While I spent my childhood with Trixie Belden and grew up wanting to be Nancy Drew, I found myself less than enthused as an adult with the subgenre ofWhile I spent my childhood with Trixie Belden and grew up wanting to be Nancy Drew, I found myself less than enthused as an adult with the subgenre of "regular people that meddle in crimes and solve mysteries." The cozy mystery just leaves me wishing for more...
That said, I started this book because I expected it to be more of a police fiction. A non-US police fiction, specifically, which I find more interesting just because of the differences in the criminal justice systems. Imagine my suprise when Elly Griffiths snuck in a middle-aged, slightly overweight, intelligent, romantically unattached, potential crazy cat lady, professor and stuck her right in the middle of the crime. Normally, I'd express some irritation and put the book down but it actually worked this time. She was sensible, the plot had enough twists, the police were hard-working and diligent and it ended well. I liked it. ...more
While the characters had interesting moments, I wasn't able to feel any connection with them. They simply weren't likable or unlikable enough to makeWhile the characters had interesting moments, I wasn't able to feel any connection with them. They simply weren't likable or unlikable enough to make me love or hate them and without emotion, a book is limited in how good it can be. Even the minor characters were obnoxiously bland or too sterotypically obnoxious. The coincedences and timing that were needed to keep the plot moving felt too forced and the entire "Barbie and Ken" subplot was too bizarrely out of place to feel like a part of the book. In the end, I had two major issues with the book: first, the time it took for everyone to figure out who was behind it (the clues weren't really that well hidden); and second, the seventeen year 'family on hold, undying dedication and love' to a loser like victim one. If this was the first Coben book I'd read, I probably wouldn't pick up another. However, I had read him in the past and, in a lucky twist for him, had purchased this and another book of his at the same time. It gave me a chance to give him a 'do-over', which he needs after this book....more
Have you ever read a book and wondered "Did the author ask 10 friends to suggest a theme they would enjoy seeing in a book and then decide to incorporHave you ever read a book and wondered "Did the author ask 10 friends to suggest a theme they would enjoy seeing in a book and then decide to incorporate all 10 in a single book?" Imagine the entire X-Files franchise being crammed into a single season. Or the tenth Doctor, Cthulhu, Jason Bourne, Hitler, Typhoid Mary, Agent J and all the inhabitants of Krikkit getting together to put an Indiana Jones musical on Broadway. That's what the plot of this book was like.
However, it was entertaining. It was a fun listen during a long car ride and except for some confusing jumps around, it was enjoyable.
The biggest drawback was the lack of closure. I realized that this was a "book 1" but I was expecting it to be the starting point of a character, not a plot. I assumed we would see Agent Vale again, like another Dirk Pitt or Gray Pierce. I liked the book, but not enough to buy another one just to follow the story line. I would have prefered a stand-alone book. ...more
I loved the Percy Jackson series and Camp Half-Blood has my heart. I couldn't get into the Roman characters and Camp Jupiter. It was nice to get backI loved the Percy Jackson series and Camp Half-Blood has my heart. I couldn't get into the Roman characters and Camp Jupiter. It was nice to get back to New York and enjoy a cameo from Percy while seeing everyone from another point of view.
I adore Apollo. Conceited, arrogant, dependent, prone to tantrums and willing to sacrifice demingods for minor reasons...what's not to like?
The plot was a bit predictable but it set the groundwork for a new series and gave it a strong base, which is exactly what a first book needs to do. I'm ready for book two!...more
I'm not a fan of vampires. I blame those damn sparkly ones for ruining an entire subgenre of horror. However, Bill is rather atypical as a vampire. HeI'm not a fan of vampires. I blame those damn sparkly ones for ruining an entire subgenre of horror. However, Bill is rather atypical as a vampire. He's that D&D'er that grew up to be a video game programmer that lives with his other nerdy friends who appreciate his geek references. However, he's also a jackass. All. Of. The. Time.
You need to really consider that before you read this. Bill isn't a good guy that gets annoying sometimes, or a friendly guy that goes too far on occasion. If he's speaking, he is being a jackass. He's clueless, has no real desire to understand vampirism, lets others control his life and just wanders from place to place being obnoxious.
Not to say that he isn't funny. The book is amusing and it was a fun listen...but not one you want to sit down and listen to without regular breaks (audiobook here, not printed). There is a point where you think, "Yeah, I think I'll listen to something else for a few days and then come back." I purchased the first foor books in the series as a set so I'll eventually work my way through them. If I hadn't, it's not a series I would have continued to read.
On a separate note, the narrator on the audio version is fabulous. He had a great approach to Bill that made his attitude a little more tolerable. ...more
I bought this book because the summary suggested a plot similar to The Ring movies. Alas, nothing supernatural, but the story was still interesting. AI bought this book because the summary suggested a plot similar to The Ring movies. Alas, nothing supernatural, but the story was still interesting. As a movie, this would likely be a great two hour race to find a murderer and unravel some crazy science. As a book, however, the convenient breakthroughs was a bit much. I'm also a bit disappointed in the romance. Why does every police fiction need the characters to fall into bed together?...more
There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, but they were overshadowed by the frequent voice in my head that asked "Why doesn't he quit?" andThere were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, but they were overshadowed by the frequent voice in my head that asked "Why doesn't he quit?" and "Why are they so determined to sacrifice every outside interest to be with their son every moment he's home?" I realize the book couldn't have been written if he'd quit, but a better, more compelling reason would have improved the story. A middle manager in IT has options, as does his body in Sales, and his Admin, and every else there. And the helicopter parenting just seemed odd.
Then, when I finally accepted that this is who they were and that they weren't going to change, this whole bizarre sex and death matches plot was introduced. I just don't get it. ...more
I stumbled across this series after listening to the Whodunnit books and looking for other books read by Gildart Jackson. It reminded my of the DresdeI stumbled across this series after listening to the Whodunnit books and looking for other books read by Gildart Jackson. It reminded my of the Dresden Files books, or perhaps the Iron Druid series, both of which I enjoy.
He's a diviner and the book is full of mages, some good, some bad, some scary, some innocent. He has a limited social group and his one true friend has a curse that keeps her away from others, making them a good match. He has contacts he can reach out to and a history he prefers to ignore. He owns a shop, prefers a quiet existence and has the ability to see the best path for every decision. You can see the similarites? But there are so many differences - it's a different battle, more good versus evil with less of a clear line between the two, and he has a cool head that is missing from so many of these characters. All in all, a great book. I plan to listen to book two soon!