This book was actually very entertaining. As a straightforward read, it wasn't bad. It had good characters, fairly good action andA solid 3.5 stars.
This book was actually very entertaining. As a straightforward read, it wasn't bad. It had good characters, fairly good action and good pacing. This book was on the cusp of being really really good. However, there is one thing that brought the book down for me.
There is quite a bit of humor in this book. Which is almost 100% of the time, more needed in books like this. However, throughout the entire book, I never got the feeling that it was supposed to be a serious book, and yet it was. The humor was so on point that it actually took away from the atmosphere of the book, which was supposed to be scary. I guess. It would shift from one liner to something super scary, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be laughing or cowering in fright. So the funny parts took away from the scary, and the scary took away from the funny parts. Something about the balance and usage of the two didn't work for me.
Besides that......it was a very entertaining read. Fairly original idea, bringing in a little bit of X-Files mentality along with some journalism and the supernatural. Arnopp can definitely write a thriller, though I think that he saved a little bit too much for the very end, bit too much buildup for a quick finish.
That being said, I liked this book more than the review probably conveys, however if you are reading this, its tough for me to focus on those things because these other things so much more overshadowed the good parts. ...more
This was one of those surprise reads you get about once a year or so. This is undoubtedly one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. This booThis was one of those surprise reads you get about once a year or so. This is undoubtedly one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. This book read like historical fiction rather than the history of the World's Fair in Chicago and the murders that accompanied them just a few short blocks away that would rival Penny Dreadful.
Larson is an absolute master of the written word. A master storyteller. He knows Chicago at the turn of the 20th century so well he is able to bring life and color to a city who we are only used to seeing in black and white. Even throughout all the murder and mayhem of the fair, Larson seems to know exactly what the audience wants and needs to hear about the subject and not much else. Still, the book is a veritable encylopedia of knowledge and anecdotes from the time, many of which I was shocked not to have heard about before.
Larson is my new favorite non-fiction writer with this absolute gem!!...more
I really wanted to like this book, I really did. Everything from the stylish cover, to the premise made me want to really like this book. The thing waI really wanted to like this book, I really did. Everything from the stylish cover, to the premise made me want to really like this book. The thing was, is that this book is riddled with problems.
I'm going to go into some of them and try not to give away any spoilers. But if you are looking for the high points in this book, this isn't the review for you anyways.
First off, the premise behind the story is good. It's the execution that is horrendous. And I feel bad even writing that, but it's true, so I kinda have to. We start the story with a female lead who is basically a torturer and works for a super secret company. She is on the run, and that is about all we know.
She ends up torturing a guy who falls in love with her in an remarkably short period of time. And on top of that unbelievable fact, there is absolutely no chemistry or connection between the characters save for what the words in the book force them to have. The relationship is awkward and has the reluctant heroine doing the most stereotypical things you could possibly imagine.
The rest of the characters are extremely one dimensional and there is very little character development. The dialogue is not only forced, it is super, SUPER cheesy. No one on earth has ever talked the way Meyer has them talk in the book. No one. And yet we are supposed to swallow this along with all the other things in the book as well.
If Meyer is going to dabble into adult fiction, she needs to fully commit to writing for adults, not college drop outs still living in their parent's basement. I honestly don't know what type of person would connect with this book and say, OMG this is my favorite book ever!! Not only does it not have that pop, it has very little in the way of substance.
On top of that, it gets really boring about halfway through the book. I wish it didn't because then at least some readers would still make it through and get some enjoyment from it. But the story stops dead in it's tracks. You can almost see exactly where she ran out of substance and just kept her fingers going on the keyboard. It was sad.
The best thing about the book is the cover, which I will display on one of my bookshelves as I have a hardcopy. But besides that, I honestly feel cheated out of some money.