This story follows the adventures of Jonathan Quinn - a private espionage specialist with a jaded past. The plot is about average for thriller in this genre - lots of action, foreign settings, conspiracys, and even has a few interesting twists.
Personally I felt that the writer should have edited this work a little harder. As it is, there are all sort of useless parts where the main character checks his email, eats, makes casual conversation and does other hum-drum stuff that doesn't advance the plot. Hence the story has some good meat, but you have to chew around a lot of grizzle. A good editor would have cut a lot of this out, leaving the good stuff. Perhaps the abridged version would be better.
The narrator puts far too much emphasis on "performing" the story, rather than just reading it. His tone borders on annoying at times.
I was encouraged by all the positive reviews of this book and decided to make the purchase. In my opinion it did not quite stand up to the hype I'd seen about it before reading it, but it was still a decent listen. The story is typical of the military science fiction genre coupled with something that's a little more of a first contact type. I would put it with Jack Campbell (or John G. Henry)'s Geary series. I didn't quite connect with the characters to the extent I would like to have. I think part of the reason is because the antagonists all seem to be external to the group. Internally, amid the crew, everyone seems to get along too well.
The narrator jarred me from the story at times. He did an okay job, but I don't think the guy's really cut out for military SF.
I only gave this one star because I can't give it zero. The author makes a weak attempt at "shaking the foundations of science," but to me this read like the essay of someone who is a little ticked off that he couldn't make it as a professor.
In the first chapter he makes the assertion that Apollo astronauts brought a camera to the moon and took the "earth-rise" picture directly because some hippie started a campaign about needing to see a picture of the earth. Are we really to believe that NASA had otherwise planned on sending people to the moon without a camera?
He goes on and on about how various scientists take psychedelic and other drugs and claim it enhances their scientific productivity.
I couldn't make it any further. Save your money and your time.
This story has all the elements of a great tale - a dashing hero, an intriguing side-kick, a well-motivated antagonist. It particularly picked up in the second part. There were also a lot of "steampunk" elements and a very imaginative world. Hat's off to the author for bringing together an amazing array of fresh ideas in a world that, crazy as it is, all makes sense in the end.
On the downside, there was a lot of "head hopping," which made it difficult to keep track of view points. Perhaps in the manuscript there were visual cues for changes in point of view, but the narrator doesn't seem to bring these across. I also felt that the main character was a little "too perfect."
Overall, I think if you enjoy a creative world, it's worth a listen. I wouldn't nominate it for any awards, and I'm on the fence about carrying on with the series.
The author writes well and the story is interesting. Boyden takes us on a vivid journey into the lives of three Cree Canadians as they collide with the first world war. He writes very well and overall I found the story intriguing, yet at times disturbing.
The author and narrator apparently took painstaking efforts to learn how to properly pronounce the Cree words in the story. They did not however bother to learn how Canadians pronounce the word 'lieutenant' - which is rather jarring every time it comes up.
There is a fair amount of drug use (morphine) in the story and it is described in detail. At times I wanted to tell the author, "Okay I get it, he's addicted to morphine, let's move on."
I was a little disappointed with the ending.
Overall this story turned out okay, but that was because I had nothing else to listen to for long periods of time that got me through the first half. By about chapter 5 or 6 there's a bar-fight, but until there there's a whole lot of nothing. You really could have picked it up half way through and not have missed much. It does pick up, and delivers some decent military SF - although, aside from the fact that you have humans fighting alongside and against aliens, the SF combat doesn't seem all that present as the storyline seemed to go out of its way to nullify it.
The narrator slows her voice to perform male or alien voices, which got really irritating. Maybe if you played it at 1.5x speed it would sound better.
Anderson has a great concept and the beginning of this story is great with an vivid and exciting description of WWII combat. We then enter a parallel world which is full of potential for adventure. Anderson does an okay job here, but as I read, I felt it could have been a lot better. The story dragged a little longer than it needed to and it seems like he's going to stretch what could have been a shorter novel into a series. You could certainly find a lot worse out there, but I don't think this had the finishing power to motivate me enough to read on in the series.
Sawyer has some interesting ideas that make this book worth reading, but the story's pace dragged considerably in my opinion. At times the story tends to slip into thinly veiled political commentary that does little to advance the plot, or develop the characters. What it seems Sawyer is tryng to convey is a dystopic view of our world seen through the eyes of a neanerthal from a parallel universe. If you don't agree with some of the interpretations, it can be quite jarring (which perhaps was the point). I think this story would appeal to fans of "hard" science fiction - where the focus is on the speculation within.
Millan offers sensible, practical advice for dog-owners. The basic message I got out of this book is that dogs respond best to a balanced, assertive leader who can provide a structured and orderly environment, and the book provides lots of insight on how to accomplish this. By controling the kind of "energy" you present to your dog, and giving the correct amounts of exercise, discipline and affection you can solve many problems.
I have a 2 year old lab-pyrenees cross with a LOT of energy. Since reading this book and applying much of the advice I have noticed significant improvements in his leash and off-leash walking behaviour, jumping, whining and yard escapes.
I highly recommend this book to all dog owners (current or potential).
Evanovich has some interesting insights into the process of writing. I particularly enjoyed learing about the development of her characters. The book however, is basically a FAQ from her website.
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