Just spent the week with Joe Ledger, all 4 in a row, and WOWeee......did I have a good time! Not since I rode the roller coaster 11 times in a row back in high school, (and subsequently lost my corn dog and sno-cone) have I had this much of a wild rollicking ride. When I read the first Ledger book, I thought it was a very enjoyable diversion; I had no intention of continuing on with the books--but 4 books later...I can't think of a funner way to spend the summer than with Joe, Ghost, Bunny, Church, and the rest of Echo Team, on 4 completely different spine-tingling adventures.
Because Assassin's Code is the 4th in a series about Ledger, rather than a continuation of a plot, this book is as strong as the first Ledger installment, and could easily stand on its own. There's no following a strung out plot and dragging to the finish line. (I actually liked the first and this fourth the most.) Instead, Maberry's creativity seems to be picking up speed, and hints at more fun to come. Fast paced, spooky, and crazy fun--but there's just enough reality and science to put a little chill in those thrills; and writting that goes effortlessly from technical, to sarcastic and funny, to down right scary. You'll love the good guys, hate the villains, cheer for the dog, and be intrigued by the mysterious Mr. Church...what more could you want in an action-adventure-thriller?! Ledger may be this era's answer to James Bond. Ray Porter is, once again, outrageously good as narrator/Joe Ledger (is it my imagination, or is he sounding more and more like Ron White?) and gets better with each book.
Assassin's Code is wildly entertaining on its own; don't be surprised if you end up wanting to go again, and again on the Ledger/Porter/Maberry ride.
Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times best-selling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor and comic book writer.
Ray Porter has been reading this series since the beginning and he absolutely nails it. Every line, every character.
Ray's interpretation of Grigor really makes that character scary as hell
Ray is always terrific, but I think he somehow manages to get better every time.
When Ray narrates the scene where Joe and Jamsheed are discussing the photos and discussing children in war.
The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.
No question, Jonathan Maberry has an engagingly creative mind and the plot of this Joe Ledger novel, just like its predecessors, won't disappoint. Neither will Ray Porter's narration. He has great range and nails Maberry's characters.
What IS disappointing is Maberry's development of the Joe Ledger character. Ledger, once a multi-faceted "action hero" with an in-your-face sense of humor has now become 90% juvenile smart-a** and 10% self-pitying narcissist. The snarkiness is MUCH more frequent and sometimes jarringly inappropriate. This is a shame because Ledger had real potential in earlier series entries.
Of course, Ledger was always a smart-a**. But what was once a character trait has, in this novel, become the entire character. And this has reduced enjoyable banter and humorous narrative to a contrived pursuit of Ledger's next witty comment. Add to this the occasional "poor me" self-pitying reflection, and the periodic politically-correct preaching, and the result is disappointing character development and, on balance, a disappointing novel.
I loved this book, along with all the others in the Joe Ledger series. Just like the others this book had all the fast paced action and the humorous wisecracks I have come to expect. The narrator, Ray Porter, is the best, he really helped make this book even better. I didn't want it to end. Now I have to wait again for the next book in the series to come out.
I listen to a lot of audio books and love to read. ..Especially good zombie apocalypse fiction! I find that a good narrator is the key!
As far as this series goes, it remains as good as the first book.
The continuity of the story arcs and character development.
I was on pins and needles near the end of the book, when the Captain had to deal with more losses.
Maberry and Porter are like Rowling and Richard Harris or Burton and Depp. You will not be disappointed in listening.
I haven't reviewed any of the previous Joe Ledger novels, but I really enjoyed them all. Plot-wise, they're not incredibly deep, but they are fast-paced and very entertaining. Think of Vince Flynn meets Guillermo Del Toro. Sounds a little improbable, but it works. Best of all, Maberry's characters are surprisingly complex and compelling. Ledger is not your stereotypical gung-ho hero.
I'm really looking forward to the next Joe Ledger book.
Just a Latino living life in NYC
I rarely reread books... Once read or listened too... the stay in my head... but I think I could see myself re-listening to the whole Joe Ledger Series again... It would be like changing the channels in the middle of the night and coming across a movie or series from my teenage years... unable to change the changel cause the excitement was back and even though you know the ending.. its fresh again!
The ending phone call... Joe deserved a break!!!
Ray Porter is a great reader... the way he fleshes out his characters... different voices, accents, manners of speaking...
