep quiet.
If Hearne hasn't done it yet, maybe a short story or two from Oberon's perspective might help satisfy his - and fans - need for an Oberon fix.
Daniels does a good job, but, maybe because he had so much Oberon to do, I was starting to hear Scooby Doo towards the end.
I got this book on the recommendation of a friend who validated its current wild popularity. I’m not a romance fan, but my friend’s retelling of the story made it sound interesting and like something I might enjoy. Wow, I should have stuck with her version of the story! I like action, mysteries and thrillers. My favorite authors range from Agatha Christie to Michael Chrichton to Stephen King -- just so you know where I’m coming from. With that background I was unprepared for the plodding narrative of this story. After the first section, I found it extremely boring.
Gabaldon’s love scenes were hot, but everything else? Dry as dust. And I found myself not liking the primary character, Claire, very much. There’s something about her initial situation – accidentally traveling back in time – that didn’t ring true for me. She was a little too eager to go along with what was happening to her. She was a little too savvy, and her internal conflict – getting back to her own time vs. going along to keep her secret – didn’t last long. Soon she finds herself married and dragged along into her new husband’s familial and political dilemmas.
Perhaps if I found 18th century Scottish history more interesting I’d be more into the story and it’s historical aspects. Perhaps I’m too American. Pre Civil War American history – shoot, pre Revolutionary War American history! – is far more interesting to me than Scottish clan squabbles. And the writing could have done with a stricter editor. Gabaldon loves to linger on scenes that have nothing to do with anything – a difficult child birthing scene, a long, graphic description of Jamie’s broken hand, a romp on horseback – nothing that happened in these scenes did anything to move the story along. In fact, I skipped close to 20 hours and went straight to the last hour, and found I hadn’t really missed anything. Hearing the names of characters I didn’t know didn’t bother me. It was easy to get the gist of who they were to Claire fairly quickly. Hearing the end result of events summed up pretty tidily and without confusion the events that happened. It was enough to know “there was a war and people got hurt” than to go through the long, laborious description of the war and then the aftermath. I find it telling of the writing that one doesn’t have to hear the whole story to know the story and know exactly how it ends. This type of storytelling is just not my cup of tea.
I wanted to like this book because it is wildly popular. I wanted to be on the bandwagon for change, but I’m afraid that I won’t be continuing with this series. I’ll binge watch the first season when it comes out on Amazon, and probably get more out of the show than I would the books anyway.
You’ve read this one before. It’s a classic haunted house story, with all the haunted house trademarks – doors that won’t stay latched, footsteps on the floor above when no one is there, lights that turn on by themselves. It’s all here including the skeptical spouse and the vulnerable child. It’s the slow burn storytelling and subtle build up that create the creepy atmosphere. This is aided by the other spooky stories about earlier events in the neighborhood. It seems that there’s more to Angel Hill than one haunted house, and I would welcome further exploration of this strange community.
There is comfort in that you know this story. You know how it ends. If you’re in the wrong frame of mind, this could be boring, but if you’re looking for something mildly scary to while away an overcast afternoon you could do worse than The Third Floor. It won’t challenge you too much but it is a solidly entertaining tale.
This one could have done with more storytelling and less explaining.
Part of what made “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series such compelling novels was that the main character, through his actions, told the story. That is, we the readers discovered the story along with the character. In “Never Coming Back,” the main character, David, doesn’t do much worthwhile discovering on his own.
Just as in the “Dragon Tattoo” there is a photograph and a missing person – well, a whole family, actually – and a distant family member comes to our investigator and says find ‘em. Unlike in the “Dragon Tattoo,” our investigator doesn’t follow one clue to the next and the next. He argues with his partner, he fights with witnesses and suspects, and he doesn’t follow-up on significant leads. Ultimately our investigator follows one corpse to the next and the next, and this high body count does not bode well for our missing family!
The Big Reveal isn’t learned through independent action on the part of our investigator, but instead is explained to us via exposition from a character on an iffy cell phone connection. I suppose the author intended the dropped words to build suspense. Instead it was tiresome and frustrating. And the last solid 30 minutes of the book is nothing but exposition, the Bad Guy sitting with David explaining why he went along with certain schemes and did what he did.
All in all “Never Coming Back” is not the best book for fans of mysteries and thrillers. Perhaps someone less familiar with the genre would find this book enjoyable. I found it somewhat uninspired.
David Bauckham overall wasn’t awful to listen to, but his American accents? Pretty awful to listen to!
They’re all here! Amira’s zombies, the Jacoby twin’s berserkers, and Junie, Toys, Helmut, Violin and Arc Light all make an appearance, and there’s even a shout out to one or two of the short stories. It’s like a fireworks grand finale – they all go off fast and furious, and you have just enough time to recognize one monster before the next one explodes overhead.
