An excellent adventure story - non-stop action, mystery, and (imaginative) history, and at the end a glimpse back at Widow Wilkes and her undergroundAn excellent adventure story - non-stop action, mystery, and (imaginative) history, and at the end a glimpse back at Widow Wilkes and her underground friends in Seattle from the first book in this series, Bonecrusher. I especially love Priest's heroines, who are unapologetically independent and self-sufficient -- even in the face of zombies, killer trains, and outright war....more
I feel I should start by saying that I'm reading this for an assignment, of sorts -- this isn't the style of romance I'd normally pick up, so take thiI feel I should start by saying that I'm reading this for an assignment, of sorts -- this isn't the style of romance I'd normally pick up, so take this with a grain of salt.
The heroine is a nice young woman who has recently decided she should renew her faith. She had a younger sister who was kidnapped when they were in elementary school, and her family life after that was difficult. Now she's an adult, living on her own, and working as a crime scene investigator.
It's at a crime scene (a college residence just off campus) where she meets the campus cop from a small university. His brother has been murdered at the house, and he cultivates a relationship with her so that he'll be in the loop on the investigation. Then they find out that one set of fingerprints at the scene belongs to her missing sister.
From there it all goes downhill... despite the convoluted plot and lots of opportunities for suspense, the story never felt very suspenseful. And the heroine and hero's budding faith is mostly expressed through prayers in emergencies or over meals. Which is OK, just... not a lot as far as the faith content goes. There wasn't a lot of discussion or insight into their changing viewpoints re: belief.
For a short book, this took me a long time to finish because it moved so slowly. The writing was fine - the plot was just a little more complicated than I think it needed to be. It's a clean read, though, and for readers who enjoy mysteries and sweet romance stories, might be a good fit....more
**spoiler alert** The hero starts out by wondering if the heroine needs a man around the house to help her manage her two boys (she's a widow).
But tho**spoiler alert** The hero starts out by wondering if the heroine needs a man around the house to help her manage her two boys (she's a widow).
But though he thinks she's cute, he doesn't think he can be That Man because he has Crohn's disease (manageable, if uncomfortable, and not life-threatening). She's worried about dating because she has awful in-laws who want to take custody of the boys away from her because a) she grew up in foster homes and they've never liked her, and b) the boys sometimes fall down and need stitches or a cast.
The best part of this novel was the inspirational side - we see a heroine who knows how to lean on her faith and isn't afraid to do it, and who's been mature enough to work through her husband's loss without having an adolescent fit about God. The hero has a strong family around him, actively attends church, and shows his faith by being involved in volunteering and doing good things through work. Those were great examples.
What's bad, though, is that the heroine spends the entire book doubting her ability to parent because she's a *woman*. Not because she's now a single parent. Not because the kids are grieving the loss of their dad. Not because her in-laws are awful. Just because she's a girl.
And the hero - an accomplished, active, and valued member of the community - is afraid to date because he has Crohn's? Really? It's not a fun thing to deal with, and it's good for people to learn about it here, but it seemed like a pretty artificial barrier between the two. Overstated, anyway. It would've been natural for him to be nervous about dating and having to explain things, but to simply say from the start "nope, no way, dating and marriage aren't for me because I have this disease" is a little unbelievable.
I was also disappointed by the book's slow pace due to a lot of unnecessary details - like the hero noting, when dropping the boys off, that in the olden days they didn't worry about booster seats. And the in-law situation was never really resolved, they came in and threatened to sue the DIL for custody, but you never see anything after that. Evidently agreeing to marry the hero fixed everything? Hm....more
A bit more dramatic than I like - too many convenient coincidences. But it was well-written, the characters were likeable, and the happy ending is belA bit more dramatic than I like - too many convenient coincidences. But it was well-written, the characters were likeable, and the happy ending is believable....more
A fun, fast read about 4 orphans who solve a dangerous mystery using a variety of unique skills. Lots of adventure, independent thinking, and some scaA fun, fast read about 4 orphans who solve a dangerous mystery using a variety of unique skills. Lots of adventure, independent thinking, and some scary situations -- with a few trustworthy adults thrown in to help out. Fans of the 39 Clues series should like this one....more
This is at least the 3rd time I've read this silly book. And it IS silly. You start with a heroine who's had a really, really awful day (and who can'tThis is at least the 3rd time I've read this silly book. And it IS silly. You start with a heroine who's had a really, really awful day (and who can't relate to that?), follow her to Comic-Con, and end up in another dimension. But it's also clever and funny. Joy pokes a lot of fun at a lot of romance stereotypes (and some sci fi stereotypes too), but still manages to make her characters likeable. Which is a good trick, because if any other author tried this, I would want to kick the hero and dump a bucket of cold water on the heroine. The adventure thread is what keeps the story moving forward - and be warned, if you read this, you'll probably want to keep moving to the next one in the series, too.
Which I highly recommend, because Rejar is a pretty fun character too.