I can't wait for the next novel in the series... in fact I will have to check out some of the other books written by Mr. Mayberry!
The story arc continues as some of the villains from The King of Plagues are behind a new threat to the world based in the Middle East. In Iran for a rescue mission, Echo team and Joe Ledger are tipped off that seven, or more, nukes are in the hands of an ancient order known as the Red Knights and are currently planted around the world. With an end game that intends to turn the world into a radioactive mess the DMS has very little time to come up to speed and formulate a response. With Ghost at his side, Joe Ledger starts to reveal just who these Red Knights are and he is having a hard time believing what he finds. After all, vampires aren't real, right?
Turns out this threat goes all the way back to the 9th century and is part of an ancient pact that gives new context to the war between Islam and Christianity. Although they do drink blood, these Red Knights aren't traditional vampires and don't propagate by biting others and turning them. In fact, they have a hard time keeping their numbers up at all and their strength is dwindling as they suffer from problems with inbreeding. That is until the modern science of genetics allows them to engineer a solution. This discovery prompts them to decide to alter the world into a radioactive wasteland where they can flourish since it turns out that they are immune to radiation. This armageddon scenario also has ties to prior books as both Hugo Vox, former member of the Seven Kings, and Nicodemus, the enigma who inexplicably escaped his prison cell in The King of Plagues, return to play key roles within the Red Knights' scheme.
This story moves along at a frantic pace and jumps around between multiple points of view and between the past and the present. The usual cast of characters from the DMS is also involved but Joe and Ghost do the heavy lifting and they are pushed to the brink. Joe's inner personalities fall out of balance as the pressure builds and he does some things that he instantly regrets. With Rudy a world away he must fight his inner demons on his own but he does find some new allies along the way too. This one builds to a big finale and I definitely recommend it for Joe Ledger fans.
Ray Porter does another great narration and at this point any switch away from him for the audiobooks would just not be the same. He is the voice of Joe Ledger.
Zombies, werewolves, secret societies (ala Illuminate), super-virus's and even a dragon (all of course with a mostly super-science edge, not paranormal). So the one obvious missing item in our paranormal ecology is vampires, so this book deals it out in spades. As I have read the books in this series the one thing I kept thinking is that the only person who seems to be having a worse day would have been Jack Bauer from the TV series 24. Then I remember the first line above and I am going to have to have to declare that Joe is definitely having a worse time that Jack.
Assassin's Code kept me alive, as I listened to it on a long drive where I was quite tired, but there was no way that I was going to fall asleep and miss what happened next. As it often happens in this series it starts of strong and keeps up the action (with one exception, the interludes to the historical events that provide some of the back story on the organizations) to the explosive crescendo at the end.
Joe, Ghost and Echo Team are in Iran, rescuing some wayward hikers that have been kidnapped by the Iranian's. On their way out they Joe is isolated and forced, by a mysterious sniper team, to meet with the head of Iran's Intelligence organization who provides some specific information (and some generic background stuff) about 7 (big, multi-megaton) nuclear weapons that are being staged around the Middle East as well as possibly in the US.
So without rest Joe and the DMS are thrown into a desperate search to find and disarm those weapons. Along the way we run into the Red Order (a secret order of Vampire Assassin's), a secret anti-vampire organization and even the Holy Inquisition. It even incorporates one of the historical question marks that have confounded scholars for decades, the Voynich Manuscript. This really is some great fun and anytime you stop for that book reading interruption thing called life you feel the twitchy need to get back to it ASAP.
I almost did not download this book. While I had enjoyed the last three Joe Ledger's (I read them in about as many weeks), a reviewer I 'follow' had cautioned against Joe's rants in this one (he had gone over the top at times in Book 3, so I could believe her). Luckily, another reviewer I 'follow' (one of the few books, I think reviewed by two reviewers I trust), recommended it...so I went for it. I have to say that I agree with Melinda: Assassin's Code is great fun. One of the best Joe Ledger's. The story keeps getting better and better. Maberry's ability to make you laugh out loud at Joe's wit as people get dismembered (I am NOT a horrible person, I am NOT) is simply amazing...I am sorry I will now have to wait for Book 5 -- at least, I hope Maberry is considering writing it! I was so spoiled by being able to read the whole series in quick succession. I want more!!!