Bogart, GA, United States | Member Since 2010
At first, I wasn't sure I was digging the pace of this story, and I wasn't sure just how all these odd elements I'd read about in the summary were going to fit together. I was pleasantly surprised. The writer brought out a lot of evolutionary biology inspired aspects of Steve the sea monster which really made the story more realistic (at least as realistic as a story about a sea monster can get), and the whole town being off their meds was the perfect catalyst for a good ride. The premises Moore used were believable and fit together so well, and the guy has such a great sense of humor, that really came out in this book. Give it a listen. I definitely recommend it!
Okay, I didn't hate this book or the narrator. I really wanted to like it. But what began to make that harder and harder in the beginning was that the details of what was going on when, who was who, where the characters were, etc seemed to be either missing or hard to follow. I think they were just so briefly mentioned that they were very easy to miss. The fact that the story was so reliant on a dense plot full of little details, not all of which mattered, and skimped on character development didn't help.
What really was the final straw for me, after I'd gotten to about mid book and was really no longer following the fine details of the plot, was the continuously, boringly tense tone. The main character was always tense. Always. It's not that she necessarily felt that way in the story all the time, though she often did--she was just written in that style in her dialogue and thoughts. She doesn't drink, she doesn't wear makeup, she doesn't give in to fear easily, she's not in the market for love every time she sees a pretty, dangerous man, she's always working--these are all admirable qualities-- but things like this seemed to function as a way to keep her always at a distance from other characters. It contributed to the tense and sober mood of the whole story, which can be a good thing if it isn't allowed to get tiresome. The main character's continual use of the words "MY GOD." whenever something big was happening really didn't help bring any grittiness to that mood either, though it seemed intended to.. Actually that just made it kind of cheesy.
I didn't get to know, or really want to know her characters. I didn't especially want Anita to further explore a relationship with any of them. None of it really excited me. The author wrote some really cool scenes though! She showed some creativity with that, for sure. It just wasn't enough to carry this largely featureless ball of plot and tension past the finish line in my opinion.
I think this story was really something special, even though throughout the first half of the book I wondered if this was the work of a talented, but then inexperienced author. I wondered this because the first half was marked by a lack of sensory detail. I like stories that put me in the setting and let me feel what is happening. The atmosphere here wasn't incredibly immersive, and also the author kept using the same figure of speech to describe character's emotional reactions again and again (everybody's always sucking their teeth in disgust, or sucking their teeth to show some other negative emotion, it gets weird). I thought the story skimped on detail fairly often, though not in a way that crippled it. Altogether, once it gets going this is a really cool story. It's culturally immersive and graceful and full of cool voodoo stuff. The ending was especially fitting and satisfying too. Worth the cash.
Carine Montbertrand narrated the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. She was better here than in that work, but even in Uglies her skill as a narrator made up for the kind of weak, gravelly voices she does, and her own odd voice. I think she did well here. I also like having a separate narrator to read all the perspectives of the peripheral characters. That makes the change in perspective more defined.
This book could have been really good. It reminded me of American Elsewhere, at first, though much less skillfully written. Then i realized that it's one of those that keeps you listening by repeatedly introducing many weird details that make you want to know what is going on, (like LOST), without ever really explaining any of it. The book then continues only hinting at what's going on with the main plot while leading you through a story full of implausible, cliche, unrelated and incomplete ideas that come out of left field. Thing is, I actually liked LOST.
Omens begins as a mystery revolving around a very strange town and a central family mystery which both beg to be discovered, then in the last two hours of the nine hour story, it completely derails and turns into a mystery based only on a far fetched government conspiracy which has almost nothing to do with the original direction of things.
In the end you're left none the wiser about the town and characters, with a totally undeveloped but obviously budding romance between the female protagonist and a beautiful but disrespectful a***ole who's really only like that because he's wounded and needs to be loved (as usual), and what else? A climax based on a distant and random subplot that was only developed for less than a fourth of the book, and right at the very end? Is it going to be like this through the whole series? It's a good thing to have subplots, I get that, but this book is like... Have you even decided on your plot yet, author?
