I had just started this novel, but after the first two minutes I almost deleted it. I have listened to many a novel, but never have I heard a reader gasp for breath as Culp does. It is distracting listening to him grab breaths between sentences. Also, the accents he uses do not always convey the nationality or sex for which he is trying. I will continue listening because a) I bought it already and b) I love the series, but I won't buy another with Mr Culp narrating it.
Someone who doesn't think...
It seemed as though Reacher was 'reaching' for a reason to to destroy the bad guys in this book. One far-fetched scenario after another as he explored his theories; most of which didn't pan out. Vaugh was not believable as a cop. She was there just to act as a sounding board for Reacher's reason for doing all kinds of bizarre things, which she eventually agreed with despite all common-sense or ethical duty to the contrary.
Only the bomb at the end made all the effort worth while and it almost seemed an after thought. No huge conspiracy theory that the novel was building up to. Just a dumbass preacher who wanted to speed up the Rapture. *Reacher* went ahead a detonated it for satisfaction mostly - creating a huge environmental hazard for no good reason or even seeming to consider the effects. Put a chain link fence around it and all will be ok... That will surely keep out the critters and curious kids of the future.
The treks between Hope and Despair were just plain boring. I usually only like unabridged novels, but this one could have made a 2 hour abridged version easily...
Dick Hill's performance was as good as usual.
Many of the descriptions about the army paper work or processes that might happen in a given scene and just about all the verbose traveling between Hope and Despair and around despair.
Less 'bad-guy' ruminations, more actions, and tying up loose threads. Maybe I drifted off where he let us know what happened to the two kids whose dad is in jail? I can't bear to go listen to the last half of the book again to find out if I fell asleep thru some of it. Also, I wonder if his contract says he is getting paid by the word? This book at best would have been a novella for the usual writer.
He needs to go re-read Basilisk station and some of his earlier books to remind himself of how he used to write. I was one of the ones who waited impatiently for his books to come out and always purchased them in hard back. I was one of the fans who helped make him so popular. Now he seems to feel as though he can sit back and rest on his laurels and we, mindless sheep that we are, will continue to buy his repackaged placeholders.
He probably should have just stopped this series when Honor made Admiral. He has lessened her involvement and gotten much more fascinated with all the politics he has conjured up. So, he extends the story arc further and further, but not in a good way. Honor is a ghost of herself even in the books that supposedly center on her.
In our day and age, Honor would have been elderly or dead by now and the story could have been picked up with one of the young ones - adding youthful enthusiasm, mistakes and derring-do back in the mix. But with pro-long, Honor keeps on keeping on and what else can he say about her? He had to find something else to write about to keep his sheep buying the books so he turned to politics. But, David, politics should just be a short part of the back story - not the main story. We buy them because we love the humanity, compassion, decisiveness, and actions involved in the conflicts and space battles. It is good to know why they are fighting, but we want less rambling on about the thoughts that this bad guy or that bureaucrat has and more of the actions that make a book exciting.
I always like Honor and Mike.
Most of the bad guy scenes, every other word whenever we are in the mind of a bureaucrat or bad guy.
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