The Singing of the Dead audiobook
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“The Singing Of The Dead” is my least favorite of the Kate Shugak novels so far. It delivered a good plot, some strong characters and a few excellent scenes but I couldn’t become as emotionally engaged with this novel as with the others.
Kate, still recovering from the loss of Jack Morgan, is not her usual self in this book. She is more passive than usual and perhaps a little more vulnerable. I applaud this in terms of character development but it left a hole in the book that no-one else filled. Kate was far more damaged in “Midnight Come Again” but there Jim Chopin filled the gap.
I was also out of sympathy with the “historical” parts of the story which were bleakly accurate. Each passage was well written but I struggled to overcome my aversion for the brutality of the period.I also found the passages hard to integrate into the present-day story. There was a plot link but not much more.
Of course, as with any Kate Shugak novel, there were some wonderful scenes: the broadcast and interview from the chaos of Bobby’s house, the atmosphere and content of the political meeting in the school gym and the peculiar auction that kicks off the book.
The political setting for “The Singing Of The Dead” provides a great vehicle for reviewing the Alaska’s political issues and the factions that work on them. I thought the speeches, given by plausible politicians competing for votes, were particularly well done.
The most uplifting part of the book was the way in which the Park Rats and even State Trooper Jim Chopin come together to support Kate in protecting Jack Morgan’s son from his mother. This kind of practical support for the vulnerable is a constant theme in Dana Stabenow’s books and she always does it well.
In the end, my main reaction to the book turned out to be sadness: for the treatment of Angel Beachem in the Gold rush and for the violence done to the researcher who brought her story to life.
This is the only Kate Shugak book not available from audible.com. I gave up waiting for them to add it to their catalog and went with the ebook version instead. This was my first ebook. I was pleasantly surprised at how natural it felt to read this way and how easy it was to move about. I miss that with audiobooks. Yet I missed Marguerite Gavin’s voice, bringing Kate and her world alive in my ear. I’ll be doing the rest of the series as audiobooks.
The Singing of the Dead audiobook in series Kate Shugak Series
I am nearly half way through the Kate Shugak series and I really like them a lot. I love Shugak, and hats off to Stabenow for creating such a terrific character. The Alsaka setting “inside the park” is a mighty character in itself. Every entry in the series is a complete book — no cliffhangers here! This one combined the plot with some early history and it was meticulously plotted. I loved the back story of the Dawson Darling and my only problem was that those segments are in italics. Italics are annoying; especially in long passages, but I persevered because I really liked that character and was rooting for her all the way. The ending was stunning, with Kate finding what was written on Angel’s tomb stone. BTW, the last sentence is NOT a spoiler because having lived in the late 1800’s and very early 1900’s she obviously is now dead. Anyway, it was a fun read and a great story. I’m looking forward to #12.
Audiobook The Singing of the Dead by Dana Stabenow
Kate Shugak, Alaskan native, is a PI in the small settlement area. Crime seems to find it’s way to her and as the well respected granddaughter of one of the Elders she is often asked to “take care” of problems. Characters are well drawn. Alaskan history is part of her stories. This novel parallels the lives of series characters with the lives of their ancestors, the settlers of America’s 49th state.
Audio The Singing of the Dead narrated by Marguerite Gavin
The great thing about any sort of series is that if you enjoyed a part of it, there is still more waiting. Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak series is one of those that from the first will have you wanting more. As always, I would encourage the reader to get the full list and start with the first, “A Cold Day for Murder.” I think you will be hooked from the first chapter and it isn’t just because Kate is an Aleut women living in Alaska with a half wolf named Mutt for a companion. Which brings me to another of the main characters – Alaska. I’ve spent more time on Google Earth, pouring over maps, and following the Iditarod than I ever expected to. Now, 60 years later, I’m rereading “Call of the Wild.”
Kate’s story and that of her life in an Alaska park where she is the perfect “crime solver” now covers 20 books and like her many other followers, I’m eagerly awaiting the next. If you are a mystery lover and many are starting to seem “old hat”, The Kate Shugak series will be the perfect fix.
Free audio The Singing of the Dead – in the audio player below
Stabenow manages to entertain the reader with two very good stories in this book. Kate Shugak is employed as security to a woman who is campaigning for a Park Senate seat. About 100 years ago, a “working girl” falls in love and marries the man who was the highest bidder when she auctioned herself to the men of Dawson. Stabenow takes us back and forth between these two stories and it becomes clear that a connection will be made. The pace never falters and the characters, as always, are complete in every detail. In one part of the book, DS writes about Kate’s love of books. Reading for fun. Preferring a book to television. The inability to pass a bookstore without going in. This really struck a chord with me. I’m just guessing here, but I think Stabenow has endowed Kate with her own love of books. Maybe that is why she is able to tell such good tales. She understands readers because she is one herself. I truely appreciate her efforts, as one reader to another. Oh, and what about the glove? Where have I heard about a glove found at the scene of a crime before? Hummmmm.
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