I just finished off this audiobook and have come to the conclusion that Tony Blair is an extremely principled and honorable fellow. I already knew that, no matter the media attacks, his personal vision completely changed politics in Britain for the better on both sides of the political spectrum because it caused everyone to honestly evaluate the way they do business. This book addresses the hard decisions and personal pain over making those decisions that Mr. Blair had to endure. I may not agree with the total sum of his politics; but after this book, I can respect his reasoning in addition to respecting the man. This is a very compelling listen. Mr. Blair is not the greatest narrator ever (kind of fast talking with sudden stops), but his reading this relays a very personal telling and is well worth it.
I enjoyed the change of having Joe Pike as the central character. We actually experienced the story with him, as opposed to having him just pop into the story from time to time. This was a really refreshing change that furthered my understanding of Joe Pike's personality.
Crais readers have spent plenty of time seeing the world from Elvis Cole's point of view, so I have a good bead on how he sees himself. In this book, I really enjoyed seeing Elvis Cole from the point of view of others.
I actually almost did. While listening to this book, I took a wrong turn in the back roads of the Colorado mountains. So I decided to go exploring. This book made an outstanding companion for that time on the road.
In this book, Crais introduces and skillfully develop some new and interesting characters and also develops some of Elvis Cole's very interesting backstory. With L.A. Requiem, Crais really ramped up his storytelling, and that high level continues into this book.
Exciting, exhausting rollercoaster
I feel like this was the most gripping Crais novel, yet. I couldn't turn it off, because the plot just kept developing in exciting ways. In this book, we see a side of Elvis Cole that we haven't really been exposed to, yet. Throughout the story, I was caught up in his desperation to make things right.
I have not heard anything else by James Daniels. After the other narrators, I needed to get used to his relatively soft reading style. But that didn't take too long. And he did a great job.
Elvis Cole races the clock to save the son of the woman he loves
It's not a question of "Would I", but more a question of "When". This book seems to mark a turning point for Crais. His early books are witty and fun. He next goes into his unfortunate Lucy Chenier phase. Then he arrives here at LA Requiem, with a story not only about the gritty present, but also about the past which forms one of the central characters. I enjoyed the characters presented in this book, and I really cared about how the story would turn out.
Crais does away with a lot of the superfluous elements of his previous books and concentrates on just telling a great story. He takes away some of the wittiness while maintaining the same Elvis Cole I enjoy reading about, and he drops much of the soap opera factor. Yeah, a love story is told here, but the story is hard and gritty and fitting to the overall story.
I have not listened to anything else read by Ron McLarty.
After the unfortunate treatment that David Stuart gave to the Crais books he read, I was thinking that ANYONE (even Gilbert Gottfried or Stephen Hawking) would be an improvement. But in steps Ron McLarty who knocks it out of the park. He is outstanding in his portrayal of all of the characters. He deftly gives us the information while lending good personality to the telling.
Yes, several moments in this book particularly moved me. But this book is so tightly put together that to describe any of those moments would create spoilers.
In talking to other Crais fans, I'm told that this book is just the beginning of Crais's best several books. I'm really looking forward to getting at his next one.
Expect cheesy fun
I can understand that it was inspired by James Bond with a supernatural twist. But it really isn't like a Bond book, because the story stands on its own with original ideas and story execution. It is far more a book about its supernatural aspects than about the secret agent aspects.
Stuart Blinder seems to have trouble with female voices, especially the one that has an American southern accent. All of his female voices sound like the hoot that comes when you blow air over the opening on a bottle. What would I change? I'd have Stuart Blinder learn to do female voices that sound a bit more normal and pedestrian.
As the book came to its conclusion, I found myself really on the edge of my seat. The last hour or so was pretty darn exciting. And I was really looking forward to understanding the mystery that the story was centered around discovering. Once uncovered, the mystery was appropriately heavy.
A car chase relatively early in this book becomes over-the-top CHEESY! But don't let that discourage you. In the end, the cheesy part is really important to pushing the story forward. And though more cheesy parts occur throughout the story, they are all in good fun and thoroughly enjoyable.
