I just finished the last book of the series and am looking back on the Gunslingers story at the beginning. This first book is a humble beginning to what becomes an incredible and rich tale. But though the book is humble in relation to the larger story, it is still filled with interesting characters and a compelling line. It is a very appropriate and well done start.
George Guidall, the narrator, took some getting used to. But after a little while I was really enjoying his reading. I especially like his voice for the Gunslinger.
I would recommend this to a friend who likes stories of cunning and intrigue over stories heavy with action and slick one-liners.
My favorite character was the Egyptian double-agent. I found his motivations fascinating. And I was very interested as he took actions that looked evil on the surface, but turned out to be necessary.
My favorite character to hate was the Egyptian spy who was working with the Russians. I found his character to be realistic and evil. The realism of him was enhanced in how I found his motivations to be completely unreasonable in my American mind, but to also be in complete agreement with many of the Middle Easterners that I have encountered in my life.
An Australian accent to a Cockney Englishman.
Yes it was. I was listening to it while I was in my workshop woodworking. When I was done, I continued to listen to it as I made and ate dinner. When I wasn't listening to the audiobook, I was thinking about it's twists and turns.
I'm not really sure. The character development and interaction is very enjoyable. The general overall story is also enjoyable. But it is laced with a fairly pronounced anti-military slant. And he relates hit attacks against the military like someone who watched the wars on TV and doesn't really have any first-hand knowledge. The attacks are tiresome and unoriginal, and they really aren't necessary in the telling of an otherwise very enjoyable story.
Christopher Farnsworth is a very talented storyteller. I came into this book fearing that characters from the previous book were going to be shallow rehashes. But the reality is that this story started with characters that were developed well by the events that took place between books, and I really enjoyed the main collection of people.
I followed Bronson Pinchot over to this series from another series that he did. He is incredibly talented in building the characters as he voices them. And that talent carries into this book. I can almost picture the characters as he is voicing them. I'd never guess they all came from the same person if I didn't know better.
I nearly did. As I mentioned previously, once I adjusted my mind to ignore the obvious agenda, I found the story to be very enjoyable.
If you are in the Marines or the Army and are considering this story, be ready for uninformed and repetitive mention of uncaring military shooting children and torturing prisoners, and hints that terrorists are justified. And be ready for them to be obvious attacks outside the content of the overall story. But if you can ignore this content, you may find that the rest of the story is a lot of fun.
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.
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