DNF – 84K by Claire North

DNF – 84K by Claire North

I had to give up on 84K by Claire North which makes me so sad. I've loved everything I've read/listened to by her, but I just couldn't finish this one. I was listening to the audiobook which is 13 1/2 hours long and gave up with about 1 1/2 hours left. Peter Kenny was the narrator and I've enjoyed books he's done before. I just couldn't struggle to finish it anymore. I didn't care enough about the main character's mission to finish. Here's the info: I don't know if was too long- Theo spends a lot of time traveling, on the run but also with revenge in mind. Or was it too dark - it's a really depressing world where no one has it easy. The concept was great and the writing is typical North, which I like, unfinished sentences and all. It just didn't work for me here. Cut maybe 100 pages out, tighten it up a bit, and I may have loved it. I...
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The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Loved this book! Granted it's not perfect - there's a fair amount of info-dumping made palatable by the whole amnesia bit. It's kind of a paranormal, sci-fi-ish spy thriller, with a dollop or two of humor. As the blurb says, Myfanwy wakes up with no memory  surrounded by dead bodies. She is guided back into her life as one of the heads of a secret paranormal agency by letters she wrote to herself, having known she would lose her memory thanks to the warnings of a variety of psychics, including a duck. So she fakes her way, but also discovers she has an AWESOME power that the old her barely made use of. She's a character to root for, the underdog due to her amnesia and that people underestimate her and never truly respected the old her. Oh and she's facing an enemy who has been waiting for revenge on England for centuries and has all kinds of yucky, nasty and dangerous things/people/fungi...
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The Master by Claire North

Ah - the last of the trilogy. I'm sad to see it end. Honestly - read it. If you enjoy fantasy or games or just thrillers for that matter, this is a great set of novellas. In this last one, we even have a love story of sorts. This time around the game is chess and our narrator has become one of the players, a player in the Great Game - the game for control of the Gameshouse. His name is Silver and he's been working toward this moment for ages. He's a King in the game, of course, and has gathered forces that he can deploy. His opponent has her own resources, possibly more powerful than his. This one had even more action than the last two. Chess is a dangerous game, but it also has more meaning - for the world as a whole and for Silver personally. My one complaint had to do with a part near the end. Silver...
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The Thief by Claire North

I'm not a fan of playing hide-and-seek. When I was a kid, I was always afraid everyone else would go inside or to another kid's house and just leave me hiding. I don't think it ever actually happened, but that doesn't mean I didn't worry about it. And it was even worse if it was dark. The hide-and-seek game in The Thief is awesome though. The "board" is Thailand in the 1930s and the stakes are huge, but the game might be unfairly weighted. This is the second in the trilogy and I think they should definitely be read, or listened to, in order. Thene's game in The Serpent was not exactly fair either, but that was nothing in comparison to the disadvantages our player is dealing with here. It's a thread thoughout - the Gameshouse may not be as fair as it (she) would like you to believe. Once again, North does  wonderful job building her world. Thailand in the 30s...
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The Serpent by Claire North

We play a lot of games at our house- for me it's mostly board games. I just don't feel the draw of video games that Amber and David do, but I love board games. We play a variety, from old standards to newer ones, board games, card games, dice. That's what drew me to the Gameshouse trilogy. I love that North took playing games and made into a world transforming power. The Serpent is the first of the novellas. The story is told to us by the narrator, an unseen watcher who takes us with him as he observes the gamers. He's sly and smart and his outlook rubs off on us. I listened to the audio and this narration style worked really well that way. The narrator was the narrator, if that makes sense. It's short, but rich and full. I love the way North uses language and world she creates, both of historic Venice and the Gameshouse itself. Thene is an...
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Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil is good, let me say that first off. The mystery, even with its limited suspect pool is engrossing and the episodes from the killer's point of view are disturbing. The characters are well-drawn and I am invested in their personal stories, in addition to the crime-solving aspect, thanks to having read the previous two in the series. And I do think this is a series where it helps to read them in order. But I didn't particularly enjoy Career of Evil. If it wasn't a series I like, with people, fictional though they might be, who I care about it, I probably wouldn't have read it, or at least not finished it. First, I just don't like serial killer books. I read a lot of mysteries, but I avoid that particular trope. I think it has something to do with motive. Revenge, anger, greed, jealousy, need to protect oneself or one's secrets, are all understandable, their normal feelings taken to extreme....
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