I love Sarah Addison Allen's other two books, Garden Spells and Sugar Queen, but this book was just so-so. It was as though she needed to pay her mortgage, so she threw together another book. It had the same magical elements as the other two books. I don't know if this book was too similar to the others, or whether the plot was just not compelling enough.
What can you say about a book that I, my husband, and my 2 teenage boys *all* liked?? Amazing!
The setting is one I've never read about - Shanghai and the Japanese interment camps in China. The plot totally drew you in. The mystery was good, with some surprise twists you'd never guess, the characters were good, and the narrator did a great job!
First of all, know that all clear is the second book in the series, and you won't get the same effect without reading or listening to Blackout first.
Connie Willis packsin so much detail about life in London during the Blitz, that I could picture being there. It was totally fascinating and engrossing. As usual, the outsider perspective provided by the historians brings the events into even greater focus.
Great job and a book I'll listen to again!
I read all of Sharon Penman's other books, and loved them. I didn't love Lionheart, and I won't read or listen to the next book in the series. I really didn't appreciate all the sex talk in this book. Was she trying to convince me that Richard was not gay, as some have speculated? I could have lived without it.
I didn't feel the history in this book was as well researched and presented as her other books.
I was expecting a time travel book, similar to Gabaldon's Outlander series. This book has an interesting premise and time period, but there is so little plot that the book is boring!!! I think 80% of the dialogue is one of the main characters saying how he/she loves the other one. Over and over. And over. For no reason the plot supports.
January LaVoy did a great job with the voices and the reading. It's hardly her fault that the characters had nothing interesting to say.
Don't waste your credit.
Tons of interesting detail about the practice of medicine during the Civil War. I found most of the actual plot very routine. It's worth the listen if you like historical/medical stuff, but don't expect to be carried away by the story.
The plot is a bit implausible. The characters are always escaping the unescapeable. One crazy escape, okay, but over and over?? Plus, the reader was terrible. No drama, no expression. Read it instead. The writing was relatively good, but the reader ruined it.
This book had some great reviews, but I didn't like either of the two main female characters. I have to admit that I only listened to 5 or 6 chapters, because I found the characters so unappealing. It's not just that the whole plot of the first woman was about her long term adulterous affair with the husband of her "best friend", which I didn't like, but she wasn't a nice person.
But it's wonderful! The characters are memorable, and the many talented readers help to keep the characters straight in your head. The readers bring so much personality to each of the characters that I am grateful I got this first as an audiobook. Reading it myself wouldn't have been as good.
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