I might try another book by the author, but doubt I would listen to the narrator again, unless he becomes more polished.
The concept of the story was good, but was not very well executed. I liked the idea of reality-shaping, but the characters were cardboard.
The narrator has a pleasant voice--nice British accent--but he pauses at points within sentences throughout the entire book that makes the story hard to follow. He does this most markedly when the sentence begins with someone's name, so that one is expecting some character to be directly addressed. This narrator may become a good one if his timing can be improved. He has a nice voice.
Disappointment. I was expecting so etching along the lines of the "Butterfly Effect", but the story was choppy and characters were not well developed.
I enjoyed this book. First, because I like Lovecraft and his universe. Second, because I really, really like Ray Porter's narration. Third, because the characters in the book are fun--for the most part. The baddies are smarmy-bad and squishy and some of them are large, tentacled and completely food-oriented.
The book has everything: a Scooby-doo cast of characters, an out-there artist who is often naked while sunbathing, a computer geek, a mysterious old house with a room opening onto deep space, the Great Old Ones, dimensional shifts, a murder mystery, a cult...everything.
You will, of course, need to suspend disbelief completely,but that's not a problem...right?
I read this book twice to see if I missed anything because the ending was too abrupt and unsatisfying. Not Ms Rusch's best.
As others have noted, the main character, Thomas, is an egotistical and unlikeable person. He is an actor with a troubled past and a traumatic childhood. His mother never really loved him, his father molested and later killed Thomas' sister. He spent time in a series of foster homes. So, I don't hold it against him that he is not very likeable.
Thomas buys a house in a seaside village where a show he was in was filmed but he doesn't remember the village much because of drugs he was doing while filming. But some of the villagers remember him--not favorably. A woman had been killed in the house some years before. After a bit, Thomas' daughter visits him and is killed. The death remains unsolved--until the very end of this book.
Some time later, Thomas breaks his leg during the filming of the tv series in which he is starring and returns to the house to recuperate. He has a heavy cast and must use crutches. Birds are killed and nailed to his door, he receives notes from his dead daughter and women begin dying in gruesome ways. Thomas is not a suspect because he can hardly hobble around, although people report seeing a man much like him in the costume Thomas wears on set in the show.
Then, in a very sudden ending, it turns out that the killer is some sort of split-off energy alter ego of Thomas' and kills for some reason we never learn. They fight, merge back into one being and roll off a cliff. And that's it.
Ms Rusch's "Retrieval Artist" series is MUCH superior. I have all of those and enjoy them. If you have not read them and are starting off with this book, don't let this one put you off. Fortunately, I started off with the "Retrieval Artist" series, or I may have been tempted to pass on her other books if I had read only Facade--the book is actually not bad until the ending, which is just too inexplicable. I suspected the killer would be some version of Thomas, somehow, but the denoument is unsatisfyingly written.
The narration is good. The editing pretty good, although once or twice a line is repeated from where narration paused and restarted, but not too distracting.
This book was about a psychic who becomes unwillingly involved with the mob. It was moderately well done, for a first novel. This psychic is killed by the mob boss after he is lied to about one of her predictions--powers in the form of zodiac signs-come-to-life manifest themselves to avenge her death.
I don't have a problem so far suspending disbelief(heaven knows, I 've read about zombies, time travel, wizards and vampires) but felt supersizing the manifestations was overkill. I did have a bit of difficulty with the author's idea that information can be "inhaled". I don't know why, just that it seemed odd phrasing to me.
With regard to the narrator, his voice is very pleasant; he does the dialog part of the story very well. During the background narration part, though, he pauses at awkward places and there are a few mispronuciations. I thought he might have been a promising beginner, but after listening to the book, I checked his name and found he has narrated quite a few.
I would be willing to listen to him again on a second book. If that is improved, I would listen to more.
The editing was a bit sloppy--there are lines and words repeated in places where it seems the narration was paused, then resumed.
