No. Scott Brick did a decent job of narrating "The Panther", but DeMille's writing style had John Corey making sarcastic comments out loud, or in internal monologue, or seemingly out loud followed by "just kidding". That made for very confusing listening as I tried to figure out from the other characters' responses which form John's sarcasm had taken. Very tiring for the listener.
DeMille's "Wild Fire" which was also too long and had irritatingly improbable plot twists.
On par with the other John Corey books. Brick does a spot-on rendering of John Corey's voice, but that's about it. Everybody sounds the same unless he's doing a Russian or Arabic accent.
"The Panther" is a decent 6-hour story dragged out to nearly 22 hours in length. It takes a thin plot (John Corey and his wife Kate volunteer to try and catch the mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing) and adds unrealistic plot twists to try and maintain tension, but in the end it just doesn't work. As Bilbo would have said, Panther was "stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread".
DeMille needs to end the Corey series now. He's run out of originality and has simply made Corey a tedious jerk. In Panther, nearly every sentence JC (not Jesus Christ) utters starts with "Right....". In an audiobook that has Corey telling the story from his viewpoint, that verbal tick is extremely grating.
Corey also revels in acting like an idiot (but he's just doing that to fool everybody, see, because he's actually the smartest guy in the room). Seriously, "smartest guy in the room"--DeMille actually has Corey say that about himself, or words to that effect, several times during the story.
Which brings up repetition. DeMille pads the book unmercifully by going over the same ground. The ruins at Mareb are painstakingly described several times. Yemen's faults as a nation, government, people, history, and geographic location are discussed in great detail (usually ending with "this place sucks") and repeated dozens of times. John Corey even repeats his sarcastic jokes ("nuke the place", "moderate Arab" joke, etc.). His wife Kate has little to do in this except to tell John to stop being a tiresome fool and then to be the butt of his jokes.
Also, DeMille thinks people wouldn't laugh at his "jokes" without a laugh track, so Corey was continually saying someone was "funny" or that someone thought *he* was funny, or that he's "just kidding". Thanks for the assist, Nelson!
In short, the first couple hours of "The Panther were interesting as we got reacquainted with the Coreys as they traveled to Yemen. Then the last few hours were exciting and worthwhile entertainment. Unfortunately, the very last hour was a letdown as DeMille rushed the ending and left openings for a sequel (free advice, Nelson: stop now).
Four stars because I remember how good John Corey used to be and because there was *some* excitement in "The Panther".
From the mid '60s to mid '80s, Larry Niven could do no wrong. Every book he wrote was brimming with imagination, science, humor, and optimism for the human condition.
This book was light on the optimism but full of big ideas.
Corbell, dying of cancer, has himself frozen so he can awake in a future where his disease can be cured.
Instead Corbell awakes in a Socialist dystopia in a body that's not his own.
That's all I can tell you because any other hints would spoil the fun you'll have reading this book!
Corbell figuring out what the prilatsil in the hospital was for.
Tom has a resonant voice and does a fair rendering of characters. He's good enough that I'm replacing all the audiobooks that were read by Connor O'Brien (the worst reader EVAH!) with Tom's versions. O'Brien managed to make one of the greatest works of sci-fi (Ringworld) unlistenable; Weiner adds value to the books.
Near the end of the book, when Corbell is witnessing world changing events, he's suddenly struck with acute homesickness, missing his wife who's long dead. He longed for his old life and it was quite poignant.
What are you waiting for? If you like hard science fiction, buy this audiobook! If you like imaginative fiction, buy this book!
Audible charges 25 bucks for this poorly packaged download. The artwork is low res and nearly unreadable and it's impossible to add a sharper version since the file is locked. Also, the ID3 tagging is not there, so I have to add that by hand.
To charge as much as Audible does for such low quality shows that they're not interested in giving fair value to the consumer.
Both stories are well written and exciting. Drake's vivid writing makes you *smell* the burned iridium and plastic fumes after the weapons have fired their charges.
I've listened to Stefan's readings Ender's Game, the Empire of Man series, etc. and enjoy his deep voice and range of emotions.
Satisfaction with the story and reader. Disappointment with the poor quality files.
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