One thing that I like about Daniel Silva's (and Lee Child's) books is that the narrative follows the protagonist and for the most part the reader can't tell who is good or bad and where the story is going. I'd guess that it is more difficult to write this way, but makes for a more compelling and active listening experience.
The first part of the book involves a crime story with enough mystery and interesting locales to keep the reader/listener captive. From the Vatican to Tel Aviv, to Sait-Moritz, etc. the action keeps moving at a fast pace. Silva creates interesting characters who are generally believable, if a bit uni-dimensional. Some of the events are so surprising that it would be a disservice to mention them here, but let's just say that the story line kept me completely engaged. The complex reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is described in a bold and compelling way as it should, and makes for a disturbing backdrop.
Unfortunately, towards the end Silva takes a lesson from Hollywood and goes for a cataclysmic grand finale, something I found sadly disappointing. He is much better when his characters work in dark alleys, trying to outsmart each other. Gabriel is not the new Bond. In summary, although not perfect it is a good book.
This is a difficult review to make, as I have to disagree with most other reviewers. Like the majority of readers/listeners I found in this book some great material but there are flaws that I just couldn't ignore.
This work is typical of the genre, action packed and with a captivating story. It explores how the energy industry is vital to our lifestyle and how a determined and capable group of terrorists can wreak havoc in it. The reaction of functionaries in the different government agencies that are involved – and there are many - is particularly well described and in quite believable terms, although not always in a positive light. Following the bloody money trail leads to ably descriptions of the internal work of financial institutions. The result is scary. The hero is complex and likable, too close to a super-hero for my taste, while the bad guys are, well, very-very bad.
However, I had issues with this book. While it is accepted that in this type of fiction the reader has to suspend disbelief, there are limits. The plot holes, technical mistakes and absurd exaggerations are too many to ignore. From the description of the oil field platform and its work conditions to international air travelers with no luggage and carrying weapons it all turns a bit cartoonish. Towards the end it was so distracting that I just didn’t care any more about the story or the characters. It is unfortunate that the editors didn’t help the author with a reality check.
The narrator, although not my favorite, does a fine job with the material. My only minor complaint is with the exciting passages that are a bit overemphasized. On the plus side, his inflections and voice tone make it easy to determine who is talking at all times.
In summary, I see a lot of potential in Ben Coes but I will wait some time before reading another book from him to see how he evolves. Meanwhile, I will keep searching for authors that continue the tradition of the likes of Vince Flynn and Tom Clancy.
Dick Hill did a good job but it took me a long time to realize that the main character, Nathan McBride, is not Jack Reacher's secret twin brother. So, perhaps unfairly, I gave the performance three stars for the distraction factor. With that out of the way, I believe that this is the first long novel by Andrew Peterson and is a good one indeed. This is a story where the characters, both bad and good, men and women, are interesting and interact like human beings, sometimes unpredictably so. Nathan is a mix between Reacher - sorry, I can't help it - for his deductive skills and Hunter's Swagger. The portrait of a sniper dark world is very well done. The author has personal experience shooting long guns and it shows in some of the action passages. A dark episode in Nathan's past and the presence of a loyal sidekick and smart FBI agents add some depth to the tale. In spite of some judgement gaps towards the end he weaves a generally credible story. I am looking forward for the second book in the series.
It is unfair to say that this is not a good book, Mark Greaney is a good writer and Jay Snyder delivers a good performance. However, I didn't like it. To me it feels like the script for a teenager-oriented action movie. The baddie is bad, really, really bad. The unstoppable good guy is good, really, really good. At least that is what the storyteller repeatedly tells us although it is not quite evident in his actions. Anyway, if you like non-stop action where you can't put the book down, this may be for you. On the other hand, if you expect a semblance of credibility look somewhere else, perhaps in the direction of Vince Flynn, Daniel Silva or even Andrew Peterson.
Lee Child's Reacher is always reliable. He would be happy living a dull life with no responsibilities but his bad luck get's him in trouble - once again. In this book duty calls in the form of loyalty to his friends, ex-members of his old investigative team. A simple investigation turns more complex and deadly as the story unfolds and things are not what they seem. In a departure from other Reacher stories, this time he is not working alone, making for interesting dialogues and situations. The bad part is that midway into the story the pace slows down; almost seems that Child had decided on the ending but had to buy some time - or rather pages - before getting there. Another minor complain is that the action scenes are a bit silly, but in his defense, this not the reason why we read Reacher's stories. Dick Hill's narration was excellent as usual.
This is a tight suspense story that will keep you guessing about what will happens next.
The story is told in first person by Reacher so the reader/listener learns what is going on as things are happening. This, in my view, is more difficult for the writer but makes the experience more fulfilling for the attentive reader.
The action takes place in a small town with a big hidden mystery. The pace is generally relaxed, giving the reader time to explore the characters, their motives and aspirations. And then, when you think that you know what is going on, things suddenly take an unexpected turn.
Dick Hill voice didn't seem right at the beginning but he quickly grows on you. He is a big contributor to the success of this book.
No spoilers here, I can't comment on a big scenes without revealing too much.
Small town, big drama.
I can't give this book five stars because the main character goes way beyond reasonable in his exploits, I could almost hear him say "Reacher. Jack Reacher". A bit of more down-to-earth realism would enhance this book enormously.
Yes, I had and I will again. I love the Lee Swagger character and the almost-Eastwood nature of Schirner's rendition, which is perfect for the role. However, I couldn't keep my attention on the story line and I was disappointed by the Hollywood style ending.
Yes, but I will select with caution.
Good as always.
Not at all.
This seems like a script for a cheesy blow-em-up movie, Hunter can do better.
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