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Henry

Houston | Member Since 2011

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • The Fallen Angel: Gabriel Allon, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1335)
    Performance
    (1113)
    Story
    (1106)

    After narrowly surviving his last operation, Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, has taken refuge behind the walls of the Vatican, where he is restoring one of Caravaggio's greatest masterpieces. But early one morning he is summoned to St. Peter's Basilica by Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to his Holiness Pope Paul VII. The body of a beautiful woman lies broken beneath Michelangelo's magnificent dome.

    Audiophile says: "When will Gabriel retire?"
    "Good story, excellent narration, timely."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • First to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2748)
    Performance
    (1872)
    Story
    (1864)

    When you're the best at what you do, it's not always easy to walk away. Nathan McBride was retired. The trained Marine sniper and covert CIA operative had put the violence of his former life behind him. But not anymore. A deep-cover FBI agent has disappeared along with one ton of powerful Semtex explosive, enough to unleash a disaster of international proportions. The U.S. government has no choice but to coax Nathan out of retirement.

    Ed says: "Sniper thriller par excellence"
    "A tense story with interesting characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3771)
    Performance
    (2790)
    Story
    (2767)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Jason Spencer says: "Action packed, edge of your seat "page-turner""
    "An interesting character with too much Hollywood,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Luck and Trouble: A Jack Reacher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2283)
    Performance
    (1436)
    Story
    (1419)

    Jack Reacher reunites with the survivors of his old Army investigative team, scrambling to raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that is growing darker by the day. In a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they'd better be ready for what comes right back at them.

    Patricia says: "Kept My Interest"
    "Entertaining but a bit long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3261)
    Performance
    (2691)
    Story
    (2691)

    Everything starts somewhere. For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington. Reacher is ordered undercover - to find out everything he can, to control the local police, and then to vanish. Reacher is a good soldier. But when he gets to Carter Crossing, he finds layers no one saw coming, and the investigation spins out of control. Local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux has a thirst for justice - and an appetite for secrets.

    Melinda says: ""All Aboard!""
    "Interesting and twisted story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a tight suspense story that will keep you guessing about what will happens next.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No spoilers here, I can't comment on a big scenes without revealing too much.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Small town, big drama.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night of Thunder

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (86)

    New York Times best-selling author Stephen Hunter returns with his most riveting Bob Lee Swagger volume to date. The stakes are high - and personal - because this time, Swagger's daughter's life is at stake. Forced off the road and into a crash that leaves her clinging to life in a coma, Nikki Swagger had begun to peel back the onion of a Southern Fried scandal.

    Cletus van Damme says: "Let Bob Lee Swagger Retire"
    "Not the best Hunter novel."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Stephen Hunter and/or Buck Schirner?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen Hunter? Why or why not?

    Yes, but I will select with caution.


    Have you listened to any of Buck Schirner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Good as always.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not at all.


    Any additional comments?

    This seems like a script for a cheesy blow-em-up movie, Hunter can do better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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