This book is a slow start for me and it didn't really pick up until about two-thirds through. The slowness is not because of the story telling qualityThis book is a slow start for me and it didn't really pick up until about two-thirds through. The slowness is not because of the story telling quality (which I like), but more of me having issues with some of the protagonists' actions than anything else. Some authors can carry insensitiveness and idiocy through with aplomb. This one hit a bit of a snag. Not big, mind. But a snag none-the-less. That brought the character development a few points down. But on the plus side, a factor which made me plod on with this book is the tantalizing idea of Vesper as hinted at in Book 2. I want to read more about Vesper but to do that I gotta read Book 1 first. Thus this book got read through. Now, post-apocalyptic worlds are not my kind of thing, but this one was woven beautifully. That brought the rating of this book up considerably.
I like Jot Davies's narration, but I think his reading is just a tad bit slow. No problem! I can set the reading to go faster in the audible app. Problem solved! Do I like the app? Heck, yeah!
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 4 Character development = 3.5 Story itself = 3.5 Writing Style = 4 Ending = 4 World building = 4 Cover art = 4 Pace = (13 hrs and 25 mins listening time) Plot = 4 Narration = 4
It took me a bit of time to get into this story. The first couple of chapters were hard going. But the worst thing about it is the story tMy Thoughts:
It took me a bit of time to get into this story. The first couple of chapters were hard going. But the worst thing about it is the story telling style of the book. The story has multiple threads and jumps from thread to thread every couple of chapters or so. Like for example I was reading about Arlen for the last couple of chapters. Then the next chapter jumps to Leesha. I have to go back to the last chapter where Leesha left off because I had forgotten what had happened to her last while being immersed in Arlen‘s story. The continuity of the story is broken. This story telling style feels jarring to the reading flow. I really didn’t like it! It also drags down the reading pace despite the convenience of the audiobook format. However, I like this author’s story telling quality and the world building. It is just simply beautiful! I also do not agree with all of the narrator’s interpretations, but I can live with it. All in all, I enjoyed this book and, of course, am now reading Book 2.
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 4 Character development = 4.5 Story itself = 4 Writing Style = 3 Ending = 3 World building = 5 Cover art = 4.5 Pace = 3 Plot = 4 Narration = 4.5
My Thoughts: I came across this book as a recommendation in a comment in Ilona Andrews' giveaway for an ARC of Magic Shifts. And mighty glad I did! ItMy Thoughts: I came across this book as a recommendation in a comment in Ilona Andrews' giveaway for an ARC of Magic Shifts. And mighty glad I did! It was an awesome read!!
Chapter 1, I wasn't very convinced. But by Chapter 3, I knew it was gonna be good! And by the end of the book, Eric Asher has gained a new die-hard fan! You got your vampires, fairies, old gods, power-wielding humans and more. Hopefully the author will expand more about the werewolves and witches in subsequent books in the series. Needing a good urban fantasy fix? Pick this book up! I just wished they hired a more ruggedly appealing model for the cover though. Don't have to be handsome, just more appealing. Anyway the suggestion of magical elements in the cover art makes up for it. So not a total loss. I also like William Dufris' narration and his interpretation of the story. He obviously brought his own flavor to the book which made it ultimately more enjoyable! And of course, I already bought the second book and currently reading it :)
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 4 Character development = 4.5 Story itself = 4.5 Writing Style = 4.5 Ending = 4.5 World building = 4.5 Cover art = 4 Pace = ( 8 hrs & 50 mins listening time) Plot = 4 Narration = 5
My Thoughts: I took a bit of time from finishing this book to reviewing it because I needed to digest it before I could put words into paper. I alreadyMy Thoughts: I took a bit of time from finishing this book to reviewing it because I needed to digest it before I could put words into paper. I already know that this was a great book right off the bat, but, I needed to think about what makes it great (other than the fact that I am a Charlie Parker series fanatic fan). The world building and character development have been established a long time ago, and of course that contributed greatly to making this book a very good read... It could be that the plot of this particular book is the best yet in the series. Or, at least, it feels like it... Or it could also be that the last book had such a fluffy plot that this one took on a "great" feeling. Either way, I liked the plot immensely! On top of that, this book did not have those annoying unrelated add-on narratives that some books in this series had. Kudos to that! However some "hanging threads" from previous books are still not explained. Like who hired Jackie to bomb The Collector's lawyer? I'm still hoping that these hanging threads will get answers sometime down the line. I also like the fact that new aspects of Sam is being revealed. Ohhhh! Delicious tantalizing revealations!! Can't wait to read more about Sam! And of course more of Angel and Louis! Again this book reinforced the fact that the character development is simply masterful! And maybe because of this, that no book in this series could ever get a low rating.
