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4 hours 12 minutes and two more books

June 7, 2009

Another 48 Hour Book Challenge Update

I read somewhere, though of course I don’t remember where, a person saying they always skip the first book in a mystery series because the first book is about introducing the detective and setting the tone for the rest of the series. I, on the other hand, am a stickler for reading mystery series in order (you know, assuming they’re all still available and in English), but I have to agree with this unknown person where Michael Walters’ first two mysteries set in Mongolia are concerned. I didn’t finish the first book in the series, The Shadow Walker. I think I got about halfway through it, then gave up. I still decided to give book 2, The Adversary by Michael Walters, a try, mostly because how many other mysteries set in Mongolia are there? And also because I wondered if that person was right about mystery series, at least in this case.

In short, I liked The Adversary a lot more than I did The Shadow Walker. The narrative is more wide ranging than most other series I read, which often features a limited POV, mainly following the detective and maybe a victim or killer or two. In The Adversary, the narrative follows a number of characters, and though they ultimately are relevant to the plot, it did make me impatient at times.

The two most important characters, on the detecting side, are Doripalam, head of the Serious Crimes Team, and his former mentor, Nergui, who now has a more powerful position in the government. (They were introduced in The Shadow Walker, and I really don’t think it’s necessary to have read that book prior to reading The Adversary.) For years, they have been trying to take down Muunokhoi, a wealthy, powerful, and superficially upstanding member of society, but who’s actually a crime lord. Muunokhoi is finally about to go on trial, and when the case collapses, Nergui and Doripalam attempt to find more evidence they can use against him. But, since most of the police officers are corrupt, who can they trust?

The second book was Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, and *sob* yeah, it really is as good as everyone says it is. It is not overly melodramatic or sentimental—I mean, when a book is narrated by a girl who is critically injured in a car accident, I don’t know how there can not be at least a little bit of melodrama and sentimentality involved, but I think the writing was rather restrained, considering this—and this is a big reason why it worked for me. In some ways, it’s like the opposite of Before I Die, not that I found Before I Die melodramatic or sentimental. But that book is about a girl trying to make the most of the time she has left before she dies, and the other is about a girl remembering the best times in her life before she chooses whether to stay or go. They’re both good books, and in particular, I think fans of one will like the other.

Blogging time: 34 minutes

Next: Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender (I hope I enjoy it!) and Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2009 11:04 pm

    If I Stay was really, really depressing. Glad you had fun with the challenge!

  2. June 8, 2009 4:25 am

    I really liked If I Stay. It was really depressing, but so good!

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