New York Times best-selling author Dana Stabenow's latest, Bad Blood, finds Kate Shugak entangled in a bitter tribal rivalry and murder.
In Alaska, 100 years of bad blood between the villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka ne'er-do-well is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin's prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when the suspect disappears, members of both tribes refuse to speak to Jim. When a second murder that looks suspiciously like payback occurs, Jim has no choice but to call in Kate Shugak for help. This time, though, her Park relationships may not be enough to sort out the truth hidden in the tales of tragedy and revenge.
©2013 Dana Stabenow (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
This 20th book in the story of Kate Shugak and Alaska is another winner, though much of the story is actually about Jim Chopin. The plot, straight out of Shakespeare, involves the feud between two villages in the Park, and the problems of young love in the midst of feud fueled by profound cultural and socio-economic differences.
This book ends with a rather controversial ending that I will not describe or comment on to avoid spoiling the book. Suffice it to say, it's a shocker.
But even knowing that, I am extremely glad to have read this book, and, as usual, Marguerite Gavin's superb narration adds to the enjoyment and understanding.
I love the Shugak series. I listen to them again and again...but I won't bother with this one. It's stuffed with poofy purple prose and so much description that one is ready to gag on it.
In general, it's a Romeo and Juliet rehash with star-crossed lovers from two different villages that have traditionally feuded with each other. Gack. I don't care for this kind of storyline. I might as well be reading about a grizzly dating a beaver.
We've also got multiple murders, bootlegging, Erland Bannister is once again on the loose (he's tried to kill Kate before), and Jim Chopin is losing his ability to interact with hostile locals. His skiff is sabotaged, leading to a sinking in an icy cold river and potential hypothermia. Some one -- or everyone wants him to stop investigating the man who drowned in a fish wheel and the man who died, nailed into a crawlspace.
I don't need to hear stuff reiterated. Hearing the same details repeated inside of 5 or 10 minutes regarding Chopper Jim or Kate or two villages having a pissing match gets old. Really old. I usually listen to these books in a day, two at most. It took me a week to keep interested in this long enough to get to the bitter end.
It ends with a cliffhanger that's definitely dirty pool. Bullets are flying and two characters are hit. Then it ends. If my favorite character dies, I won't return to these books.
Wait for the next volume so that you can find out right away who lives, dies, whatever. It would also be a good idea to switch back to the ebook version so that you can flip pages with rapidity instead of listening to hours of blaah. A print version should be only an hour's read. At the very least, use your iPod and jack up the speed to "faster, must go faster!"
If she had finished the book
Not Dana Stabenow
I've been a fan of Dana Stabenow's books for many years and this is the first tme she's disappointed me. She left the story hanging like the last season episode of Dallas. Shame on you Dana, it's not like you have to force your readers to return by leavng a story unfinished!
Let me preface this by saying, I grew up listening to audio books my dad had checked out from the library and my favorite series was always this one. Now as an adult I've followed this series all the way through and re-listened to them many times. But this book has completely ruined the whole series for me. I may never go back to enjoy any of the Kate books again and its highly unlikely I'll buy another of Dana Stabenow's books again, that's how awful this book was.
The majority of the book was alright, I don't have much complaint about 95% of it. However the ending is so awful I will never re listen to this book and I may not listen to another Dana Stabenow book again. The ending is such a jolting moment that you have to rewind it and listen again because surely I missed something that did not seriously happen.
Not only are you (at least me) left feeling angered at what the author did to the two main characters, but that anger at the author is stretched further by the cliff hanger she left at the end. Worst. Ending. Ever.
For those who are quite upset (as I was for a very long time)... The reason for such a 'harsh' cliff hanger was because Dana is pursuing a different series and I think fresh ideas for Kate and Mutt have been difficult for the last few books she cranked out. She will be back but I do not know when. Her newest book is out; Silk and Song.
Don't worry... There will be more Kate. But when Dana is ready and when she has worthy ideas. It would be a disservice to the series to write a book just to write it.
Believe me, I cried, I was furious, I was in total shock with the cliffhanger. Now... with so much time that has passed... I still listen to the audible version of this BUT only because I know that this is not the ending. So hang in there folks. I was just as frustrated but there is some light at the end of this particular tunnel. Now with that out of the way...
Great performance as usual! Story... ehhhhhh... I am still torn over it. Overall, yes, it is a good book with a different feel from the rest of the series. Kate is more in the background on this one and Jim takes the lead with a case that is frankly, 'Hatfield & McCoy' sized. Push through and hang on because the last few pages of this will leave you quite disheveled.
Love historical mystery and historical fiction. Can't get enough of the modern spy novel either!
Excellent storytelling as usual. Love the Alaskan details that evoke the true bush country of Alaska. Typically wonderful narration.
Absolutely on the edge of my seat although I must say that I did not see the ending coming at all. The surprise was complete and total - in fact, I had to listen a second time to ensure I had heard it correctly.
Marguerite really brings a voice to the members of the cast. After 20 installments she really IS the voice of Kate, Jim and the others.
A typically entertaining and fast-moving Dana Stabenow novel. Just wish I could download the next installment immediately.
I really liked this book for the most part, but found it to be a review of Kate's overall story and how she got here. I know that story because I have read every one of Dana's books. I love Kate because she has guts and she isn't easily fooled by anyone. I found the murder mystery portion to have its twists. The conclusion is unexpected, however, and leaves me wanting more Kate and Mutt so Dana get busy!
Not one of her best stories and the ending was brutal.
No I will again hear the series, skipping the last book.
All of them are well done and recognizable to the emotion and characters of the story. Kate and Mutt, of course head the list of favorites.
I would rewrite the ending or extend it to an acceptable conclusion.
Yes, to see if I missed the full ending.
I always enjoy Kate and Mud.
Inflection, feeling, clarity through te series.
The end... I am confused and really hope not truly the en d.
meandering ... uncharacteristic actions from the usual characters... dreadful ending
I love Dana's books. I will not recommend this one only.
very nice job
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