Like all good sci fi series, it takes a bit to get into the flow of the story. But this is a good one.
Some of the minor characters are a bit predictable and formulaic, but the story is fresh and engaging.
Like all Nesbo books, this is one where, if you think you know who did it and there is more than five minutes left in the book, you probably don't. I ended up staying up way too late both nights during the two days it took me to listen to this book. Another fabulous addition to the Harry Hole series.
The only negative thing I could possibly muster up about this series is that the third book isn't out yet. The world, characters, story line, and narration are all fabulous. This will rank up with the series I've most enjoyed if the next books stay true to form.
I'm only a bit in to this book, but I'm already gritting my teeth. I love the story and author, and intend to listen to the entire series. But the dude that reads this reminds me of the guys you hear on automated response systems ... "if you would like to speak to the customer service division, press 1." He is horrible. But I see he doesn't do the third book, and hope the people who cast these books realize this in all the books after number two.
Having only recently discovered downloadable audio books, I have also only recently discovered a love of science fiction. But this series sucked up every moment of my available listening time, to the point I was putting my iPod on for even the shortest trip to the loo at work. Like all series, it has it's high and low points, and sometimes the narrator grates a nerve with his accents, but I chewed through the series so fast I had some 'splaining to do when the bill came. It's a great story and a fun listen/read.
I LOVE Patricia Cornwell, but I am so tired of the trend her books are taking. If Kay Scarpetta is her alter ego, Ms. Cornwell is a little self-absorbed. No really, are all evil mastermind criminals intent on destroying a certain medical examiner for no apparent reason? Are you feeling persecuted for some reason, Ms. Cornwell. Please make your books about the science and the people, and not about some paranoid fantasy come true. But I nonetheless enjoy revisiting many of your characters. Just try to get back to basics and pull your writing back from the edge of the land of make believe.
All books in this series are just wonderful. The story is creative and new, the characters are complex and fascinating, and it is full of shifts and turns that keep you wondering what the author is getting at. I want to listen to the series several times to try and unfold the layers. But, other than the main characters being children, I have a hard time seeing these as children's books. Evan for a middle-aged woman who has spent considerable time mulling over religion, spirituality, and the true nature of man, the themes in the series can be unsettling and disturbing. I imagine for younger or less "mature" readers, this could be just plain confusing and distressing. If your kids are deep thinkers, and you intend to discuss the book with them, it could open the way for some very engaging exploration and discussion. But if your kids are younger, don't be fooled by the cute little "demons" and bears, this book could be very frightening, and could raise questions about God, parents, society, and life they simply may not have the life experience to sort through without help. But if you are over 21, you might as well download all three books now, and wait until you have some serious down time before you start, because these books will suck you in.
This series drove me nuts!! There are so many things that were simply aweful, yet I downloaded the entire series in less than three months. Let me be fair and first say what I liked about the books.
I found many inspirational moments that made me contemplate and deepen my faith. That's the biggest draw. I don't fully agree with the author's interpretations, but the entire journey of the books made me examine where my heart was, and I found many moments of deepening closeness with God. Also, in the early books, they were good at hooking you and making you want to know what happened next.
Now ... why they drove me crazy. They are terribly written. There are logical gaps throughout the series. There are too many to mention, but suffice it to say the factual or physical circumstances laid out in the first books are caste aside as people and things that could not happen according to the first books continue to appear in the latter. And it isn't because God made it happen. They just do.
The authors are misogynistic. Particularly in the early books, there is not an intelligent, well-rounded female character to be found. The women are shallow and flighty, and respond to all circumstances in a stereotypic fashion only very young men would think realistic. This improves over the series, but I never see myself in any of the female characters.
The narrator drives me nuts. He needs to listen to his earlier narrations and make up his mind. Throughout the books, his accents for different characters is all over the place. One day, a character sounds like an American midwesterner, the next day, Dracula in a bad Ed Woods movie. The pronunciation of names and cities also changes from book to book.
Like all successful authors, the editor must have lost heart. If these were written books, you'd skip whole chapters, but you can't glance at an audio book, so your stuck listening to it all.
They were worthwhile, but could have been so much better.
Just in case you are downloading to learn more about something you have no exposure to, be aware, it's in Arabic. I wish they'd mentioned that before I downloaded it.
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