LISTENER

Deborah Porter

Sydney, Australia
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Good, but Not the Best

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-07-2018

It took a while for me to warm to the Rogue Lawyer. The style was different, in that there were multiple secondary stories going on around the main character. At first, they didn't seem to connect, except through the main character's involvement with them. However, at the halfway point (or a bit before), I started to see how things slotted together.

Obviously written with the idea of being a series (not sure if more have been written since this one), the book left some things dangling, but these personal/career issues didn't impact the overall satisfaction when the book came to an end.

The narration was excellent. Mark Deakins communicated the character perfectly.

This wasn't my favourite John Grisham book, but once I got my head around the different style, and picked up the threads, I found it enjoyable. If there are more books in the series, I'm not sure I'd rush to read them or listen to them. The character was a likeable enough rogue, with all his rough edges, but the multi-layered storyline wasn't as appealing to me in this particular instance.

Had Potential ... but

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-05-2018

When I have a three book set, I am the sort of person who has to read all three books--even if the characters (particularly the main character) and narration are driving me crazy. That's why I finished the Kennedy Stern Box Set (Books 1-3). Each book had potential, but the development of the characters and each storyline left me disappointed.

Each book had a solid, contemporary foundation to build on, and each book had aspects of suspense, but for the most part, they were dull. In Unplanned (the first book), it is beyond belief that Kennedy's family friends, Karl and Sandy, could be pastors of a mega church, but were unable to find anyone to help them with their pregnancy centre. Not like any mega church I know. The discrepancies of their life continued throughout the three books. For example, Kennedy spent time recovering at their home, but didn't find out until well into the second book about any of their children or foster children, or that Sandy minded her grandson three days a week.

The third book, Policed, had the best start of all. It had the most potential of all the books. Unfortunately, the story didn't build on the rogue cop aspect (as in finding the one involved). Instead, it waffled on until it all turned back against her friend/love interest, Reuben. That's when it became interesting again. The worst thing about book 3 was the constant use of book metaphors. Okay, we get the fact that Reuben and Kennedy had found an interest in studying children's literature in this book, but oh my, I cringed every time the author used one. One or two, here or there, would have been great, but there were way too many. If there were a Christian alternative to a drinking game, we could have played it every time a book metaphor was used.

At least the end of Book 3 had drama and sacrifice. It was, perhaps, the one part of all the books where the characters made an impact and felt real in their emotions.

Perhaps, this is a series I may have enjoyed more if I had read it instead of listening. The narrator didn't bring the stories or characters to life, which was a pity. Her voice suited the target listener, but it lacked presence and impact.

Overall, I can see why many readers appear to love these books. They are undemanding, while attempting to tackle some tough subjects. Of course, they are also very clean (no bad language or inappropriate behaviour by the Christian characters). They don't try to hide the fact that non-Christian characters are up to naughty things off stage, and I appreciated that honesty in a Christian book. In those ways, the Kennedy Stern books are an attempt to meet that new adult market of Christian readers who want a little more than a young adult main character. However, for me, they didn't hit the spot. I wasn't able to sufficiently lose myself in the stories and characters to be able to overlook the annoying aspects and discrepancies.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Big Little Lies cover art

Outstanding Audio Book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-2018

Exceptional narration that drew the listener into the story, the setting, and the characters. The author’s ability to combine moments of humour with gut wrenching drama was masterful. Big Little Lies is a new favourite that I will return to again.