Like one of the reviewers before me, I decided to give "The Breach" a try based solely on the fact that Jeff Gurner had narrated it. I absolutely loved his performance in "Daemon" and "Freedom (TM)", and he nailed it again in "The Breach".
The story of "The Breach" was very compelling. I would consider this to be an action / sci-fi book, and I could definitely see it being made into a movie one day. If it were to be made into a movie, it would surely be Rated R for graphic violence and mild sexual situations. So let that serve as your warning if you're sensitive to that type of thing.
I thought the author did a fantastic job of setting each scene and describing everything within the book in great detail. It was very easy to imagine exactly what the story might look like in a live action format. The fast-paced nature of the book was especially addictive -- one of those types of audiobooks that keeps you listening in your car for several minutes after reaching your destination.
I could see how some might not like the way the book ended, but for me, I thought it was very fitting, and it definitely leaves the story open for a potential sequel that I would jump at the chance to listen to.
I really enjoyed "The Breach." I actually searched for this book based upon the Narrator. Gurner has been excellent in everything I have listened to.
As for the book, I was very impressed with the story. Very imaginative, very creative. Some of the things that Lee invented and imagined seemed incredibly intelligent. Also, the ending really surprised me. Amazing plot twist, everything before it took on a new meaning. This is both good and bad as it opens up some significant plot holes but it was orchestrated with great technique. Excellent setup.
There are a couple issues I have with Lee's writing. Sometimes he "dangles the bait" a little too much. He'll greatly extend a moment of revelation to the point where it gets a bit aggravating. He'll write something like, "Both Travis and Paige were thinking the exact same thing and it explained everything. It was the key to all their questions. Their looks totally reflected that they were both thinking this one amazing thing" and he'll keep going on for a long, drawn out time before he gets to the point. Sometimes, this is useful. With lesser plot points it's like listening to Morning Radio where they want to keep you on through the commercials.
Before you read my spoilers and if you do, I really did enjoy this book. My issues with it are really only because Patrick Lee's writing really invited me to think about the book a lot. It wasn't a "read it and forget it book." I really did enjoy it and will keep reading the series and future books by Lee.
SPOILER ALERT: (Do not read unless you have made it through 7 Theaterstrasse. This is really just discussion for fans of the book)
I had a big problem with this whole area of the book (7 Theaterstrasse). It highlights Lee's other weakness. Basically the personnel in the house killed people and they killed some more and they killed some more and did I mention they were killing? We get it, lots of dead people. Lee has a habit of over-shocking the reader to the point where you begin to think, "okay, this is incredibly fake." He also missed a huge opportunity in this passage. He mentioned children in the mob. He should have had Paige command "don't fire at the children unless it's life or death!" Then, when Paige is working on the Nuke, he could have had a very young girl advancing on Travis, about to pick up a gun, slowly aiming it at Travis. The conflict of whether or not Travis kills the kid would be tense. How did such a young kid make it so far? Maybe he does end up killing the kid a second before all is clear and it haunts him in the upcoming sequels. Maybe he doesn't. Either way, a big character building opportunity was missed. That brings up my last point. The author doesn't delve deep enough into what made Travis a bad person early in life. There were no reflections on really flawed behavior. Yeah, he thinks about his ex girlfriend a lot but people who are flawed and know it really obsess over their past misgivings.
This book opened very strong and it didn't let up. The plot kept moving quickly, never getting bogged down. I liked the mystery of the story, it was unpredictable and different from a standard thriller. I look forward to reading more by Mr. Lee.
The narration was good as well and supported the story nicely.
It made Star Trek sound like Green Eggs and Ham.
I'm not sure what genre it was. Maybe it could be considered fantasy, but certainly not a thriller.
The narrator was not bad, it was just that he did not have anything to work with.
None that I could see.
It was very difficult, but I did finish it, and it was a waste of time.
This book fits nicely into a "good", "bad", and "ugly" framework.
1. The Good.
This is the first audiobook I have every purchased because I liked what the narrator did with another book. And I was not disappointed. Jeff Gurner is an excellent narrator.
The plot is original and interesting and contains a nice resolution of a traditional sci-fi paradox at the end. (I won't say which one so as to avoid spoilers.)
The ending was strong and gave me a lot to think about. This book actually has quite a lot of intellectual depth, although that does not come through until the end.
2. The Bad (or at least the "not so good").
The characters are so-so. Only two characters are anything more than props. The main character is introduced at the beginning as an ex-con who served significant time in jail and was definitely guilty. His character seemed kind of ambiguous and I did not realize until the end that this was intentional. The other main character -- a woman -- did not seem entirely plausible to me, but she was okay.
The book was non-stop action until the end. Some people might like this, but I found it a bit frenetic -- written for people with short attention spans. There is very little character development or relationship development.
The story has a mostly negative arc. Things start bad and generally get worse until shortly before the final resolution. There are some upticks along the way but, in general, the bad guys seem pretty much invincible until almost the end.
3. The Ugly
Shortly after the start we get a very unpleasant torture scene, For some reason torture seems to have become popular in modern sci-fi. And there is a lot of gratuitous violence throughout the book. I guess some people must like this, but if you prefer to do without graphic violence and senseless killing you might want to avoid this book.
This has a few twist and turns that makes the story fun to listen to and to wonder about what will happen next.
Twist and turns
Wouldn't necessarily want to listen to it all in one sitting. More like a fine wine a little at a time to make it last.
Just started listening to books and have really started to enjoy. So far almost every book has been a Jeff Gurner narration. I really like the way he represents the characters. WELL DONE!
Science fiction is my favorite genre and the plot element of the eponymous "Breach" has a lot of potential. However, this author unfortunately does not realize how important it is for the "fantastic" elements of the story to make sense (at least in a relative way) to the reader. Brandon Sanderson has written a lot on this subject in his discussion of how to write "magic systems" in fantasy, and the same applies to non-hard science fiction as well. The primary plot driver in this book is like a "Deus Ex Machina" in reverse--an enemy that can do anything and knows everything. The characters' internal dialog in the book constantly bemoans how powerless they are against this force, and that's the reason why this book becomes so tedious to listen to. You just end up waiting for the end of the book and having to content yourself with the interesting parts of the book you find along the way.
Nice action thriller that never lets up. Unlike all too many audio books, this narration helps the story instead of distracting from it. Looking forward to getting the next book.