Cool noir vibe to this post-disaster NYC thriller, marred only by a slightly muddled storyline (with a few too many elements to the characters' backst...moreCool noir vibe to this post-disaster NYC thriller, marred only by a slightly muddled storyline (with a few too many elements to the characters' backstories, IMO) -- this one is definitely worth a look if you're in the market for something a bit different from the usual apocalyptic scenario. The author is writing a sequel to this story, which I can't wait to read. Three stars seems a little stingy for this one, so let's say 3.5 stars.(less)
Very sweet, low key story about the author's (mis) adventures living in Vermont. Stimson writes in an engaging, folksy style, just as if you were list...moreVery sweet, low key story about the author's (mis) adventures living in Vermont. Stimson writes in an engaging, folksy style, just as if you were listening to her talk rather than reading -- it makes for a fun, fast read.
I will admit that the ending left me feeling a bit blue -- the author is honest about the difficulties they had integrating into their new life, as well as her part in creating many of those difficulties, but I was still hoping they would find a way to make it all work out. To be fair, it seems like they are making it work -- just not in the way I had hoped the would.
The author includes many recipes at the back of the book -- I'm not really a cook, so I haven't tried any of them, but they do look pretty good!
I'll definitely look for more of her work in future.(less)
**spoiler alert** NOTE: THE SPOILER ALERT ISN'T SHOWING UP WHEN I LOOK AT THIS REVIEW, SO BE WARNED -- THERE ARE SPOILERS!!
I'm really surprised by all...more**spoiler alert** NOTE: THE SPOILER ALERT ISN'T SHOWING UP WHEN I LOOK AT THIS REVIEW, SO BE WARNED -- THERE ARE SPOILERS!!
I'm really surprised by all the 4+ star reviews. I don't read a lot of mysteries -- maybe the genre is so lacking in good stories that this one, somehow, seems to fill the void? Seems unlikely, but . . .
The story in a nutshell:
Two gruesome murders, one in Virginia in the U.S., the other in Norway. Two detectives working the case, one a man recovering from brain surgery, the other a woman fighting to overcome the demons from her past. One murderer, no, make that two, no, one, no . . . Okay, how about one murderer and several red herrings? Oh, and we mustn't forget the abduction/murder that opens the books -- some how, some way, this WILL become relevant to the story!
It's a mess.
The writing is somewhat interesting, even compelling at times, when set in Norway. From the author bio, it seems as though this is where the author was born and raised, so perhaps writing about the people and places there comes more naturally to him? It all falls apart when we come back to the States, though -- there's a weird undercurrent of disdain that keeps surfacing in these parts, as if the author can't quite hide his contempt for America? In which case, my advice would be to stick with stories set in Norway.
Another complaint is this book's characterization of women -- if this is what he thinks of women, I hope I never meet him. In his world, women are all quite eager to "service" men at the drop of a hat, all in aid of . . . what? It's never quite clear. The one woman who changes her mind about sex is assaulted, and her life spirals completely out of control within mere weeks. She eventually recovers enough to function (with male intervention, naturally), although it's made quite clear that she's not really a complete person as she struggles with dealing with her assault on a minute by minute basis. Her redemption comes when she finally overcomes her past and "gives" herself to a man she met only days before, and we're led to believe she will be leaving her old life behind completely to move to Norway in order to be with him.
The rest isn't much better. I had initially decided to discuss more than just this one part of the book in depth, but I'm kind of losing my will to live here. Just thinking about the disposable characters, muddled storyline (which also involves a serial killer/priest -- or is he?! -- from the 1500s), clumsy clue dropping, the laughable "villain" who ultimately has no motive for his crimes, as well as the dubious red herrings, makes me want to take an aspirin and have a nap.
It's all just so disappointing.
The author is apparently hard at work on the sequel to this book, which I'm sure will cause great rejoicing for most readers. I hope he's able to tighten up, well, everything. His ideas are interesting, he just needs help on the follow through.(less)
Thank you to the author for allowing me to read and review this book!
I have NEVER defined myself by how much extreme, graphic material I can be expose...moreThank you to the author for allowing me to read and review this book!
I have NEVER defined myself by how much extreme, graphic material I can be exposed to without flinching. In point of fact, I am a wimp. But I'm also curious, so I often get myself into situations I later regret. Unfortunately, reading this book definitely falls into that category. I just can't unread this stuff!
Having given it the standard 100 pages, I can't really give a detailed review, but I will comment on what was in that portion:
Definitely Bizarro, FOR SURE, this is a world completely unlike the one we live in. I found the characters interesting, and I'm actually kind of sad I don't know what happened to them as the story progressed. As mentioned, there are revolting images on virtually every page, and the sex -- I really don't even know what to say about that, except that this might be the first (and only) time I've worried about someone getting salmonella as a social disease.
When you read the reviews and the reviewer mentions that it is GROSS -- please, I beg you, BELIEVE THEM. If that really isn't your cup of tea, just walk away -- you'll be happy you did. If you've got curiosity in spades and a cast iron stomach to go with it, have fun -- I look forward to reading your review!(less)
Interesting and well written, plus magic realism! Should have been a home run, but just . . . wasn't. I know it's gotten a ton of great reviews, but t...moreInteresting and well written, plus magic realism! Should have been a home run, but just . . . wasn't. I know it's gotten a ton of great reviews, but this one just didn't add up to a whole lot for me.(less)