I had heard of Mary Higgins Clark before, but this is my first read/listen to one of her books. I have to say I was disappointed. For such a popular and accomplished author, I found her writing to be sub-par. So, although the plot was interesting and the book suspenseful, I can't help but thinking that the novel would have been much better if the story line was taken and written by a different author.
The narrator was not great. However, in my listening experience, female narrators seldom are. There have been a few female narrators that I've listened to that were outstanding, but not many. (By the way, my wife feels the same way on this.)
Now I've probably got not only all MHC fans upset with me, but all women, too. Sorry about that, but I'm just sharing my honest opinions.
I really want to like this series. This is the type of series I thought I would really enjoy. However, the first book, Relic, was a real struggle to get through. I'm thinking maybe the narrator was the culprit. So I tried this, the second book, but had the same problem--just a real tough time getting into it. I quit after getting about a quarter of the way through. Although I usually like Dick Hill as a narrator, he just didn't work for this book. Or maybe the struggle is because of the writing, or a combination of both. I am going give this series one more try, and jump to book four, Still Life With Crows, because Scott Brick is my favorite narrator of them all. If he can't make this series better, nobody can.
I listened to three hours of this before giving up. Too many f-words, Lord's name in vain, and the like for me to enjoy the book. Probably would have been a good overall story otherwise, but I'll never know.
Good story, written fairly well. Suspenseful. Narrator was just average. Overall, it was definitely worth a credit. Glad I listened.
If you like books that drone on and on about nothing much in a somewhat humorous, well-written style, and read by a very good narrator with a cool accent, then this book is right up your alley. I was really tempted to stop listening several times, but I trudged on to the end. It's really kind of hard to describe, and something kept pulling me back in. Maybe I got used to the characters, and I hate to leave a book unread once started (although I have a few times), and I enjoyed the narrator and her accent. Plus, there were some really humorous dialogue and episodes in there, so it was not completely without redeeming qualities. I can actually see this book appealing to some people, but it was not for me. I figure the reason is that it took so long to get anywhere. I had my player set on 3X speed for last third of the book.
When I first started listening to this book, I immediately realized that the author was adept at his craft. I thought this would be a good novel. However, even though written by a technically skilled author, I found the book to be excruciatingly slow. Slowness led to boredom. Boredom led to me not finishing the book after enduring three-fourths of the way.
The narrator had a good reading voice, but read slowly, which would have added to the dragginess of the book if I hadn't listened in double speed. The narrator was not very good at differentiating voices.
I love apocalyptic novels, both zombie and non-zombie. Unfortunately, I've run into many of this type that are sub-par and hardly listenable. This, however, is a book with a good story line, and is nicely written. I also applaud the author for creating a good zombie series without the use of coarse language throughout. That is quite refreshing.
All good so far. However...
The narrator, though talented, has an annoying [breath] style of inserting breaths at odd times. This is [breath] very distracting. I was so annoyed [breath] by this idiosyncrasy, that I often lost track of what was happening in the novel, and I had to [breath] keep rewinding and re-listening to parts of the book. The good news, though, is that I have listened to the second book of this series and found that, although it has the same narrator, the speaker does not employ the same quirk while narrating that book. To me, the second book is a much better listen.
My suggestion: Read the first book the old-fashioned way, then listen to the rest of the series.
Sorry, can't go along with all the high ratings for this book. It was fairly interesting during the first two or three hours, though quite ridiculous in parts, then just got boring and ridiculous.
What do I mean by ridiculous? In addition to the 13-year old girl being the master zombie killer? There were several things, the highlight of which was, after the plague started and zombies were a threat, the main characters decide to go to a concert held outside in a park in NYC. See any problem there?
Boredom set in after the characters made it to sea. Their mission is to rescue everyone they find trapped in boats, ships, and life rafts. So, over and over--and over and over--that is what they do, disinfecting the vessels of zombies and rescuing survivors, with the 13-year old being the ultimate zombie boat-clearing weapon. It just got old.
My wife and I both love good apocalyptic and/or zombie novels. However, in my book, this didn't qualify as a "good" such book. I finished the book at X2 speed, just because I hate to leave a book unfinished, but my wife couldn't bear it and quit the book after a few hours in.
The narration was acceptable, but not near outstanding.
We definitely won't be seeing what the rest of the series holds for the zombie-killing, boat-clearing, survivor-rescuing crew at sea.
I thought this listen should have been better than it was. It's a great story, and I the writing was good enough. Nothing really bugged me throughout the book. However, I found myself having to back up many times because my mind wondered. Also, I didn't listen for very long in bed before I was ready to give up for the night. It took longer to listen to this book than would a sixteen-hour great story with good writing and an excellent narrator. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't nitpicking the narrator throughout the book, and I thought he did a decent job technically. However, he didn't bring the extra umph into the book like a really good narrator will do. So, all things considered, I blame it on the narrator.
I will still try the next book in the series, because it's such a good story. I just wish someone better for this book was reading it.
Just personal preference, I guess, but I thought the book was slow, and I didn't care for the writing style of the author. There were a many things that bugged me as well. During the initial few days after the outbreak, the characters seemed clueless as to what was going on, whereas it seems that a normal person would put two and two together. The book was overweight with hot tempers and angry personalities. Nobody was really likable in the book. After reading, we don't really know what caused the virus, no indication of what the government is doing, no information if it has spread worldwide or how other countries are handling things, or if there is any attempt to counteract the virus. No attempt by the characters to communicate with the rest of the world. Although there were several scenes of action, many times the book just seemed to drag on and on. Being descriptive is one thing, but I felt that at times the author was too descriptive, unnecessarily so, and redundantly at times. After the first time, I got tired of hearing that somebody whispered something "to whatever deity might be listening."
It's difficult to rate a narrator with a book like this, because the writing itself does affect the narration. I think Christian Rummel did a fair job, and is overall a good narrator for this type of book. That being said, something nagged me throughout the whole book, every time Cade spoke via Mr. Rummel. Cade was a female, former Israeli military. Someone even mentioned her Israeli accent in the book. However, the narrator applied a semi-warped British accent when Cade spoke, so every time she was talking, I was thinking, "That's an odd accent for an Israli." To me, since Cade was a major character, that was a pretty big irritation, but other than that, the narrator did a decent job with the material he was given, whether he was speaking for a male or female.
Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series.
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