HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Wide Open by Deborah Coates
Loading...

Wide Open (edition 2012)

by Deborah Coates

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
94None130,359 (3.8)4
Member:Ape
Title:Wide Open
Authors:Deborah Coates
Info:Tor Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Books Read - 2012
Rating:***
Tags:Ghosts, Magic, Magical Realism, Paranormal, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Fiction

Work details

Wide Open by Deborah Coates

None
  1. 00
    The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe (Anonymous user)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
See the full review on Short & Sweet Reviews.

Wide Open isn't set in your typical paranormal or urban fantasy setting. There's no big city, no subway, no skyscrapers or fancy cars or people with secret identities and hidden pasts. Rural South Dakota isn't where books in this genre are usually set, but the desolate landscape, where major city conveniences are miles away and the local bars really are places where everyone knows each other, is perfect for the story that Deborah Coates tells.

This book isn't what I expected at first, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's a story of ghosts and magic and secrets in small town America, where everyone knows everyone else's business but no one wants to talk about it. The sense of fear and anxiety is almost something you can feel as you're reading, and it stuck with me long after the book. I don't think this book is part of a planned series, but I would gladly read more with these characters. I felt like we were just starting to get to know them by the time the story wrapped up, so I would love to see what happens next to them. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
I don't use star ratings, so please read my review!

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.

The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment.

The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.

Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.”

This is the second fantasy novel that I’ve read that features a female soldier returning home from overseas. Hallie is a combat veteran, traumatized by what happened in Afghanistan and presenting an incredibly tough exterior to the world. I have no idea what it’s like to be a woman in the army, so I can’t judge if this is an accurate portrayal, but sometimes Hallie comes across as too stubborn for her own good. She often hares off on her own to do what she thinks needs doing, and there were a couple of times that I got frustrated at her actions. Most of the time, though, I appreciated her no-nonsense handling of some pretty serious stuff.

The setting is what really drew me into this book. The wide plains of South Dakota seem particularly suited to a ghost story, with their isolation and loneliness, and the sense of space that never ends. That much open land makes you feel insignificant, and some of that creeps through into Hallie’s dealings with the ghosts. Just as the setting emphasizes the starkness of the land, Hallie’s interactions with the spirits emphasize the existential terror of dealing with the other side.

On the opposite end of the spectrum setting-wise is the small town of Prairie City. Coates really pulled together the kind of details that make the town feel like an actual place that you can visit. It’s not that she describes everything in minute detail; rather, she captures the feel of a small town, both its good points and its bad points. It’s good to have that to set against the miles of open space surrounding it.

As for the plot, I liked that it wasn’t just a case of “I see dead people” and having to deal with it. There are other strange things going on in her small town and Hallie gets drawn into events far beyond anything she could have dreamed of. There was a bit of contrast shown between the things going on in South Dakota versus what she went through in Afghanistan, in the sense that she always feels like she’s measuring herself against an invisible foe. This gives her the gumption to really dig into the mystery inherent in the plot and try to deal with it proactively.

Finally, I liked that the possible love interest with Boyd, the sheriff, was kept to a minimum in this first novel. It’s enough to establish their separate characters at this point without tangling them up together. Adding in a romance would have pushed the novel into the trap of trying to do too much at once. There’s plenty of stuff going on already!

Wide Open is not a typical supernatural novel. The setting is unique, and the main character is tough and unapologetic about who and what she is. If you like your ghost stories eerie instead of shocking, this is the book for you.

This review originally appeared on Owlcat Mountain on June 19, 2013.
  owlcat_mountain | Jun 19, 2013 |
Check out this review and more like it on my blog -- Written Permission

I saw this book in the “New” section of my library’s website, and it seemed interesting. I didn’t really know what I was getting into with it. I think I expected more general fiction/mystery with a ghostly touch. But instead I got weird. Like. Just very odd.

