Far and away, the best part of this audiobook is the narration! Dan Stevens is truly superb and is my new favorite narrator; he gets 5 stars even if tFar and away, the best part of this audiobook is the narration! Dan Stevens is truly superb and is my new favorite narrator; he gets 5 stars even if the book only gets 3-1/2 (Goodreads needs 1/2 stars).
This is a book about the wounds people receive during war; there are the obvious scars of soldiers, the sights & sounds endured by nurses, and the feeling of being utterly useless during a time of need - be it an artist who can't serve his country or a lonely woman at home waiting for a husband. WWI told primarily through the eyes of five connected people: a young soldier, Riley; the girl he loves, Nadine; his commanding officer, Peter; Peter's wife, Julia; and Peter's cousin, Rose. To me, it seemed Riley & Nadine took center stage, and Rose becomes more of a voice as the book progresses, but that was fine because I couldn't quite connect with Julia in particular. I suppose the point of Julia was to show how ill-prepared women of that age were, that they were taught to be a wife and nothing more, and then they don't know what to do with themselves when you can't be a wife because your husband is a thousand miles away.
Each person in their way tries to shelter their personal portion of war from their loved ones, and instead only pushes them away, the person or persons they want to connect with most of all. The ending is a bit open, but not at all unsatisfying. Then, I realized it has a sequel. While I didn't love this novel, I liked it enough that I bought the second one (influenced in part by Dan Stevens). It does contain some very adult scenes and words, but nothing with overly graphic descriptions. ...more
In a world where death doesn't work like it used to, Tony Valdez's job is killing people. But not like you'd think; he kills them to save their lives.In a world where death doesn't work like it used to, Tony Valdez's job is killing people. But not like you'd think; he kills them to save their lives. He’s useful to many, and disliked by others.
In this story, Tony gets dragged into an investigation when an old acquaintance of his goes missing. A detective "hires" Tony (against Tony's better judgment) for his expertise in his line of work: Dispatching. Tony is a legit, licensed Dispatcher, but private jobs are acceptable, too, and he has a past that might not be so clear-cut.
All in all, this was an interesting and entertaining short-story. I especially like that the dead return as themselves and not as zombies: it' still our world just with little tweaks. I'm not really a fan of Mr. Quinto, but as a narrator, he did a good job and was enjoyable. This seems as though it's the beginning of a series, and if so, I'd be very interested in listening to the next one. I have two complaints: the police detective didn’t seem as clever as one might expect a detective to be (Tony kept having to spell things out for her) & there is quite a bit of language (mostly F-words and JC’s). I wish modern authors didn’t feel the need to rely so heavily on this....more
I'm disappointed in this series. I was expecting something a bit more mysterious and creepy. I like fantasy, but this is as run-of-the-mill, "kids witI'm disappointed in this series. I was expecting something a bit more mysterious and creepy. I like fantasy, but this is as run-of-the-mill, "kids with powers" book as one can get. Despite being peculiar, there isn't much extraordinary in these stories. The first book was okay, but the sequel is one note. The whole book is traveling to help Miss Peregrine and just near misses and catch/release type stuff. The new characters seem like pointless encounters ( talking animals, traveling gypsies, Brits during the Blitz ) because they don't make any difference to the story (maybe the animals do a bit) and they live in times passed so nothing for them can change, as the peculiar children point out several times. Also, the love story between Jacob and Emma has annoyed me since the beginning, but in this book, it takes focus away from the story and is totally unconvincing.
My perception of the first book was that the author found interesting pictures that he felt held a story—a picture's worth a thousand word. However, in Hollow City, my perception is the author was trying to fit as many pictures into the story as possible to keep up with this running gimmick. Instead of the pictures feeling natural, it felt as if much of the story was added so a picture could get added as well. I would rather have had a flowing, cohesive story with fewer photos, than this forced "point A to point B to point C" storytelling. ...more
From the summary and from reading reviews, I was expecting this to be (what I'd call) fantasy-lite, by which I mean placed in our world but with dasheFrom the summary and from reading reviews, I was expecting this to be (what I'd call) fantasy-lite, by which I mean placed in our world but with dashes of fantasy, like a much lighter Harry Potter or an Off to Be the Wizard. It's not. It's fiction firmly set in modern America--San Francisco to be exact. The "magic" I wanted quickly became less HP and more Freemason (huge disappointment) and then morphed into little more than a morality tale or parable, if you will.
The set-up was intriguing. I mean, a mystery about a bookstore and loving books: that's right up my alley! But most of the characters are average, and there never seemed to be anything on the line--no real sacrifice or looming danger. I didn't really love any of them, I felt just along for the ride. Penumbra was the most likable character, however, his constant, "My boy," started off endearing but soon grated on my nerves.
I liked the narrator; he's easy to listen to and sounds natural. He only gets 3 stars because I found times when I didn't know if Clay (protagonist) was speaking out loud or was in his own head. Not a problem I've had with other audiobooks.
It lacked something, maybe grandeur, but I kept thinking I wanted more. ...more
I have always heard what a remarkable story The Count of Monte Cristo is, but was always a bit afraid to start such a tome, full of French names and aI have always heard what a remarkable story The Count of Monte Cristo is, but was always a bit afraid to start such a tome, full of French names and a spider-web plot. Even listening to a 40hr+ book seemed like a huge commitment.
Let me tell you what a transformative experience it is: The prose is beautiful, the scene always vibrant, the heart constantly tugged, the fury waiting to bubble up. The story of a man robbed of his youth and his lover is hardly one you will forget anytime soon. I admit that early on, there were scenes I wondered at the importance of, but every story line is tied up masterfully.
The narration is superb. It seems the narrator is "lost" in the story. By that I mean, he neither detracts nor embellishes the story, but lets the characters breathe of themselves. John Lee's voice is subtle and smooth and his characters distinct. I hope the book is as good when I eventually read it as it was listening to it....more
Overall I enjoyed this, but I thought it took its time getting to the meat of the story. It's only 300 pages, but took about 100 to get really interesOverall I enjoyed this, but I thought it took its time getting to the meat of the story. It's only 300 pages, but took about 100 to get really interesting. In October, I like to read books that set a tone for Halloween, and this book was creepy and dark.
I've read and liked some of Ray Bradbury's science fiction, but certain authors suffer from something I call "writing for the sake of writing." They are good writers who fill up pages with inner dialogue or vivid scenery that is, at once, beautiful and unnecessary. It can make a story bloated or boring. At times, this story suffers from it.
I have to say though, I see wealth in Mr. Bradbury's works for his real understanding of humanity. And Something Wicked This Way Comes has no shortage of gems that sticks with you, such as, "We salt our lives with other people's sins."...more