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.
How many different crime fighter stories can there be where multiple factors collide in a believable way? Well, now there is one more and it's a good one. As soon as the story began I was invested and interested to see how the different stories were going to collide. The story did not disappoint. It was creative, with some great twists.
The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is the male narrator, Jay Snyder. The female wasn't great either, but it felt like she got better as the story went on and she became nicely invisible. Snyder though was overly dramatic to the point of making the listen less enjoyable. There were several moments when I thought, "oh, that was lame" and at first thought it was badly written, then I realized that if those moments hadn't been read by someone who was massively overacting, they might have been funny and endearing, instead, they came across as just bad.
There is also quite a bit of dramatic music and some sound effects like footsteps which were really jarring at first. I have never listened to a book on Audible that included those. I got used to them, and while I don't think they added to the story, for me, they weren't a negative.
This is a light summer listen. There are a lot of those out there, but this one is smart, fun, and worthy of investing the time. I recommend.
trying to see the world with my ears
First, what this is not: The title does not signal any kind of Dan Brown clone--no holy grail stuff. Also, when this novel was written (and where) a priest involved in scandal did not immediately mean a sex abuse story line - so don't pass on this for that reason. Also, this is not a faith-based novel; the series (though not this instalment) draws a little on the tradition of priest sleuth, but no affection for Catholic faith is necessary to like the priest character. Neither is this edge-of-seat stuff: There is no graphic violence and no explicit sex - any violence or sex necessary for the plot are obliquely described.
This is a combination mystery-legal-detective procedural with elements of a traditional village cozy transplanted to an identifiable Canadian city, Halifax. The novel starts slowly but picks up after first quarter. It is somewhat predictable - but the mystery is secondary to character and setting (and establishment of story lines feeding the series).
The narration is good but does not have good regional infections; however, generalized accents are much better than bad regional ones. Two quibbles with the narration: There are more priests with thick Irish brogues in the novel than in Halifax itself. And I hope the narrator gets a dictionary for some common theology terms mispronounced-- Other vocal feats seem very well done.
I'll never get to Edinburgh with Rebus or Baltimore with Tess Monaghan, so I was glad to download this while in Halifax. The cityscape isn't as strong as in the classic detective/ city combinations, but adds interest. The Canadian legal context is laid out to be easily comprehensible to a non Canadian.
I'll definitely be listening to the entire series.