I love Lisa Jackson but I don't know what happened here. This book was one tedious interview after another with vast numbers of characters who overall contributed little. The main character is spoiled and unlikeable. She disregards laws when it's convenient for her and relies on her cop fiancee to bail her out of her own stupidity time after time. There were loose ends all over the place. I finished it because I had used a credit on it, but it took me a month and I got a headache from rolling my eyes so much.
I can't believe this is a Nora Roberts book!
The premise of this book sounded really interesting so I pre-ordered it. And it was Nora Roberts, so how could I go wrong?
The story is flat, the characters are unlikeable and the dialogue drags. The narrator misses opportunities to turn dialogue into the humorous banter for which Nora Roberts is well known. I read the preview chapters and started out expecting I would like this book. I was so disappointed when I didn't - I couldn't finish it.
The biggest problem is the story. Even taking into account suspension of belief I find it impossible to imagine that an artist and a house sitter would decide they could circumvent the police, withhold valuable evidence and attempt to chase a contract killer all over the world. Themselves. The sheer stupidity exhibited by Ash and Lila throughout the story prevented me from liking either of them at all. Not only is that premise unrealistic, but the idea that the police would actually allow it is ridiculous. Lila and Ash would have rightly been slapped with obstruction charges about 100 pages into the book. Yet the police call and report to Ash - the ARTIST - on a regular basis. I couldn't get past it.
I love Nora Roberts and have bought every book she's come out with for at least the last decade. I respect and like her work tremendously and it's understandable if she misses the mark once in a while. But after the last couple of books I'm going to wait for the reviews to come out before I pre-order.
Ultimately, this felt like a throwaway Roberts book. It fits her formula of three couples, some magic threat, everyone has to fall in love to make the bad guy go away. There really wasn't much that deviated from that route. Of course, it's still a Nora Roberts book so there's no harm in spending the credit. That's why I gave it four stars, although if it were another author I probably wouldn't have rated it that high. It just isn't shaping up to be a series that I'll remember, unlike the Bride triology or the one where they renovated the hotel.
Katherine Kellgren was a fine narrator but her voice sounded much too old for the book. This is a story about young people and her voice doesn't sound that way, especially when she does the Irish accents.
Yes, this is one of those books where the narrator adds a little something extra. Ray Porter knows Joe Ledger and listeners reap the benefits!
The narrator's take on Joe Ledger is exemplary. The sarcasm, the anger, the wit. Fabulous!
I tell my husband that Joe Ledger books are "guy books". There's blood, gore, violence, stereotypical or idealized female characters and loads of sci-fi. And I LOVE it!
This book brings the series back on track from the strangeness that was the Seven Kings. It focuses on aliens, alien technology and alien abductions with a little apocalypse thrown in.
It moves faster than others in the series but still has some of the information dump syndrome that plagues previous Ledger novels. I dislike how Jonathan Maberry adds information that appears irrelevant or overly detailed upon closer examination. The "Joe" parts of the book move the fastest, as usual, and the book itself is an excellent thriller. It's worth the credit!
This book has great characterization, a suspenseful storyline and fast pacing. I was riveted and finished the entire book in two days.
I thought the narration was excellent and it added to the story. Definitely worth a credit. Thanks, Lisa Gardner!
Not really. This novel was excessively produced - two narrators (one to do male voices and the other to do female), sound effects like gunfire, and "suspenseful" canned music played during "action" or "danger" scenes. Music?! Please. We really need music to tell us John Puller is in danger? And bad music, at that?Trust your narrator to do his job without the extra bells and whistles and trust your audience to be smart enough to enjoy the story without them. I couldn't get into this book because just when things would start to get interesting I would wait for the music to end, or the gunfire to go away. I felt like there was very little chemistry between the two narrators and the story was very jumpy trying to switch between the two. It was so distracting I couldn't finish it, and I wasn't invested enough in the characters to get a text copy.
When I stopped listening.
I think Ron McLarty would have been fine if they just would have left him alone.
I like David Baldacci but I really think this story is probably best experienced in a text version. I won't be getting the other series installments and I'm pretty disappointed.
I like the story and the world. Opal is not as strong a character as Yelena and I think her development isn't as realistic and consistent, but it's overall a decent read.
I liked her relationship with the Stormdancer the best.
Pronunciation!!!! Please make it consistent from story to story and narrator to narrator. Some words were unrecognizable, others merely annoying. (Cur-rare, anyone?)
Series Spoiler!!!!! Don't read if you don't want to know what happens!!
I have decided not to continue reading this series because, even though I loved the Yelena series and had high expectations about Opal, I am not going to buy books that depict happy endings for rapists and torturers. I did some googling and synopsis readings - I understand how and why it ended that way, but I respectfully disagree with the creative choices Ms. Snyder made and the impact that has on an audience, especially the younger members. Enough said!
Yes, primarily because I would sit and read it while neglecting everything else, so at least this way I could listen to my iPod while doing housework, driving, etc.
