Absolutely, Lou Diamond Philips is a masterful narrator, his performances never disappoint. The material within these pages is so action packed and the stakes are so high that listening to the story from someone with directed intention elevates the material to an amazing height.
This is a silly question, Jack Jr. Is the perfect American hero. He is a perfect melding of Jack Ryan, Mitch Rap, and the Gray Man (Mark Greaney's breakout action character). He is a selfless hero that is willing to risk everything in order to protect his country and he doesn't leave men behind.
Everything, LDP is an amazing actor (See Southland for a recent role) and he is able to turn his skill into amazing narration.
This book is adrenaline pumping, I felt excited! I finished this book 12/5/12, 24hrs after it was released. I couldn't put it down!
If you are on the fence about this book, let me explain my tastes so that you can gauge if we share common literary tastes for this genre.
Mitch Rap (Vince Flynn)
Dewey Andreas (Ben Coes)
Court Gentry (Mark Greaney)
Jack Reacher (Lee Child)
Tommy Carmellini (Stephen Coonts)
Carlos Guillermo Castillo (W. E. B. Griffin)
Ok, so those are some of my favorite action series that are in this similar espionage action genre. I found this book in particular to really mirror some of W. E. B. Griffin's early work melded with Flynn. That said, there is the signature Clancy storytelling in this book that jumps between several stories. I do not particularly enjoy the earlier Clancy novels that pertain to the elder Ryan, I found them amazingly slow and complicated with relatively low reward. This book mimics the same storytelling style but doesn't pull any punches when it comes to action.
I found myself wanting to spend more time with particular portions of the story and characters but the pacing was well thought out and I was never disappointed when prospective shifted. I have detected some of the Stephen Coont's syndrome, the seeming inability to set aside older characters and allow new ones to flourish but I think that Greaney's influence on this new series is helping breathe valuable life into the Clancy novels.
Jack Jr. is an amazing character, more lovable that Mitch Rapp and far more whole than Greaney's earlier two dimensional characters. This new younger Ryan is deposited brilliantly in a deep and rich fiction that creates a vivid backdrop.
I would strongly recommend that you start this cycle of the Jack Ryan Junior novels at their beginning, this story moves at a swift pace and you will love all of the returning characters so much more for your previous experiences with them!
On a side note, I want to tell you that I try to consume media that is character driven, not story driven! This particular genre has a tenancy to be heavily story driven but I think that this novel and series does a wonderful job of focusing on the characters! If you are looking for a quick action read this can satisfy you but it it is heavily enriched by knowledge of the characters. For example, if you aren't familiar with Tom Clancy's earlier "The Teeth of the Tiger" you might not have the richest or fullest appreciation for Haney and Associates and its remaining founders. Not a major issue but one that clearly supports a rich character development that honors faithful readers.
This is one of the good ones, they are few and far between and you should not hesitate to read this book immediately, or place it in your wishlist for your next credit!
Peculiar, Entertaining, Promising
What I like about this book and in turn what has endeared me to this series is the cast, the universe, and the potential. Allan has created a fascinating universe for his characters a world that I would love to explore.
Bower is not my favorite narrator, his performance was so jarring that the first time I started to listen to this book I put it down in disgust within a few minutes thinking that I had purchased a poorly written, poorly pronounced piece. I came back to the series last week and ended up falling in love. That being said, you may find Bower a little different or annoying at first be sure to listen to the sample before you buy!
Viewed by itself this book is perhaps mediocre. Yet, I am truly a sucker for space opera and after reading this book and its sequel I have to say I absolutely love this series. Before you buy let me break down why I love this book and why this series is worth spending your time on, and then let me tell you what to watch out for!
What I love:
The fiction that this story occupies is deep, far deeper than we are immediately exposed to. I got the distinct impression that the author has a grand vision of what the universe looks like in his world (More on this later)
I see amazing potential in this series that it has not yet reached and I am basing alot of my enjoyment on that. I hope that the author follows through on the hints he is leaving and does this series justice.
If you like these books you might like this one too:
Old Man's War
Legacy of the Aldenata
One major difference: Marines: Crimson Worlds is Human vs Human
Things I don't like:
It isn't the best writing. I love it and I'm a sucker for it but this is scifi pulp its fun and enjoyable and I think that this series has the potential to transcend that classification but with only book one and two out this series is currently only delivering the title: Marines + Crimson Worlds (Blood).
If you are looking for a deep read or an epic space opera I think you might be more satisfied with a different title however, if you are like me and you want some unique action with solid characters in promising new world give it a shot.
If you are new to scifi or space marines there might be better options to start off with. If you are a grizzled veteran like me, dig in I think you will love it. You need to love this genre to love this book.
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