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itinerant

here and there | Member Since 2007

73
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Below Zero

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By C.J. Box
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (130)

    New York Times best-selling author C. J. Box's Below Zero is the 10th novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett. The telephone calls from her stepdaughter April send chills down the spine of Joe's daughter Sherry. Wasn't April murdered six years ago in a bloody massacre? Wondering how this youthful caller knows details only April could know, Sherry becomes confused while Joe grows suspicious. Is the caller April - or are Joe and his family victims of a cruel hoax?

    itinerant says: "starting to fray"
    "starting to fray"
    Overall

    I've enjoyed this series, but it seems it's time for Mr. Box to move on. It's nice his characters have matured, that their interpersonal relationships have evolved . . . but they're really running out of variations of plotlines. And as with so many books in this genre, the author works too hard to create conflict via unreasonable characters in positions of power. These become cliches of the bad FBI agent, the corrupt local official, unrealistically bent and wrong and self-serving, largely to make the protagonist seem a strong, reluctant, righteous hero.

    I do like the landscape in these books, though, which is most likely what brings me back.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Highway

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By C.J. Box
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (206)

    When teenagers Danielle and Gracie Sullivan take a clandestine car trip to visit their friend in Montana, little do they know it's the last time anyone will ever hear from them again. The girls and their car simply vanish. Cody Hoyt, who's just lost his job and has fallen off the wagon after a long stretch of sobriety, is in no condition to investigate. But his son Justin, who the girls were going to visit, and his former partner, Cassie Dewell, convince him to drive south to their last known location. As Cody makes his way to the remote stretch of Montana highway where the girls went missing, Cassie discovers that there have been scores of similar disappearances in the state.

    Lorrie says: "No, No, No!!!!"
    "the final solution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Not your typical series development. A pretty good story, but premised on some highly unlikely scenarios and alliances. The damsel-in-distress makes for a good page-turner, though, although the ditzy damsel is both hard to take and hard to believe: Mr. Box doesn't so much strain credulity as simply fail to acknowledge it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4598)
    Performance
    (4306)
    Story
    (4324)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "physics takes a beating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was an entertaining listen: the story moved along at a good clip, and the invented world was pretty cool . . . though pretty hard to swallow. Eventually the characters discuss the unlikelihood of the superpowers, which was a nice acknowledgement of the problem, but it doesn't make it go away. The tale is entertaining enough and the characters engaging enough, but in a world where the writer grants himself carte blanche to create, e.g., a character who can only be wounded by a ricochet (this is not the most ridiculous example), it's pretty hard to take the plot seriously enough to keep listening. I figured out the two big secrets of the book long before they were revealed (as the protag should have), and finally found the book to be not at all moving, simply because of the arbitrary nature of the world without any kind of realistic constraints or limitations. The action sequences and amusing characters will keep me on board for the next book, though.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (4807)
    Performance
    (4378)
    Story
    (4388)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "this is one of the good ones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I hope there are more of these. I read all the HP books; unlike those, this one has some very nice writing, almost as though it were written by someone else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mark Sullivan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (132)

    Two years ago, Robin Monarch was a top level CIA operative—perhaps the best they had when it came to black bag operations. Then one day, in the middle of an operation, with his team around him in the field, Monarch walked away, leaving his old life and friends behind without a word of explanation. Now this ex-soldier, ex-operative, and orphan with a murky past is a thief, stealing from the super-rich and has surfaced in St. Tropez.

    Eliezer Wagner says: "Great Story, great characters!"
    "gimme a break"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Flower: Jane Whitefield Series # 7

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (116)

    In this exciting seventh entry in Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield series, Jane spirits James Shelby, a man unjustly convicted of his wife's murder, out of the criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles-but the price of Shelby's freedom is high.

    John says: "Non-stop action all the way"
    "antepenultimate again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ballistic: A Gray Man Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1965)
    Performance
    (1710)
    Story
    (1718)

    Ex-CIA assassin Court Gentry thought he could find refuge living in the Amazon rain forest. But his bloody past finds him when a vengeful Russian crime lord forces him to go on the run once again. Court makes his way to one of the only men in the world he can trust - and arrives too late. His friend is dead and buried. Years before, Eddie Gamboa had saved Court's life. Now, Eddie has been murdered by the notorious Mexican drug cartel he fought to take down. And Court soon finds himself drawn into a war he never wanted.

    Jean says: "Action Packed"
    "find a Spanish-speaking reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Assassin's Code: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1085)
    Performance
    (1012)
    Story
    (1014)

    When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran, the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood.

    Melinda says: "Hang On To Your Shorts!"
    "pretty silly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Body of Lies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Ignatius
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (82)

    Roger Ferris is one of the CIA's soldiers in the war on terrorism. He has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission: to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as "Suleiman". Ferris' plan for getting inside Suleiman's tent is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: he prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossible by recruiting an agent within the enemy's ranks.

    Michael says: "Body of Lies"
    "for masochists only"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2262)
    Performance
    (1428)
    Story
    (1417)

    When you're the best at what you do, it's not always easy to walk away. Nathan McBride was retired. The trained Marine sniper and covert CIA operative had put the violence of his former life behind him. But not anymore. A deep-cover FBI agent has disappeared along with one ton of powerful Semtex explosive, enough to unleash a disaster of international proportions. The U.S. government has no choice but to coax Nathan out of retirement.

    Ed says: "Sniper thriller par excellence"
    "Jack Reacher he's not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Vermilion Drift: A Cork O'Connor Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    His first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room with the remains of six murder victims inside. Five appear to be nearly half a century old - connected to what the media had dubbed “The Vanishings,” a series of unsolved disappearances in the summer of 1964, when Cork’s father was sheriff in Tamarack County. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. What’s worse, two of the bodies - including the most recent victim - were killed using Cork’s own gun, one handed down to him from his father.

    stone artist says: "Another Great Cork O'Connor Mystery!!"
    "more than enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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