Zombies, berserkers and quick-onset Ebola are scary enough, but what’s even more frightening is the DMS fighting the ultimate monster – one it created. There’s the real sense that Ledger and Echo Team are up against their greatest challenge. And in the end, do they really prevail? “Mr. Church” must answer some serious questions - for himself if no one else - about the DMS teams he’s created.
Code Zero is a fast-paced thrill ride full of monster mayhem and Ledger’s military might. Ray Porter’s narration is, as usual, brilliant. He is Joe Ledger. He is Mr. Church. He is Rudy, Bunny, Top and Circe too.
If you’re into monsters and badassery you can’t go wrong with Joe Ledger and the DMS. If you’re new to Ledger this isn’t the best book to start. At least read Patient Zero or the Dragon Factory first. For longtime fans and those who’ve read all the previous books, Code Zero is a real treat.
Not a fun summer read.
In this book terror takes the form of a knock on the door, a change in the sound of birds cooing, and imagined threats. “Something” is out there! Something unidentifiable, something that, though you don’t know what it is and wouldn’t know it even if you saw it, if seen would drive you mad to the point of murder and suicide.
Malorie, a young mother, attempts to pilot herself and her children down a river in a rowboat blindfolded. Her destination is a supposed refuge some 20 miles downriver. How Malorie got to the moment of this desperate act is the bulk of the story. She spends most of her time pregnant and scared in a house full of characters that are ill-defined and largely uninteresting. There are Tom, Don and Jules, among others. Tom is fatherly and curious, Don is paranoid and angry and Jules is good with dogs, and that’s about all we get to know about them. They bicker and they plan and they debate the nature of something they can’t see, have never seen and can’t study. All they know is if you see it, you die, and you will likely take a bunch of other people with you when you go down.
Seeking things with the ends of broomsticks and moments of attempting to identify half heard sounds are obvious attempts at suspense and terror, and end up being neither suspenseful nor terrifying. Imagine you’re standing in full daylight on a beautiful spring morning watching someone blindfolded, obviously terrified of what they only think they’ll run into, attempt to fill a bucket from a well. Yeah, that’s how I felt throughout the whole book. I waited for something to happen, something that wasn’t imagined by the characters or from a second-hand story they heard on the news.
And the soft, tremulous voice of the narrator only added to the heavy grayness of the story.
Perhaps this book wasn’t the best choice after reading exciting rip-roaring fare like “Mr. Mercedes” and “Skin Game.” Perhaps this is a story better suited to overcast, wintery days, but I found it somewhat depressing and claustrophobic. I wanted to rip off blindfolds and have the story just be told.
“Night Chills” wasn’t a horrible story, but I did do a lot of eye-rolling listening to it.
One of the fiction writer’s credos is “only trouble is interesting.” But when the trouble comes about because of your character’s asinine decisions or forced and inexplicable circumstances, then the trouble is more frustrating and less interesting. Here is an example: You’re at a public rest stop. Your kids are in the car with you and you need a pay phone. You spot one some distance from where you’re parked, but instead of driving closer to the phone, you decide to get out and walk to it leaving your kids alone in the unlocked car. Oh, and this just after you’ve gotten a creepy message telling you that someone wanted to hurt one of your kids. So, of course, while you’re on the phone, you turn around to see a creepy man chatting up your daughters in the backseat. My first thought was, “dude, you didn’t see this coming? You’re in a public rest stop! Nothing good ever happens in a public rest stop,” and I rolled my eyes.
Here’s another one: Your young daughter is lost in a hospital. To help find her you’ve enlisted a couple of orderlies to wander the halls calling her name. It occurs to you that your daughter might not respond to a couple of strange men shouting after her, and so you conclude that she must be hiding. I’m thinking, “hospital is big enough for a child to get lost in but not big enough to have a PA system? Get on the PA and let her hear her mother’s voice,” but this wouldn’t have worked for the story as written. Child stays lost, story moves on, and I rolled my eyes.
The story’s interesting MacGuffin isn’t revealed until the last third of the novel, and then it’s not fully explored, which makes me think there might be a book 2 on the way. If so, I just hope that Gunhus can make his plot devices a bit more believable.
James Lewis didn’t do a bad job. In fact he did a great job. He has the wonderfully deep basso voice of a TV news anchor, great for reading the news but doesn’t allow for a wide range in personality and characterization.
The Lonely Planet traveler knows how to see some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic locations on the cheap. A passport, a backpack, a pair of good boots and a map of the local youth hostels and you’re on your way. Typical problems on the road revolve around disease, transportation, food and water. Who would think to add serial killer to this list? This is the idea presented in this creepy little story.
