I really tried to like this story. I listened to a full 6 hours and 28 minutes before I finally gave up. While the blurb describes this as set in a dystopian future, it is clear that it is really written as part of some type of weird Sarah Palin election literature. While I quite happily munch my way through books set in the future, most have the advantage of being written for adults. This book, although audio, is clearly aimed at people with a limited reading age that need everything spelled out. Many times. On top of that I found it both patronising and utterly jingoistic. To crown it all, the characters are completely one-dimensional and utterly lacking in any redeeming features that would make the reader identify with them.
This book contains every tea party scare story that keeps Rush Limbaugh in a job. It is anti-european, anti-arab, anti-hispanic. I didn't get far enough in to see if it also manages to target the asians. In one sense, I could have forgiven all that if it was written well. It isn't. If you value thirteen hours of your life, I am sure you could spend it more productively than listening to this.
While this is definitely a book that falls into the ponderous genre, it still had just enough pace to keep me interested. It created a world that was full of detail and it seemed very real. Yet it is is not perfectly formed. When the last chapter finished I had to look at the paper version to see if something had gone wrong. While some may call the ending different, it has all the hallmarks of a student rushing a paper where they have run out of time. I was left dissatisfied.
To finish on a positive note, the reader of this book was excellent, getting the many accents spot on.
I had not stumbled across the Gray Man series before but am looking forward to reading or listening to the rest of the series.
This is a good yarn with loads of action. Like all action hero stories, you suspend belief and roll along on the tide of excitement.
The story is topical, set in the nightmare that is Mexico's drug wars. While it certainly would not feature on the Mexican Tourist Board's series of recommended reading, it did evoke a nice picture of parts of the country.
Villains were plentiful and were not simply stereotyped by ethnicity. There was no moralisation or sense that we were being preached at by the author.
The reader was excellent and did a great job.
All in all this was very entertaining and well worth a listen. The reason I did not give it 5 stars is because, as I write, a week after finishing the book, it is already fading fast.
Its hard to believe that a book about astronomy, by an astronomer, could stir up any emotion exceeding casual interest. Yet I found this book both entertaining and occasionally riveting. While intensely personal at times, the book is fundamentally about the passion of a driven scientist.While blessed with a position that allowed access to the best tools of the trade, what separates the author from the mainstream is his ability to make best use of what was available. This book straddles detail, but not of a technical variety, with an overview that is specific enough to keep it interesting. The key sub-story of academic intrigue is genuinely telling, as well as really gripping. I was thinking of buying the book to give to a nine year old that is excited by the subject, but I think think that the personal parts might put him off. Maybe next year.
It is not too long and plays well at double speed. All in all, well worth listening to.
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