i bought extra credits in order to be able to buy this the minute it came out, which i did with enormous excitement. it bears absolutely no resemblance to the quirky, arcane books i've come to love from the authors, being a perfectly fine but rather formulaic --- to be honest, extremely formulaic --- ex thief goes on a spy job kind of thing. i understand that authors want to blaze new territory but i feel as if not only my favorite characters, pendergast et al, but my favorite authors, are gone...if you are looking for anything resembling the pendergast books or even the earlier preston/child books, this isn't it. john glover is a wonderful narrator, by the way. try THE SHERLOCKIAN, which is just grand
the character Gideon was full of promise. Brilliant revenge can make for a sharp, page turning, uplifting story. But i think the authors fell short of their abilities. Certainly it's fun but the reader often has to suspend their intelligence. Gideon engages in highly risky and uncertain actions, when vastly simpler methods exist to achieve the same objective. UsuallyLee and Child's craft scenarios that have realistic contraints forcing the protaganist into difficult and critical situations. But in Gideon's Sword, the pretext for the contraints are weak at best. Usually just a request by Gideon's employer. But Gideon's uniqueness and strength is that abides by no rule but follows a higher moral code. I feel like the book was rushed to market and needed another major re-write so that most of the action sequences could be justified through a more thoughtful plot foundation.
A weak and helpless child watches as his father is killed and family name ruined; at his mother tells him on her death bed that his father was a patriot, honest, courageous and his alleged treason plus shooting was really a murder all created to provide a certain U.S. general with a scapegoat for a bad decision.
Gideon spends the next 10 years mastering his independence of people and entanglements earning his doctorate in applied physics while also secretly engaging in 2nd tier art museum theft for the his own appreciation needs and to fund his education and revenge expense, After graduating he gets a job as a junior scientist at Los Alamos helping make the next generation of nuclear bombs; he pursues trout fishing and planning to avenge his father's scapegoating and murders. Early in the book, he gets an information break with his 24/7 homemade, survelilance and hacking software- pursues and executes his revenge plan which with only one hiccup that is resolved in his favor due to the integrity of maybe his newest friend is completed successfully and he's back fishing.
Gideon's revenge is not the focus of the book, but really the calling card that gets him recruited into an alleged, private think tank and operations group run by its founder and enigmatic, mysterious man. The group allegedly provides contract services for U.S. federal agencies. the plot would be of interest to a multitude of federal agencies, but supposely it's all been contracted to this private company. There's no foundation for why this group is undertaking the assignment which become's the novel's primary plot. Gideon is clearly manipulated, by carrot, stick and everything between to pursue, versus turning down, his chosen assignment but he verfiy's his employer's legitamacy with nothing but a phone call- which is completely out-of-character for Gideon who is something of a "chestmaster" of field operations, That makes no sense. The nation's, perhaps world's balance of power is now in jeopardy, but rather than use official channels to recover some evidence in the evidence locker, Gideon must use his cunning to secret himself in and recover the information. There are lots of these small things that make the story less enjoyable. He's not to tell his mission to anyone. But he knows a certain person is at risk. Despite is brilliant and proven street smarts that let's him handle himself in the worst slums, and burned out buildings of Harlem, and his rocket scientist I.Q...is doesn't dawn on him to invent an altternative story that could equally communicate the danger. Moreover, the level of deception and intrigue in the novel makes his phone call verification a trivial effort at best. The author's had time to build a character team around Gideon, but I think dropped the ball. He leave's his first book with one technogeek friend, whose character is only a 1/4 as interesting as others that I can't discuss for giving too much away.
Overall the obsurdity of Gideon's stupidity deflates his character. Even so, Preston and Child's collaboration still makes for a fun, page turner that I am glad I read (listened to).
Though not my usual favored genre of books, I have, nevertheless, read everything Preston and Child have written collectively and separately. I have liked some better than others, but I will not be reading any more from this series. At least twice per chapter the reader is asked to accept ridiculously clichéd and/or unlikely scenarios necessary to advance the storyline. I don't think I have ever rolled my eyes as much as I did while listening to this this clunker. Sadly, there is little sense of suspense simply because, after only a few chapters, the reader can already guess well in advance which hokey trick is about to be employed.
