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Valerie

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  • 4
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A thoroughly likeable book

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

Reviewed: 26-11-2020

This was a very enjoyable read, well paced and delightful. Although set in Russia during hard times, and even though some tough things happen over the course of the book, I felt in safe hands, confident that even though I wasn’t sure what would happen, it wouldn’t take me to a dark place and leave me there. The protagonist was placed under house arrest, but in a situation that enabled him to constantly engage with many different people. He could have friends, interests, lively conversations, work and play. There is intrigue, humour, a lot of good manners, a bit of philosophy and some derring do. Hats off to the writer for a thoroughly engrossing tale.

Unconvincing

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

Reviewed: 26-11-2020

I did manage to get to the end of this book but I am surprised there are so many stellar reviews. It was barely ok. Maybe it just tries too hard, with plot twists that are easy to predict and pretty boring. It talks a lot about forbidden love, in this case between a 30-something writer from NY and a 15 year old school girl in a small town. What was the basis for this love? Nothing really, just attraction or perhaps infatuation. The 15 year old girl is beautiful and sweet natured, with a troubled past ho hum. Big surprise. She admires the 30-some writer perhaps because he’s from somewhere exciting and she thinks he’s famous. This hardly provides enough substance for the repeated assertions of true and undying love. This does become one of the plot twists towards the end but by then it seemed pretty lame. The characters were mainly dull or unlikeable. The author talks a lot about writing books and there are a few other books which operate almost as characters within this overall book. If you like this sort of whodunnit intricacy you’d probably do better with Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murder series.

Fight and Kill and do it again in the next chapter

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2020

I am only 2 chapters in and so far it’s all blood. As far as I can tell, one group of people are driven out of their homeland and so invade someone else’s homeland, and guess what, they resist. So they keep fighting. Lots of blood and horrible death, with dragons and magical powers thrown in. Not sure what the point of this will be and am not inclined to bother to find out. If a book starts with 2 long chapters of blood and gore then I’m out. Other reviews are stellar so I dare say I am missing something. The narrator is excellent.

1 person found this helpful

An improvement on the first book

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

Reviewed: 03-11-2020

I enjoyed this book much more than the first in the series. It seemed to hold together much better and I got involved in the plot and characters more easily. This volume has a first rate narrator and of course that does make a big difference, but I also think it’s just a better book.

Uneven

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

Reviewed: 03-11-2020

I struggled with this book. The ideas were engaging and some of the action flowed quite well but I kept getting thrown by things that didn’t seem quite right. If I were reading a physical book, I think I would have been flipping back constantly to check previous events to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood or misremembered things. I wanted to like it which is probably the best I can say. The narrator was marginal. She mostly sounded too young for the characters.

Couldn’t get into it

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

Reviewed: 17-10-2020

The idea seemed interesting but the execution is a bit jarring. For example, when a guy gains entry to an unknown starship with great holes in it, and gets to talking with the AI who runs the ship, don’t you think one of the first things he’d ask is What TH happened to you? But no, days go by before he asks that question. There seemed to be quite a lot of those moments, where things just didn’t seem to happen logically or were just a bit off. The characters seem pretty flat as well. Not a keeper for me.

Not a fan

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

Reviewed: 15-10-2020

I’ve not read any other true crime previously and I doubt I will in the future. After this experience, I’d say that it is not a genre that appeals to me at all. There is a lot of clue gathering and speculation but no outcome and I’m not sure what the point of the book is.

Satisfying

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

Reviewed: 15-10-2020

Despite the interesting characters and plots, I had almost decided to give up on this series because I found the inability of people to say what they were feeling or to defend themselves very hard to watch, even though it is quite realistic. This instalment is much better in that regard and I suppose it’s fair enough that it takes time for people to grow into the ability to tell others to eff off when they need it. I enjoyed this book and the narrator provides excellent differentiation amongst the characters.

Narration didn’t appeal

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

Reviewed: 15-10-2020

I couldn’t get past the first chapter because I didn’t enjoy the narration style. Other reviewers really liked it so check out the sample and see if it’s ok for you. It reminded me of bad poetry readings and I couldn’t concentrate on the story.

A favourite

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

Reviewed: 21-06-2020

The plot is really quite odd, or at least I found it so. Yet I was drawn in and didn’t want the book to end. It helps that Adjoa Andoh is a superb narrator.