I read something a year or so ago that said this series is "Twilight for Smart People". Yep, that pretty much nails it. At times the similarities between the books are startling.
She was creative in her voices and didn't try to make men sound like sandpaper. Men are people too (usually) and I dislike when female narrators try to lower their voices past the point of believability. Same for the I Wanna Be A Girl falsetto that many male narrators use. Jennifer Ikeda, like most good narrators, uses inflection and delivery to define her characters and doesn't try to move out of her vocal range. Mostly, she uses pitch appropriately and the characters are more believeable as a result. I love the accents, well done!
Matthew is the most memorable character, but I think Diana made some good improvements in this book. In the last book she was too helpless and it made me want to shake her. There were a couple of times in this book when I started thinking, "Come on, you're a witch, figure it out..." but Diana finally learned to be a "creature" in her own right and I respect her more for it. Matthew rode to her rescue a few times but for the most part she grew capable and strong and was able to handle things herself.
I would have lost patience with Kit after the first few chapters. I know that in life we are supposed to take the high road, but if I were Diana I would have served him to Matthew as an appetizer.
If I knew that I would be a writer, and I'm obviously not. I just know that some of SEP's greatest books, like Glitter Baby or First Lady, had characterizations, story and humor that somehow missed the boat in this one. I liked Temple tremendously but I think Lucy sometimes went off the deep end in terms of believeable behavior. "Viper"? Please. At times I actually cringed. I miss the multi-faceted Lucy we saw in First Lady. Also, it is never really touched upon that, if Lucy's mother was President, she very likely sent Panda (another wierdo name that doesn't really fit) into war. At the very least, she made decisions that altered his life irrevocably. This could be a very, very interesting character development that was completely glossed over. I think the President could have cast a much bigger shadow without another word of dialogue, and probably would have done so in a real life situation.As usual, I think the side plots really made the book. These were done well. The book had a theme about being true to oneself and the stories stayed true to it, for the most part. I like the fact that SEP builds characters I can like.
Another reviewer remarked that Lucy's behavior at the ending was shockingly manipulative. I agree, it made me like her less. Lucy seems to have a major deficit when it comes to acting like an adult, and this makes it very difficult to like her the way you want and need to like a principal character. I understand this is meant to be a plot point, but I got over reading teenage romance when I was, well, a teenager. This ending led me to believe that Lucy didn't grow up as much as I would have liked and I was disappointed in her.
Probably Temple. Nice and smooth and imperious - perfect!! I don't think Shannon Cochran spends a lot of time around 12-year-old boys - most of them don't have high, squeaky voices that make them sound like seven year olds.
Yes, absolutely. SEP is always worth a listen! While this book isn't the vintage SEP we have all compulsively read and re-read, I have major faith in this author. If she were to stop writing tomorrow (which I sincerely hope she doesn't) I would still re-read my favorites and treasure the time I spent doing so. That being said, I value and respect SEP too much to sugar coat reviews!
In summary, it's not the best we've come to expect from SEP but it's still a fun read within the genre and I will continue to purchase titles from SEP as long as she puts them out. Thank you!!
I think Lauren Fortgang did a great job with some really tough material. Some of her inflections and delivery helped to diversify the complete and total repetition of every story line in the series to date at least three times in the book. I will not be getting another book by Jennifer Estep, that's for sure.
It repeats. It repeats. And then it repeats. This is true throughout the series but by this book it seemed longer, more frequently used and completely detracted from the story. We get recaps of previous books, previous situations, previous characters who aren't even related to the current story, sometimes up to three times in the same book. This is especially treacherous in an audiobook because you can't easily skip the parts and have to suffer through them. It was so distracting to the story! I can see a writer making this mistake, but where in the world are the editors?
I dislike her repetitious use of various phrases. "Silverstone knife", "the fire elemental", "my foster brother", "the Goth dwarf". It goes on and on. She substitutes these phrases for pronouns, and then will continually refer to major characters by their first AND last names throughout the book, as though we were too dense to remember them. Finnegan Lane? Yep, we know him! Call him Finn and get on with it!
There are inconsistencies galore. For example, she wears a vest stuffed full of silverstone and can use her magic just fine, but then someone puts a pair of silverstone handcuffs on her and she can't make an ice pick. It makes no sense.
The sad thing is, the plot overall isn't bad, the characters and premise are interesting and the book has a chance of being good. The world building is great, the idea of the elements and power are fine. This terrible writing prevents that from happening and I feel kind of robbed. This really could have been good but it missed the mark by a wide margin.
She really does a fine job. The accent is great and like I said, she adds some variety to the constant repetition to take away the sting. Am I repeating myself? It must be contagious.
I like the recipes Gin talks about and even used a couple. Yum! I think the dynamic between Mab and Gin is great and I like how Gin torments her. I like the character dynamics, the balance between Gin and Finn and the tension between Gin and Bria. Their reunion came in this book, but too late to save the story.
I think if I were to read any further in the series I'd do it with paper or e-books because I could skip all the things that irritate me so.
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