In waiting a week to write up my review I had forgotten the crucial fail in3.5 Stars [Edited to 1.5 stars]
EDITED [Trigger warning: sexual violence]
In waiting a week to write up my review I had forgotten the crucial fail in the novel. The murdered character is said by the pathologist to have been raped. At SEVERAL places in the book the different characters jokingly discuss whether or not a woman can ever really be raped. (Yes. I AM serious.) One character tells a joke that is both hideously racist and completely disregarding of rape. In another scene a man and woman discuss the rape after making love and the woman asks her lover if he's a raper of women and then--as FOREPLAY!--fondles his penis and says "Rape Me, [character's name]"
That's all a little bit too horrible to go unremarked.
I've watched the show a few times, and just got done watching Season 2 of Endeavor, so I thought I'd look into the books.
I have complex feelings about this one. Unlike most other mysteries, these don't exist to be solved by the reader. I gather the real point of them is to enjoy Morse's personality and methodology. This can be fun, but in this book I felt it was pretty uneven. As it's the first I don't think I'll judge the entire series by it. But if the point is to peek into the lives of those adjacent to a crime--suspects and police--then it would be good to have all of the vignettes be compelling. These were very uneven; some were conclusively readable, others were rather pointless and plodding. When the solution was finally announced (after multiple red herrings) I wasn't surprised, intrigued, or impressed. I was just well ready to have done with it all....more
This is the most I've ever paid for a Kindle book. The ONLY reason I paid that much is because I bought Anthony Ryan's first published book4.25 Stars
This is the most I've ever paid for a Kindle book. The ONLY reason I paid that much is because I bought Anthony Ryan's first published book for $3 when it was still a little-self-pub-that-could on Amazon. That book remains one of the best I have EVER read and I beg you to read it. I wanted to say some sort of demonstrable "thank you" to Ryan so I hacked off my arm and leg to buy the Kindle version on the week of release. ($16 to rent a book is a crime against nature.)
It was worth it.
This is a book with pirates and Magic and Wild West-style dragon cowboys. This is a book with dragons and guns and powder kegs. Explorers and lost cities and code duello and all those wonderful things from the pulp adventures of the 50s...they're all woven together in this really craic book.
So why not 5 stars? That's easy...I don't enjoy complex battle or fight scenes. I am not good at spatial visualization and many of the book's "thrilling" fight sequences were things I had to skim over because I just couldn't visualise them in my head. And the last 15% is comprised largely of these types of scenes. It's necessary to the point of the story and I'm sure other people who can better imagine them will have fewer problems visualizing.
[also, and I admit this is petty, but it's a big deal to me...the word is "boatswain" NOT "bosun". Whenever I see it spelled "bosun" I autimatically lose respect for the book.]
I was skeptical about this book at first, but I am now enthusiastic. If you want a fun book about dragons with nary a princess to be found, this one needs to go on your list. ...more
I loved reading about the train. Unfortunately that ended pretty quickly and we were stuck with the worst parts of a manners novel, a mystery novel anI loved reading about the train. Unfortunately that ended pretty quickly and we were stuck with the worst parts of a manners novel, a mystery novel and a spy novel. It was uncanny, how much the book seemed to resemble a quilt made up out of the dull bits off the cutting room floors of Agatha Christie, Mary Robinette Kowall and Whatever fellow writes spy novels set in the 1920s.
Adding insult to injury were the smattering of juvenile illustrations. I loathe illustrations in novels, apart from brief chapter headings, maps, and the like. I read to have the author describe things. Showing me a drawing of the "breathtaking" train is a cheat. If I wanted to look at pictures of trains I would go to the internet and Google "cool train pics". I want the alchemy of your words and my brain.
Anyway, great cover, interesting train concept, dreadful execution. ...more
Not a fan of the original, so I am not wedded to those characters and that telling. Nevertheless I found this version in turns hilarious, preachy andNot a fan of the original, so I am not wedded to those characters and that telling. Nevertheless I found this version in turns hilarious, preachy and extremely dull. The characters don't all behave as Austen's did, which isn't a deal breaker for me, since I don't care for Austen's. However, they are all genuinely unlikeable, each for different reasons. ...more