John V Higgins, Jr.
This title has a few things going for it - reasonably good plot, and EXCELLENT villains. However, the protagonists, all two or three of them, are both boring and implausible. I soldiered on as long as I could, bolstered by long views of the bad guys' side, but I finally had to remind myself that I would only waste a few dollars by forgetting the story and turning to some other book.
I generally like Scott Brick as a reader, but this wasn't the kind of script that was good for him, even if the script was any darn good.
I learned quite a bit about the history of China, but listening to this book was excruciating. The plot alternates getting the main characters in and out of impossible situations by invoking impossible solutions. Very little is believable or credible. Everybody alternates between being a bad guy and a good guy at some point; some make that transition several times.
I would NOT recommend this book.
Steve Berry has cooked a thin soup of alleged suspense and Chinese history, coupled with communist ideology and some REALLY BAD PEOPLE. I lost interest after about one third of the book but listened through it to the end anyway. Steve Berry is unable to create suspense in any section of this book. He tries to make the communists behave as really bad people, destroying valuable historical artifacts. Anyone who has actually been to China (and we are quite a few) knows the opposite is true. Mr Berry acknowledges in his afterword he has not even been to the locations in China he has used in the book. That makes less surprising he was unable to capture any part of the Chinese socitey or the background correctly in this book. My husband listened to this book as well, and when we compared notes afterwards, we were of the same (low) opinion. You can spend you time more wisely that listening to this.
Love Scott Brick, I think I could listen to him read a phone book
Many of his book have significant logic gaps, I didn't catch one in this book. A previous book had this estate that two groups were taking helicopters too. The second group is arriving and landing in the only place suitable to land, yet there not sure if the other group is there yet. Hello, if there was only one place to land, the other one should have been sitting there as a clue. Later in the book both helicopters are there. So unless they have cloaking, that was bit of an opps.
I enjoyed the historical parts of this book, and the story was ok, but I was very disappointed in the ending. I felt that after the build up the ending was flat. The history woven into the story was the best part of this book. The love story part was just sad. It's an ok listen for a long drive or if its on sale.
This is a good listen. Gives some history and a great story to enjoy. At the moment the Cotton Malone series is one of my favorites to listen to.
Each character was engaging and full of surprises.
Scott does a fantastic job narrating the story and his voice changes are impressive.