I really did not enjoy the last book The Collectors, I missed the in-control, cool under pressure Quinn. He is back in this book. As usual Battles delivers a number of surprises in his plot - I liked them especially since some are very different than the usual in spy novels. If you have enjoyed the Quinn series you will like this one.
The characters are great. I love the way we get to know them slowly as the novel progresses. I love the mental debates that illustrate personal struggles. And I especially enjoyed the different perspective. There is action but also mental stimulation. The novel satisfies on so many levels.
This book is a bad combination of the wrong narrator, armature writing, and not even good characters. The result is a book you struggle to stay with and one you want to turn off. The narration is awful. This is the first book I have listened to that J. Charles was the narrator. He was totally wrong for this work. He can’t do accents, can’t do women and he sounds too old to be a vibrant young Ryan Kealy. The book itself contains too much ‘lecture’ background that isn't creatively written, the dialogue is unsophisticated (hard to believe the President and senior officials speak so simply). And for the US’s top operative, the President’s go to guy, well he sure behaves like an inexperienced operative. I have listened to others in the series and this clearly is one to skip.
I got this book because the author had come highly recommended by friends; in retrospect all the friends who recommended it were male. As a female living in 2014 I find the demoralizing treatment of women as simply sex objects by the lead character distasteful and upsetting. It was so historic and sophomoric I had to look up to see when the book was originally published and was shocked to see it was in 1997, I would have guessed the 1960s (if I ignored the references to cell phones and other modern accouterments). The treatment of women is surely prehistoric. I like sarcastic humor and don’t mind that sort of banter but I can’t tolerate the demeaning of women as this author seems to believe is acceptable. I will not be listening or reading any more books by this author.
This book and series provide plenty of action and very likable characters. My only complaint is that the authors have yet to develop nail biting suspense. And they could provide more detail. It is almost feels like they tell the story too quickly. I can't wait though for the next book because overall this series delivers.
I rarely give 5 stars in one category let along all 3 but this book is worth the 5 stars. I like books with action and good characters. There is plenty of action, in part due to a flashback to an earlier project (I won’t say which one but readers/listeners of the earlier books will be satisfied) and more insight into the human side of Court. You can’t help but route for Court from page one, admire his cunning, planning and perseverance. And you feel his turmoil and emotions throughout the book. I liked the earlier Grey Man novels but this one was just more satisfying. I can’t wait for the next installment.
I have listened or read most of Baldacci’s books. I read them for the story but more importantly the characters which is why the last 2 King and Maxwell books have been disappointing. I get the tension between King & Maxwell and that Maxwell is damaged from childhood trauma. But come on, the women was Secret Service, has received counseling, intelligent and is an adult. If Baldacci is going to write any more in this series he needs Maxwell to mature and stop being a cliché. The relationship also needs to move some place - any place. This limbo with no effort to resolve it is also getting tiresome.
Regarding the story line – it is pretty good; I like some of the twists – a bit better than average.
The Robin Monarch series is shaping up to be an interesting combination of smooth operator/thief who is very likable, combined with a bit of dark villain (think Batman type dark), some espionage and plot twists. The supporting characters from Monarch’s team don’t play as prominent role in this novel as the first (Rogue). I am looking forward to more in the series.
If character development and a story that revolves around the character are important to you (Baldacii, Grey Man Series, Berenson. Eisler to name a few), then skip this. However, if that isn’t important to you and a decent espionage story is your cup of tea, give this a try.
I listened to a number of the Dave Riley series and really enjoyed the character and the apparent precision Mr. Mayer gave to military detail. I didn’t listen to the last 2 books in the series because some of the reviews indicated that Riley had been sidelined in the story and Riley was one of the reasons I listened to the books. I decided to try something different that Mayer had written. This book received pretty good reviews and I suppose from a technical perspective it is pretty good, but lost are the characters. They didn’t really develop. It almost felt like an abridged book keeping only the key elements and all the action to tell the story while the characters seemed more minor. If connecting with the characters is important to you, skip this book. If you like action and don't mind an abridged feel try this book.
I hope Marc had no illusions that this story line and characters were to be real; they come across more super-hero like a comic book. The story is a good ride; you know the good guys will prevail. Some of the book feels a bit cliché but it was fun. The narrator had a real hard time doing female voices and his solution was to make them soft, but then you couldn’t hear them at the same volume for the rest of the book. Very very frustrating. I had to replay the female voice sections at a louder volume just to hear what was said. Hence the one star for performance - it happened too often to ignore.
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