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Monday, October 19, 2009

Review - Ravens by George Dawes Green (Audio Version)

Title: Ravens - Audio CD

Author: George Dawes Green

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (July 15, 2009)

Buy Ravens Here!

Rating: You WANT to Read

Reviewed by: MarthaE

When Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko drive into the small town of Brunswick, Georgia, their only thought is to fix their car's leaky right tire and continue on to Key West, Florida, away from their dead-end jobs as computer technicians in Ohio. But when Shaw discovers that the 318 million dollar Georgia State Lottery has just been claimed by an ordinary Georgia family, he sees an opportunity - he and Romeo will blackmail the Boatwright family for half their winnings and ditch their deadbeat lives for good.

Disguised as a state lottery representative, Shaw enters the Boatwright's home and holds the family hostage, while Romeo patrols the town, staking out the homes of the family's loved ones, should the Boatwrights refuse to comply with their demands. But Shaw isn't your average criminal out to make a quick buck. Instead, he has a grand messianic vision and he'll stop at nothing to see it through — and soon, the Boatwrights find themselves living a Flannery O'Connor American nightmare from which they can't properly awaken.

At once frightening, comic, and suspenseful, RAVENS is a wholly original and utterly compelling novel from one of our most talented writers.

This is a remarkably intense psychological thriller! I would recommend this book for the sheer uniqueness and intensity! If you can wince through the cursing (or if it doesn’t matter to you) then I think you would find this an engaging book! I liked the narrators as they both did a very good job and I liked the male/female rotation.

I loved the premise of the story! Unfortunately, I think it got twisted in this rather twisted story! The book starts out developing the backgrounds of the characters and setting up the plot scenario making you anticipate the next chapters. Initially the threats and the fear that is created are real and taunt. But the manner of controlling the family loses its believability after a bit. You can like the main characters the author has created for their strange and warped thought processes, especially Romeo. But the further the story goes, the less realistic it becomes. Although I acknowledge the existence of the Stockholm Syndrome, and the sickness of a Jim Jones cult Syndrome, the combination here seemed to be stretched beyond believability.

At the beginning I liked the characters of Tara Boatwright, her grandmother, Nell, and her friend, Cleo. But it seems as though the author developed them to a point and then abandoned them without giving them complete fullness. Even Tara’s actions at the end seem more of a gut response than a true act of strength from her personality. That was disappointing. Actually that was part of the problem with the story for me. Midway it seemed to splinter into side stories losing the impact of the initial plot. There were some peripheral scenes that did not add to the book but dragged it a bit.

I have to say that the repeated foul language did reduce my enjoyment in this story. Finally, I was disappointed in the ending! It was certainly one possible ending but I thought it was a weak or hasty choice and I guess it was not the ending I thought would wrap things up! It was a little on the surprising side, rather than predictable, which is a good thing. The suspense and maniacally evil characters that are presented make this a good and interesting read if you are prepared to deal with the language.

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