I was really interested in reading this book. The concept was really intriguing, and provided an opportunity for a great story. The idea of a baby selI was really interested in reading this book. The concept was really intriguing, and provided an opportunity for a great story. The idea of a baby selling ring and a predator who takes advantage of young girls to impregnate them for the purpose of selling their babies, was great, but in the end, I was very disappointed with this book. The characters were all unlikeable, and many of their actions just did not ring true. The book also needed a good editor, as it was about 100 pages too long, repeating thoughts and dialogue that was unnecessary for the story. Also, the idea that a "good mother" stays with a physically and emotionally abusive husband to hold a family together, is just wrong!! ...more
This book was a conundrum for me. I read it because it won the Edgar award for the best first novel. Unfortunately, I felt it was more a statement onThis book was a conundrum for me. I read it because it won the Edgar award for the best first novel. Unfortunately, I felt it was more a statement on legalized abortions rather than a true mystery. Fortunately, the writing was descriptive and creative; unfortunately, I did not like---more like actively disliked---all the characters, even the children. This story was a lesson in bigotry, ignorance, meanness, and hatred. Hopefully, this talented author will choose a different storyline, with a few like able characters in her next book----fore, with this talent there needs to be many more future books!!! ...more
First let me say that I believe Suzanne Collins is an excellent writer. Her goals for readers of her books as stated at the end of the Audible versionFirst let me say that I believe Suzanne Collins is an excellent writer. Her goals for readers of her books as stated at the end of the Audible version, are very excellent. What I strenuously object to in this trilogy, is the extreme gratituous violence she used to obtain these goals--- for children. Again, I can see the appeal for children and young adults, as these book read like a play book for a very violent " shot um up--kill um all" computer video game!!! But, why not use some real countries or true stories to achieve these goals, and point out the reality of human on human evil rather then making it a "play book"? How about stories from Syria, Rowanda, Iran or North Koren of today? Not evil enough?? OR, parents, have your children read some non-fiction stories to drive these points home: The Diary Of Ann Frank; Night by Elie Wiesel; The Hiding Place & Tramp For The Lord by Corrie Ten Boon for example. With all the bullying, and school shootings, I don't see that children need more fictional examples of how to be cruel to one another! The last couple of chapters did show courage, self-sacrifice, and the determination of the human spirit to survive, but the percentage of that to three books of human cruelty for one another, does NOT seem like a reasonable balance to me!! I sure would like to see Ms Collins write a book with the scales balanced in the other direction because she IS a 5 star writing talent!...more
The setting of this book really sounded interesting--North Korea. Then add a mystery, and I was really looking forward to reading this book, but it reThe setting of this book really sounded interesting--North Korea. Then add a mystery, and I was really looking forward to reading this book, but it really disappointed me. It's the first book in a series, and "introduces" Inspector O. But that was one of my big problems. I'm one that always likes to read the first book in a series just so I can get a really good feel for the main character. This book is actually told from the perspective of Insoector O being interrogated about a crime. Unfortunately, that left very little opportunity to get any background on Inspector O. The setting was a different matter. I got a real feel for the mountainous scenery and different buildings of the area.
Someone is found dead in a hotel. But inspector O was sent on a diversion assignment to photograph a specific place at a specific time. Many chapters later, we see that all this was a diversion that Inspector O tried to muddle through on his own ethical terms, but the North Korean government wanted to keep their actual crimes covered up. This was not really developed sufficiently in my mind. I found the back and forth between interrogating and first person narrative a bit confusing also.
Though I found lots of potential to like, I think James Church (a pseudo name for an actual North Korean spy) could have done so much more to introduce this character and develop his mystery. Unsure if I would read more of these book or not, though the North Korean aspect still intrigues me....more