I listened to the audio book, my first since I was a child.
J.F. Penn isn't a bad narrator, but I found her voice to be a little monotonous at times. I...moreI listened to the audio book, my first since I was a child.
J.F. Penn isn't a bad narrator, but I found her voice to be a little monotonous at times. It was a decent story though, with a pretty cool ending. I battled to get into it for the first five minutes or so, but quickly picked it up after that, once my hearing was attuned to listening to the story and I'd stopped fidgeting and fiddling and trying to check e-mail while it was going on.
It's of course unfair of me to let my difficulty in getting into the audiobook affect my rating (so it didn't), because I'm notoriously unable to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.
I cannot, in good conscience, give this collection anything fewer than five stars. It is absolutely amazing!
These four short stories are all quite dif...moreI cannot, in good conscience, give this collection anything fewer than five stars. It is absolutely amazing!
These four short stories are all quite different, but they're all about women who've been hurt. In some, the hurt is once-off; in others, it's caused by systematic abuse. In some, the women are psychologically jaded or damaged at the outset, and in others they're perfectly normal, seemingly well-adjusted people until something pushes them over the edge.
I found myself struggling as I read the stories, to decide which one I would say was my favourite. In the end, it was impossible because I just loved them all so much.
These stories touched me in a way that no story has, for a really long time. They're all beautifully written, vividly detailed in their descriptions, and visceral in the emotions and experiences of the main characters.
The themes are rather dark, but the stories are very believable. I can see anybody (yes, men too) fantasising about enacting revenge on the people who wronged them, but never having the balls to actually carry it through. Well, THESE women have balls!(less)
This is a difficult book to rate! The whole time I was reading it, I was undecided whether to give it three stars or four.
The premise is really good....moreThis is a difficult book to rate! The whole time I was reading it, I was undecided whether to give it three stars or four.
The premise is really good. It was obviously well researched and planned, and it worked. I loved the religious angle, and the tension between Catholocism and the occult. Chepe Gallo is a great antagonist, and I even felt myself rooting for him, more than once. Chris is a decent protagonist, and his background, behaviour and reactions to situations is perfectly believable.
Then we get to the romance angle. I just wasn't feeling it. Janie is, in my opinion, a total cliché. She is nothing but your typical naive, hysterical, insecure submissive woman. I realise that the story couldn't have been told without the romance, but the woman irritated the living stuffing out of me, and I had to force myself to do any more than briefly skim any scene in which she featured. Maybe I just have a totally different idea of how one should behave in a relationship, but I simply could not bring myself to identify with or sympathise with her in any way.
There are other problems, as well. In any scene where there are more than two characters conversing, it becomes very difficult to figure out who is saying what, because the author uses "he" and "she" multiple times in a paragraph, to refer to different people. I also got a bit frustrated at all the synonyms for said; it seemed a bit "over-done".
But as I said in the beginning of this review, I liked the story. I liked the ending, too. It was a nice surprise, and very satisfying indeed. And I learnt something: excuse me, while I run off and read everything I can find on Mares!(less)