Monday, November 23, 2015

Goodreads Challenge, Challenge | Final Thoughts on Anna Pigeon 1&2

This may be a rambling post, but I just feel like talking on the blog today.  Well, I’ll try to fit something about books into it.
So I feel behind.  In an attempt to resuscitate my slacking Goodreads challenge this past summer, I’ve started reading books faster than pumping out my final thoughts on them.  Or maybe it’s the other way around?  You know I tend to confuse myself when there’s static–a stalling in the air.  Nonetheless, I caught up with my challenge, but didn’t exactly write my thoughts on each book fast enough.  That could very well be because I’ve shifted my focus toward making more videos
Now I know many people look at such “frustration” as something that isn’t serious.  Something which doesn’t really require pressure.  And that’s true.  And I’m aware of that within myself.  However, the thing is I love what I do here!  I love reading.  So when I feel a lack in my reading I want to correct it.  I love writing about what I’ve read.  So when I haven’t written anything I’m slightly troubled by the lack of productivity.  Then again, I may be straight-up racking myself with ADD about the situation.  Only God knows.  And let's be real, I’m too tired to ask him for anymore direction in my life.
But no.  After a period of time, I think I don’t have much to say about a particular book I’ve read.  Forcing myself to siphon up my thoughts months later kind of gets in the way of me managing to post anything.  And that’s what happened with my two October readings of Nevada Barr’s A Superior Death and Ill Wind.  With hands up high like Sophie Petrillo, I’ve got nothing.  Except some cool pictures of the books that you can check out here.

A SUPERIOR DEATH (Anna Pigeon #2)
If you frequent this blog, you know that I read the first book in Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series this summer.  Get all your information in the LABELS [See Nevada Barr] below.  It took a minute or two, but I decided to move forward with the series with its second book, A Superior Death.  This time, park ranger Anna Pigeon stations out of Lake Superior.  She’s in Isle Royale National Park.  And finds herself solving the murder of a colleague found floating in a sunken freighter called the Kamloops.  The freighter sunk into Lake Superior back in December of 1927.  So imagine the sight of this fresh corpse drifting in the engine room of this rotted, sunken monstrosity.  Oh, a rotted sunken monstrosity containing the bodies of decades decayed crew members.  So the underline question is how did Anna’s colleague get down there and for what reason was he murdered?
I gave the book three stars.  One, it was a slower read than the previous book.  Normally I don’t complain, but it seemed to take a touch too long to warm up with the murder and overall sleuthing.  I felt the beginning was slow and thick with Barr introducing the secondary characters.  It also grew thick with exposition tours of Anna’s role and procedures.  Much got muddled to me, having to keep up with quirky characters and their individual idiosyncrasies.  Along with the general stack of which indiscernible station, boat, port, cabin, or tent belonged to whom.  Eventually, I got the hang of who was who, and had no choice as Anna bounced from island to station cycling conversations with them all.  Oh, and constantly consuming alcohol out on a deck where evidently anyone can sneak up on her in the dark. (Another area I grew tired of.)
The remaining good news is I still find Anna to be strong, resourceful, and smart.  And Barr put her through some thrilling circumstances.  Such as diving into the Kamloops wreckage–twice.  So if anything, that venture delivered in accordance with the book’s premise.  And I did find myself wide-eyed at the process.
ILL WIND (Anna Pigeon #3)
Ill Wind has Anna trading Lake Superior for Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  This time the mystery surrounds a series of deaths attributed to a disease of some sort.  A disease local to the park for whatever reason.  Anyway, it's killing tourist.  And when one of Anna’s colleges (forever the case) ends up found murdered, it’s up to her to find out the connection.
Unfortunately, I found the closure behind this to be somewhat of a stretch on the believability factor.  Anna still played her usual over-drinking, pessimistic, and noisy role.  So she’s still anything but stale or a sour protagonist.  Frankly, her attitude and the construction of the actual murders always draw me in.  It's the idea behind the murders that had me rolling my eyes.  
And that, unfortunately, is all I have for now.  Sad, but true.  Had I got to catching up on my writing about these immediately after I'd finished, I most definitely would've had more to share.  But let me pass on this one.  Please!

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