Summary: Strange murders of former army females has everybody, including the FBI, stumped. Of course, Reacher gets caught up in the middle and strong...moreSummary: Strange murders of former army females has everybody, including the FBI, stumped. Of course, Reacher gets caught up in the middle and strong armed into helping solve the murders.
Random Comments: - Jack Reacher's overall an awesome character - it's usually fun to see him tangle with bad guys and right wrongs nobody else can. That said, this book seemed to have everybody, including Reacher act more like a bully than a complicated guy with a heart wired for justice.
- The murder mystery wrapup was a tad on the convenient side. The last 30+ tracks of the audiobook were explaining the who, the why, the where like it was an outline for the book rather than the book itself.
- I'd call the plot "unique," not my favorite Reacher story yet not terrible either.
Conclusion: If you're a completionist, go for it. If you're new to the Jack Reacher series, try some of the others first (Echo Burning, The Enemy, and Bad Luck and Trouble).(less)
*maybe slightly spoilers in reflection* Summary: Reacher finds himself in the middle of quite the kidnapping mystery. Kate and Jade Lane have disappear...more*maybe slightly spoilers in reflection* Summary: Reacher finds himself in the middle of quite the kidnapping mystery. Kate and Jade Lane have disappeared and Reacher's contracted by the distraught Mr. Edward Lane, but the more Reacher investigates, the more skeletons he finds in Lane's closets.
Most people are just going to read the book, but for the few of us who love audiobook versions, be aware that there's a very long, very tedious, pretty much maddening section around disc 6 or 7 where Reacher and his female flavor of the book are interviewing a guy who's clearly had a few rough years. The performance is decent from an acting point of view, but the decision to include a heavy, ponderous speech flaw into an audiobook is downright baffling. It leaves you wondering what the heck the powers that be were thinking.
Back to the story analysis ... My main problem with Running Blind (a.k.a. The Visitor) was that I didn't like any of the characters because they were all pretty much mean-spirited bullies, including Reacher. In The Hard Way, there are still bad guys and many people flawed enough to seem realistic, but at least Reacher's brand of vigilante justice actually seems like justice this go-round.
The reader's perceptions are meant to flip several times in the book between who's good and who's evil. While the plot is way out there, the conclusion's satisfying. I give plot in most thrillers a pretty generous credibility excuse card.
As with any book, there are some tedious sections and some over emphasis on making the title fit, but overall, I enjoyed this Reacher story much more than the others I've experienced of late.
Conclusion: Although the 10th book in the series, I'd recommend this book as one of the stronger examples of what you're in store for in the series. Reacher gets sucked into a complicated plot and throws himself into the cause of righting wrongs, sometimes by walking a little south of the "law" lines.(less)
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion; spoilers possible*
Summary: Elliot Sweeney hops on a train looking for his father...more*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion; spoilers possible*
Summary: Elliot Sweeney hops on a train looking for his father and finds himself in a fantasy world.
Random Comments: The beginning of this book started off strong. I loved the characterization done with Lefty, but events midway through all but removed her from the book for a good chunk. To me, that left the middle floundering for a "human touch." The nymphs and talking creatures were decently drawn but that lack of a human touch kind of made me lose interest for much of the middle.
Dialogue - believable, maybe slightly on the hokey side at times but fitting
Characterization - starts strong until they get into the mine... Elliots probably the most in depth character but everybody else is stock (evil prince, good queen, faithful soldier, etc)
Plot - I struggled with this one. Although events presented the characters with danger, I didn't feel a sense of urgency. It's hard to put a finger on what I "feel" was off. Maybe there's just too much going on. Maybe I just missed a few key points. Maybe it just wasn't "my cup of tea" as the cliche goes.
Wasp factoids - I found them interesting. They had zip to do with the story, but I liked them all the same. The science geek in me was loving learning new things.
Conclusion: Books with talking creatures aren't generally my first-tier options, but as long as there's a strong human element, I'm there. I very much enjoyed the beginning where the focus was on Elliot and Lefty and their quest, but when the plot meandered into the fantasy portion, I found it too easy to mentally check out.
Recommended reader age = Middle Grade.
Do I think others will like it? Sure, Elliot and Lefty are interesting characters. Just because I didn't click with the book, doesn't mean much in the long run. If the premise appeals to you and fantasy's your favorite genre, try it.(less)
Better adventure story than the majority of recent star wars books, but the end part of this audio had a super-annoying high pitched whine for about 2...moreBetter adventure story than the majority of recent star wars books, but the end part of this audio had a super-annoying high pitched whine for about 20 minutes. That was so not cool.(less)
Very cool premise, but the execution of said very cool premise seemed subpar for Haddix. Two really old women take a drug that ages them backwards. My...moreVery cool premise, but the execution of said very cool premise seemed subpar for Haddix. Two really old women take a drug that ages them backwards. My main issue with this book is the feeling that nothing was resolved in the end. There's some mental realization and peace reached, but nothing much.
I guess Haddix is sort of hit or miss to me. I loved the Shadow Children series and didn't like the time travel one. (less)