I found this book to be pretty boring. Rather than focusing on spycraft or politics it mainly focuses on the main character's sappy romance. Ignatius is an ok writer, but I simply felt that this book was sold as a CIA spy novel and turned out to be something completely different. I turned it off 1/2 way through.
Dick Hill is usually one of my favorite narrators, but I didn't feel he read this book particularly well. For those of you that can't stand Dick Hill, you will definitely not enjoy his work on this book.
I'm shocked that people seem to like this book. I couldn't even finish it... getting about halfway through before finally giving up.
The main character has no development and seems like a cardboard cut-out. He has a prosthetic arm and for some reason the author is obsessed with it. At first I thought he was simply using the fake arm as some sort of analogy to Jim Chapel being a "broken" man, but in all honesty the arm is probably the most interesting character of of the entire book.
So our hero Jim Chapel... who as you will hear over and over is missing an arm, is for some inexplicable reason chosen as the ONE person to go flying all over the country looking for some virus-carrying mutants. The whole world ends if they infect anyone. So the US Govt picks a wounded desk jockey who hasn't been in action in years to find these weirdos. But wait... Jim isn't told anything about his mission! We're told over and over how important the mission is...but Jim can't be told anything because of the "need to know". It's one of the absolute dumbest set-ups I've read in a long time.
The rest of what I read was Jim bumbling around the country looking for these mutants. He saves a girl...they fall in love... it's just a mess of a novel.
Did I mention the dialogue? It's probably the worst part of the book. Stilted and tired, the dialogue is horrid. Made only worse by the narration because the narrator makes Jim Chapel sound EXACTLY like John Wayne. His other "voices" are not much better and he reads the entire book about 20% slower than he should...enunciating each and every syllable of the bad dialogue.
I assume the last half of the book was just as bad as the first half... in fact, it was only getting worse when I quit listening.
I love Jonathan Mayberry's Joe Ledger series and this sounded like it could be a fun listen in that vein. It isn't. Mayberry's prose is Shakespeare compared to this novel.
As a big fan of Correia's Monster Hunter series, I thought I would give his Grimnoir series a try. Fantasy of this sort isn't my favorite genre and the alternative 1930's timeframe has been done many times but all in all it's a good story. Correia does a very good job of providing a framework of magic that makes logical sense instead of just declaring that magic exists and that's that.
The narration on the other hand just about made me quit listening. I got used to Bronson Pinchot's odd inflections and accents after awhile but I don't know if I could get through another book using him. He makes the main character Jake sound like a backwoods idiot and provides an redneck-hick accent to many characters where it doesn't belong.
Personally, I would recommend the print version over the audio.
Honestly, I really wasn't sure when I purchased this book that I would like it. I don't care for "light" fantasy type stuff at all but the reviews just raved about it so I gave it a shot. I am so glad I did... what a great series. This is one of those books that make you enjoy traffic because you're able to listen longer. It's honestly one of the most entertaining books I've listened to since the last Joe Ledger novel (if you enjoy the Joe Ledger series by Mayberry you'll love this).
The author never takes this book too seriously... there's plenty of humor throughout and the man knows how to pace a novel. The action starts within a few pages and never lets up. This is not meant to be a work of literary genius, it's a summer action book and the author understands this. Don't get me wrong, he can actually write too... but he understands that the pacing and action is first and foremost and does this very well. It also helps that the author is a firearms expert and it shows with his detail to the firearms throughout the book.
Narration is well done for the most part. He loses a star because he sometimes make the main character sound too much like a stoned surfer, but most of the other voices he does very well. While he does "act" out the book, it's usually not over the top.
Highly recommended series.
The premise of this book is better than the actual product. It has some funny moments and I really enjoyed the first half. Then it just starts getting kind of silly. Considering that there are three "codas" at the end (I enjoyed the first, but the other two I eventually skipped over) there isn't much here for the money.
Wil Wheaton was an obvious choice to narrate, but honestly he doesn't do a particularly great job at it. He tries but it would have been better to have a true voice actor do the narration.
A collection of short stories from Playboy magazine jammed together into a book, these stories are simply boring and trite. The narration by actor Robert Forster is hammy and overdone. Not recommended.
I really enjoyed the first two books of this series. They are long, but you really get to know the characters and I enjoy the detailed accounts of how the politics and operations work. But this third book will probably be my last in this series. At least 1/2 the book is spent bringing in new characters and then having the protagonist explain what's happened in the previous stories....over and over and over. There isn't much here, maybe a 1/3 of the book is "new" stuff. With decent editing the The Hostage and this book could have easily been combined into one good story.
The only bright spot was Dick Hill's narration. I noticed a few comments that they didn't care for him. I thought he was brilliant... really brings the story (what story there is) to life and helps to keep the cast of characters understandable through different accents and voices.
I've read and enjoyed a number of James Bond novels, but I could not get into this at all. I just don't find that the Bond stories work well within a short story format. I was bored throughout.
The narrator does a decent job, but his American accent is laughable.
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