I tried on several occasion to get through this book but my ears could not take the narrator. I listened to about 2.5 hours over three days in the hopes that over time I might adjust but not only is her reading bland and boring but her inflection at the end of almost EVERY sentence is so distracting that it's all I hear.
Even my fiance picked up on it within about a minute of listening. Normally if I don't like the reader I can adjust and eventually finish the book and or come around, but I have no intentions of even trying to get through the rest of this book. I also have no intentions of EVER purchasing or listening to anything else by Cassandra Morris and will be writing some feedback to Macmillan audio. Not just for continuing to switch readers (Books 1-3 were a different publishing company, but 4-7 are macmillan and there are 3 readers) but also for failing to do anything even resembled listening to the final product. Words with the same spelling but have different meanings when pronounced differently were inproperly read. (E.g. Bow - as in bow and arrow or to bow up one's chest). This lack of attention to detail AND terrible narration make this the first book audiobook (out of about 100) that I couldn't finish. Hopefully someone reads this prior to putting any $$$ in Macmillons pocket!!!
BLUF (Bottom Line Ip Front) It's way to early in this spy series for the author to revert to such a cliche spy storyline.
Story: The title pretty much says it and without giving it away, you can probably guess what's going to happen in the first few chapters. I know I did, yet I was hoping against hope that the auther wouldn't go with such a cliche route for his storyline. Especially since I was very excited with Ben Coes forst book "Power Down." I thought it was well written and a very unique storyline that I hadn't seen approached before. Since then his books have gotten more and more predictable and have quickly fallen into the "vanilla" spy genre. I'm not sure if he's trying to make publisher dealines or what, but effectively I could have written the storyline to this novel and I'm not creative in any way. Mr. Coes spend a lot of words describing weapons by name, yet he employs them in a capacity they aren't rated for (A dragonov sniper rifle, effective at 1600m, come on!). To me these are all sins of hurried work, and coupled with a lackluster plot, he's now on my list of authors to read when I've got nothing else.
Narrator: At least the publisher kept the same narrator and Mr. Hermann delivers again. Great job.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) - This book is the equivilent to "Speaker for the Dead" to the Ender's Game series. It's about diplomacy NOT war.
Story: I highly recommend the first four books of the Old Man's War (OMW) series as they were amazing. This book has nothing to with those books only that it occurs in a time period after the OMW series. The OMW series had action, war, fighting, etc, this book has NONE of that. It has entirely new characters and is about the Colonial Union (The humans that operate in space) trying to get the human's on earth to side with them and not the Conclave (The alien equivilent of the United Nations). It's not a bad story it's just not that exciting. The only exciting parts are when the 1 Colonial Union soldier (Lt Wilson) is involved and actually doing something. Follow-on books hold potential to be better, but this storyline was lacking.
Narrator: Kudo's for keeping the same reader as the previous four books and William Dufris does a great job. My only complaint is that (and I don't fully understand what the narrators script looks like) even thought the narrator used different voice inflections for different characters, they didn't remove any of the "John said" then "Sally said" for conversations. It became very distracting and it's not something that I've noticed in any of the other 200 audiobooks I've read. So I don't know if the producers usually remove that verbiage or if the author just did a poor job of writting, but it's the reason I only gave 4 stars.
The "twists" that the authors puts in this book are weak at best, especially when you consider how poorly written the third book is. Save your time and credits and make up your own ending to the story...trust me it will be better.
Don't waste your time. I got ove half way through this book and realized that I just don't care what happens. The writing is so poor. Through the course of three books the author has failed to develop antagonist and the "love triangle" is and continues to be completely forced and unbelievable. Save your credits and your time...
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Bad call having a female narrator trying to portray a male "Dom" and what could the female lead possibly see in this loser of a young millionaire??
Plot: I can't believe the hype behind this trilogy. In the day and age of a women wanting to be treated as equals I can't believe why the main character kept coming back to this clown of a millionaire. The authors portrays her as not having an interest in his money yet throughout the entire book he treats her like trash and she keeps coming back for more. I only finished the book because I was expecting a killer ending (due to the rave reviews and top seller status) but the book definitely left me wanting....that is ...the 20 hours of my life back!
Narrator: I don't blame the narrator so much as the producer. I understand that generally books written by females have female narrators and vice versa. In this case they should have deviated from the norm (as J.R. Ward did with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series). I understand we're following around a female and it's written from her POV, but when read by a female the main male character was portrayed as a weak, little boy that had his lunch money stolen as a kid. I think a lot was lost in having a female try to create the voice of a Dom/Millionaire/"supposedly" B.A. guy. Just my two cents.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) This book pales in comparison to the first two! The narration is spot on, but after having waited months for the final book in the trilogy I'm left disappointed and wondering what it was about the first two books I liked?!? I'd relate this book to Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy) as yet another example of a great series that was ruined by lack of creativity and a lackluster ending.
Plot: As I've indicated above this book was nothing special. It did not captivate me as a reader and I never felt like I "couldn't out it down." The second book set's the stage for some main character conflict between the men in her life, but like everything in the book it never gains momentum and simply peters out.
Thoughout the book the author shifts between Lena and Hana's perspective, which adds a fun dynamic to the book, but at the end (NEXT 2 SENTENCE ARE A POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT) of the book doesn't really answer any questions that the reader might have. You're left to believe that all of these mind altered "zombies" are simply ok with the outcome and no desire to fight back.
