I’ve been successfully cured of my addiction to mysteries and thrillers year ago, but when Audible dangled this lovely carrot right in front of my nos...moreI’ve been successfully cured of my addiction to mysteries and thrillers year ago, but when Audible dangled this lovely carrot right in front of my nose in the form of their Audible daily deal, I simply couldn’t resist. John Verdon has been receiving a lot of praise from those far more familiar with the genre so of course I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Think of a Number starts off very strongly, with a seemingly unsolvable puzzle in front of our retired detective. Dave Gurney has been retired not too long ago, but he’s having a hard time adjusting to his new country life, feeling disconnected from his day to day obligations and his lovely, brilliant wife.
Dave and Madeleine don’t have an easy marriage and we can’t help feeling that it’s entirely his fault. He is a puzzle solver, a famous detective whose job defines him, but in his personal life he is prone to hiding from his problems and not facing things that are painful for him to deal with. Dave feels responsible for the loss of their 4-year-old son 15 years ago, and as hard as Madeleine tries, she can’t force him to deal with his pain and say goodbye.
The mystery is very well thought through, especially in the first half. The tiny inexplicable details make us doubt even the possibility of solving it. But as the story progresses and things start coming to light, Gurney is sometimes painfully slow on the uptake, which is a big source of frustration for the reader.
George Newbern is a fantastic narrator, his voice well suited for the calm and collected detective. His voice characterization is excellent and his sense of pacing practically flawless. I’m sorry to say that he doesn’t narrate other books in this series, which stopped me from buying Shut Your Eyes Tight in audio format.
Overall, though, this is a series worth continuing, despite the risk of falling back into my mystery addiction. The quiet emotionality of it, the complex and flawed characters and very impressive murder cases are all too alluring to pass up.
3.5 stars Fireborn is not my first book by Keri Arthur, but it’s the first one I truly liked. It’s neither paranormal romance nor urban fantasy in thei...more3.5 stars Fireborn is not my first book by Keri Arthur, but it’s the first one I truly liked. It’s neither paranormal romance nor urban fantasy in their purest form, but a successful blend of the two, with strong UF elements and plenty of romantic interests.
Emberly Pearson, our heroine, is a phoenix, which is certainly new and interesting in both these genres. She is basically immortal. She burns once every century and is reborn from the ashes, free to continue her existence any way she pleases. With each new rebirth she is destined to fall in love just once, but never with Rory, another phoenix and her counterpart, who keeps her grounded and alive.
The thing with me, however, is that I’m a one-man-one-woman kinda gal. I don’t do love triangles, squares or any other shapes or forms, I don’t do multiple love interests and I most definitely don’t deal well with jealousy. It is, therefore, too bad that I constantly get jealous on behalf of my characters. So when my heroine has one counterpart she doesn’t love romantically but has to have sex with in order to survive, one lost-but-never-forgotten love who abandoned her because of said counterpart and one hot, practically irresistible silver-tongued fae vying for her attention, I’m bound to get more than a little uncomfortable. But that’s just me.
The urban fantasy elements however, are very well done, and the plot is extremely tight. Keri Arthur is a seasoned author, and her vast experience shines from every page. She never once loses control of her many characters or her plot and she knows exactly how to steer the reader through her rich and complicated world.
And let me tell you, with vampires and werewolves out in the open and plenty other creatures still hidden from the world, Arthur had a lot to keep track of and it’s very fortunate that she was up to the task. I loved seeing this dark side of Melbourne and I’ll enjoy going back to it every single time. I just hope the romance will be more focused in future installments.
4.5 stars I guess everything in this world can be fixed if you wait long enough. I am not known for my patience, I’m afraid, which means I’d given up o...more4.5 stars I guess everything in this world can be fixed if you wait long enough. I am not known for my patience, I’m afraid, which means I’d given up on this series somewhere around City of Fallen Angels, but Clare has come a long way since then, and it would seem that so have I. City of Heavenly Fire is a worthy finale to such a long and well-beloved series.
Clare’s novels are always emotional roller coasters, even more so when it’s the last installment. If there’s one thing the woman knows how to do extremely well, it’s writing these long, emotionally draining endings. The Clockwork Princess nearly killed me, and I fared no better with City of Heavenly Fire. I didn’t cry as much, but boy, did it hurt at times.
There were so many loose ends to tie, so many impending disasters, so much to fear and even more to root for. Clare handled it all seemingly with ease, the good moments and the bad, the joy and the loss. None of it, not even the extended epilogue, seemed like fan service, and yet I was completely satisfied with how we left Clary, Jace and the gang.
The romance, at least the main one, takes a back seat in this one since these two pretty much know where they stand. Other things are more important, as well it should be, but we get plenty of time to enjoy Clary and Jace as a couple. It’s nice to see them working together, understanding each other perfectly and trusting one another implicitly.
There were plenty of broken hearts to fix in this final installment, though, and it jst wasn’t possible for everyone. Some couples found their way, some were left with nothing but loss and pain, but there was a great balance to it all which I couldn’t help but admire.
There’s something to be said about a great villain, and Sebastian Morgenstern is one of the best. His cruelty is chilling, his actions completely unpredictable, and his heart, no matter who his family may be, is well beyond redemption.
Of the two narrators, I much preferred Sophie Turner’s parts. Jason Dohring’s narration seemed a bit unnatural and his inflection was oftentimes a bit odd. I also didn’t understand the purpose of Turner’s British accent since most of this series takes place in New York, but then again, who in their right mind complains about British accent? From where I stand, it’s always a win. Overall, more than 20 hours of audio seemed pretty short with these two and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy something narrated by either of them.
I realize I was pretty vague in this review, but honestly, I see no way to review this more directly without spoiling things for someone, which is something I’d hate to do. I had my ups and downs with the Mortal Instruments series, but in the end, I’m more than happy with the journey in its entirety.