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 4.5 Character development = 5 Story itself = 4.5 Writing Style = 4.5 Ending = 4.5 World building = 5 Cover art = 4 Pace = (13 hrs & 38 mins) Plot = 4.5 Narration = 5
Narrative Evaluation: The cover, although it has lots of meaning and is very appropriate to the story, does not ping my book buying radar. In fact I haNarrative Evaluation: The cover, although it has lots of meaning and is very appropriate to the story, does not ping my book buying radar. In fact I had this book for two weeks before I finally picked it up to read. I keep coming up with excuses like, I'll finish this book first before reading that one. Or, I'll watch the eclipse first before I'll start with that... etc... Loved the eclipse, by the way. All due to the fact that the cover did not appeal to my fantasy reader's eyes. This being the first book I've read of Naomi Novik, the author's name on the front did not even help in drawing me to pick up this book. However, the fact that somebody spent the time and effort of sending me this book, it got read, by hook or by crook! And so I entered the world of Agnieszka of Dvernik... and what a wonderful world!! The world building along with the story telling quality are both compelling and masterful! However, there are some loose theads that was left hanging which I didn't like very much. Like where exactly did the stick men come from and how they came about? The ending also, while closed the story nicely, was not the big bang I expected. Having said that, I would still give this book a 5 out of 5. It was just that good that I finished the book in a day and a half with a fervent hope that Novik would write a book 2!
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 5 Character development = 5 Story itself = 4.5 Writing Style = 5 Ending = 4 World building = 5 Cover art = 3 Pace = 5 Plot = 4.5
My Thoughts: I like it when things nicely fall in together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal the picture. I was wondering what happened to Ana, Greg FeMy Thoughts: I like it when things nicely fall in together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal the picture. I was wondering what happened to Ana, Greg Feldman's ex-wife, who was first mentioned in Magic Bites. Then Kate mentioned in their dinner convention with Roland at Applebee's [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 290] that Ana, the clairvoyant ex-wife of Kate's dead guardian, no longer return her calls. Telling me that Ana is still there but just not in the picture anymore and explains why she wasn't mentioned in so many books since Magic Bites.
However, I do not like it when the story lines contradict each other! In Magic Slays, Evdokia of the Witch Oracle told Kate that her mother, Kalina, came to attend Kalina's mother's funeral. [I. Andrews, Magic Slays, (The Berkley Publishing Group, 2011), p. 120]. Then all of a sudden, Kalina's mother was alive again and living in Seattle in Magic Shifts. Roland tried to lure Kate out of Atlanta with the idea of visiting her grandmother (Kalina's mother) who was supposedly old and not long to live anymore in Seattle [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 285]. Kate's other grandmother, Semiramis, is in Mishmar trapped between life and death limbo. So Kate has three grandmothers?!... *Sigh*
Speaking of unsolved issues, I am still wondering if Gene Monroe (wolf alpha who owned a silver-producing land in North Carolina) was really Roland's lackey or not. Or was there some other explanation? It was not very clear in Magic Breaks and I was hoping that we'd get a little clarification in this book... but no such luck...
This book... beautifully continued the complicated relationship between Kate and her father, Roland. Told in this authors' trademark compelling story telling quality with a solid plot. What can I say? I am an old die hard fan... Can't wait for the next book and read more about Kate and Roland's saga! Would the author end it with a bang??? What kind of HEA (happily ever after) would they get? Or is it an HEA?... Love, love, love, this series!!
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 5 Character development = 5 Story itself = 5 Ending = 5 World building = 5 Cover art = 5 Pace = 5 Plot = 5