The premise is provocative, the research thorough, the anecdotes fascinating. Listening to this book is like having a conversation with an old friend who's smarter and more interesting than onesself.
One of the silliest action-adventure books I've listened to. Plenty of action, lots of exotic settings . . . but no interest in verisimilitude, in creating settings, in making scenes real or believable. The writing is so simplistic it engages none of the senses, focused only on being a page-turner, leaving all the other elements of fiction up to the reader's imagination.
Each of these Jane books feels like the last one, the kiss-off of a series, an adieu to a character, an abandonment of an oft-traveled plot device. Without spoiling the plot, I can say this feels yet again like the end for Ms. Whitfield, who is growing older and more battered and even perhaps a little cynical about the whole proposition. The paranormal plays a bigger role here than in previous texts, which probably foreshadows The End even more . . . but what do I know.
It's a nice addition to the series, and if you've read any of the others you'll want to read this one, too. I just hope Mr. Perry isn't getting tired of his own schtick, as he writes amusing potboilers and I'm not ready for him to stop.
The narration is adequate, better than some of Perry's books, like the Butcher's Boy series read in a monotone; this female narrator does an adequate job, and I'd listen to more books read by her.
This was a decent potboiler which had in its favor some interesting foreign locales. Alas, the reader seemed uninterested in learning basic Spanish pronunciation--about the simplest system there is--and butchered 75% of the Spanish words in the text. How he managed the 25% correct without sensing that maybe there was a better-than-random system for figuring out foreign words says a great deal about the quality of this clownish reader.
Vampires in the hierarchy of the Catholic church is a laughable concept whose only saving grace is that the autheor for the most par. doesn't try to treat it seriously. Those chapters where he does could easily be deleted or at least skipped without affecting the tlowbrow amusement of the rest of the book
Not even Dick Hill's narration could save this book . . . and after a while I think he quit trying. The book's downfall is its peculiar mix of topical material--terrorism, al Quaeda, Iraq, Afghanistan--and a peculiarly 1940s -sensibility romance. The protagonist is inexplicably naive, despite his experiences and his job; his marriage makes no sense, nor does his ext from it. His romance of the feisty young smart gorl is absurdly chivalrous, as though the author thinks each character must keep one foot on the floor at all times while in bed. The plot, while convoluted, is like a dull drive on an uninteresting windy road.This book is perfect if you have a lot of time and don't mind being bored.
This is a blatant attempt to imitate Lee Childs' Jack Reacher character, with predictable results. Reacher is a bigger-than-life character, so this author has made his imitation bigger than Reacher. If I had a dollar for every time a character tells the protagonist 'you're not like anyone I've ever met,' I could buy a few cups of fancy coffee with foamed milk floating on top. Although McBride doesn't perform open heart surgery or hand-to-hand combat with a mountain lion, he stops just short of both. Despite all his multifarious skills, sensitivity and insights (and the concomitant fawning admiration of all those around him), he misses obvious clues that would have prevented this book from sprouting any chapters past page 70 or so, thereby doing us all a big favor. I'm not all that interested in trying to outguess the protagonist, but even I wondered how he could be missing all the obvious clues (even as the author points them out).
In short, this is a relatively harmless book, and won't hurt the Reacher franchise by being a hyperbolic though pale shadow if it. While predictable, it has some moments that maintained my interest; I listened to the end, right to the point where the sappy music began to play and I began to gag.
I've read every book in this series, and have now officially grown exhausted. The shape of the story is much like a Ross McDonald novel, with the sins of the past, long buried, surfacing to plague the present. But the story-in-a-story became a self-indulgent family history with a pop psychology float. The repression of memory is unbelievable and takes far to long to work through.
I think I swore off listening to Battles after a previous read, but somehow ended up listening to this anyway. I wish I could edit this book: it's really not a bad story, but Battles gets hung up at least once a chapter on parsing minutiae, with a lot of dialogue about obvious things, a lot of explication of un-spectacular activity, much in the name of verisimilitude but more a delight in naming weapons and lovingly recording all the intricacies of using them. All in all it's an engaging-enough story, but could have been streamlined to good effect.
This is a pleasant book filled with a lot of information thinly disguised as a plot, a kind of Ask Mr. Science ambiance. The happy scientist is a nice guy, not merely straitlaced but utterly naive as well. The narrator seems apt for this protagonist. If you like your tales tame, this is a good one.
The capsule summaries of this and the other Hurwitz book I read recently are so similar I can't really tell them apart. Hurwitz has mastered the genre and has enough interesting variations (so far) to keep telling similar stories again and again, and I'll keep reading them for a while to see if he can keep it up. They're topical and fast-paced and engaging.
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