The first quarter of this book was awesome, but then it went down hill. Too much talk of politics in China, not enough interaction between the charact...moreThe first quarter of this book was awesome, but then it went down hill. Too much talk of politics in China, not enough interaction between the characters.(less)
I read up to 60% in this book and just had to stop, life is too short to read bad books. I picked this book because ordinarily I do like books about d...moreI read up to 60% in this book and just had to stop, life is too short to read bad books. I picked this book because ordinarily I do like books about diseases and catastrophes and how people deal with them. This book is just badly written. At the very beginning, things were moving along as if it were the middle of the book, not the start. There was no building up, no anticipation, no time to develop any sympathy for the characters, no time to get a feel for their situation or how it came to happen. One man, one woman, and their 4 year old son who is infected with a new strain of the bubonic plague. This 4 year old boy, severely sick, but I found it hard to feel any compassion or emotions for them. When they made a decision as to how they would deal with it, I just had to throw my hands in the air and give up. (view spoiler)[The man decides to sit his son on his lap and literally smother him to death, because he felt it was better to kill him than to let him suffer??? Really? And the mother just let it happen? Sorry, at that point I knew I didn't want to read any more of this. (hide spoiler)]
This story has no substance, no meat to it.
I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I couldn't decide if I wanted to give this 4 or 5 stars. Finally decided on 5, since I finished this book last night and I'm still thinking about it t...moreI couldn't decide if I wanted to give this 4 or 5 stars. Finally decided on 5, since I finished this book last night and I'm still thinking about it today. That's one sign of a good book to me, it makes me think about it even after I've finished it and moved on to something else. Theo Decker is a very young man when he loses his mother in a terrible, freak incident, he is one of few survivors. After he loses his mother, it's like he just becomes a feather in the wind, nobody wants to take responsibility for him, he has absolutely no moral person to give him any guidance. His life just spirals out of control as he becomes involved heavily with drugs and alcohol and there is no adult around to even chastise him about his behavior. His biological father comes back in his life, but he's a real jerk and is only looking for money, because he's involved in illegal gambling. Theo meets Boris, who becomes his best friend and is pretty much a parent-less adolescent like Theo.
This story is beautifully written, the author definitely knows how to use the English language. Her descriptions are vivid and eloquent, very often I re-read paragraphs just to experience it a second time. I highly recommend this book!
P.S. If you read this book rather than listening to it on audio, you must hear Boris's voice with a heavy Russian accent!(less)
This is such an entertaining story. Anybody who liked the Edward books written by Craig Lancaster would enjoy this book. Don is not exactly like Edwar...moreThis is such an entertaining story. Anybody who liked the Edward books written by Craig Lancaster would enjoy this book. Don is not exactly like Edward, but in many ways he is. He schedules his day down to the exact minute, he has a cycle of meals he eats, the same meal on each day of the week. He has a "Wife Project", a questionnaire for potential partners to fill out to see how compatible they are likely to be. Then he meets Rosie and she's the total opposite. She smokes..gasp.. which is not allowed on his questionnaire, of course! But he finds himself becoming more and more fascinated by her. It's fun to see them work through their problems, because he knows he is different, socially inept, emotionally withdrawn.(less)
I picked this book from the library on a whim, really, and I'm so glad I did. It's about a 64 year old woman who is a house sitter. She's staying in t...moreI picked this book from the library on a whim, really, and I'm so glad I did. It's about a 64 year old woman who is a house sitter. She's staying in this really big mansion of a house by herself, then circumstances bring a pregnant young woman and a young man who is nearly a criminal, to the house. They begin all living there as a "family" and begin to bond to one another. They all 3 come from very difficult childhoods, and have never had a sense of belonging to anyone or any particular place. They actually convince themselves that they ARE a family, and this IS their home. But of course the outside world starts to become involved, then everything just was a train wreck. It was like a snowball rolling down hill, one thing happened which created another problem, which created another problem, and I was just thinking....Oh No! They can't do that! I couldn't wait to get to the end to see how this was all going to turn out, and what a surprise, I never guessed what was going to happen at the end, until it was revealed in the last couple of pages.(less)
I was a little apprehensive when I started this book, I was afraid it was going to be one of those government espionage spy type stories and I'm not c...moreI was a little apprehensive when I started this book, I was afraid it was going to be one of those government espionage spy type stories and I'm not crazy about those. But I was pleasantly surprised. The main character, Sam Dryden, reminded me a lot of Jack Reacher. He's ex-military, specially trained, very smart and savvy. He becomes involved in saving a young girl with some very extraordinary skills, even he doesn't know at first what she's capable of. The action was non-stop in this book, and there were several surprises, just when you think you know who is good and who is bad, the tables get turned. This was a very good adventure story.
I received this book from Netgalley in return for a fair and honest review.(less)
This book will easily be included in my list of the top 5 books I've read in my entire life....yes, my entire life. I loved this book so much I just w...moreThis book will easily be included in my list of the top 5 books I've read in my entire life....yes, my entire life. I loved this book so much I just want to hold it in my hands and relish the memories. It's got everything, politics, love, terrorism, the CIA, religion, family....I mean everything. And it's so well written, what an absolute adventure it was to read. I normally get a little bored when books get into too much war and espionage, but this one had just the right amount, it was all so relevant to the story and never got boring. I'm amazed at the amount of research that had to go into writing this book, it boggles my mind how someone could know so much about so many things. If you love John Sandford, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly...I'm telling you they have nothing on this book. It was like reading 10 of Sandford's Prey books rolled into one (and I love Lucas Davenport.) Do yourself a favor, read this book! I wish I could have a do-over and read it again for the first time.(less)
I had to get about 40% into this book before it really grabbed me, and even then, I wasn't in love with this book like I usually am with his books. I...moreI had to get about 40% into this book before it really grabbed me, and even then, I wasn't in love with this book like I usually am with his books. I was torn between 3 stars or 4 stars, but it leans more toward the 4 so I went with that. For some reason, the characters in this book failed to get into my heart and mind and make me care deeply for them. There's a little bit of everything in this book, with the most outstanding dysfunction being child abuse. The story goes back and forth from current times to the past, and each person's story is told, letting us know how they came to be the person they are today. If you read this book, be sure to read the prologue, it's very important to the entire story.(less)