Thank you, Jim Butcher, for crafting characters that grow with each respective book. Book 8 is 8 times as good as Book 1. But it's because we have 7 previous books with you've built from. The narration is excellent, as is the character development, as is the story: engaging and humorous and gripping...and a helluva a lot of fun to listen to. I pay for each of these, but each is a gift! Imagin that: being happy with a gift that I've paid for!!!
This book meanders. It's in need of a stronger outline, to truly direct the reader from chapter and a narrator that doesn't sound like somebody's docile grandpa.
This book, as well, may be better intended for those on the periphery of dog interest and not someone who's truly into dogs and has developed his or her own perspective of canines. As I am of the latter camp, I found the author's tone at times to be off-putting and annoying, frankly.
Can you pick up nuggets of info? Yes, but because of the outline (or lack thereof), and because of the narrator, and because of the author's voice (tone), I found it to be a huge disappointment in what I was hoping for.
This was a very enjoyable escape; I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. Not only is the story itself wonderfully engaging, gripping, comic and tragic, but the narration itself, by Vikas Adam, has to be one of the best readings I've ever heard -- and I've heard many. Vikas' command of the characters, and their voices -- amazingly in childhood and adulthood -- is superb. I can only hope he reads other books that I have an interest in.
As for the story itself: it's a fairy tale, a modern-age fairy tell in an urban environment that grabs on tightly to its roots in the netherworld. I have a hard time describing it, and the only thing that comes close is to think if the Brothers Grimm time-traveled into our present age, to write a fairy tale that intermixes the beauty and harshness of the fairy world with the beauty and harshness of present-day urban America.
My only hope now is that if AMC were to ever make this into a series, please consider Steve Buscemi as the Fallen Angel Bertrand. :)
I enjoyed the plot of Kill Decision. Very gripping. Daniel Suarez is at his best in describing techologies of our day and the extent that they could be used to horrific effects. He is a master at this, and this plot is very, very engaging. His characters in this book tend to veer to the two-dimensional side, so you will get the "stoic hero", etc...as much depth as a set of Star Trek characters, but that's not a slam, so much: sometimes a story is gripping with thin characters going in. It's simply "light" in this area.
Aside from characterizations, I'd say the weakest thing is the narration: the narrator is not bad, just generic. He has all the charm of someone reciting the fine print of the side effects in a prescription drug commercial. His accents are odd and confusing and takes one away from the story line.
Should you get this book? Sure, if you want a taut, gripping thriller with a believable yet fantastic way one is using current tech. Just understand the light characters and the lackluster narration.
Between the voice of the narrator and the plodding of the narrative, I just couldn't get through this book. Ugh.
That's my review for this book: Ugh.
This felt not so much like a novel but a long treatment for a proposed television series, ala something from the JJ Abrams universe.
The story was interesting, but there weren't any early hooks in the first part of the book that would make me want to care about what happened. Perhaps an early partial reveal would have helped but would have been, by far, much better, was an investment in character development. I don't care about what happens to any of these characters. I don't know their back stories, and so, I don't care. We're given caricatures, instead of actual characters: the underachieving lead, the former secretive CIA type, the nerdy woman of Indian decent... these and the others are all two dimensional, but they didn't have to be.
As for the story itself, yes, it is somewhat entertaining, but it's only carried forward by narration and dialogue. And, while the dialogue can be witty and fun sometimes, it's not enough to carry this story in a form that would make me want to care about it.
But, I've heard worse, and this by far is not that. If you want a brainless candy bar, then this could be your next book. And,there is nothing wrong with brainless candy bars. You just don't want to eat them as your sole sustenance. Such is, I guess, this book.
Whereas the The Passage seemed sprawling and meandering (in a very good way), The Twelve is, equally epic, is much tighter in terms of the novel's overall goal and how it gets the reader there. Like the first book, this book is filled with wonderful characters: the old ones from the first book return, along with characters only lightly mentioned in the first book and some brand new ones as well. And, it's the characters -- their development, their interaction, their growth, that makes them so compelling. Combine this strong sense of character development with a gripping plot structure, and you have what makes for an excellent audiobook. And, with Scott Brick as narrator, well, the guy could read the White Pages and make it a gripping listen. Scott Brick knows how to narrate.
So, there you have it: gripping story, fantastic sense of character development, and a narrator who knows how to tell a story (not as easy as it sounds). The total package is, well, one helluva story. Enjoy!
I haven't seen the movie yet; I wanted to finish the book before doing so. Also, I'm going to make the assumption that you understand the basic nested-story premise of the book. Each individual story is excellent: well-narrated, solid story telling, a joy to listen to.
The challenge, however, for me, was in listening to it, as opposed to reading it, I fear I may have lost some of the subtle nuances that connect each "novella" to each other, and to me, the big mystery of this book (and why I downloaded it) is that almost invisible structure that connects one story to the next.
I've downloaded and listened to a lot of audiobooks. I'm a big fan of them, but this may be the first one I've listened to where, despite the solid writing and the solid narrations from ALL narrators, that I may have been better served reading it.
However, if you want six, very interesting stories and are not as concerned about what connects one to the other, then please download.
Bottom line: very good listen, but the audio format may not be best for the subtleties in the text.
Enjoy, either way!
Very nice, escapist story. Enjoyed a lot. The narrator was OK, but some of his dialects were a little difficult for him. The story was good too, although the front end could use some tightening. But overall, certainly worth a credit.
This is my first Vince Flynn novel, and it was what I had expected, and what I wanted at the time: a mindless political espionage thriller with a bit of predictability. If this is what you want, it won't fail you. If you need characters crafted in three dimensions, you won't find it here. The characters here, from heroic Mitch Rapp to smarmy Dallas King are two-dimensional archetypes reciting predictable dialogue. The terrorists, as well, are two-dimensional as well, providing little in the realm of creativity or inventiveness. BUT, if an audiobook can be termed as junk food, then this had a satisfying empty-calorie feel to it.
I saw a few reviews of this book that dismissed it as "too literary," but those folks miss the point. Purely on its value as a story, driven by two distinct characters -- a boy and his father -- this is a tight, gripping and engaging story. It was actually a book I wanted to read but didn't want to read because I knew, without knowing anything, that the ending would be hard. And it was a hard ending, but it was true.
I also have a great admiration for Mr. McCarthy for his sparse writing style. Every word is precise and filled with meaning and story. This could only have been created with constant writing, rewriting and whittling down to the barest of essentials. The narrator also did a great job, which is important...a lousy narration could have destroyed this.
It's worth a credit, and even if you're more of a genre fan, you'll enjoy this.
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