Narrator: Great job. A little confusing at the beginning as she shifted from Lena to Hana's point of view, but once I understand that was how the book was written, it all came togather.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) Great storyline that is VERY well narrated. It's very hard to capture 34 hours of listening in a couple sentence review. All I can say is by the end you'll be jonesing for the second book.
Plot: This book is the first of a seven (planned) book series. Mr. Martin published the first three books over a four year period. Books four and five have each taken five years to write. This book is essentially the catalyst (from what I can tell as I have only finished one book) for the rest of the series.
The books is set in an "old england" time but in a somewhat "magical" realm. The characters do not posses superhuman abilities by any means but they believe their gods do which adds an interesting twist as you try to decipher what is "real" and what is just a tall tale, within this make believe realm. The story is centered around the Starke family who rule the most northern region of the 7 kingdoms. The King of the 7 kings comes to ask Lord Starke to be his right hand man which ends up geographically separating the family all over the realm. As the story progress the plot is presented through the eyes of each individual family member. There are sub plots that are running simultaneously which at first contact seem to only make the storyline more confusing but as he moves along you can see how they may be ultimately tied in.
Narrator: Amazing!!! At first it was very difficult for me to understand what he was saying and I almost stopped listening because I really had to pay close attention. The list of characters is LONG and everyone has a name that sounds similar to the last and is completely different than most anything you've ever heard. Since I am usually doing something while listening it took me about 10 hours before I really got all of the characters down. Either way Mr. Dotrice does an amazing job with his voice inflections and the production of the book was first class. Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators and Mr. Dotrice is as good if not better.
This is not my best review because the plot has soo many sub plots that still are not even remotely tied together that it's hard to point to exactly what is important. All I can say is this is not (IMHO) a science fiction book in the sense that there are unicorns and magicians running around, but it has enough undertones to keep the hardcore sci-fi fans entertained while still appealing to a large crowd. Give this book a try it's definitely worth it!!!
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) I had previously passed on the first 5 Vince Flynn novels because Audible did not have them in an Unabridged format. When I saw they did I jumped on the opportunity and this book did not disappoint. It's no surprise that Mitch Rapp has been such a huge success for Flynn because this was a great start to the series.
Plot: If you've read/listened to any Flynn books this does not deviate from the standard. Middle Eastern terrorists have taken over the White House and with the President locked inside one of the WH safe rooms the fate of all the individuals trapped inside is riding on the shoulders of an incompetent Vice President who's sole concern is getting elected as POTUS once the crisis is over. With heads butting between the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and Military this book has it all as they race against time to save the President and minimize hostage casualties.
Narrator: Not a bad performance, but unfortunately I've been spoiled by Mr. George Guidall, who narrates the last 7 books in the series. As with most audio books there are several mispronunciations of military terms, the only major one is; the snipers use a .50 cal Barret (pronounced BEAR-et - NOT - "barrette" - like for your hair). Not a big deal but a weapon that can reach out and touch someone a mile away should be given it's proper pronunciation! 8-)
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) - This was just an OK performance by Ward. This is NOT a book you can't put down. The scene setting takes about 8 hours and then the plot twists and turns start to unveil themselves, and though not as graphic there are as many male-on-male "interactions" as there are between the two main characters.
Plot - Though the storyline took a while to develop there were some interesting twists at the end. I have to say that while there were a few things that caught me "off-guard" Wards books have started to become more predictable. I would speculate that trying to push out 1 book per year in 3 series (Byrd, BDB & Angels) as opposed to 1 (BDB) has something to do with it. And as mentioned in the title and BLUF, now there are even more gay/bi-sexual characters in her storyline. So now of the 7 Angels recurring in this storyline 4 of them have homosexual tendencies. I don't have an issue with homosexuals I just don't particularly want to read about it. If making all of her characters gay/bi-sexual (Blay/Qhuinn, the 4 from this book, Vishous, etc) is the "twist" that Ward is going to use to keep her books interesting I think I'll find a new author. I will definitely wait for some written reviews before I pick up the next book in the series!!!
Narrator - Awesome job. As with any good audiobook they brought back the same narrator from the previous two books and Mr. Dove does a great job. He is quickly working his way to the top of my list of favorite narrators.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) Not one of the best Mercy Thompson books, this was a quick listen that progressed along nicely but was definitely one her best.
Plot: As with the previous novels, this one explores the "supernatural" aspects of the Native Americans. As Mercy and Adam head away for their honeymoon there is little interaction with some of our other favorite characters from other books. Light is shed on Mercy's past and a knock down drag out battle between the Native Americans and a river monster ensue, but the ends of these books are starting to get a little predictable (SPOILER BELOW).
Narrator: No complaints, Lorelei King is back and none of the voices changed!!! Two thumbs up for Penguin Audio!
SPOILER ALERT - read AFTER listening!
I think someone needs to explain to Ms. Briggs the difference between a "staff" and a "crutch." I'm not sure exactly when (which book) the wooden staff started showing up at a time of crisis, but come on, it's getting way too predictable. Mercy's in trouble, needs a weapon, POOF staff is in her hand. She loses it, POOF it's back underneath her. Hopefully coyote has run off the thing and it won't show up again, but why do I believe the entire next book is going to be dedicated to the origins of the staff and why the river monsters blood has turned it bad?!?
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