I always hesitate to write a 3 star review because I think "who reads the ones in the middle?" I know I usually don't! But this book really didn't deserve a 2 and it sure isn't a 4, so.....stuck in the middle!
Good: The story is told from a male point of view, which is new and different in this genre. He is inviting you to "look" at him and what's going on around him as if you were peering in on this part of his life as the Christmas ghosts allow Scrooge to do.
Average: The story is pretty much like 50 shades in that an unlikely pair begin a relationship and the guy goes from playboy to monogamous (something he never thought he would) as he realizes he's in love rather than just arranging for another lay (there is no BDM). The writing is also like 50 shades in that it isn't literary perfection but isn't entirely stupid or awful or cheesy. The narrator did a decent job overall and the sex scenes very well, yet I do have a complaint about him (see below).
Bad: Character development is cliche stereotypes. The sex scenes are not anywhere near as good as most of the other romance books I've read. They are cliche and lack detail and are more about what he is doing to her (male POV) rather than what she is causing in his body (I want to hear both, but mostly want the man's sexiness and need to ooze everywhere). The story depicts a 27 yr old man who is a NYC native but the narrator sounds like a 40+ yr old from the midwest ("anyone" is pronounced "inyone"). He voice made me conjure up images of Tony Danza than a banking exec. Also, part of the story was the main character talking to us, the readers, and the narrator didn't make it clear when he was talking just to or the character was thinking something in his own head versus when the character was speaking aloud to another character.
Worth a credit? Eh. There are probably better reads out there, but again, this is definitely not awful.
When all 4 (so far) books in a series area all equally entertaining, that says a lot about the author. This story changes the main characters from Cole and Jae Min to Cole's best friend Bobby and Cole's brother Ichi. In the background, Cole is still searching for Shelia and getting shot at and into other trouble as he does so, but those things do not drive the story. The story is simply about Bobby and Ichi developing a relationship and dealing with their inner selves and their outer life (how to tell Cole, for one thing). It is witty, sexy, and insightful, as are the others in this series. The narrator is one of the best I've ever heard, as I've stated in my reviews of the former 3 books, however, his Bobby voice was always sort of silly and dopey to me, so hearing that voice more and trying to put a sexy face on it wasn't easy. Nevertheless, the writing and the performance helped and it worked for me. I think there were a few less sex scenes in this one than the others.
Worth a credit? If you enjoyed the first three in the series, definitely. Could you start with this one? I think it could stand alone, but it would be better to have the Cole story backround.
The premise of this book is that there are beings from the future who can control time but not necessarily enough to get every outcome they want every time and so they play with people and parallel universes like play dough. They strap a silver band on some average people and give them powers to control time in ways I'm sure you've never thought of and plop them down in an alternate universe where they must learn as they go about how to understand and control what they can do while fleeing government capture in a world that is like and yet so unlike where they came from.
The implications for controlling time on daily social life were really food for thought, but other than that nothing new or interesting really came out of what sounds like a great seed for a story. The alternate universe idea got almost zero play, and the author did not give any satisfactory explanations about "our" earth, which dies in the first chapter of the book, or the one they end up in. There is the fact that this seems to be the 55th time these future beings are running this scenario, but again, no info about why or what happened other times or why this time is different or how that might effect the outcome. Other than a vague idea that they want it to come out right, we don't really know whether getting it wrong would be fine for everyone else except these future beings or whether the future of the human race depends on it.
The character development is cookie-cutter, with personality styles that remind us of someone we know and so we can just superimpose it on the one in the story. Each play a role in the story, so rather than actually caring about them, I felt they just moved the plot from here to there. The narrator did a great job of giving each different voices, which helped.
It's confusing to say it's great writing and yet a bad story. What I mean is that the author has nice pacing, makes great observations, makes you think but the "what happens next" thing doesn't really get fulfilled. The first few chapters where great, but once the cool stuff about their situation was learned, and they started to trek across alternate America, there was no more story. And the ending? Can you say major cliff hanger for the next book? Not fulfilling at all.
One of the best narrators I've heard yet though. Even voice, Good at accents and emotions. Never sounds likes he's just reading but rather like he is doing a play.
In fact, I prefer coffee, or in this case, it's best to say that I prefer paranormal romance and sci fi to historical fiction. I don't remember what it was about the description or reviews that made this sound like I would like it, or perhaps it was on sale.....In any case, it was a great find.
It is, mainly, a story of two young women serving in WW II in England. It is about how the war brings together these two people who, if not for the war, would have traveled in different social and geographic circles but whose souls were "meant" to meet and serve each other (the story is not about that, it just seems a fact).
The story is told separately, part 1 and part 2, by each of the main characters. The telling overlaps in important ways that you cannot even guess when hearing the first part. It is necessary that you do not know the part 2 point of view because part 1 is of a prisoner of war and you are made to feel her suffering, sans other perspectives. The ending is absolutely not what I expected and was entirely fulfilling to the plot/story line.
