It is fairly rare that a series continued by a ghost author is as good as the original. Bourne Dominion is a case in point. It's long and a spook story, but that is where the similarities end. Ludlum was a master at developing complex plots and characters, infusing them with tension and still (usually) maintaining coherence. Van Lustbader is capable of neither. The plot is complex but poorly constructed and at times senseless. Characters are sometimes implausible (an uneducated blue collar worker is a member of and has knowledge of the most secret plans of an elitist organization?) and not rendered well. Even Bourne, whom we know well, is reduced to an almost comedic level. The production qualities are also a severe disappointment. A reader who only reads and does little to contribute to characters and worse to pace; and an insipid and annoying sound effect to alert us that fast paced action is occurring as if we weren't really listening at all make this a hard listen. I kept hoping it would get better, it didn't. Do yourself a favor. Don't.
I am addicted to Harry Bosch. I like his character, his style, his purpose, and his integrity. Connelly's work is pure escape artfully crafted and delivered - normally. Not so on this installment.
The story is okay, not one of Connelly's best but good never the less. The new characters lack depth but that can come with time. This listen suffers from one tragic flaw - the narration is horrid. Horrid! I cannot say that often or loud enough. Delivered in a flat monotone throughout with such poor character voices that I sometimes had to stop and ask which one was speaking, it is a chore to stick with it to the end. I'm not saying it is bad, I'm saying it is horrible. It absolutely sucks the life out of the story and the enjoyment out of the listening.
I've been listening to Audible books for five years and I've only put one book on the shelf before finishing it. If I wasn't so committed to Bosch this would have been number two.
I don't know where Len Cariou ran off to, but please find him quick. Send a plane, send a train, send a boat. Heck, send Harry to find him, but get him back!
A little escapism is good for all of us on occasion, and listening to Jonathan Graves' exploits certainly fills the bill. Translated: I like the series. Not so much on this one, however.
The story seems to drift from scene to scene without the kind of detail that enriches. Characters we know well don't seem to know each other at times; and while I appreciate the differing moral perspectives of Jonathan and Gail and how these conflicts leverage their relationship, I do not believe the themes are well developed. We are only shown shadows of what should be a major sub-plot that enriches the entire series.
That and a poorly constructed and rushed finale bothered me. Basil Sands, however, managed to irritate me from beginning to end. His voice does not have the timber this assignment calls for, and his characterizations (especially that of Boxer) are laughable. They are simplistic, sometimes crude, and poorly done. This fact alone robs the story of appeal. Add the weak story development and I rate this one low. I debated a 3 but just couldn't do it.
This is an excellent treatise on the life of a giant, and at the same time serves as a cautionary tale. It happened once, it can happen again. Only principled people living principled lives of courage stand in the way. In Bonhoeffer we are given a template to model. Few will have his intellect but all have the capacity to live their beliefs with integrity.
I must admit that I did not know much about Bonhoeffer going in, but what I did know intrigued me. On a personal quest to answer nagging questions about God's grace in our lives I decided to read this biography of the author of Costly Grace. To say that Bonhoeffer reached across the decades of history to rock my world puts it mildly.
My entire life I have wondered how German Christian's could have allowed Hitler to happen. Now I know, at least in part. For my entire life I have wondered why Christians did not stand against Evil. Now I know that some did.
The volume also does much to describe life in Germany during the war, something that is not all that common. I found it interesting as a view into the psyche of the German people of the time, albeit with a focus on the elite of German society owing to the Bonhoeffer family's position and influence.
All of that is interesting from a historical perspective, but this volume's most memorable impact is much deeper in my own experience. As a Christian I have of late been challenged by the common definition of Grace, and that has caused me to question my own security. In the end I cannot deny the pure simple logic and wisdom of Bonhoeffer's philosophy of Costly Grace. In it I find challenge, truth, inspiration, and confidence. In it I find purity of thought that resonates. In him I find a light that projects The Light through the darkness of time.
My first book by this author. I found it interesting and informative, but not necessarily compelling. Lots of anecdotes and tales of egotism and competition among the Allies, and fairly blunt descriptions of Allied shortcomings. All I can say is, thank goodness Hitler trusted his own counsel.
Looking at other reviews of Beevor I see he is highly respected and this is not rated as the top of his game. I will give one of his more definitive books a read and form a final opinion then.
I really like this series but found this particular installment lacking. Michelle's character seemed especially weak and the normal "positive tension" between her character and Sean King is completely missing. I didn't mind so much what I thought were unnecessary plot turns although it did seem like it would never end at one point. What I did mind was the three hour "wrap up" at the end. Too many loose ends, too many plot surprises. I'm grading this with 3 stars because I am a Baldacci fan and like this series, but it was a disappointment. Not up to his normal quality.
It's fast, it's heroic, it's Bourne on steroids. One problem, there is no, none, zilch, nada character development. Oh yeah, the writing is a bit sophomoric at times. The plot, however...nah....that was even worse. In short, I wanted to like it but in the end felt like I had listened to the whole thing mostly because I paid good money for it and was hoping for some redemptive value. Sadly, it wasn't there.
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