So frustrating. If this constant, heavy-handed hinting with no payoff is how you get people to buy the next book in your series, then I'm out. That's just stingy and hack.
I like this book. It's a cozy mystery which pulls you along with its momentum and description, and the mystery of it is also enticing. I want to buy the rest of the series. I will not be buying the audio version from audible though, and I urge you not to buy it either. I really cannot believe that this same narrator was hired to do every single book in the series after this terrible performance. Raising the playback speed really only helps alleviate the awfulness of this lady's narration a little, tiny bit. That only takes care of her unnatural slowness. At first, it was irksome, but I actually wanted to punch her in the face after the millionth time she annunciated a word so carefully that even words like "And" ended up with extra syllables on the end. She sounds like a robot which was built only to read illustrated books to five year olds, though I think even a child that age would find her reading style condescending and utterly wooden. Thanks for sucking every bit of personality out of this text, lady. Great job.
At first I was pleased enough with this story, but then half way through I gave it up. The plot was laid out in a strangely scattered way that didn't do much for the tension building element of a mystery. There were lots of jokes and similes that really fell flat. There were some pretty sketchy plot devices. And then there was the sex scene which happened all of a sudden between a woman and a ghost, when the woman had been in mid conversation with like four people who were forced to stand there and watch as all the very intimate acts happened right in front of them, which was just repulsive for some reason. I thought the central concepts were cool and could have really worked. This would have been fun if it had been done with more skill. After I put it down, all I was left with was the impression of a main character who told lots of jokes, about 20% of which landed, and who never really had her personality expounded on much more than that, and lots of events in her life which seemed kind of unrelated.
For a mostly lighthearted fairy story this is well written, funny, and relatable.
The structure of this story really isn't as great as that of the last. It's got kind of an anticlimactic beginning and a really long and kind of boring middle. I'm really not getting into this one even though I loved the first. Also, it seems like maybe the editor kicked this one out the door a little too quickly. There are some repetitive parts, some info dumping, and some overused jokes. I'm disappointed with this. The first was great.
First, I really, really didn't need to hear the saliva swimming around in the narrator's mouth between every single word. Really.
Second, the narrator wasn't a totally confident reader. He was a little stiff.
Third, the plot was put together well and integrated into the prose pretty well. The paranormal subject matter was used in a calculated and slightly original way.
Still. It was so pulpy that my mind kept wandering from the story. It didn't grab me that much. The author wasn't half bad when he wrote this, but he wasn't that great either. I mean, it's not nearly as poorly written as, say, 50 shades or a Charlaine Harris; just not totally compelling.
And the male chauvinism of the young Butcher is quite evident. Here's a note: if you're looking for some reason to have pride in yourself, don't use your gender. You had nothing to do with which gender you ended up being born with, and what you see in it as superiority boils down to a mere lack of understanding and maturity.
Didn't think I could like anything as much as I liked Neuromancer, but this I like equally as much. The way this author balances entertainment with literary value, with poetry, it's just too amazing. I can't fathom it. And what an awesome ending!
I prefer this book to many of even those of Anne Rice for vampire fare. She has a tendency to go into long, languorous detail, sometimes to the point of derailment (as in the vampire chronicles series after the first three books). Some reviewers thought that this book had too much worthless detail, but I thought that even when back story was being developed, or when the story moved along with most of the characters (and the reader) being left totally unaware of the true nature and intentions of the other characters and where they would inevitably take the plot, even then there was so much rich and realistic and exciting history to absorb from the story that not a single moment failed to entertain. This is just well written. Really, it takes you from start to finish so effortlessly. Martin didn't make the mistake of having only the vampires be the center of his story. The historical setting and the detail it was rendered in were really enthralling. This book has substance, character, horror, and excitement. Be aware however, that it is about the american south before slavery was abolished. It's not a book for those who are bothered by hearing the N-word over and over again, or generally hearing about people of all colors being treated as live stock and sex objects. I know things like that can be really unpleasant for some, and life was more than unpleasant for many back then.
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