At first I thought this series was going to be tedious as it seems to be a simple story, but very long. I am beginning to appreciate the detail with which the author spins the tale. He obviously has some engineering background and he goes to great lengths to give the reader insight on how certain things are manufactured in the alternate earth. By the same token, he develops his characters well and even focuses attention on what could be considered minor characters. I reviewed the previous volumes and noted that Audible should allow "listener/readers" access to the maps and other illustrations that are in the printed versions of the books. There should be some way that a purchaser of an audio book can receive the ancillary devices the author deemed necessary in the printed version. This is the only weak link in any audio book - not just this series. The narrator is extremely talented. It is amazing how he provides for all the different voices of the characters whether male or female, human or non-human, Australian, etc. I am now committed to every book coming in this series. It is a superior epic type of tale.
This author does a good job weaving a coming of age story with family histories and the spiritual side of life. The story is interesting and fast moving with just enough character development to keep the story going. The narrator has a smooth voice that was engaging and varied with the different characters. If you like stories about World War II, spirits, and angels, you should like this story. It's not going to win the Novel Prize for Literature, but it should keep you entertained for eight hours or so.
I'm not sure if I should say, "Spoiler Alert" as this is not a novel or even a current event narrative with a surprise ending, but this review may give away something that the reader would rather enjoy on his or her own. This is an intriguing story about the author's attempt to place a lampshade discovered at a garage sale in Post Katrina New Orleans at Buchenwald during the Holocaust. The author does a great job in weaving background stories associated with all of the characters and locales of his book. The one thing that was a bit over the top for me was the author's treatment of George W Bush during Katrina. It got very preachy and I thought it was not necessary to the story. I'm not sure what the author was trying to put forth as a message about New Orleans itself. I couldn't tell if he thought it was a treasured gem of a city or a dump given over to drug addicts and murderers who walk around in a city where life is cheap. Whatever. But getting back to the lampshade, the author does spin a good tale that reveals very good circumstantial evidence that the lampshade is indeed a valuable primary artifact of the Holocaust. But there is no proven "chain of custody" that positively places the lampshade in Germany in the 1940's. For that reason, the recognized Holocaust museums and experts refused to accept the lampshade into their collections. Maybe DNA testing will advance someday to the point that the lampshade can be placed in a specific place and time - that is the author's hope.
Finally, the narrator was very good for this story. His voice was not the usual Audiobook narration voice, so it took me a little while to get used to it, but he did a very good job.
The title and subtitle are actually good descriptions of the contents of this book. The author does some exhaustive research for the noble purpose of "leaving no man behind." He uses the literary device of alternating chapters with one chapter spinning the historical narrative of what occurred on the Greenland Icecap in World War II, and the other chapter describing events that are ongoing throughout the book. The book was published in a timely manner to include the mission to locate a lost aircraft and the remains of the three men aboard it. As a side note, the author has a blog that keeps readers informed of ongoing developments since the publication of the book. The author does a fine job of reporting facts in a narrative format that keeps the readers' attention. The author is also the narrator of the audiobook. I am always skeptical when authors try to perform their own narrations, but I was pleasantly surprised. As much of the book is written in the first person, the author as audio narrator is natural provided that the author is a good reader - and he is. The story is one that is worthy of the telling and I'm so happy that I read the story.
This is not a run of the mill novel. The author's premise is based on a nuclear Iran. After reading the book, I came to the conclusion that the novel is supposed to serve as a warning to the world of what a nuclear Iran would be like. The author uses dialogue between characters as a way to highlight the debate concerning Israel's position that a nuclear Iran will not be tolerated. The book is kind of "preachy" regarding Israel's right to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. I gave the book four stars because, although I thought it was very good, it seemed to blatantly push Israel's viewpoint on the matter to the point of overkill. The narrator was outstanding and he seemed to get in the spirit of things. After reading the book I am even more opposed to a nuclear Iran than I was before, so I suppose that the author served his purpose of writing the novel. I don't want this review to give the impression that the author is simply the mouthpiece of the Israeli government, it is a submarine thriller to be sure. It is no "Hunt For Red October" because it is much shorter and does not go into that type of detail, but it is a good read based on current events. The author tracks submarines and ships using latitude and longitude coordinates, so having an appropriate map of the Middle East nearby would be fun and it would add some clarity to the story. If you're looking for an eight hour read to pass the time and learn a little something about the Israeli way of doing things, this is well worth the credit.
