What a great read. I always look forward to Daniel Silva’s books and this one met the mark. Once again Gabriel Allon is hired to do what no one else can do and he does it with a self-confidence that none of us would have. And as usual, the unique twists and turns within the story keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I have to say that there were so many things that happened that I did not expect, but then I’ve gotten to where I expect the unexpected with Silva’s books. I started this book and went through it at a pretty quick pace, simply because of the entertaining writing. The narrator did an excellent job and listening to him was like listening to an old friend. Always love Daniel Silva’s books and I can’t wait for the next one.
While I am sure fans of Silva will enjoy this book, it is just not for me. I really don't want to read books about torture and trafficking in human beings. Just not to my taste at all. Perhaps such goes on in the world - I am not naive - but I choose fiction for entertainment and enlightenment. I do not choose to spend my leisure time with torture and violence. Just a personal preference, I am sure.
Daniel Silva has gone back to writing a good story - but oh, the narrator was so totally wrong! I found it hard to define Gabriel Allon from the 'baddie's'!! Why or why do you pick a narrator that is not 'clear', that only mumbles or takes a breath mid sentence - very annoying?
I have all of Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon audio books and paperback books plus a lot of his other stories and I can tell you George Guidall is NOT the one to read them.
I suffered George Guidall reading The Fallen Angel but I will think twice if you use the same narrator for future Daniel Silva books!
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
I pre-ordered & finished reading/listening to this book not too long ago & was extremely happy with Silva's mew addition to the 'Gabriel Allon' series... Before I get into the review I want to send out my condolences & absolute shock at another's authors death in this similar writing genre... Vince Flynn will be missed & know after the next planned release of his last book before he died 'The Survivor' will be the last time we will truly read Rapp without another persons view, I just hope they don't turn it to absolute horrid ends similar to what happened to Jason Bourne, & all Robert Ludlums projects & legacy post death. Sorry for the tangent but the R.I.P. had to be written & I thought this would be a fitting place to put it in.
On to the book... The reason I enjoyed this book so thoroughly is because:
1. I felt the last few books (perhaps 3 out of 4) were not completely in line with the history of how Allon operates even though the books still ranged from pretty good to a great read. Too much Vatican, similar motives, etc... but it seems Silva is back to stories similar to 'Death in Vienna', 'Prince of Fire', etc... in my opinion a couple of his best novels. Part of the reason is because I read a more passionate, optimistic & wittier version of the Gabriel we know versus the one trapped in all the ghosts of past missions whether they were successful or not... I felt he was caught in a overall melancholy look on life & everything in it, not in this book!
2. A past character makes a major cameo in helping Allon, a person u would not think he would approach & what will happen when they interact & his 'partner' interacts within the country & his fellow countrymen he no longer acknowledges nor cares about?
3. The Allon series is not the same with many other series because Mossad or whoever is Allon is representing always involves a team... no entire 'lone rangers' compared to the 'one-man is an army' men-teal as Rapp (once again I cry for the series, Rapp is among the best if not my favorite counter-terrorism boogeyman). Allon & Mossad in general always has people that have purely one specific purpose, such as reconnaissance or target tracking, researchers that can be field operatives, triggerman or in Silva's description 'Allon without a conscience,' plus others that all work together to achieve the mission. Obviously Gabriel is the man moving the levers while in the field who always gives him the sense of team leader without ever having anyone even question this. I felt in the past few books their use was limited or called in after things happened to mop up. In this book u get to see all parts, Allon as a lone wolf & Allon within the constructs of his trusted team who Silva has done a great job creating in-depth backgrounds for by melding true history with some historical fiction.
4. The spy-craft we've come to love with Silva & Allon, there is a huge difference between the way a character like Gabriel Allon works & Mitch Rapp works (for anyone know doesn't know who Rapp is, read Flynn, Rapp is by far my favorite but that's because its almost like a recruiting book for readers who want to see how an operative can seriously 'bring the pain'). Rapp is similar but much more in ur face, systematically dismantling the opponent with extreme prejudice. Gabriel plays the espionage-counter espionage game, the 'cloak & dagger' fight with flair & a masters touch, just like the touch he uses when he restores art, the cover & work he could do at the top professional level even without any help from Mossad or any ABC agency.
I could go on about the subject of diff. characters from diff. authors for much longer but this is obv. about this particular book & not a discussion on Gabriel's specific prowess comparably speaking to other characters. I think it came to the surface mostly because of what happened to Flynn's untimely death & the noticeable change I saw between the last few books & how this book made a change that I felt was a positive movement. As the book starts all seems to be pointed on some type of hostage situation, but everything quickly disintegrates creating an iceberg like story, a small part of it on the surface but a huge portion under water, or in this case, the 'Russian/KGB' underbelly. There are many re-occurring characters friendly & deadly as Allon travels all over the world from England to Russia to find out who will feel his wrath but his character & team always ensures the reader knows that no well laid out plan ever survives 1st contact with the enemy. Its how they improvise, adapt, & finally overcome! The plot twits are done well & just like with all his books u feel the bruises he both gets & delivers... I couldn't put this book down or in this case I was always looking for a place to finish listening to the story, its just too bad the stories of many of these great authors are so quick when they are well written. Silva also ensures to involve a storyline with real world geo-political issues. Kudos to Silva for writing a superb book after a few above average ones that is almost re-creating Gabriel because his future is truly open to anything. Plus I don't need to mention Guidall is one of the best narrators... all of it equals a well written & entertaining espionage book.
First you can't go wrong with George Guidall narrating Silva's books.
This book will be interesting... but a little predictable. So, you if want a spy novel that's not to over the top with blood and violence this is wins.
This was my first Gabrielle Allon novel (#13 in the series), but Silva does a good job on-boarding a new reader. I read the book while Vladimir Putin was asserting Russian dominance through the imagery at the Sochi Olympics and the annexation of the Crimea, so the motivations in the book made some eerie sense. I am also a fan of Corsica, and found those settings and characteristics quite realistic.
The story is interesting and twists and turns at just the right times.
I found the portrayal of Israel as the epicenter of virtue and competence a little much - especially when the British government was portrayed as weak and corrupt. I also thought the female characters were stereotypical and largely background;even when Allon's wife is clearly a competent agent, she spends her limited time in the novel cooking for a bunch of men and hoping to get pregnant. There is an old Corsican fortune teller who's an interesting female character, but even her power is undermined by Allon's seeming ability to be the exception to her clear visions.
It is hard to separate this book from the others in the Gabriel Allon series, because they continue to get better as you get deeper into the series.. I have read or listened to all of them and they continue to build off of each other, and introduce and re-introduce an enormous number of characters all with a very well though out and researched back story. Me and my wife will spend our retirement visiting many of the places I have listened to Gabriel carry out so many of his clandestine operations.
HE'S A FINE NARRATOR... THE BOOK WAS TOO LONG AND FULL OF REPITITON...
LOVE ALL THESE BOOKS... FIRST TIME I FELT GROGGY EACH TIME I TURNED IT ON...
Yes. The reader is wonderful and very compelling. The writing is superb, many little twists and nuances.