Jeffrey Archer knows how to spin a good yarn, but I was disappointed with this one. It’s basically a good story - but it’s trite. Everyone and everything seems to come together to help the young hero. It just isn’t very realistic. I know this is the beginning of a series, but I won’t bother with the sequels.
The whole series is amazing but the first book, as is most often the case, is the best. Character development is important to me and all of the many characters in this ensemble case are flushed out well. I appreciate that the chapters alternate between characters so we get a strong focus on each but get right back to a different character in time before you forget anything. I also found that I learned a lot about history, which is always a plus!
Enjoyed most of the way through.
Our June choice was Only Time Will Tell, by Jeffrey Archer. This novel, the first in a series, covers the period from 1919 up to the start of WW2, but the entire set of seven will span almost 100 years.
The story is told as a series of overlapping points of view, where eight sections cycle through six different characters, with each one introducing their own chapter. At first we found this slowed the pace down, as each key event is re-examined through other eyes, but it did add important motivations and extra depth to everyone. The setting ranges from the dockyards to private schools, and the people from labourers to aristocrats. There are a number of smaller characters and sub-plots running through this story too, but they are all well done and are necessary to support such a long and complex series. We did find at times that the complex interweaving of characters and events was filled with a few too many coincidences, but we still enjoyed it and gave a rating of 4.5/5. I'm looking forward to book #2.
I'm a sucker for family sagas, so picked up this first in the series. I also like the post WW I period, where this begins. The writing is mostly pedestrian. Harry, the protagonist, is likable but naive, as is his mother. Otherwise, most characters are either all evil or all good, cardboard, in other words. Dialog tends to be wooden. I kept reading because the plot's intriguing, and the various points of view, though they slow the plot down, make the characters a bit more life like. The ending's a cliff hanger.
We are victims of the Wimberley flood - we have highrise in Austin as well.
However, we usually did not take books from Austin, and I thought I had returned this one, again could have taken it to Wimberley to "finish" a story. I know you have been trying to find it - I guess next step is for us to pay for it which is okay too, we get lots of enjoyment from the library, just tell me next step,
Thanks, Judy Thompson
Enjoyed the read until the end when I knew Archer was coming up with sequels...not in a hurry to continue with the sequels.
If JK Rowling and VC Andrews were locked in a room with a keg, this is what they would have written.
Im not going to bother with the rest of them.
Most entertaining read! Am already on second novel of trilogy.
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