All in all, I got through the book okay. It is far from the worst book I have purchased and it IS a first novel for the author, according to the notes at the end. So I am willing to cut it a lot of slack. After all, I myself have NO published work. It did not require a lot of mental effort to listen to and was fine for background while doing chores around the house.
The novel ends with the words "to be continued...", so there is apparently a sequel in the works. I would be willing to purchase it to see how the author and the story progress--I am guessing that the story will follow the travels of the mysterious table that once belonged to Nostradamus and, eventually, to the psychic in this story.
I have started at book one in this series and am making my way through them in order. I have all the Hamish Macbeth books by this author as well.
Unlike the Macbeth books, the main two characters in this series are not really likeable, although Agatha is sort of growing on me as we go along in the series. Maybe her love interest, James Lacey, will do the same eventually.
So far, I have not been able to guess the murderer with certainty in any of the books, so that is a big plus. As with the Macbeth books, I feel like I am coming to know the entire village cast of characters as their backgrounds are brought to light from book to book. If the characters are typical of British people, they are extremely outspoken and blunt, to put it mildly.
Agatha is very interesting. She is a self-made woman who has become wealthy after having dragged herself out of her beginnings in the slums. Naturally, she is very tough and untrusting. She does not hesitate to bulldoze her way to the results she wants. After she took and early retirement and moved to the Cotswolds, she is befriended by the villagers even though she has not always been entirely scrupulous in some of her past dealings with them, such as trying to cheat her way to a baking prize and a gardening prize. She gets found out but learns from these mistakes when she realizes that, unlike in her former business, she doesn't have to "win" all the time to be liked.
In this book, her love interest, James Lacey, and she have agreed to be married and the wedding arranged. Unfortunately, Agatha has neglected to to tell anyone her husband is still living. When said husband shows up at the altar, mayhem and murder ensue.
Both Agatha and James are suspects for a time, but are cleared eventually. James is in a snit because Agatha did not tell him of the husband's existence and takes off for a while. But Agatha has sold her cottage preparatory to marrying James and moving in, so she stays with him briefly while maneuvering to get her own house back and realizes she doen't know him very well.
As I said, Agatha--although not very likeable--is growing on me because the books reveal why she acts the way she does as the series progresses, but James seems a selfish man with the regimented lifestyle of a longterm military bachelor. I do not much care for him at this point. The characters I like best in the series are the vicar's wife and the detective sargeant Bill Wong, who is a good friend to Agatha despite their age difference.
I have not read the print version, so I can't really compare directly. I love audiobooks when the narrator is good. I enjoy Daniel Thomas May's performance very much. I always know which of the characters he voices is speaking.
The main character, Adam Ward, is my favorite. Sometimes I like him and sometimes I am aggravated with him. He is a walking contradiction at times. He is very intelligent but somewhat immature emotionally. It is the emotional aspect of his character that seems to get him into trouble. He makes some really dumb decisions at times, but recovers and learns from them. He takes responsibility for his actions, though, and does have ethics even though, at the height of his addiction, he violated many of them.
The scene in the motel room where Adam finds a vial of the drug he is addicted to was my favorite.
In this motel scene where he finds the drug that was left as a trap for him, he struggles with the desire to use the drug versus the desire to remain clean. It is a mark of his progress in character development that the struggles to stay clean have become shorter as he realizes he has more desire to keep the good things in his life than he wants to use the drug, although he will always have the cravings.
Adam is also better able to lessen some of his dependence on others and to function more independently. He handles his own money now and is not so dependent on Cherabino as a work partner and he is working better with others. He fell a long way from his Guild Professor status and was emotionally and intellectually damaged by the drug, but is slowly crawling out of the pit. He has made a lot of progress compared to where he was in Book One.
I always enjoy the Pendergast books. Pendergast had started, in some of the previous books, to seem somewhat infallible and superhuman. This book brought him back down to earth and showed him to have some human weaknesses after all, while retaining his great will and self-discipline. I was pleased to see that two of the female characters, the Misses Green, had well rounded roles and were not relegated to being damsels in distress.
