I hung in there til the end, but was disappointed with the story and frustrated by the fluctuating narration volume and poor sound quality. The plot was too often contrived, characters were poorly developed, and their actions were often implausible. After enjoying The Millionaires, I expected better from this author.
This was an ordeal to get through and the narrator tried to be too dramatic so that you were continually messing with the volume and replaying sections (after hiking the volume) to figure out what he said. While I normally like the unabridged versions, I found this one too long and wished I had downloaded the abridged version.
Being a Meltzer fan, I bought this book on his name alone. It was a big mistake.
The guy who read the book was fine, it was strictly the material I have a beef with here. It becomes more and more obvious with each passing day that there is very little truly new in literature. Everything is simply reworked and reissued with slight twists and turns. That old saw probably doesn't apply to this book for one simple reason, no intelligent person would ever do half the things the main character in this book did. If it is totally obvious that you should do option A and totally idiotic to do Option B, the author ALWAYS chose option B. I forced myself to listen to the whole thing because I must be somewhat obsessive compulsive. A sane person would have run for the hills long before the obvious ending.
WHY BRAD WHY? You are too talented to put out this tripe! Maybe you had one of the fashionable ghost writers do the book and the editor forgot to put their untalented name in small print?
Don't waste your time, money, or book credits on this miserable piece of work.
Say something about yourself!
Characters are well defined and the story is a roller coaster. I have always been impressed with Mr. Meltzer's writing. He melds fiction and history into a tight story with great characters. He did it again in The First Counsel.
I must do a special shout out for Mr. Meltzer's honest and accurate portrayal of a person with intellectual disabilities (ID). Even though this character was not a main focus of the story, he still developed the character as a real person and not a caricature. I have worked with people with ID for over twenty years and I get so angry at authors in both literature and television that have characters with ID appear either completely evil or hapless and helpless. Mr. Meltzer added a character who is a full person who happens to be ID. Thank you!
I found it frustrating when the reader lowered his voice for emphasis I could not hear him.I was driving this is not good
none come to mind
The storyline is good and enough twists in it to make it a good listen but the reader....
I listened to this through the end hoping it would get better, but was very dissapointed. The plot is implausible at best, the characters are generally dislikeable and the author often fails to build the proper foundation to make their actions believeable. Very shallow writing with a thin, unlikely, and predictable plot.
First Council contains many insights into the workings of the executive branch. Questions of trust intermixed with interesting plot turns permeate the book. It kept my interest!
I like this book! I'm sure Brad Meltzer likely takes some liberties with life working in the White House. However, you get a good feel for what it might be like to work there. While the audio is long (14 hours), I was interested and always wanted to see what happens next. There were a few moments when the dialog got choppy and hard to follow but I chalked it up to fast talking between characters. (Remember, a few moments out of 14 hours.) I did not like the ending but a couple of my friends who have read the book said the ending "makes sense". I actually liked the narration although some of the reviews on this site make me wonder if I need to go back and listen again. To close, I give it 4 stars. Good story! Good dialog! Great setting! Better then ok narration.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but Scott Brick's narration drove me crazy. He would whisper some lines and then start shouting. I listen to the books while driving and was constantly adjusting the volume. A more consistent narration would have made this a great book.