New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King enjoys immense popularity and a resounding chorus of critical acclaim for her exquisite mysteries. The God of the Hive continues the thread King began in The Language of Bees, in which Mary Russell and her famous husband, Sherlock Holmes, face trouble with Scotland Yard and the deadliest of adversaries.
Listen to another Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.
©2010 Laurie R. King (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"Using short chapters and wielding her virtual pen like a burnished sword, King allows readers to race through this gloriously complex second half of last year’s Language of Bees. Sherlock Holmes is trying to get his gravely wounded son, the artist Damien Adler, out of England. Holmes’ wife, Mary Russell, is trying to protect Estelle, Damien’s small daughter. Mycroft Holmes, recovering from a heart attack, suddenly goes missing....all of it makes for utterly absorbing reading." (Booklist)
“The great marvel of King’s series is that she’s managed to preserve the integrity of Holmes’s character and yet somehow conjure up a woman astute, edgy, and compelling enough to be the partner of his mind as well as his heart.” (Washington Post Book World)
trying to see the world with my ears
I don't think anyone new to the characters (Russell along with King's casting of M & S Holmes) would find this a 5 star listen, but King fans may. There's not much new to the characters, but after a slow start, there is enough atmosphere and winding plot to completely absorb the listener.
You need not have read part 1 - "The Language of Bees" because that plot is nicely summarized in bits distributed through the first quarter of the present work; however, I think to appreciate this listen you need to have gotten to know Mary Russell and the aging Holmes through at least a couple of the previous instalments. Also, you must like Sterlin's narration style because more characters wind their way into the tale than usual.
I think this the strongest in the series next to the first book, "The Beekeeper's Apprentice."
This is the continuation of the 9th book, "The Language of Bees". In both "Language of Bees" and "God of the Hive", Holmes' character is flatter, more distant and angry than he has been in many of the books. Why? It is the verbal discussions and relationship between Holmes and Russell that give the series depth. It is missing in this book. In addition,the Goodman character becomes more and more bizarre as the book goes on. It seems like he is there for comedy relief which, in my opinion doesn't work well. The story is interesting, but I don't think that King did the character development justice. It definitely does not have the depth of "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" which remains the best of the series.
the first half was so slow moving that I wasn't sure I was listening to a suspense story. It is apparently the 2nd half of a previously told story, but I don't think that missing the first part really made any difference. Some interesting characters were revealed in the first half, but there was virtually no action and not much to do but wait for something to happen.
In the second half of the book were some of the machinations that Holmes and Russel are known for, and the story moved a bit faster .. but I noticed that it took me almost a week to get through this book and i never really cared how it was going to turn out ... not a good sign!
The reader, on the other hand, is amazing. It's easy to forget that one person is creating all the different characters each is so distinct.
Much as I enjoy Laurie R. King’s work in general, I find she has a frustrating tendency to introduce intriguing premises or relationships and then simply ignore them. Whether this is because she is uncertain how to proceed or simply uninterested in her own ideas is unclear, but in any case the tendency is unfortunately evident in The God of the Hive. The events of the previous installment, The Language of Bees, introduced several new characters with a wealth of dramatic potential. I had hoped to see King make use of some of that potential in this sequel; instead we get more new characters and the vague, unconvincing schemes of a half-baked and entirely uninteresting villain. Meanwhile our principal characters spend almost the whole novel split up, the plot allowing them only the briefest interactions, while the primary and most interesting new character from the previous installment hardly appears at all.
This novel is still enjoyable listening, at least for fans of the series – King is a skilled (mostly) and intelligent writer, and Jenny Sterlin’s narration of King’s careful language is always a pleasure – but for me it was ultimately unsatisfying. I hear that yet another Russell/Holmes installment is in the works – I will look forward to that next book and continue to hope (despite the weight of evidence to the contrary) that King will reward our emotional investment in her characters by following through on the intriguing new developments she has introduced
Having listened to many diverse audio books for many years, returning to a Laurie R. King novel is always a reward & pleasure... a real treat!
And, while one certainly does not need to be a Sherlock Holmes fan, nor have listened to the previous story, "The Language of Bees" (which is much darker than previous novels), "God of the Hive" stands alone quite nicely.
Several aspects of "God of the Hive" make this an exceptional story & superb listen:
1. King's language skills: After listening to this (or any of her other novels), and absorbing her considerable skill with the English language & writing style, you will find many other mystery/suspense stories shallow & trite. Writing as her character, Mary Russell, her breadth & depth of verbal skills are like a breath of fresh air!
2. Characterization: In the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes stories, the characters are so well-realized and created, that you really hate to see the story come to a close; much like leaving old friends. In this novel, Robert Goodman stands out as a truly unique & unpredictable character, one whose depths still leave much to plum!
3. The Narrator--Jenny Sterlin: In the world of female narrators, there are few who come close to the quality & abilty of Ms. Sterlin. Not only is she an extremely capable narrator; in the King novels, she IS Mary Russell. She is quite at home in a variety of lnaguages & dialects. Simply put, she is a pleasure to listen to.
If you have never listened to a Laurie King novel, especially in the Mary Russell series, this is a superb collection of stories to acquire. I eagerly await the next volume!
This is my second audiobook written by Laurie King about Sherlock Holmes and his new assistant Mary Russell that I have listened too, and Laurie has delivered another suspensful masterpiece as if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had wrote it himself and never desided to stop writting about Holmes.
When I had read all of Doyle's work on Holmes I have to admit I was a little sad, but Laurie King has done a brilliant job picking up where Doyle left off and has given new life back to Holmes and his adventures, and has steered his career into a new and adventurous direction with the genious help of Holmes's hand picked new assistant Mary Russell.
If (god forbid) we were to ever lose Holmes to illness or old age, his spirit and lifes work and ambition would surely be passed onto and continued by Mary Russell.
I definitly recommend this book to any Holmes buff's and/or anyone who loves mystery and adventure.
I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan and jumped into this based on recommendations of Audible Members. I enjoyed it very much and thought it was very compatible with the audible presentation. Some mysteries just have to be read I think but this one went well in this format. Very entertaining.
Freelance journalist, now living in Israel. Audible books listener for 30 years, when I had to pretend to be blind to get access.
Funny -- Except for the last three or four, I've read or listened to all the previous 'Mary Russell' books -- almost all of the others, too. Laurie King and I used to live in the same community, didn't know her, but I made it a point to read everything she was putting out -- great books, really. That said, now I live outside the US and don't always have access to what's new in the publishing world. As it happens, "The Language of Bees" is the first of her books I'd missed. Only now do I realize that this book -- "Hives" -- is the second part of a two part series the first being "Language of Bees". I hadn't realized that when I bought it -- but clearly, I should have read the other book first.
I thought I knew the characters pretty well. But I'm a couple of hours into this one and realize I haven't more than the foggiest idea what's going on -- I'm afraid I have to disagree with other reviewers: I think you DO NEED to have read "The Language of Bees" first. Yes, there are bits and pieces of back-story sprinkled around, but I have the distinct feeling I walked into the middle of a conversation.
These books are good enough that I want to enjoy them completely -- I'm going back, going to buy "Language", then come back to this one.
Jenny Sterlin is a good narrator. I've enjoyed her performances of other novels.
The story was just o.k. It troubles me that someone can take and use the atmosphere and characters created and made famous by another author. It seems and feels like cheating. Too easy.
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