Well the saga continues! I am happy that the story and the author's imagination continue to rock along without any depreciation in quality. We are introduced to more humans in this installment. I have to say that the narrator's talent is up to the task of providing the many dramatic voices for this novel. His performance is top notch and I have wondered how much I would enjoy reading the printed version as opposed to the audio version. I really like the audio. I now go to the Amazon website and "look inside" the printed versions to bring up maps and sketches that are included in the books, but the audio versions don't include. I photograph my computer screen with my camera and then print the photo so I can have a map. The world of the destroyer men is ever expanding and the maps are becoming necessary to appreciate the story - I still don't know why the audio books don't have a PDF file of the maps included. However, this installment carries the story and the world farther than I thought possible, but the author, as usual, did it in spectacular fashion. I just wonder how many more books he'll be able to write. I suppose that it could be an infinite number.
My wife and I listened to this book as she had a family member ride the orphan train to Kansas. The author spun a wonderful story amid historical fiction. I'm sure that the author spent countless hours researching this novel and her idea to use a present day foster child to connect with the orphan train was brilliant. The story probably has a lot more truth in it than fiction. It gives the modern reader insight into our past while bringing the modern plight of unloved kids to our attention. I must say that even if the whole book was made up and there was never any orphan trains the story itself would be a very good story. We hated it when it ended. The narrators did a great job as well. It was a very realistic performance when it came to Irish accents, etc. This book is one of those that is good for the whole family to read together provided the children are a little older. It has a sex scene in it that the author treated very gingerly, but was necessary to further the story. As I said, my wife and I listened to this together and we have different tastes in books. This book is well worth your credit and more than that - your time.
Throughout this series I have thought the details provided by the author regarding all manner of things have alternated between overly tedious to wonderfully enlightening. He gives a complete background on minor characters and gadgets the characters have invented. However, I have come to really appreciate the details. In this installment of the series the destroyermens' relationship with the 18th century Brits is developing into a story of its own. I have written in previous reviews that Audible should make the illustrations and maps that are in the printed books available as PDF files for audio book fans. I went to the Audible website's chat site and made that suggestion to an Audible rep who said he would pass it along. I hope that the suggestion is acted upon for this series and all the other books that Audible sells. But back to this story. I am happy to note that the quality of the writing is just as high in this fourth book as it was in the first. The characters remain a source of inspiration for their courage and ingenuity. The author is now delving into one of life's great questions - what makes us human? This question is reflected certainly in the author's presentation of the Lemurian "people", but now he has opened that box regarding the Grik and other reptilian species as well. I am anxious to see how this plays out.
The second book in the series continues on as if it were one giant book. I posted a review of the first book that noted many fine points. I like this concept for a story, but was concerned it would get tedious. I don't know if tedious is the right word, but the story is getting pretty involved. The author puts a lot of time in describing things that add some imagery, but really don't further the storyline. I suppose it does get the reader more into this alternate world, but sometimes I wish the author would just get going. The other point that should be addressed is the place names, ship names, character names, etc. This is a weak point in any very involved audio book. I would hope that Audible will someday allow customers of their books to download a printable guide that has a glossary, maps, illustrations and the like to make up for this inherent shortcoming of an audio book. This particular novel series uses a "made up" language for fantasy creatures and the names of characters and other names becomes very confusing.
If you like a very detailed accounting of a fantasy world with many characters, settings, and even historical periods, you should like this book. If you are not willing to invest many, many hours in a series of books that tell a pretty simple story, look some place else.
I love time travel/alternate history type stories and this one fits the bill. Rather than time travel, it uses a storm as a mechanism to pull an American destroyer into an alternate universe. The author could just as easily written a WWII novel with the same cast of American characters, but he chose to create this science fiction type of story instead. The captain of the ship is the main hero, of course. He kind of reminds me of a James T. Kirk type of guy who seems to have incredible bravery and resourcefulness. I finished the first book and am now well into the second book and I will stick to the series. Now the only thing that I have a bit of a problem with is trying to keep the more minor characters and place names straight. This holds especially true with the non human characters of which there are many. The narrator does a great job of using different voices for the characters, but it's still kind of hard to keep them straight. The non human characters have very difficult names to remember. I suppose that the printed version gives the reader a cheat sheet glossary of characters and places to which one may refer when in doubt. However, I don't want to over emphasize this as it's kind of a minor concern.
William Dufris is one of my favorite performers. He really seems to get the atmosphere and emotions of the setting and characters right. His voices for these characters are really diverse to say the least.
If you like alternate WWII stuff similar to what Harry Turtledove would create, you should really enjoy this. I'm not sure how many of these books will be written to complete this series, but I hope that there is a conclusion as it can become a bit tedious. That's why I gave it four stars instead of five. If it were a stand alone novel, I would have given it five stars across the board.
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