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Search tags: 5-rated-4-stars
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review 2017-04-28 13:10
End of Watch ★★★★☆
End of Watch: A Novel - Stephen King,Simon & Schuster Audio,Will Patton

In some ways, I was a little relieved to see a return to more classic King in this last book, with the addition of supernatural elements backed by a vague explanation that is really ludicrous if examined too closely, but the storytelling is so good that I didn’t really care to examine it, but only wanted to ride along wherever the author wanted to take me. All my favorite characters returned in this last book of the trilogy, but this was somehow less satisfying, as they had already been pretty thoroughly explored in the first two books. I did enjoy the development of the tender friendship between Hodges and Holly, and Holly’s blossoming into a more confident and independent woman. Unfortunately, there really weren’t any new characters to explore, or that were worth exploring.

 

This whole trilogy of books has been odd for me. Each book has highlighted some of the best and worst of how I feel about Stephen King’s work, from the terrific characters, to the horrifically gruesome details in his action scenes, to the awkwardly unconvincing romance. These were better plotted and less bloated and rambly than is his tendency, and the action wraps up in a more satisfactory fashion than usual.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible, because I was too impatient to wait through the loooooong hold list at the library. Will Patton once again provides a truly masterful performance, which has been so strong through the trilogy that I didn’t even bother to buy the hardcover to read first, as is my custom for all SK books.

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review 2017-04-19 23:45
Finders Keepers ★★★★☆
Finders Keepers: A Novel - Stephen King

This was a much slower moving story than Mr. Mercedes, with the setup and history to the main action taking up the bulk of the book. But the author is so good at breathing life into the characters and sprinkling action and excitement into seemingly mundane scenes, that I was carried along without really even noticing it. And I was pleased that his awkward and unconvincing attempts at romance in the first book was mercifully absent in this one.

 

And does anyone do murder scenes better than Mr. King? NOPE.

 

Okay, I’m ready to dive into the last book!

 

Audio version, via Audible. Will Patton’s performance was masterful. He does much more than just allow the listener to distinguish between the voices of different characters. He uses a different voice for each scene, depending on the central character for that scene. He creates a unique voice, with breath, speech patterns, and pacing, for each character, that fully embodies the its characteristics. I especially loved his voice for Holly. His voice for Morris was absolutely menacing, it gave me chills.

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review 2017-04-16 16:55
Marrying Winterborne ★★★★☆
Marrying Winterborne - Lisa Kleypas

I picked this one up because I had enjoyed the first in the series very much. I had low expectations, though, because the male love interest seemed more the stereotypical Romance genre alpha-male, on the rapey-side, based on his appearance in Cold-Hearted Rake. Much to my surprise, though, the author gave him a more nuanced character in this book, and although he was certainly a bit manipulative, the heroine had full agency. Most of what I like about this series of books is the rediscovery of Romance as an enjoyable, escapist read.

 

Audiobook borrowed from my local library via Overdrive. Excellence performance by Mary Jane Wells.

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review 2017-04-16 14:45
Mr. Mercedes ★★★★☆
Mr Mercedes - Stephen King

Well plotted and plausible thriller, but as usual with King’s books, it was the characters and their individual stories that drove me on through most of the book. The “what happens next” takes the co-pilot seat in the last third of the book, turning into a real nail-biter at the end.

 

King’s genius, to me, is his ability to bring fascinating characters to life and in the story game of “what-if”. I nearly always find romantic relationships between his characters awkward and unconvincing, though, and the sudden and intense romance in Mr. Mercedes was no exception.

 

He does that thing again that I both love and hate, where he

introduces characters and makes you invest in them, then kills them off and makes you start over with new characters. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but it puts me, the reader, on cautious footing with the new characters, feeling untrustful and not quite willing to commit. Until those new characters are in peril, and I find that I *am* invested in them, after all.

(spoiler show)

 

Audio version, borrowed from my local library via Overdrive. Will Patton’s narration is fantastic. He breathes life into the story and characters, and I loved how his vocal (oratory? Not sure of the proper word here) style changed, even when not voicing dialogue, for each section when the narrative switches between different characters’ stories. I could instantly tell when the story changed from following Brady, to following Hodges, to following Jerome, just by the change in voice. I might have finally found a new favorite reader of King’s stories, years after Frank Muller’s passing.

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review 2017-03-25 17:36
Fellside ★★★★☆
Fellside - M.R. Carey

The most fascinating thing about this book is the portrait of a secondary character, a nurse who joined the profession from a desire to help others. Starting with a struggle between duty and a legitimate anger over the crimes she believes were committed against a child, she gradually desensitizes herself to acts of negligence and violence that her self-righteousness allows her to justify, until there is little to distinguish her from the convicted felons that she tries to punish.

 

The main story was worthwhile, too, but the plot took forever to get moving. I enjoyed it overall, but this did not grab me and shake me the way that The Girl With All the Gifts did.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Finty Williams provides excellent narration.

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