Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dana Stabenow – Bad Blood (Macmillan Audiobooks)

While I live surrounded by rolling hills of green and endless skies, I firmly believe that everyone should make the trek to visit our 49th State. Alaska is by far one of the most beautiful, natural settings I have ever seen and offers an endless supply of photo opportunities that almost defy description.

With her 20th book in the Kate Shugak series, Bad Blood Alaska based author Dana Stabenow readily displays her ability to tackle the challenge of describing her home states beauty. She follows native Alaskan private investigator, Shugak, around here 160 acre spread that is nestled in a State park with a practiced eye for details.

Aside from capturing the setting, Stabenow is on point with her ability to deliver the quirkiness of the unique folks who call Alaska home. While many corners of the United States have their own combination of linguistic phrasing and lifestyle traits, Alaska mixes rough concoction of wild edged survival and native charm.

Marguerite Gavin returns to narrate the audiobook version of Bad Blood and does a fine job of capturing the Alaskan patois. While it’s always difficult to jump into a long running series and pick up the disparate characters, as a first-timer to the Shugak books, I felt the back story that can prove annoying to long time readers was unnaturally thin here. It left me feel like I was playing catch up piecing the story threads of what should have been familiar characters together. Many series authors do a better job of filling in the blanks than what Stabenow does here.

Bad Blood pushes the story to the limits and the ending will leave many long time fans of the Shugak series with questions and fears.

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