The premise (reading the Goodreads blurb) of Wide Open is OK enough, but for me it seemed like there were too many forces at play in the book. We had ghosts, we had the fact that Hallie is in the army, we have the big bad and his ancient power. And they didn’t really play nicely together. Not to mention that the fact that Hallie is in the army doesn’t really play much of a role in the book, except to give her a) a reason for seeing ghosts, b) a timeline, and c) something to repeat every few pages. Points A and B could have easily been taken care of by something else.

Pausing on Hallie for a moment, I have a bone to pick with how she was written. Swearing all the time does not make a badass character. Being in the army does not make a badass character. There needs to be a certain attitude, and I really didn’t find that Hallie had that. On the subject of characters in general, I didn’t find anything stellar here. Boyd was pretty typical sidekick, and the rest of the characters are firmly secondary.

The pacing of Wide Open was weird to me. A lot of time was spent investigating without really finding anything out. All the while, Hallie is counting down the days in her head until she has to leave to go back overseas. I imagine that Coates was trying to instill a sense of being rushed, or panic, but I didn’t feel it at all. I didn’t get emotionally invested in the characters or the story. I was mildly curious to see how it would end, but it didn’t have a great ending either. Not enough explanation for my tastes.

Bottom Line: Wide Open has too much and not enough going on. It didn’t grab me, and I wouldn’t recommend it. ( )
  erincathryn | Mar 31, 2013 |
Lovely. A supernatural mystery, with ghosts, that's nicely paced and tense without being over-the-top. The protagonist has, for once, very good and clear reasons for the very typical urban-fantasy-heroine brashness, and she's well-developed and believable throughout. The love interest is also fascinating, in that he fills a very typical niche without setting off any of my asshole alerts, which is sadly rare in the subgenre. Most enjoyable. I look forward to the sequel. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
The premise: ganked from BN.com: When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.

The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment. The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation. Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.

Wide Open is a "refreshingly original dark fantasy debut" (Publishers Weekly) by author Deborah Coates.

My Rating: 7 - Good Read

If I did halves, this would be 7.5, as it's leaning towards excellent. There's a lot I love about this book, namely the writing and how it's infused with character and setting and atmosphere. Everything feel so well developed, which helps the plot, which isn't quite as developed, but rather hums along with the pages, waiting for the characters to figure things out and get into enough trouble so that the story comes to a climax. I can't say I was ever bored, and there were moments in the prose that jarred me in ways I wish were polished a wee bit more, but this dark fantasy should be very pleasing to those fans of Cherie Priest's Eden Moore trilogy (Four and Twenty Blackbirds, etc), as well as to those readers who love reading about small towns and the crazy-ass magic and paranormal activity that can foster there. Of those types of books I've read in the past, this much better, and it's very, very likely I'll be picking up the sequel, Deep Down, when it comes out later this year. I also think McGuire fans will enjoy this, if they like the darkness in her October Daye series. It's a book that deserves a wider audience, and while I don't know yet if I'll nominate this for a Hugo, it's certainly on my consideration list.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: Nay. The full review may be found at my blog, and as always, comments and discussion are most welcome. Just click the link below to go directly to the full review!

REVIEW: Deborah Coates' WIDE OPEN

Happy Reading! ( )
  devilwrites | Feb 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I'd get into more of the plot, but why spoil it for you? What I can tell you is that Coates plays fair and ties everything up. You can't ask for much more from an author than that they honor the trust you put in them.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my parents, for my love of reading and of the land.
First words
When Sergeant Hallie Michaels arrived in Rapid City, South Dakota, she'd been traveling for twenty-four hours straight.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765328984, Hardcover)

When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.

The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment. 


The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to. 

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace.  Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.

Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When Sergeant Hallie Michaels returns home to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her. The sheriff says that Dell's death was a suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it .... As Hallie pushes for answers, she attracts more ghosts--local women who disappeared without a trace--and discovers a disturbing pattern. Now she needs to not just figure out what happened to Dell but to make sure no one else shares her fate..."--from dust jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
18 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.8)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 6
3.5 3
4 16
4.5 1
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,488,997 books! | Top bar: Always visible