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Up to now I have loved everything that Jodi Taylor has written - in addition to selecting amazing narrators, her characters are wonderfully complex and mostly people I would like to have as friends. The other thing I like is the way she combines crazy situations with a kind of logic that works despite the circumstances. At the onset, White Silence follows the structure - great narrator, interesting characters, and complex storyline. However, the overall tone is quite different - much darker than her St. Mary's series. This novel comes across as a dump of negative moods and characters, paranoia, and self-loathing. Even that, while not as much to my liking, is carried so well by her characters that I enjoyed most of the book. I can't explain what went wrong in detail without spoiling the story. Suffice to say that the characters and the plot fell apart at the end in way that I could not accept. As a minor issue, the audio recording was very soft - I had to turn the volume up all the way - the only audiobook I have ever had to do that for. While I look forward to all of her other series, I won't be following up with White Silence.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
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I don't know how she keeps doing it! Every time I get to read (er, listen to) Ms. Taylor's latest scribblings, I'm being welcomed home by characters and humor and phrasing that feel like cozy, old friends. Yet. somehow, my socks are nevertheless knocked off by twists and turns. Since the Chronicles of St. Mary's series is so genre blending, and with Frogmorton and Bachelor Establishment being such smart mysteries, I knew she could more than handle this foray into supernatural thriller, but I was blown away at how she can still shock me with the direction her story goes. I didn't realize until the very last 10 min of the book that my shoulders had been steadily rising throughout the story, inching closer to my ears as I tried to contain my suspense. I honestly wanted to throw something across the room when it ended - plenty was resolved, but SO MUCH was left to explore and figure out with Elizabeth Cage - so now begins the torturous wait for the next installment!
I will forever purchase everything ever written by Ms. Taylor; my trust in her storytelling is absolute.
The narrator, Kate Scarfe, did a pretty spectacular job of injecting plenty of suspense, strength, and humanity into the story. A note about the sound engineering, however: I found that this particular audiobook was much more quiet than others - Ms. Scarfe was obviously keeping her narration volume appropriate for the story, but even at the loudest volume settings (phone, PC, car speakers, ear buds, etc.) it was still very quiet, and easily overpowered by any ambient noise around me. Didn't ruin the experience, just wanted to make a note.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Strange one this. Without giving too much away my overriding wish would be to have had this story set in the fifties. To achieve this the only changes that would need to be made would be the omission of one reference to a mobile phone. The rest of the story, characters and attitudes are perfectly suited to a past experienced from black and white films. The view of a woman's role (housewife or nurse), children (teatray toboggans and japes climbing trees) and men (moustache and 'off to work' mindset) is really jarring to contemporary ears. I spent the first half of this thinking that the twist was that the protagonists were from the forties, but sadly no. There's a comfortable 'Sunday afternoon drama' type pleasure to the use of language, but the situations are so strangely dated as to grate. A couple of shock (modern) scenes are resolved in the most cringworthy way, and there is no ending. All that said, it's not a bad listen, but aimed i think at the over fifties market. As far as the narration goes it's clear precise diction with a good range of definable characters, but the nurses are Irish or east end, people in authority are posh, children speak like Grange Hill never happened and everyone is definitely white.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
A totally different concept from the 'St Mary's' series, it captured my interest and imagination from the very beginning. Well written with Jodi Taylor's special brand of humour. Much against my principles I listened until midnight to finish. I do hope we don't have to wait too long before the next in the series as the book finished on a cliff hanger!
The narration was excellent too, I haven't come across Kate Scarle before, but she did a worthy job on this book.
Absolutely superb, I will re-read soon as I think I whizzed through it so quickly as I was caught up in the action and wanted to find out what was going to happen!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful