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review 2017-09-27 20:49
I Don't Think I Will Continue on With Trilogy
Natchez Burning - Greg Iles

This was not that an enjoyable read to me. I meant to read this when I went on vacation in May, but waited til now to get back to it. Way too long. Way too many POVs to keep straight. I really didn't find it believable when it was all said and done that one man could be this powerful to just straight up murder people and the law would look the other way. Maybe I am naive to have faith in things changing for the better, but I do. The look back at Mississippi at the dawn of the Civil Rights Era to the early 2000s was interesting, but this really needed to be edited. 

 

We follow several characters throughout this 865 page book. Yeah I read some really long books this weekend and my brain is still a bit angry at me about it. The series is called Penn Cage, but we follow Penn's POV, his father Tom's, his fiancee Caitlin, and a reporter named Henry Sexton. Plus all of the bad guys which I refuse to name here. 

 

When Penn is told his father who is the long time doctor of their town is about to be arrested for murder, he and his fiancee Caitlin do what they can to stop it. And when Henry tries to tie the murder with a weird offshoot of the KKK called the Double Eagles (I now hate the word Double and Eagles) things get very convoluted.  

 

I do wish that we managed to get the POV to more of the black characters we are introduced to in this book like Tom's former nurse, Viola Turner. That honestly is the reason why I knocked this book besides length down to two stars. We get everyone and their mother's POV, but only get one black character's POV at the very beginning of the book and he is quickly murdered.

 

I also was really annoyed how Iles portrayed the character of Viola Turner as some other worldly being that men just had to have. It just smacked too much of the whole exotic African American female trope that runs through movies and literature nowadays. Somehow when men just have to have her (rape her) well it's her own damn fault. I hated reading about how others saw her. I really think the author missed a chance there. 

 

I also didn't care for Caitlin and Penn as a couple. They are terrible together. Caitlin is another reporter and Penn seems to resent her wanting to be good at her job and a few times throws what she's doing under the bus to get to what he wants. I really think they need some couple's therapy to work out their issues.


I full stopped did not like Tom at all. Him refusing to say what was going on that was putting everyone in danger was ridiculous. It was like a bad lifetime movie where the the so called good guy keeps messing up to the extent that everyone he is supposedly keeping safe gets caught and hurt in some way. 

 

I won't lie. I stopped caring a good 50 percent of the way through this book. It was too long by far. Things needed condensed a lot. The flow was awful. I think the repetitiveness and lack of action going on for a good 90 percent of the book was why. I also cannot believe the FBI would not be able to handle a good portion of things introduced to in this book and the state police would be trumping them over matters of jurisdiction. 

 

The ending such as it was is just setting things up for the next book in the series which is called "The Bone Tree." Since the explanation behind what that means was introduced in this book, I can just imagine what that book will be about. Will hard pass it. I dislike books that end on cliffhangers. You had more than 800 pages to tell your story. If you need another book to do it, you failed. And apparently this story is going to take another book after "The Bone Tree" to be completed and that's a definite no from me. 

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text 2017-06-15 21:01
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
Natchez Burning - Greg Iles

Holy crap. I did not know this book was so long. I plan on finishing it up by this weekend. Sorry to all my BL-opoly peeps. I know I have been sparse lately. I have gone back and just pushed out books to my planning to read list and am going to get more focused on the next couple of weeks.

 

 

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text 2017-04-30 17:38
Readathon Recap
Who Buries the Dead - C.S. Harris
Natchez Burning - Greg Iles
Within the Sanctuary of Wings - Marie Brennan

I ended up with about 12 hours of reading - I got in some good solid reading in the morning, and finished Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris - I was at about 60% at the beginning of RAT.

 

After that, I rolled my extra-rolls and figured out my reading strategy. I ended up starting Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, which is a very long book (816 pages) and made it to 61% (540 pages), which burned up (pun intended, lol) most of the day. I also took a break and read about 10% of Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan.

