Monday, August 10, 2020

A Hodge Podge of Reviews - Mini Reviews Edition #1

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Premise:  In 1922 aristocrat Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a luxury hotel by a Bolshevik Tribunal.  Thirty years come and go all under the count's observant eye.

My Thoughts:  I had been meaning to pick this book up since it came out and quarantine seemed the perfect time to do so.  It was a slow read but not because it dragged but simply because this was not a book to be hurried.  I enjoyed the vignettes and flow of the story and the Count adjusted to his new circumstances, reflected on his life, and learned to live under the new regime.  It's fascinating to see how life changes as reflected by the events in the hotel.  I did have a bit of trouble keeping up with some of the characters but really enjoyed it and the Count is someone who will stick with me for quite awhile.  My Rating:  Really Liked It

Premise: The interwoven stories of two men whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time - Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication.

My Thoughts:  I absolutely adored Dead Wake by this author and was super excited to pick this one up.  Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  I really enjoyed the part of the book dedicated to Crippen but the Marconi part felt a bit tedious for the bulk of the book.  The link between the two was critical but only a part of the very very end so reading through all the ups and downs of Marconi's quest for wireless communication seemed a little unnecessary and like it was preventing me from reading the Crippen story which was really what interested me the most!  While I enjoy Larson's multi-POV way of telling a part of history I think I would have preferred it had been from a different angle on the Crippen case.  My Rating: Liked It

Premise:  Civil War ghosts abound and two reenactors have been murdered in uniform.  FBI Agent Ethan Delaney comes home to Louisiana and to his "one that got away".  Only problem is she seems to be in danger and her father is a suspect in the murders.  And this being a Krewe book everyone sees ghosts.

My Thoughts:  Every year there is a new Krewe trilogy and every year I find that the last book just doesn't live up to the other two.  This is no exception.  This hasn't been my favorite trilogy and this one wasn't my least favorite of her books but I just found it a bit dull.  Charlie and Ethan are nice people and I'm usually a big fan of ghosts but other then a few tense moments that kept me engaged this one just felt a little flat and the ending felt rushed.  While I do know who the bad apples were I thought the reasoning was a bit shaky.  It was an okay listen and Luke Daniels is always a good narrator but the story just failed to keep me engaged.  My Rating:  Just Okay  



  1. So a mixed bag. Sounds like Heather Graham didn't reach the mark on this one and the fact in spite of good narrator.

  2. Too bad Thunderstruck fell flat. The premise sounded great. 📚