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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
I liked the inter-departmental play between the agencies, Mitch Rapp was a very likable character and the plot was fun.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.