 

I got sidetracked in the middle of the day by yard work, however. It's been an incredibly wet and rainy spring here in the PNW, so we haven't been able to get outside and start the spring clean up of our property. My house sits on an acre, and about 1/3 of the acre is wooded with huge old pine trees, so we get a lot of downed limbs and other forest debris every winter. It's a big project! We also don't have any yard debris service, so everything needs to be burned before the end of the burn season.

 

Yesterday was dry, and the sun even came out for a while, so we decided to burn while the burning was good (burning seems to have emerged as thematically relevant). I dragged an adirondack chair up to our fire ring and sat out and read and tended the fire. 

 

We also just bought a new tool! We bought a battery operated chain saw that works a treat for lopping off limbs and cutting things up. I am here to tell you, fellow readers and individuals of the allegedly more delicate sex, that there is nothing more empowering than wielding a chainsaw. I went mad with power, trimming trees and dragging limbs down to the fire pit to be cut up and burned. It was awesome, and made me feel like a fucking goddess wreaking vengeance on winter.

 

So, yeah, that got in the way of reading. A bit.

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text 2017-04-29 20:37
What I am planning to read
Within the Sanctuary of Wings - Marie Brennan
Shadows on the Nile - Kate Furnivall
Natchez Burning - Greg Iles
East of the Sun - Julia Gregson
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

 Fantasyland 9

 

Read a book that is tagged fantasy or fairy tale on GR. I will be reading Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan as planned. This book is 352 pages, & is worth $3.00

 

New Orleans Square Station 14

 

Read a book that involves overseas travel or has a suitcase on the cover. I will be reading East of the Sun by Julia Gregson.

 

Carsland 18

 

Read a book that was published in 2006, 2011, 2013 or 2014, or that has a car on the cover. I am planning to read Natchez Burning by Greg Isles, which was published in 2014. Finished 4/30/17 - 865 pages ($10.00).

 

Adventureland 24

 

Read a book set in Asia or Africa. I will be reading Shadows on the Nile by Kate Furnival. Finished 5/5/17 - 448 pages ($5.00)

 

 

Tomorrowland 34

 

Read a book tagged YA or MG, or that has a child's on the cover. This one is an easy one! Let's go with The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, which was shelved YA 215 times on GR!

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review 2017-04-19 04:57
Natchez Burning Review
Natchez Burning - Greg Iles

How quickly I read this (862 pages in 9 days; that's almost a hundred pages a day, which is a lot for me nowadays, given how busy my life has become) is a testament to how fucking amazing Greg Iles is. Anyone who can make almost 900 pages consistently and constantly thrilling gots to be a damn wizard, yo. (#IlesTheGray) There are authors working with half this page count who can't hold my attention for more than 200 pages.

 

 

*coughsjamespattersoncoughsdanbrowncoughsjohngrishamchokestodeath*

 

But, boy oh boy, if I'd read this when it first came out and had to wait for the next book, I would've lost my shit. (#firstworldproblems) This is the first Penn Cage novel that does not stand alone. It doesn't tell one complete story from beginning to end, which honestly shocked me. I expected Iles to wrap up one thread completely, but he didn't. All he did was put a tourniquet on a severed appendage.

 

Spoiler alert: you're in for a disgusting cliffhanger at the end of Natchez Burning. I suppose that's all right, considering I have the final two books in my possession, but I feel for those people who had to wait multiple years to get the entire story. I

 

've debated deducting a star due to some reused plot ideas and themes Iles lifted from the first three books in this series but have decided not to. Even though the book deals with a cold case (like The Quiet Game), finding out someone we suspected to be of strong moral character is really an adulterous asshat (ala Turning Angel), and an unstoppably powerful villain with legion and uncountable wealth at their disposal (circa The Devil's Punchbowl), I was thoroughly entertained. Sure the book is a hybrid of the first three books in the series, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a fucking blast to read. I wouldn't change a thing about it, so it gets all the stars.

 

Actually, I take that back. I missed Kelly. I hope I see my boy Kells in the next two books. He really is my favorite character in this series. Such a stone-cold badass. #mancrush

 

In summation: Sorry this review is short but I have two more 800+ page novels to read in this series so I'm under a time crunch and fuck you this'll have to be enough goodbye.

 

Final Judgment: Cliffhangers-R-Us

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