I don't love Stephen King. The last I listened of his was 11/22/63 because the reviews were so good and I loved it. Before that, I felt burned by a couple of his books because they just weren't very good. I love creepy and twisted, I just don't think that King is very consistent.
I took a chance on Mr Mercedes because I think Patton can do no wrong, I have an admitted voice-crush on him.
I lucked out, we all got lucky in this combo coming together because this is a GREAT audiobook.
The bad guy is perfectly sinister. He's young, and egotistical. His character is developed so well that I truly hated him. I didn't just fear what he would do next, I felt myself really hating him as a person, I'm tense just writing this about him.
The reluctant hero is always my favorite character in any book like this, and Hodges is perfect. Again, King was masterful in developing a depth of character that made me really feel like I knew him well. I cheered for him, and found myself talking outloud to him, offering unsolicited advice.
The action built in a perfect way. I wish I could describe it better, but the pace was just as it should be. To me, this was character driven, I cared because I cared about them and had that emotional connection, then the action and story were the perfect foil for them.
The ending was great. It wrapped in a way that did the characters justice, nothing was over-done, or unbelievable, it was genuine.
I loved and recommend this book.
I wanted to savor, cherish, and adore this book as it is the last we will receive by Tom Clancy. But I also want to be true in reviewing it.
Here are the great Clancy characteristics that Command Authority has:
Complexity with a great ending:
Clancy is the master in writing extremely complex political tales that come spinning into an ending that leaves you breathless.Command Authority has that.
Wild and totally believable tales:
Not a detail was left out. At one point, Ryan senior uses an umbrella in a scene, and in the scene before that, Clancy specifically writes about Ryan borrowing the umbrella from the door man. Too many "action" authors miss that kind of detail. But it's that genius writing that makes all the wild scenes purely enjoyable.
Facts and details:
I always finish a Clancy novel feeling like I learned a bunch. This story delivers on that.
An obvious love for the subject matter:
Once again, Clancy's knowledge of military life and international travel and characters come through, which makes him so credible and this story great.
The Clancy characteristics that are missing from Command Authority:
Total clarity and super smooth flow. This book gets confusing. With going back and forth in time between Sr. and Jr. and the way the chapters are labeled, I got lost more than once, especially right in the middle of the book. I was just starting to tire of the feeling of not knowing what was going on, and then in the last 25% it got back on track and was easy to follow.
A love for the original characters:
Some of the characteristics that made the world LOVE Jack Ryan, weren't played up and weren't revisited. I don't grow tired of hearing how suave he is, and how super human and yet perfectly down to earth he is. I wanted to fall in love all over again, and a little bit of that was missing.
I don't know how much of the book was written by Mark Greaney. I searched for some information on that, but none could be found. We can only guess why exactly this book felt a little different.
Phillips as the narrator only gets four stars because he has a lilt to the way he finishes each sentence that works in interpersonal/conversational scenes, but is weird and a little distracting during the action scenes. Most of the time though, he's great.
Clancy fans will read/listen to this book no matter what, I know I was going to. With that said, I really do recommend this book.
Dan Simmons writes long books. That's what he does, and he does it well. Carrion Comfort is the other I've listened to (around 30 hrs long) and that made me want to listen to others of his.
The Abominable is a story about an American, Jacob Perry who ends up on an expedition to Mt. Everest. The expedition has perils and secrets that a normal trip to Everest does not hold.
This story is great. There are a lot of details, scene development, and character development. I am very familiar with the terminology and technical details of mountianeering and rock climbing so I really enjoyed those sections of the book as they were factual and well researched.
The action of the story moved along nicely and the premise of the action and danger was believable. Simmons also did a nice job of setting the story up early so when situations happened later, they happened naturally and flowed well.
There were some flaws. I thought Carrion Comfort was pretty much perfect, so I was surprised that there were some distinct things about this book that I did not like.
The main character wasn't very likable. As the story went on he got more annoying and less likable. By the finale, I kinda wanted someone to punch him, or at least I just wanted him to stop talking. The narrator didn't help either. His tone didn't need to be quite as whiny and complaining as Jacob, which made him even less likable.
Also, I thought the extra side-story that could have brought some fun thrills into the story just fizzled and never developed.
With those criticisms, I still give it four stars because it was a great story that is worth the listen. The research and details are impressive and fit well within the story.