As is evidenced by my other reviews, I'm hardly a book critic or a literary connoisseur, but I sure do love me some Jack Ryan. The plot arc that starts in Sum of Fears finds ends well in The Bear and the Dragon.
It appears that several of these Jack Ryan books are available in duplicate versions, ones read by Scott Brick and one by Michael Pritchard. I enjoy both authors, but suggest that as much as you can, stick to one narrator or the other; it does greatly help with the flow.
I appreciate that Kim Harrison elected to wind this series down before it could get too stale. This is a satisfying conclusion to the series, and wraps up many loose ends very conveniently. I don't think it's POSSIBLE to write a perfect ending for an entire cast of characters, but I think that this book comes as close as possible. I hope to catch glimpses of some of these characters in the future, but I appreciate a clean ending to an enjoyable series.
Where to begin. The overblown prose. The repetition of phrases like "my bones are breaking" and all it's possible variances - "my legs are broken", "my legs are breaking", "my spine is breaking", "my spine cracks", "every bone in my body breaks". And the melting - "I'm melting", "I melt", "my body melts". And the descriptions of a supporting characters eyes, which are "buckets of rainwater" "buckets of water" "buckets of river water, and I want to cry into them".
Whoever produced this book also made the rather crazy decision to include a sound effect between nearly every sentence; it's like an indrawn whooping gasp, like the sound you make when a car runs over your foot. At one point, early on, the narrator repeats "I'm not insane" over and over, with that sucking sound between each repetition, for a little over 30 seconds. It doesn't sound like a lot of time, but when you're listening to it, 30 seconds is a torturously long stretch.
The protagonist is a sniveling, whiny mess, who falls instantly in love with a boy. I'm not saying the girl has no right to snivel and whine, but it makes for dull, frustrating reading.
Yes. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, though.
Nobody needs to be cut, just edited.
I'm so glad that Audible has introduced the ability to get a refund on books, because this was a complete waste of my credit.
I've been a very big fan of this author's work for a long time, so I recommend him to anyone I know who likes this particular genre. His books are interesting, well, written, and though fictional, do a lovely job of showing what the world was like during the war.
Worth a credit, worth a listen!
I often struggle with buying audiobooks from first time writers, because I've been burned way too often. Thus, I bought this book with really low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
I think the best part of it was the choice to have multiple narrators. I found it exceptionally wonderful to listen to these three narrate this story, and what's more, it really complements the way author wrote each character both as they see themselves, and as others see them. That's a clumsy way to describe it, but when you hear it, it will make perfect sense.
I don't read historical fiction so that I can learn about history, but I really do enjoy being able to get a sense of a place and time other than my own here and now. This book does a wonderful job of taking you then and there, and shows you what life is like from more than one point of view.
Worth a credit, worth a listen, and looking forward to book 2!
When this book first came out, I somehow got the idea that it was about the Kennedy assassination, and was one of the author's essays, even though it was classed as fiction.
I am a moron.
Though the Kennedy assassination is the backdrop for this book, ultimately, this is King, probably at his very best. I've been reading SK novels since I was really, really young, and the thing that's always struck me is how easy it is to develop a "relationship" with King's characters, even the throwaway one or two paragraph characters (like Victor Pascow from Pet Sematary).
The characters in this book are ALL like that. They matter. I can't describe it any better than that. Even though they're almost all fictional, these people matter, and could really exist.
Probably the tiny little crossover with the book IT, where the protagonist from this novel crosses paths with some of the characters from that novel.
He was the perfect choice for this book. Perfect.
Both, at different times.
Worth a credit, worth a listen.
No. The problem isn't the genre, and really, the book had great potential, except for two things; one, this is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, a technothriller - if that's what you're after, try Daniel Suarez' Daemon. The second issue, I'll explain later.
Luke Daniels did a fantastic job with all of the voices, particularly with Bub.
Frustration. The second part of the reason I think this book is a failure is that the pacing is really messed up, and the characters are a bunch of selfish morons.
The protagonist is a linguist who speaks 30 languages, but the day he shows up, before he does a single thing, suddenly the reason he's been called there evaporates. There is literally no reason for the protagonist to be a skilled linguist. He could have been a cook or an architect and the story would have been pretty much the same.
The way the characters are developed is pretty good, and the prose is also pretty good, but the whole book has the feeling of being hugely abridged; we spend the first half of the book learning who these people are and why they do what they do, and then they start dying gruesome, quick deaths. This only works if you are George RR Martin, and even then, it feels like a waste of my time.
Pretty much every single character there does something incredibly, irretrievably idiotic, tantamount to hearing a scream from the basement and going downstairs armed with a hairbrush.
Luke Daniels is a really great narrator; I look forward to picking up other books read by him!
It's probably in the top ten, and over the years, I've probably purchased about 400 or so.
I'm not entirely sure this IS comparable to anything. I suppose, if anything, it could be the bastard child of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Good (enough for fiction) science, a funny, interesting story, with a perfectly chosen narrator.
Not sure, but he does a fantastic job here!
If you've ever seen the movie Apollo 13, there's one scene where the engineers on Earth are sitting in a room when some people come in with cardboard boxes and dump them on the table and say "This is what they have on the spacecraft - make air scrubbers out of it." This book is essentially a longer version of that - problem solving your way off of a hostile planet. It is incredibly well done, and I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to lately.
Facts Are Fun!
I appreciated that the book was based on historical facts, but not dry and uninteresting.
Great as always!
Though this book is non-fiction, the facts are still so interesting that it's occasionally hard to believe that these things actually happened.
I don't think so. The book is great, and the narration is excellent, but it isn't the sort of book that makes you THINK. Several of the authors' other stories are worth listening to several times, because they're complex and layered, and you always hear something a little different the second and third times you listen.
This book isn't like that; it's satisfying as it is, but not complex enough to require a second listen.
The fact that this book was released in 1993, right around the time that cell phones first hit the retail market, and yet the technology in it feels very "now".
Being that I'm not British, I'm not sure how authentic any of his accents are, but to my Canadian ear, they SOUND perfect, and every character is distinguishable from the others.
The characters are shallow; the reader isn't given any reason to care about them or like them, or root for them. The protagonist is a Disney princess; she's saccharine sweet and frightened (for a good cause, I should add) but shallow as a pond.
I think the most distressing thing about the book is that it had SO MUCH POTENTIAL. The world is interesting, and the protagonists' powers are interesting. When a story has this much potential, and falls short, it's harder to deal with than if everything about the book sucked.
No, but I won't read any follow-ups by the same author. At first, I appreciated the fact that the story is about a scared young woman trying to find sanctuary, and that the world isn't full of supernatural characters trying to mate with humans. But nobody in the story is, in any way, likeable, except perhaps one abused little wolf-boy.
I didn't mind the narrator at all. I'd definitely listen to her again.
Not purchase any more books by this author.
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