In this explosive psychological thriller by New York Times best-selling author Lisa Unger, a young woman's mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl's disappearance.
For as long as she can remember, 20-year-old Finley Montgomery has been able to see into the future. She dreams about events before they occur and sees beyond the physical world, unconsciously using her power to make supernatural things happen.
But Finley can't control these powers - and there's only one person who can help. So Finley moves to The Hollows, a small town in upstate New York where her grandmother lives, a renowned seer who can finally teach Finley how to use her gift - a gift that is proving to be both a blessing and a curse, as Finley lands in the middle of a dangerous investigation involving a young girl who has been missing for 10 months, and the police have all but given up hope.
With time running out, there's only so much Finley can do as The Hollows begins to reveal its true colors. As she digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, nothing is what it seems. But one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.
©2016 Lisa Unger (P)2016 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
I rarely write reviews, but on this one, if I didn't, I couldn't live with myself. NARRATOR RUINS BOOK!!! I wish I could call Unger and tell her to audition narrators herself. I love her work and feel so cheated to return this one. Did they pull Molly Pope in off the street? Such a shame!
If you like Lisa Unger's books, I think you will like Ink and Bone. I do and I did.
Lisa Unger creates great characters. I liked Finley and I loved the development of the missing girl's parents. The story was taut and compelling and spent time in unexpected places. I listened almost straight through, getting only 4 hours sleep because there was just no good place to stop.
Most of the book's characters are new to the series but the setting is familiar. (If you're new, The Hollows is a seemingly idyllic, thoroughly creepy place where people go missing at alarming rates.) In Ink and Bone, The Hollows gains full-on character status. It has moved from whispers to storming, from psychic undercurrents to teeming psychic evil. It compels first Eloise and now Findley to lives locked in battle for good over evil. It's all very Stephen King. It induced visions of a TV series, with a cast of supporting characters orbiting The Hollows, taking turns in its spotlight.
As for the narration... I have mixed feelings about Molly Pope's reading. She is quite good as the missing girl's parents, moving seamlessly between the male and female voices. With other female characters, though, she can be strident and overwrought. Further, Ms. Pope's reading is sometimes stilted, as if distracted. Perhaps the uneven narration contributed to my premonition of television... I believe this is the narrator's first audiobook. Her voices are so good much of the time that I wonder how the producers managed to release a less than perfect product.
Character-driven, and suspense novels are for me. Not above a good beach read, but keep cheesy romances or poorly written books away.
I'll start with the narrator, who wasn't awful enough to warrant 1 star (I would have quit, had that been the case), but she was bad enough to warrant two starts. She started off sounding congested, and it only got worse as the story progressed. The main character Finley, was most irritating of all. Every time she asked a question, and sometimes even made a statement, the narrator gave the last word of her sentence an exaggerated, rise - terrible. Say this sentence in your head and give a rise to the last word: Finley asked: Do you think someone else could go to the police? Makes no sense and is irritating. Other characters spoke awkwardly - stilted, almost as though the narrator is just learning to read. Bad, bad, bad.
Now to the story: “Pain was a reminder that she was alive, that she drew breath into her lungs and was tied to the world of the living, even when it moved through her like a wave bringing tears to her eyes there was a part of her that relished it.” So thinks the main character, Finley, when she is getting her umpteenth tattoo. So then, she’s psychologically damaged and does this instead of cutting – that’s what I get from this – and this is the protagonist? I have no idea how it got such rave reviews from readers and critics alike. Normally when I disagree with reviews from various publications, I can understand why my feelings about a book are different, but not in this case. This is the first book of hers I've "read;" it will be the last. I found many of the characters to be either unlikeable, cartoonish, or both. Finley has a loser boyfriend who follows her across the country to be with her after she breaks up with him. At one point in a bad, scary situation he wishes he had a joint so he could mellow out. I guess Unger thought this gave him human frailty; I just found him irritating. He comes across the country and sets up a tattoo shop, and Finley can't believe he's able to make a go of it; she realizes this after he tells her he has 2 appointments for tats over the next 2 days. Really? Two whole appointments? Wolf, the father of a missing girl, is the most unlikeable and he's featured about as much as our heroine. He's been cheating for 2 years or so with a very young woman he treats like crap and just uses for sex and basically calls an airhead. Finally, after dumping her (not really a spoiler - it's a given they won't stay together) she confronts him about it, and he realizes, oops, no, guess she's just naive, sweet girl that he treated badly. Gee, only took him 2 years to figure out she isn't stupid and vapid? And he rationalizes breaking up with her via text (!) because (I'm searching my memory banks here) it's something she would find okay or something her generation does - something like that. And then he's going to ride off and help his wife who he all-of-a-sudden realizes is the most beautiful, wonderful woman ever. Barf! Not believable. Even if it is remotely believable, why should we care anything about this serial cheater. Yep, I'm angry about the book. Oh, and don't get me started on the "Sling Blade" family: Momma, Poppa and Bo-Bo. Lord help me and drop me in the Ozarks in the 50's. I never cared about any of the characters and if you don't have that, what do you have? Never bought into any of it. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz - well, at least their old stuff - haven't read much of their recent stuff - and can always identify, sympathize, etc. with someone - not in this book. Maybe if I had read other stories by her about The Hollows I would have felt differently, but not here.