Constance Green is my favorite character in this book. She showed how far she would go to help Pendergast, even at great physical cost to herself. She has adapted well to modern society and has overcome many obstacles over the course of the series.
I have listened to all the Pendergast novels that he has narrated. His voice is very mellow and pleasing. He has a nice range that can encompass male and female voices and several accents. I always enjoy his presentations.
The scene in which Pendergast witnesses the autopsy of Alban was moving. I have seen two autopsies and I cannot imagine doing that if it were my son. The author described Pendergast's willpower and determination perfectly.
The authors need help with medical scenes. I am a nurse and the EMT/ hospital scene at the end of the book was the only really bad one. I gave the book four stars instead of five because of it. I noted a similar problem in one of the other books, I cannot remember which one at the moment. I am willing to suspend a LOT of disbelief, but when scenes involve reality that could be checked for accuracy and believabilty, there is little excuse for the poor work. They need to get input from a doctor and/or a nurse when writing these. If they had input, they need to get someone else. Don't let the one bad scene deter you from buying the book, though.
Yes, I would recommend this book for passing the time enjoyably. I found it to have an interesting take on the character of the Devil. I quite liked him, as a matter of fact.
I don't know that I would read it multiple times, but once was certainly ok and maybe twice.
Young, Scottish, unique.
I cannot see its being made into a series, but, perhaps a movie. I would put Kevin Ryan as the Devil, Orlando Bloom as the Archangel Michael and Benedict Cumberbatch as Harry. For females: Kristen Stewart as Kath and Evan Rachel Wood as Steph.
I think the author needs to work more on character development. These were a bit like cardboard cutouts. The narrator has a Scottish accent, which I like, but for USA listeners, it may take a few minutes to get used to. The narrator is in his 30s, but sounds younger, so I did think him appropriate for this book. He did a pretty good Irish accent for the Devil. Needs a little more practice on differentiating other voices, but he is relatively new and I think he will get better. I found him easy to listen to and would have no problem listening to him again. The book had an interesting premise. Instead of making a deal with the devil, the main character has to cut a deal with God.
I enjoy the whole Hamish Macbeth series. I feel as though I know the whole village. The books are formulaic, but that is ok when you just want to pass the time pleasantly.
I was a bit hesitant to get the books narrated by Shaun Grindell because the first books I bought had been narrated by Graeme Malcolm, who was very good. Although Mr Malcolm is still the better reader in my opinion, once I adjusted to the change of a familiar character sounding different, Mr Grindell was pleasant enough, especially when doing accents. He does sound a little younger than Mr Malcolm, so he is appropriate for a man in his thirties, like Hamish.
We all know the "perfect woman" who sort of tyrannizes people into doing everything her way--in a "nice" way, of course. She is the perfect Stepford housewife who turns the women into little automatons and the men into desperate souls who just want their meat and potatoes back.
It is hard to blame the killer--a man's gotta eat.
This was a very convoluted book which may have been easier to follow in print.
Through NO fault of the narrator--he was excellent--it was often difficult for me to understand immediately in which time period the story was taking place. There were flashbacks and changes in POV and time travel and an evil cat. There were different versions of the same character. Alternate universes.
Those with weak stomachs be aware that several descrptions of bodily functions were a bit too graphic and detailed. It is ok to say that some character vomits, but I do not really need to know all the contents of it.
I did get to the end of the book after several starts and stops and going back over chapters. As I said, maybe it would have been better to get the print version.
Too little reseach done in some areas. Writers have the mutants suffering from vitamin D deficiency and calling it scurvy. Scurvy results from vitamin C deficiency.They describe signs of bone disease, such as bow legs,more likely to be rickets instead.
I can suspend disbelief as well as anyone because I love mutants, zombies, aliens, vampires and ghosts as much as anyone, but the above was just sloppy writing.
Dick Hill is a good narrator, IMHO, but to me he is Reacher, not Pendergast. I prefer Rene Auberjonois for Pendergast. I have all the Pendergast novels and some of the other books by these authors and generay enjoy them very much. This book was an anomaly and every author is entitled to one dud.
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