No, I don't think so. I didn't find this story to be much fun. I just came to this book from a really fun one about monster hunters, and by comparison this one was less like an action movie and more like a soap opera. I read another book by Peter Clines that I fully enjoyed, so I was disappointed that I didn't fully enjoy this one.
I'm not sure, but I'm not going to move onto book 2 of this series. This kinda leaves a gap in my listening planning that I need to fill.
To describe it would be a spoiler, so I'll refrain from describing it.
No... I don't think so.
I needed to get used to the dual narrator setup. But once I did, the narration was very good.
This book wraps up the development of personalities and relationships, and it wraps up the main storyline in exciting fashion.
This time, it's a toss-up. It's between Jake Sullivan (reluctant leader plagued by self doubt who must hide that doubt to lead people to victory) and Toru (Iron Guard abandoner who must live and work in a society completely different from his own). I think in the end, my favorite would be Toru. I very much enjoyed following him on his journey from a man who hates all things western to a man who finds grudging respect for those he did not previously understand.
Bronson Pinchot remains an outstanding reader. My only reason for dropping him to four stars is because he changed some of the accents for some of the characters. At the beginning of the book, I found this distracting.
Blood and magic save the world
Character driven fun
I cannot compare this to any other single book that I have read. The characters develop into a cohesive team like in Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series. The magic in the story is like something by Tim Powers. And the overall story is caught somewhere in Deco alternate reality.
Fay is definitely my favorite character. She is naive and charming, and the way Bronson Pinchot tells the world through her eyes really expresses that.
Again about Fay, I had an absolute blast following her around when she started to come into her own and slay bad guys. Her thoughts and reactions were perfect to the character, and I found myself laughing out loud.
Bronson Pinchot is an OUTSTANDING narrator. I was impressed with the one title I listened to from him earlier, and he kicks his performance to the top tier in this one.
I will willingly go to the next Robert Crais book because of my enjoyment of his previous novels. I will reluctantly suffer through another David Stuart reading so I can get the information from the book to carry onto the following one (which, thank goodness, has another narrator).
The previous Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels have been a lot of fun. The stories have been interesting, and Elvis Cole has been a witty and fully enjoyable character. Unlike this book, the previous books do not revolve around the relationship between Elvis Cole and Lucy Chenier. In this book, the relationship took a lot of the attitude and the fun out of Cole's character. Without such a big involvement from Lucy, this could have been a solid and fully enjoyable story. The previous novels certainly are.
Also, David Stuart as a narration choice is unfortunate. Mel Foster was far superior to David Stuart as narrator, both in channeling the characters and in narration style. Where Mel Foster is laid back and smooth in his delivery, David Stuart is sloppy and mousey. David Stuart also seems to have a speech impediment that is hugely distracting.
I'd like to get Mel Foster back.
When the author came back to the main story, it was pretty engaging. Unfortunately, the main story is peppered with Cole daydreaming about Lucy. But it is a generally good story.
I only have one more David Stuart fiasco to suffer through (Indigo Slam) before moving on to a decent narrator. I'm seriously considering skipping it, but I'd hate to lose any kernels of information that may be referenced in later books. So I suppose I'll probably get it.
I have no idea if the audio version is better than the print version, as I have only listened to it.
Trying not to put in a spoiler, the ship is the most memorable moment to me.
Z is my favorite character in this. He's easy to connect with as the typical average guy who gets thrust into difficult situations and does extraordinary things. But the way he is written is not typical, and this character is fun to watch the development of. Oliver Wyman does a great job of making Z average but very likable. He's also not afraid to throw in emotion where necessary without overdoing it.
I would say that this would make a great movie, but it is packed with so much story that I don't think it could be covered in one film without diluting it. But the writing is very vivid in the imagery it creates. Also, the reader is PERFECT! He is great as he puts voices to all of the characters, and his style fits with Z's "everyman" personality.
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