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Finley Montgomery is a 20-year-old psychology student, who rides a motorcycle and is tattooed like "a living canvas of ink and bone". She recently moved to The Hollows, a secluded town somewhere upstate New York, to live with her grandmother Eloise. Both, Eloise and Finley, have special gifts and Finley wants to understand more about these abilities so she can learn to control them better. Eloise has been working with private detectives to help locate missing people and is a very well-known psychic. But when PI Jones Cooper is contacted by Merri Gleason to help find her daughter Abbey, who was abducted nearly a year ago, Eloise feels it will be Finley's turn to assist.
Just before listening to this, I listened to the three short stories The Whispers, The Burning Girl and The Three Sisters which provide a solid introduction to Eloise and Finley, their family and their abilities over a time span of 30 years, but I have never listened to/read any other books by Lisa Unger. This story, however, would work fine if you haven't read any previous books set in The Hollows, as there is sufficient background given.
The story is told from various points of views, and I really enjoyed the relationship elements of the plot. The characters were very well developed and although some of them were not particularly likable, they were interesting. We find out how the victims' families are coping, or not, and there is a lot of depth to Finley and her relationship with her family and her ex-boyfriend who followed her to The Hollows. There are a few very emotional scenes towards the end that left me teary-eyed. The mystery aspect of the story was a bit of a disappointment, though. I was expecting more of an intense page-turner. There were a couple of twists, but otherwise, it was pretty much straightforward. Not being a massive fan of supernatural stories, the paranormal aspects took over too much for me in this one. I thought it was much better handled in the three short stories I listened to. How many 'special' people can you have in one small town?
I think some of my disconnectedness is due to the narration. I believe this is the voice artist's first experience of narrating an audiobook. Hence, I hope that with continued experience she will gain a better feeling for making the narration flow and sound less stilted. With a large cast of characters such as in this book, it is immensely helpful if the narrator is able to differentiate voices and keep them consistent. It's kind of difficult to become immersed and gripped by the plot when you are listening to a monotonous voice for nearly 12 hours. The quality of the production was otherwise great.
I would recommend the book to all fans of paranormal fiction.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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The actual story was awesome....really enjoyed the development of each character and the twists. The narrator was very difficult to listen to....very flat and her attempts to change voices for characters was a dismal failure. I listened to the entire book because I wanted to hear the story but almost couldn't.....I'll know for the future what to read on Kindle instead
I've only listened just past halfway through this book and not sure if it's even worth finishing. The premise of the story sounds fascinating in theory as a mystery thriller centered on a young girl with psychic powers, but the mood of the narrative is just so depressing. There's no humor or joy here. All of the characters are unhappy, damaged, and hopeless. The narration is grating. Maybe it would be better with a more professional narrator but this narrator has a youthful clipped, terse voice & sounds like she's trying to be edgy and dark. (The reading reminds me of the movie "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" minus the story quality.) I don't know whether the book has a happy ending or not, but it hasn't been much fun getting this far. Between the narrator and the joyless writing style, the whole story seems so desolate.
I thought the story was pretty good but the performance was a little flat at times. Plus I couldn't always figure out who was speaking. Overall I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to those who like a little paranormal in a mystery!
More accomplished narrator plus a more cohesive story line.
So unlike Unger. Ragged, disjointed plot.
Too many from which to choose.
Terrib;y disappointing effort from Unger.
You will enjoy this emotional thriller. The plot is told from a variety of character viewpoints giving you an inside look into each of the character's stake in the story. You will not want to stop listening as your heart races with the characters till the unexpected end! Enjoy!
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It rates in the top 50
Maybe, if the tale was worth listening to her
Finnley was read as a little bratty at times and I didn't fell that the narrator did her justice.
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