International backpackers are typically affable, easy-going and a happy-go-lucky bunch. Easy to make new friends of a variety of cultures and always up for “whatever” they are the low hanging fruit to the traveling sociopath on a budget. Our Hero, Paul, a world traveler of The Road, encounters this serial killer and begins a slow chase to find him and stop him forever. Part of this is a revenge quest – Paul’s girlfriend was one of the victims – but along the way Paul learns that the whole situation is even creepier than simple murder.
This slow thriller, set in the early aughts, has Paul traveling from internet café to internet café, from Cameroon to Nepal to Indonesia. The author paints each location beautifully; you know he’s been there, that he’s eaten the food and seen the sights. The thrill isn’t in the mystery, Paul figures out who the killer is pretty quickly, but in how he’s going to resolve the situation. Local and international law enforcement are less than helpful. It’s down to him, a Lonely Planet web editor, and a handful of acquaintances he met on The Road.
The storytelling is a little dry, and I would have preferred more mystery, but the backpacking lifestyle and each location is brought to vivid life, and it made me want to pack a pack, buy a water filter and hit The Road – despite the serial killer.
Take the Bourne stories and shave away character development, simplify the plot to good guy runs/bad guys chase, and you’ve got the Gray Man stories.
This is not necessarily a criticism. What remains is a consistent character – Court Gentry will always be a “singleton,” a lone operator, his character will never be complicated by relationships, and whatever trouble he gets into he will rely only upon himself and his wits to get out of it.
What we miss are answers to questions like how did Gentry become who he is? Why does the government want him dead? After four books we’re still left with vague and incomplete answers.
The action is non-stop and the book is a page-turner; I didn’t want to stop listening to it. And it’s a return to classic Gray Man after the book 3 side trip to Mexico. I do wish that there was more character development, and that the storyline had more meat on it. The action was projected; it was too easy to see what was coming next. I like the character Court Gentry. I’d like to see him interact within a more complex storyline.
Maybe we’ll get that in book 5. Now that Gentry is hooked in with a powerful foreign intelligence agency he’ll start doing the chasing instead of being the chased, and we’ll find out why the CIA wants him dead!
I love listening to Jay Snyder read these stories. He can go from Frat Boy Dude to Commando in an eye blink. His narration makes all the difference.
A guy wakes up in a Los Angeles cemetery. He’s on fire. He beats out the flames and mugs another guy for cash and a jacket. He’s just come back from Hell. Can you be more badass than that? Meet James Stark, also known in Heaven and Hell as Sandman Slim.
Demon-snatched at 19 and taken “Downtown” (Hell), Stark spends 11 years fighting in Hell’s arena and being abused by Hellions and Lucifer’s army before he finds a way to escape. Now he’s 30 and he’s back in L.A. on a quest for revenge.
This first person narrative has us in Stark’s head as he encounters old and new friends, and seeks out the enemies that sent him Downtown and killed his beloved Alice.
Kadrey’s L.A. is vivid, and Stark’s view of it is at the same time loving and cynical. His smirking, smart-assy quips and observations define the character and set a dark tone for the story. Stark is dark! He’s in a similar milieu as Harry Dresden, but he is far darker.
What can you expect from a guy who spent a decade in Hell? A lot of action and mayhem in colorful settings, from Lucifer’s penthouse suite to a punk tiki bar in L.A. called the Bamboo House of Dolls. If that’s not the best name ever for a bar, I don’t know what is.
If you ever wished that Dresden were a little darker, or if you ever wished that Atticus O’Sullivan were meaner, well here he is in Sandman Slim.
MacLeod Andrews’ growl perfectly embodies Stark’s character. He sounds like a guy who's been smoking Maledictions and drinking Aqua Regia for years.
Well, if vampires were going to take over I believe they would start in L.A. too! “They Thirst” is McCammon’s love letter to “Dracula,” Los Angeles, and now, looking at 30 years past, the 1980’s – I smiled every time a character needed to find a pay phone or turned up a transistor radio.
I first read this book as a kid in the 80’s growing up in Los Angeles. At the time this was sort of the cool kid’s antidote to the “Twilight” of the time (“Interview With a Vampire”) because it was current and used real and – nudge-nudge, wink-wink -- “fictional” L.A. references. From Bela Lugosi to Elvira, Los Angeles has always had a special relationship with vampire mythology and storytelling, and McCammon plays this up to full effect in “They Thirst.”
As an adult I can appreciate his tongue-in-cheek homage to “Dracula,” and his hat tip to “Salem’s Lot” too. He even throws in a couple of shout outs to two of his own earlier novels. Clearly, this is McCammon having fun with the storytelling, so it’s not one of his most polished and mature works. Some of the characters and plot twists are just monster movie over the top. And though it is a little on the long side for this type of story, you still just want to settle in with a big bowl of buttered popcorn and listen the afternoon away. [cue the Theremin and thunder sound effects]
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