The story line itself is interesting, it just takes forever to get anywhere. Without giving too much away, the heroine is a lawyer working mostly for one self-made man named Forrester, who is extremely lovable, and early on in the novel, dies from a (suspicious) heart attack. In the night of the death, her fiance Sam, a financial advisor to Forrester, takes off with 30 million dollars of Forrester's money. For most of the novel she keeps repeating her doubts about Sam, who apparently is so different from the man she'd thought he was. She also attempts to find out whether Forrester's heart attack was what it seemed to be, as he'd asked her to do just that should he die suddenly.
I don't want to remove what little suspense there is, but there are a pile of pointers about what had really happened and I kept waiting through all the numerous versions of "how could Sam do this", hoping there'd be a more interesting twist eventually. There wasn't. The whole story, except for the final knowledge who the bad guy was, is extremely predictable. It was a waste of time to listen through the whole thing. So my apologies for going on for ages myself, but I felt "good story but too long" is not quite sufficient to explain why I'm so annoyed with the thing.
Good bits first - the Narration is excellent, you could generally pick out who was speaking based on the different voices and accents. The only issue I had was that quite often, I couldn't tell whether Dani was thinking something or actually speaking out loud, but that was more due to what I disliked about the main character than any narration problem.
Dani is, according to the book, 14 years old, and truly acts that way, or rather the way that ex-teenagers are bound to think a young person might comport themselves. I kept wanting to tell the brat that no, not EVERYTHING on earth revolves around you, other people do have a life too. I cannot imagine any teenager being quite so self-centered. Apart from that, there was too much wanting to kill everything "bad" and actually enjoying the process. And although there wasn't a whole lot of sex going on, but enough thinking about it that I found it annoying. These points detract from the story line sufficiently that, although I do like the story itself and would be interested in how things develop, I'm not going to get the sequel.
No ghosts involved - which would be all right ordinarily ;-) but even ignoring that Cree Black is the protagonist, the story didn't get me hooked at all. I finally (3 attempts) managed to get through it, and yes, it's interesting, it just felt very long for the amount of content it actually has. No comparison to the first two - if you love those (like I do), this one is still hit or miss. A clear "miss" for me.
The story is a good one, with a lot of detail and several interesting twists. I'm not completely sure about my rating, it felt awfully slow going at times, but I may have been put off by the narration more than by the storyline. Anne Twomey has a very clear diction and everything is understandable perfectly, but, alas, it sounds like a dictionary being read aloud. I hadn't quite realized how mindnumbingly boring a book like this can sound... In hindsight, I would have preferred the paper version. It may deserve 5 stars, but as it is, I'm feeling generous at 4.
My apologies for the length of this review; a shorter one would be - boring, tedious, interesting, badly read, good narration - and it wouldn't make sense. So here's why I'd put all these adjectives.
This is the only book of the series I have listened to, and it's not a good one to start with. It took 16 chapters before the "real" story began and I struggled through what was, to me, an unbelievably boring 2 1/2 hours of Jackie getting back to Boston and meeting every single person who, presumably, had any walk-on part in one of the earlier books. Being very much addicted to other series, I expect that it would be a different experience for someone remembering all these people from the earlier books.
Another thing is that the writing style is, at times, quite tedious. Please, when about 30 girls walk into a room, I do not need to have the majority of them mentioned by name. Being told about songs Jackie performs, I do not need 4 of them sung to me or in another instance, the entire lyrics for a song. Although I must say that Katherine Kellgren has a beautiful singing voice, quite different from the voice she uses for the narration.
Getting back to the story, starting with chapter 17 I did like it. Apart from, at times, being slow in the telling, the storyline itself did capture me, and while I had to struggle to not give up during the first part, I didn't want to put it down once things started happening. Again, the way it is told annoyed me, but it's not a bad book. I must admit that I find it hard to explain my issues with the whole thing, and my ratings are going all over the place because there are things I hate about it and other things I really like.
The narration is good, in that it fits the characters and the setting. I didn't like it in itself, there's too much bated breah and excited whispering etc. going on, while at the same time I can't distinguish whether something is said or thought by Jackie, which makes the responses of others unclear (are they being polite but miffed, by what Jackie just uttered, or didn't she say it out loud and the other party are actually a bit unfriendly?). But, as I said, the narration fits the characters perfectly, and the main characters (Jackie, her adversary Clarissa, and Jackie's best friend Amy) are easy to recognize at all times. I love the different accents Katherine Kellgren gives characters.
A whodunnit with needlecraft information ;-) Nothing too thrilling, easy to listen to with half an ear, although I suspect that I must have missed a few clues early on, not paying sufficient attention. It's a bit slow, which had my mind wandering, but still interesting enough to deserve a positive rating (maybe 4 stars are generous, but as I wouldn't pick up a 3 star book, it'll have to be a 4).
Susan Boyce does an OK job narrating, and although I didn't like it much (emphasis and pauses at odd spots, the voices sligtly different but not to the point where you could actually pick out who might be speaking), it doesn't put me off getting a couple more of the series.
I like the story itself, except it got very tedious at times with repetitive details about how life was for female members of the police way back when. What annoyed me the most, however, was the narrator; for much of the book, she sounded like a school teacher attempting to get her 3rd graders to share what they'd done over spring break, when in fact she was e.g. describing a gruesome murder. At other times she appeared bored, just sort of plodding along.
Looking back now, I think I may have been doing the story itself an injustice and have changed the rating from 3 to 4 stars.
First - I'm not into romance novels, so I cannot compare it to other romances. What I can say is that there's about a 10 minute action passage, the other n hours it's all about Jane getting used to being a vampire and interacting with other vampires in her home town. She is being framed for murder - twice - but apart from explaining that she was innocent no attempt is made to find out who's the culprit. Eventually, said culprit appears and clears everything up nicely.
Long story short, it's not very good either as an action novel, whodunnit, or (IMHO) as a vampire story. Like I said, it's possible that it's a good romance, but I'm the wrong person to judge.
I got "Side Jobs" to tide me over the long time between Changes and number 14 (yet to be released) which hopefully will be read by James Marsters again.
Although Jim Butcher states that, in his opinion, some of these stories are not up to scratch, I immensely enjoyed every single one of them. Each story comes with information about its place in the series' timeline, the latest one being placed just after "Changes".
For anyone new to the series: I'd suggest to get a full length book as this collection of short stories works best if you already know the characters.
For anyone already stuck into the Dresden files: definitely spend a credit on this one. I'd originally intended to get the paper version as I like to go back and read specific stories again, but I like these so much that there's no need... I'm quite happy to simply listen to the whole thing again ;-)
Love the story, and the narrator is among the best I've heard. Just downloading book #2, can't wait!
I've rewritten this review a couple of times because I find it hard to come up with a way to explain what annoyed me (i.e. why I've only put 3 stars for the story) without giving too much away.
It is a bit like an Agatha Christie novel where things resolve late in the story, everything that was previously just not quite right, dropping into place cleanly. It also has a lot of romance in it, which bored me to the point of uttering "oh get on with it" under my breath, to surprised looks of fellow travellers (but then, I don't think I've got a romantic bone in my body).
I generally like J.A. Jance, but this specific novel simply wasn't quite my cup of tea.
Report Inappropriate Content