Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reread Challenge for October

Well, it’s that time again. What time? Nath’s Reread Challenge time. And mine is a bit different this time round. I did a lot of rereading for it *g*.

This is a quartet of reviews. I’ve read them in preparation for the next In Death book, due out Very Shortly. I thought I’d go back to the beginning, the middle and near the end for my Eve, Roarke and the gang fix.

Naked In Death – the book that started them all.

I think this was about the fourth or fifth time I’ve read this one. I read it every so often when a new In Death book comes out just so I can see how far Eve has come. I’m always struck by what a loner she was in Naked in Death. Except for Mavis and Feeney, she didn’t really have anyone in her life.

This book really is a catalyst book though for Eve. She begins to remember her horrific childhood and she meets and Very Reluctantly starts to fall for billionaire Roarke. I didn’t realize how alone she was when I first started reading this series, but going back once she has a whole network of family and friends, the first few are quite stark.

But at heart this is a mystery series and in this book, Eve has a high level case given to her right after closing a traumatic case involving the stabbing to death of a young child. This new case is the murder of a highly connected licensed companion – a prostitute. And mysterious billionaire Roarke is on her suspects. When unwanted sparks begin to fly between them, Eve is determined to rule him out before she becomes even more involved.

I’m not normally a mystery reader, but it is the relationships that originally appealed to me and keep me coming back for more.

Portrait in Death is the 16th book in this series and is probably my favourite of the series so far. Someone has been killing innocent young people and once again it is up to Eve to solve the mystery. But what sets this one apart is we get to see more of Roarke’s background and even more – a shaken Roarke. He is usually so imperturbable, but in this one his world is rocked when he is confronted with the fact that his past isn’t what he thought it was. It turns out he has a mother who loved him and a whole family he was completely unaware of. He doesn’t know how to handle this and blocks Eve out for a while. I just love the dynamics in this book; how he pushes Eve away while needing her desperately at the same time. It’s unusual that the tables are turned.

Survivor in Death – This is the 20th book in the series and in this one, Eve and Roarke are confronted with a child. When Nixie Swishers’ whole family are murdered and Nixie is the only witness, Eve takes the drastic step of bringing her to their home for protection while she works to solve the murders. It’s obvious in this book that though Eve has come a long way from the isolated person she was in Naked in Death, she is far from ready for a family that includes children. She doesn’t know how to deal with them yet and it’s kind of sad in this book to see Nixie needing her and Eve not know how to respond to that need. As she follows the clues and slowly starts to solve the case along with her team, she and Roarke realize that they aren’t ready for children – at least for a while.

Salvation in Death – this is book 32 in the series and concentrates more on the mystery. In this one Eve and team must solve the murder of Father Miguel Flores, a priest who dropped dead from poison during a funeral service.

What fascinates me about this one is how JD Robb slowly takes the reader from feeling a great deal of sympathy for the murdered priest through the story where things aren’t what they appear to be at first. This wasn’t my favourite in the series, but I certainly enjoyed enough that I’m still hooked!

I realize with this many books in a series, it can be somewhat intimidating to start reading them - but trust me, they are well worth it. And if anyone is thinking of reading them - just start, one book at a time. While I'm one who can read series out of order without it bothering me, if you are thinking of starting, I highly recommend start at least with the first three. The first three set up the relationship between Eve and Roarke and slowly introduce the cast of characters I've come to love. I know a lot of readers have dropped the In Death series along the way, claiming a certain sameness in all the books. But for me, this is the appeal. When I read a new one, it's like visiting friends and when I reread, it's like reminiscing old times.


e_booklover said...

I love this series. I need to do a serious re-read of it as well :D. Thanks for shuffling up my reading list :).

farmwifetwo said...

I've read Kindred in Death now twice this weekend.

So, does that count as re-reading :)

My indie store got it in on Fri and she called the distributor and got told she could give it to me.

Makes up for the nasty headcold.

Kristie (J) said...

farmwifetwo: And can you see the green tinge to my skin now? *g* I'm waiting until the 'official' release since it's cheaper to order it online from Chapters then to buy it in the store. Though Amazon has it on for $9.00!!! That's tempting me.
And without giving away spoilers since for some reason I can't fathom, these are the ONLY books I don't cheat on and read the end, how did you enjoy it? I'm guessing it must be quite a bit since you've already read it twice.
How big a part do the relationships play? I've noticed in the past few they take more of a back seat to the mystery - at least between Eve and Roarke. I'm looking forward to reading one where Eve/Roarke interaction plays a bigger role.

e_booklover: It's really interesting to go back and read the first one every once in a while to see how far Eve has come as a person - from barely acknowledging her love for Roarke, to being able to express her love for him much more easily. And it's also interesting to see how much she has opened herself to other people and allowed them into her life. In Naked, she didn't want to talk to Mira about her past at all. Now Mira has almost taken on the role of mother to Eve.
I think that's one of the best things about this series. Although they are all still the same characters throughout - even as more are added - there is growth and change - unlike Stephanie Plum as a contrast where Stephanie hasn't really grown as a person since One for the Money.

sula said...

ok, i have been holding out on attempting this series because of the sheer length of it, but 30+ books????? color me completely intimidated. LOL.

nath said...

Hey Kristie :D

LOL, guess what I re-read this month? :) Seriously, these are so fun to re-read!! :D and fast too!!

Can't wait till Tuesday for Kindred in Death :D

Lynn Spencer said...

Love this post! I haven't read the entire series yet, but I'm currently working my way through. I finished rereading the ones I had and am now up to Vengeance in Death. It's been a rough and crazy week, and there's just something reenergizing about getting immersed in this world.

orannia said...

Thank you Kristie! I'm one book behind - I have the book before Kindred in Death to read, but am hoping to do so this month! I'm looking forward to spending some time with Eve & Roarke :)

Sula - I was completely intimadated when I first started, which was about 2 years ago IIRC. I just ignored all the sequels and started with Naked In Death. Then I just slotted them in...sometimes two or three in a row. That was because I was borrowing them off a friend who has them all, but she was also lending them to someone else.

Jill D. said...

32 Books!!! That is insane. I had no idea there were so many books in this series. I think I have read the first 5 or 6 and I agree that Eve and Roarke have a fantastic relationship. But 32 books? Wow. I am speechless.

Rosario said...

I still love the In Death series, even gave an A- to the latest one, which is really amazing, considering how many books it's been. I don't find them samey at all, but that's possibly because I've been following the series since practically the beginning (I think only about 3 or 4 books were out when I started) so other than a few rereads, I tend to wait a few months between each book.