Perhaps the only thing worse than the writing in this story is the narration. For a brief moment, I honestly thought it was an electronically-generated narration. (Slightly smoother than Kindle's "text to speech" - but not by much.) Add to this the inclusion of annoying - and equally banal - musical "interludes" between key chapters, and the whole thing makes for a hot mess. The entire presentation plays to the lowest common denominator. (Thank goodness for the "Oriental Music" after a key chapter with an elderly Chinese woman and how would we *ever* have known how scary a neighborhood was without stereotypical hip-hop music?)
Count me out for future installments in this series and the same for anything narrated by John Glover.
The book had it's moments, but it seemed in the end to be just a plot looking for an ending. And it was tolerable until the end. I can sit by with a lot of silly stuff as long as it adds something to the story, but in this case it just got too stupid for words. The main character and the protagonist on a deserted Island in New York City dueling it out with clanging back hoes was just too much for me to handle.
The main character had a dozen opportunities to kill the bad guy but decided instead to have a duel at midnight with guns and backhoes in an empty cemetery with night vision goggles. I've read more believable stuff from junior high school boys. But there were moments when it was an acceptable novel. I liked that Eli Glynn was part of the story, but clearly not enough to save it from the scrap heap. I gave it two stars because I did finish it. There have been a few audible books that I have abandoned. This wasn't one of them, but maybe it should have been.
I will probably listen to the sequel only because I have read or listened to every Preston Child book they have written. Normally their stuff is great. Maybe they had their teenage kids write this one.
I cannot say whether I detest the story or the narrator more. They are both so awful that I quit the book. (Lest you think I'm superficial, I listened for three hours hoping it would get better. It didn't.)
Some other reviewer complained that you are asked to believe the unbelievable in every chapter. I say it's worse. You are asked to listen to really stupid stuff. In one scene a prostitute who meets him for an afternoon cries when he won't continue the relationship. They didn't even have a conversation! It's just deus ex machina for the heck of it. It would never happen and makes no sense even in the context of the book.
And every chapter, every episode has stuff like that. It is AWFUL.
That these two hacks are rich, successful authors makes me despair for the mind and imagination of America.
But, IT GETS WORSE!!
The narrator 'acts', a crime in my opinion, but he 'acts' as if he's Saturday Night Live's 'Master Thespian'. Every voice is a child's impression, silly, trite, distracting. Lots of dopey accents and fake emotion. Worst of all, his idea of the protagonist (lame and poorly drawn as he is) is AWFUL. He sounds like the fifties actor who played Jimmy Olsen in the Superman show. The voice would only start to make sense if Gideon's favorite expletive was "Gosh, Miss Lane!"
Please, do not contribute your money to this contemptible mess. It is an insult to your intelligence and degrades literature. It is a lazy, cynical, money-grubbing bit of exploitation. Don't be taken in.
I was looking so forward to this book, I guess it was bound to be a disappointment.
The characters to me were so very shallow, nothing compared to the authors previous exciting books with the very unique qualities of Pendergast. I was hoping for a new compelling lead character, which may have been a bit better if the narration was with a different narrator. All in all very predictable I couldn't even get through the entire book it became so boring.
I have read every Preston and Child book available and have never been disappointed. I was eagerly awaiting this book because of all the hype by the authors ahead of time. It is simply not good. Gideon has no appeal as a character and the plot of the story was bland to put it mildly. Save your points
Tell us about yourself!
Ive read most of the Pendergast series and picked this up on a whim. I really cant see why everyone is making such a giant fuss about it, I thought it was decent and completely in line with what P & C have offered up before. I suspended my rational senses several times throughout the Pendergast series (especially the first one), and I didnt really see that this one asked much more of me. Its not perfect by any means, and Gideon isnt exactly the most personable of characters, but I enjoyed it. I guess if youre expecting more Pendergast than youre in for a disappointment, because clearly hes not in it.
Was waiting for this to come out, bought it immediately.........I couldn't make it through the whole book. I wasn't expecting Pendergast, was hoping for a new and quirky character....my mind wandered everytime I turned this audio on, finally gave up.
A lot of hype and anticipation for a really poor novel. This book is terrible on so many levels. Gideon is about as far from being a Pendergast as one might imagine. He comes off as a simpering ninny and the narrator makes hime sound like a whiny teenager. A nuclear scientist? Absurd. His occupation is also irrelevant to the story line. He could hold any job and be just as unbelievable. Please, Messers. Preston and Child don't give us any more of Gideon. Stick with your real winner, i.e., Pendergast, or lose many devoted readers.