I read this book at my mom's request, because she really likes the author and the series of which this is the beginning. I enjoyed it as an interestinI read this book at my mom's request, because she really likes the author and the series of which this is the beginning. I enjoyed it as an interesting look at the legal world as well as a good mystery that made for a very quick read. My enjoyment was probably more like four stars' worth, but I don't pretend that this is great literature--plus I'm leaving room for improvement in future books, which I plan to read. The writing was great, but I'm pretty sure that the plotting and characterization (which were already good) and other writing elements will improve, simply because first time authors almost always improve when they learn more tricks of the trade, and find their voices and their confidence.
Lisa Scottoline's first book introduces us to Mary DiNunzio, a lawyer from South Philadelphia who is up for partner at her prestigious law firm. As stressful as her job is, her personal life is worse, as she's being stalked and threatened by someone. The story is very fast-paced, despite the range of story elements to it. The mystery of the stalker is intriguing and has some surprising developments, Mary's family is realistic and has moments together that are relatable, and there is also a lot about various court cases and other legal proceedings that was pretty interesting and rounded out the story well.
This was a first book in a series, and as such, it had a lot of exposition: introducing the characters, sketching out--or sometimes detailing--their personal histories and relationships with one another, showing the workings of a law office, and explaining intricacies of the judicial system. Some of it was skillfully and naturally woven in to the story and some was less so, but none of it was bad. There was perhaps a bit too much back story revealed; maybe some of it could have been saved for future books--or maybe in the future books there's plenty to go around, and I shouldn't complain. Actually my only real complaint about this book is how easily Mary switched her suspicions from person to person at what seemed to me little provocation. This could be reasonable paranoia, given her circumstances, but it annoyed me. Oh, and she didn't take care of her cat! OK, I guess that's not a major complaint, but still, poor Alice. Also, the pacing was a little fast. Anyway, this was definitely an enjoyable book, and since this was the author's debut novel, don't judge it too harshly....more
I see a lot of people say they liked the cyberpunk stuff and were totally uninterested in the ancient language/religion aspect of the book. For me, itI see a lot of people say they liked the cyberpunk stuff and were totally uninterested in the ancient language/religion aspect of the book. For me, it was the opposite. I didn't even mind that a lot of the information about language and mythology came in huge blocks of exposition, because I found it really interesting. I kind of wish I'd read this book sooner, because I've probably had it since last millennium, and I could have reread it many times since then if I'd read it when it was given to me....more
Although this volume is longer than the previous ones, I read it in under an hour. Probably I didn't take enough time looking at the (even more than uAlthough this volume is longer than the previous ones, I read it in under an hour. Probably I didn't take enough time looking at the (even more than usually) gorgeous art because I wanted to see the resolution of Emma and William's story, and because I was in the library. There were some times in this volume that the story skipped over what must have been days or sometimes even weeks, but then again it was rather long as it was, so maybe that was necessary. It definitely didn't confuse or very much harm the story, the way the jumps in the narrative did in Volume 5. It may seem odd--and frustrating to some readers--that their story ends at the very beginning of their life together, but I think that's a nice way of letting us picture our own happily ever after.
After reading this volume, and mostly after seeing the art, I definitely intend to buy it. I want to admire it at much greater length.
This volume is several short stories in the Emma-universe. The first story, about Ms. Stowner and her husband as a young couple, was a delight to readThis volume is several short stories in the Emma-universe. The first story, about Ms. Stowner and her husband as a young couple, was a delight to read. It was great to see her as a young woman and to see what her life (like the lives of others in the Victorian age) was like, as well as to see how much she and Douglas loved each other.
The second story was about Eleanor after the events of Emma Volume 7. I can't say that I cared much, as I found her character not very likable, but it was still good to get to see her dealing with the issue.
The third story was a wonderful story of Victorian times, showing the uses and values--and lifespan--of the newspaper in that culture. The characters were not from any previous Emma volumes, but we got to know them in brief glimpses of their lives. I think this would be an excellent (if short) story all on its own.
The final story was about Tasha, Emma's roommate and fellow maid in the Meredith household, and her family and her dreams. It's another nice story that was fun to read....more
The backstory of William's parents is filled out in the first chapter of this volume, and then we are returned to the present and the aftermath of WilThe backstory of William's parents is filled out in the first chapter of this volume, and then we are returned to the present and the aftermath of William and Emma's surprise meeting. The storytelling seemed a bit choppy in this volume, but the art was as beautiful as ever....more
Really, really funny. For me, it was laugh out loud funny at some points (and I was reading it in the bookstore, so I was hyper-aware of that). I enjoReally, really funny. For me, it was laugh out loud funny at some points (and I was reading it in the bookstore, so I was hyper-aware of that). I enjoyed the first two volumes, but this one I really loved. This volume finally felt like part the TV show....more