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Publisher's Summary

"The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own."

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable - until one of his victims survives.

Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth....

The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.

©2013 Lauren Beukes (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    136
  • 4 Stars
    179
  • 3 Stars
    125
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    168
  • 4 Stars
    167
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    128
  • 4 Stars
    150
  • 3 Stars
    117
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    12
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 06-14-13

Wow, great, creepy thriller!

I learned very early on while listening to this book to pay close attention.  It has many threads that wind around each other, and a timeline that passes back and forth as the macabre plot unfolds. This is one of the better books I have read in a while.  When I reluctantly had to turn it off, I could not wait to get back to this non stop twisting story.

Quite a ride following a ruthless psychopath into the future, and past, who has some sort of twisted timetable of murders to accomplish. The killer feels confused about whether he is choosing the victims or is being compelled by a house that is on sliding rule of time.  Part of his ritual is to visit each victim, "shining girl",  when they are younger to tell them that he will see them again and to give each one a small token.  Some remember him when he returns much later, some don't.

As the murders go on throughout the years investigators never match the MO to a serial killer because of the time separation. When he thinks he is almost done with the years of predesigned killings, he finds out that one of his victims has survived and is tracking him through the, "out of time", tokens he leaves on the victims.  In order for his insane destiny to be met he must find and kill her.  In order for her to retain her sanity, she knows, she has to find and stop him no matter what it takes.

All of the great narrators are what helped to make this listen a grand slam.  I found this book to be very reminiscent of Stephen Kings early, more graphic books, definitely not for the faint of heart.  Headphones suggested.  Highly recommend. 

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

You will either love it or hate it

Have you ever been on a roll where you have listened to several wonderful books in a row, and you begin to believe that your luck of choosing the next great read won't end. I have been in book heaven this past several weeks only to have the "Law of Averages" hit me with this choice.

This was not the book for me. Yet, I completely understand why there is a large audience for this book with lots of ecstatic reviews from many credible sources.

PROs: The book is very well written by Lauren Beukes. The mood was ominous from the start. Kudos to the narrators -- they did a very good job.
-- The time travel was very interesting and not real hard to follow even though I normally like my books to have a higher than average believability ratio.

CONs: If you like your violent scenes described only to the point that the reader understands what happened, you will find these murders against women (torture really) hard to listen. The goriness is provided in the most graphic detail. I read lots of violent books, but the creepiness and gruesomeness of these murders were way beyond my tolerance level.
-- The killer's character was much more developed than the last remaining girl, Kirby. Kirby, whom I wanted to like, was so sarcastic in all her interactions that I began to dread her time on the page. The killer is described as charming, but all his interactions with people, especially the "shining girls", was not charming at all -- just very creepy.

I just could not get past the 5th hour of the book. For the audience this book was intended, I do think you should read some reviews by people who finished the book and were delighted with the experience. This might be a book that you will enjoy.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Pam
  • United States
  • 06-07-13

Gripping sci-fi-meets-slasher novel

This book grabbed me from the very beginning, and did not let me go. Driving home and listening in the car, I missed the turn for my house! It's not a mystery... We know from the beginning who the killer is, and how he gets away with murder. The question is, will our heroine figure it out in time to save herself and the people she loves? Lauren Beukes created many different characters for the book, and tells the story from each one's point of view. Coming from a less-skilled author, the frequent changes in time and place and point of view could be confusing, but not here. Perhaps the use of multiple narrators helped—and the narrators were all very good—but this is some seriously good writing! I highly recommend this book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Convoluted

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, but not the audio version.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Interesting enough but expected. The ending was no surprise and I felt it could have been better.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

There were too many characters in this book and it became very tedious very quickly. This book would have been better read than listened to. This way you can go back and refresh your memory as to who people are because there are so many of them. Or if you listen to the audio book you should probably try to listen all at one time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Listened straight through for 10 hours

Grisly, horrifying, seductive and pure entertainment! I especially liked rooting for the heroine, lithe and foul-mouthed, who takes the reader up, out, over and through the mulberry bush. It reminded me of Joe Hill meets Gillian Flynn. Creepy fun!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

You fall in love with Kirby !!

Would you listen to The Shining Girls again? Why?

I will listen to it again and I am looking forward to it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I started listen to audible books back and forth to work. So I was not just wasting this time. I found myself not wanting to get out of the car, wanting to hear more of this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK, United States
  • 01-28-14

Unique Story but Too Short

What made the experience of listening to The Shining Girls the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the different characters and the different narrators.

What other book might you compare The Shining Girls to and why?

This book is very unique, I can't compare. I will say that the style of writing is similar to Gillian Flynn.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the main character goes through the time machine

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really, I just wish it was longer. The ending was a little too abrupt. I would have liked more detail.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • A
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 06-26-13

Engaging, yet the end lacks payoff

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I couldn't recommend this book to a friend. I was engaged throughout, but entirely confused by the ending. The storyline is unique and absorbing; the characters are interesting and unusual; but the end left me thinking "What just happened here?"

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • TWIN LAKES, WI, US
  • 09-20-17

Keeps you on your Toes

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shining Girls to be better than the print version?

I think that the audio edition and the print version would be the exact same. The performer did a great job but my creativity could have done similar things with the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

I like that it was a real mystery with a dash of science fiction. It made you wonder what was going on next. That's what I need most in a book. MYSTERY :D

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I like how he portrayed the villain in the story. You felt all the characters as if they were your own feelings. This is why the performance was great.

If you could rename The Shining Girls, what would you call it?

That is a tough one. I liked the name a lot, but only after I started reading it. The hardest part I feel is actually naming the book so that it "shines" hahaha. I passed on this book a couple times because of the name and the cover. I do that a lot though. If the name seems weird of the artwork seems "not me" I don't bother reading the synopsis. However, once i did that is what got me to purchase the book. I don't know what else you could call it though.

Any additional comments?

Great book, provoking, mysterious, and good character development. It kept me wanting more. It wasn't hard to figure out, you knew where it was leading you to. That was prolly the only thing that could be improved.

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Not for the faint...

I found the story quite creative and engaging. I wish I had paid closer to the earliest announcements when the narrative changed from one character to another. Something about the descriptions of the occasional violence was actually unsettling early on. It was a completely absorbing distraction as I cleaned.