Karen Campbell

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-17

Worth one credit, but not three

This was an engaging story, if a bit cliche. It was well written and easy to listen to. However, it is not a novella, nor are parts 2 and 3. They are all one novel that has been broken into three parts. There is no reason for this to be in three parts and if it was presented as one complete novel, I would say sure, spend the credit. But three credits for a book that takes 8 hours in total to complete? No

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-26-17

Too dark for me

I love Luke Smithered and The Stone Man is one of my favourite novels but I just couldn't finish this one. To be honest, I didn't get that far into it but it was just way too dark. The reason I love Luke Smithered's books is that they take me to ideas, thoughts and scenarios that I probably wouldn't go to on my own and each time I learn something while being totally enthralled with the plot. I have no doubt the plot would have grabbed me but I don't think it would have been an enjoyable read.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-25-17

Couldn't stop listening

This is the second book I have listened to by this author and I am looking forward to his others. An intriguing premise that leads to a compelling, unpredictable, and gripping story.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-17

I really wanted to like this, but...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, and I didn't finish it because I began to feel as though I was wasting my time and I kept checking to see if I was nearly finished

Has Adventures in the Afterlife turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I know there are a lot of good books on this theme, both fiction and non-fiction.

Which character – as performed by Arika Rapson – was your favorite?

Part of the problem with this book was the lack of any real characters. The main character was not fleshed out and nothing is known about him other than that he had cancer and was married with two kids. All expression of emotion were very superficial with no explanation or examples to support his statements.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, it got very tedious.

Any additional comments?

I think this would be a better book if it were written by someone else. The premise is good and the world he describes is interesting but he is not a good writer. Everything is explained in terms that are so broad that they are meaningless. He often mentions being filled with understanding but doesn't explain what that understanding is. Similarly he describes being able to instantly create whatever he needs but gives no example. So, there is not a feeling of really being told a story. It sounds more like someone enthusing with no words to describe their experience. With this subject matter, it is understandable to find it difficult to put experiences into words, it just doesn't make for an enjoyable narrative.It was a bit odd having a female reader for a male character speaking in the first person. I understand that this was probably deliberate but it didn't really work for me.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-16

One of the few who didn't like it

I think I was hoping for something original, judging from the extremely positive reviews this book received. Unfortunately, although it has a nice writing style, the book borrows way too much from cliche situations that I could not be bothered finishing it. Not nearly enough attention to the kind of detail that would have built this new world into something wholistic and real. This 'alternative world' was a romantic take on historical Europe with some unoriginal fantasy. The main character, Finny, used language that should have caused at least some comment, if not confusion from her contemporaries in the alternative world (eg: "fricking cool").
All in all, it didn't have anything new that could capture my attention

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16 of 19 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-13

Expected much more

When I chose this book, I was expecting to hear about the world of the Incrementalists and tales of their endeavours to make the world a better place. Instead, the actions of the Incrementalists were no more than hinted at all through the book. As intriguing as the premise was, the development of it was patchy in most places and was not much more than the backdrop to a rather mawkish romance.
The narrators were okay but they had a disconcerting practice of using different accents for the same characters. Mary Kowal portrayed the character Jimmy with a French accent while Ray Porter gave him a gruff American accented voice.
The descriptions of the practice of the Incrementalists and how they work was intriguing but this book was unable to satisfy the need for a story with substance to match the premise.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-05-13

Oddly flat

After the two prequels, I was intrigued but ultimately the book itself was rather a let down. The writing itself was fine but I kept waiting for the story to go somewhere and it just meandered. The most disappointing aspect was that it just turned into another exploration of segregation and fear. The 'returned' could have been any minority group. Not nearly enough exploration into the whole idea of coming back. On the whole, very disappointing, especially after the prequels.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-13

Weak finish after a promising start

Although the plot of this novel starts out well, it doesn't take long before it starts to unravel. To begin with, it is intriguing and has a great note of mystery. However, it seems that the author laid down too many trails and her attempt to tie them all together gets very weak. So, there are some unanswered questions (what's with the cement mixer?) and some connections that seem to have been stuffed in as an afterthought. Also, the action scenes are so lacking in detail that the characters complete movements that could not be possible. All in all, it feels like the author lost enthusiasm about 3/4 through the book and then just relied on conventional plot development and the briefest of detail to get it through to the end.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-13

So slow paced, it almost stopped

The novel opens with a slow tedious scene of revelation that becomes obvious to the audience way before the main character clicks about what is going on. The pace does not improve from that point. Essentially, the novel is an examination of the thought processes and deliberations of 5 people, each gradually revealing a piece to the puzzling question of whether Joy jumped or was pushed. Unfortunately, each of the 5 people are unlikeable, whinging characters, whose lives appear small, tedious and terribly boring. By the end of the never ending wading through all the moaning and complaining, when we might actually get the answer to the question, who cares? The narration was very good. Both narrators did indeed make their characters sound self involved and small minded.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-27-13

So tedious

I really wanted to like this because I love everything else Kate Atkinson has written. So I kept trying and re-trying to slog through it. But it is so, so boring. The characters are bland, the setting is bland and every time her life started again, I groaned because I knew there was just more blandness coming. Really disappointed

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2 of 4 people found this review helpful