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Gavin

Member Since 2008

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Assassin: An Alex Hawke Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ted Bell
    • Narrated By John Shea
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (288)

    A shadowy figure known as the Dog is believed to be the ruthless terrorist who is systematically and savagely assassinating American diplomats and their families around the globe. As the deadly toll mounts inexorably, Hawke, along with former NYPD cop and Navy SEAL Stokely Jones, is called upon by the U.S. government to launch a search for the assassin behind the murders.

    Matthew says: "made for the movies"
    "Yikes"
    Overall

    If you enjoyed Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille... Don't listen to this book. It's not even close to the same level of craft work as those authors. Ted Bell is technically sound. He writes very well. If only the actual plot and characters held your attention for more than 20 seconds.

    The story jumps from one only-vaguely-interesting scene to another, rarely with any sort of gratifying payoff. The action scenes, whenever they finally came, were amusing enough. Hardly a complete book by any means: lacking in character, narrative, intrigue, development...

    And I'm sorry, but I don't even like the main character. The review mentions that Alex Hawke makes Bond look like a "slovenly, dull-witted clockpuncher". I couldn't disagree more. He's got all the sharp wit of a wet noodle. I found the main character a pedantic, pretentious, pompous pretender.

    The only character I actually liked was Stokley Jones.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9783)
    Performance
    (4728)
    Story
    (4756)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Suzanne says: "The scare is in the human nature under stress."
    "Great book, until the final plot is revealed"
    Overall

    Warning! Spoiler in review!!!:


    Let say that this was an amazing book! I have never read or listened to a Stephen King book previously, and perhaps that is partially why I found this book extremely disappointing at the end.

    Everything was chugging along great until the book took a totally awkward and very juvenile tact towards extreme alien-style sci-fi. Obviously the Dome itself is a bit sci-fi, but I was holding out hope for a more logical explanation of "secret government conspiracy" or "the dome really wasn't there all along" or something else, maybe even something less concrete, and ending where it is never fully explained. But the whole "oh, it was aliens" part kind of pissed me off. That's a really easy way to wrap up the book, almost too easy.

    And my biggest complaint is the total lack of resolution between Barby and Big Jim!! Just as the final climax was coming, the book totally cops out with an Armageddon sequence, and pretty much crawls to a halt after the bomb goes off.

    It's a good book, and specifically in the are of length. I always love a really, really long book with a lot going on. This fit the bill. Humanoid aliens especially really turn me off. Total snorfest in my opinion. But I am sure other readers have come to expect that from Stephen King, so I can't fault him for doing what he does best.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Angels and Demons

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (6140)
    Performance
    (1724)
    Story
    (1749)

    World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization, the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra.

    Phillip says: "I couldn't put it down...5 STARS"
    "If you desperately need to kill 20 or so hours..."
    Overall

    If you desperately need to kill 20 or so hours, and you can't find another book to kill said time, I would give this a shot.

    Other than that... meh. I was kind of shocked at how formulaic the entire book was, as if he patterned the entire opening sequence off of Da Vinci Code. It was basically all down-hill from there.

    One of my biggest complaints is that the concept at the center of the book, this dichotomous 'war' between "Church" and "Science", was pretty base. Felt like I was back in highschool, drinking at a party debating religion with someone.

    He also didn't really develop his characters in meaningful ways.

    From concept to execution, mediocre at best. And I actually recalled enjoying Da Vinci Code. Perhaps I was just younger back then..

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Bob Woodward
    • Narrated By Boyd Gaines
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Bob Woodward examines how the Bush administration avoided telling the truth about Iraq to the public, to the Congress, and often to themselves in State of Denial. Woodward's third book on President Bush is a sweeping narrative from the first days George W. Bush thought seriously about running for president, through the recruitment of his national security team, the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the struggle for political survival in the second term.

    Chris says: "Concerning and hard to put down"
    "Interesting, ejoyable"
    Overall

    The book was great to read. Ultimately we will never know how accurate or inaccurate Woodward's Bush-era books have been. But if he at least hits on 50% of his information I will have been very glad to read his book.

    You don't have to be against Bush to find value in this book. Some people surely will only this read to affirm what they have already made up in their minds about the former President. But I think it paints a deeper character of Bush, in a good way in many cases, than the 2D image you get while he is in office and shielded from real media encounters.

    In an abstract sense, it is also provides great insight into how the behind the scene agency interactions have a great effect on the course of our nation. It gives life and character to the leaders of our bureaucracy in a way that can only help prepare each of us for the role of informed citizens we have to play out in our Democracy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Split Second

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3455)
    Performance
    (1670)
    Story
    (1668)

    Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

    John says: "Listen again"
    "Run of the Mill"
    Overall

    I have never read Baldacci, but listening to his audiobook was somewhat underwhelming and frustrating. Overall, I enjoyed listening to this book. If you like the genre, it's worth a credit. There are many books I would listen to over this, in hindsight, but I did enjoy the experience.

    That said, let me point out some faults from my own opinion:

    1) The Narration didn't seem to always match what the character should be feeling. Brick's tonalities were downright annoying, and I didn't really get the accents. He didn't help this book along by any means. I've heard good things about his narration but was not impressed.

    2) The actual writing in the book is only okay. Baldacci has creativity and imagination, but his delivery wasn't anything that blew me away.

    3) The plot itself was intriguing, the world and character grew larger and really captivated you. But towards the end of the book that sphere shrank and you were left with a convoluted "let's tie every character together" series of twists. I also guessed the main villian behind the events about halfway through the book, which is always annoying to me. Baldacci didn't give you enough to go on to be able to put even 1/4 of the intricately linked storyline together, but the main guy was easy to spot for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Associate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1763)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (355)

    Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father's small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn't want, even if it's a job most law students can only dream about....

    JoAnn says: "Good, but not nearly as good as The Firm""
    "aweful"
    Overall


    This is incredibly overrated, I hope all of Grisham's books aren't like this. It was just terrible. There were so many fundamental things that were out of whack with this story, and was incredibly anti-climactic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Consent to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3654)
    Performance
    (1676)
    Story
    (1687)

    For years, Mitch Rapp's bold actions have saved the lives of countless Americans. His battles for peace and freedom have made him a hero to many, and an enemy to countless more. In the tangled, duplicitous world of espionage, there are those, even among America's allies, who want to see Mitch Rapp eliminated. They have decided the time has come.

    Timothy says: "One of the Best Stories I've Ever Heard"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall

    I liked the inter-departmental play between the agencies, Mitch Rapp was a very likable character and the plot was fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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