I think if you have a heart, you will love this story. Note: War does play a somewhat gruesome role in the story, not gratuitous at all, but may bother some young or sensitive readers.
Sex right off the bat, falling in love at first get-together, no relationship conflicts, only inner conflict (for one of the characters), everything works out just fine in the end, no surprises. Other than that, the writing is not bad at all. As for the narration, he sounds way older than the two lovers who are both in their 20's and also he uses a fairly foppish style for the early general narration and one of the character's voices, which detracted from picturing them both as hunky, adorable men for me (a woman). However, he does a great job in acting out the emotions as written by the author. A short, fairy tail (no pun intended) romance. Worth full credit price, probably not. Worth a few hours' listen, sure.
It's rare when books in a series get better and better after the author's initial foray into the characters, but not so for this series. This 4th (and so far, last) installment delves deeper into Cole's reaction to the fatal shooting of his former lover as well as his need for and commitment to Jae-min. The narrator brings so much to the story, I can't imagine what I would think of the books, how Cole would sound in my head, if I had read them instead of listened to them. I sure hope there are plans for more of this sexy series!
I enjoyed the "Dirty" series very much and so I looked forward to this other series but after listening to this first one, I don't plan to listen to the rest. I found the "Dirty" books sexy, funny portrayals of great characters in realistic story lines. I found Sinner's Gin to be schmaltzy, predictable and one-dimensional. It's not that I hated it, it just wasn't as good, and so, by comparison, it sucked. Like the "Dirty" books, there is one character with an accent, one skinny Asian loverboy, one strong cop type and a sympathetic female. As with that series, the murder mystery in this one is secondary to the relationship building of the main characters.
Also, the biggest issue MAY have been the narrator. Since I found him awful, I was never sure whether the lack of sexual appeal and the overall baseness of the story was simply that he couldn't (for me) portray these characters adequately or give them any realistic life. The characters are 25-30ish and the narrator's voice sounded 50. The story has a cop with an Irish accent and one with a Latino one. The narrator does the accents well but he sometimes talked in one accent when it was the other character talking (and sometimes did no accent when it was a character who had one). He did not alter his voice to portray the emotions of a situation, with the exception of a few crying moments. The sex scenes? He read them as he read every other word, sentence, paragraph, not sexy at all!
If you have time and credits/money to spare, this book really isn't that bad, but if you are getting it just because you loved the author's other books (on audible) I suggest taking a sample listen before buying, or just passing this one up for something else.
Rhys Ford has such a way with words and, more than that, with using them to put you into the story. This installment was similar to the former two, no better, no worse. Definitely worth a credit if you have enjoyed those!
As I said in prior reviews, the reader has a peculiar lilt to his reading, but it fits the character and is easy to get used to. In this book, I thought he did a particularly good job with an emotional Jae-Min.
The story is the same every time: going to talk to all these people to figure out the crime, being in the wrong place at the wrong time a few times, and then the killer coming in from left field, being someone you could hardly have suspected due to what the writing does/does not let you see. But, hey, it works. I'm not reading this series for the mystery. I don't even like mysteries. I like good characters and love stories, and get that here!
That doesn't sound like the best headline, unless you know these stories and this reader, in which case you know you will get a detailed account of a few months on the lives of Jamie, Claire and their friends and family, read by a reader whose character voices put you right into the story. This book involves some marriages, some coming to terms with who you are and some more info on how the time travel aspect may function (still not a lot of real info on that topic). One review I read before purchasing said the book had too much of reviewing plot developments in former books. It did, but for me, that was welcomed as I tend to forget things. If you've enjoyed all the other books in this series, you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't yet read/listened to them, you should start at the beginning.
This is the second book in the series that I read and I did not enjoy it nearly as much as the first, Dex in Blue. I really felt for Dex and his lover but Ethan's story did not grab me as much. Both of them are soul-searching young adult men coming to understand their place in the world, how to be adult men who can get and deserve what they want, and I loved that aspect in both books. However, I really understood Dex and his reasons for having reservations about accepting himself whereas I didn't resonate with Ethan's I'm sure that is just me and my own, personal, psychology or experience and that it may well be the reverse for other readers....which is to say, I don't thing the writing fell short.
My same criticism of the narrator applies to this book as well: His voice is more mature than the characters' and he at times adapts a childish voice that is just wrong for him and makes the character sound silly. He is a fine reader, gets the inflections and emotions right, but he makes the other main character, Ethan's lover, sound like a pimple-faced nerd, which makes is not easy to the attraction for Ethan, let alone allows you to feel the depth of that character's already-adult feelings about himself (so he can be a guide and light for Ethan).
For those who like to know, there are explicit sex scenes. I found them to be sexy, important to the story development (not just gratuitous) and one of the reasons to keep listening to an otherwise just ok story.
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