Glancing at a single 3 star review almost caused me to miss "The Right Hand". Each to their own, but I thought this was a very worthwhile, exciting audiobook. The main character, Austin Clay, really has a lot of potential for a series. In addition, several supporting characters should hold up well for future stories.
However, the story is very satisfying as a "stand alone" production.The plot was well developed, full of action and had excellent tension during the ending. Moreover, I thought Kevin Stillwell's performance skillfully brought a wide range of characters to life despite differences in character, age, nationality and gender.
Overall, this audiobook is well worth a reader's time as well as a credit/money. I really hope Derek Haas continues on with the surviving characters.
I have enjoyed many of Harlan Coben's novels - and Scott Brick is an accomplished performer. Furthermore, the concept of Six Years seemed to have a lot of promise. Though the plot was intriguing, unfortunately, the character was not. For a big, strong ex-bouncer turned poly sci professor and critical thinking devotee, the protagonist was a study in contradiction. Scott Brick's interpretation of the character further emphasized these contradictions. Given the issues with the main character, I found it difficult to immerse myself into the story.
Brett Battles is a very good author. I really have enjoyed his "Cleaner" series as well as some of his stand alone work like Little Girl Gone. However, he missed the mark on this one. In my opinion, way too much time was spent on weak characters and a slow, cliched buildup to an unsatisfying ending. I will continue to be interested in his work - but I wish I had skipped this one.
Alex Berenson is a seasoned reporter who has seen current combat theaters first hand - and transfers a lot of his experience through a "kick-butt" protagonist, John Wells. Wells' exploits are realistic - not supernatural - and his supporting cast should also keep a reader's interest while progressing through the seven books Berenson has written.
Furthermore, Berenson is a really good writer. He knows how to explain the undercurrents of America's fight against extremism - and weave the many details and subplots together to create an interesting, informative book.
Lastly, George Guidall brings this book to life with an excellent performance. I hope Berenson and Guidall continue with John Wells and cast.
In my opinion, this may be one of Vince Flynn's very best books. For those familiar with Flynn's past challenge, writing at this level must be no small task. As for presenting "The Last Man" as an audiobook, continuing with the talented George Guidall was also a big plus. Guidall knows the characters - and brings life to them.
Vince Flynn also does what many writers can't do - he's successfully managed the inevitable maturation of an action protagonist whose career has spanned many theaters of intrigue. To do so without making Rapp either uninteresting or unbelievable takes both skill and imagination.
Rest assured, however, the slightly older Mitch Rapp won't disappoint. He's still very to the point and lethal. Even better, Flynn doesn't neglect the evolution of supporting characters like CIA Director Irene Kennedy, Hurley, Coleman and, etc. He also introduces new players - and resurrects old ones - all of whom should prove enjoyable in future stories. Flynn then weaves all these characters into a plausible fast-paced story based on complications the US has with Pakistan (and the Mid East, in general). The complications include duplicitous villains at home and abroad, dangerous thugs and inter-agency competition - all wrapped by greed and ambition.
Along the way, the author gives readers plenty of action and enjoyment while progressing to a somewhat predictable but nonetheless satisfying ending. For me, at least, I enjoy the way that Flynn "lets" Rapp and Kennedy deliver elegant justice rather than cobbling together a slew of implausible events solely for the sake of surprise.
I'm pretty stingy about 5 star reviews ... However, if you like books of this genre as well as Brett Battles and his protagonist Quinn, you'll really like "Becoming Quinn". Please don't be put off by the fact that this is a prequel or rather short for an unabridged book - I think this is one of Battle's finest books.
I would consider another book from this author. His basic cast of characters are really good though I hated to see the demise of President Rob Alears (Sp?) I thought the narrator did an excellent job with voices and story intent.
Recognizing the author's background, I understand his politics but, for me, the Mitt Romney piece at the end was unnecessary and a bit of a turn-off. I liked the Isreali, Cole Meir but I thought his "final solution" was a little over the top. Coes' few Dewey Andreas sex scenes and occasional physical descriptions could have also been better ... not necessarily toned down ... just a little more refined.
Make sure central characters are credible. Many of the central characters simply were not realistic. For example, the authors created the character of Win Christian in a way that stretched believability. How could anyone like Christian graduate from West Point, reach the rank of Major and pass the training and profiling necessary to be assigned to important covert activities? Luke Daniels further detracted from Christian's character by giving him the whiney voice of a spoiled adolescent. Unfortunately, this was not the only flawed character further harmed by a weak performance. Both Luke Daniels and the authors, Bond and DeFelice have done much better work.
The ending was very predictable and extremely unfulfilling - not up to the standards of Larry Bond.
The authors have a great franchise - headed by Special Agent Pendergast and a rich array of friends and villains. The authors are skilled at building back stories as well as turning over the supporting cast during the evolution of Pendergast's character. However, I did not feel the authors supplied enough satisfaction or clarity to this chapter of Pendergast's life. This sort of "to be continued" conclusion works better in weekly television than in an "every so often" book. I hope Preston & Child will continue to give Pendergast books enough support and attention.
I would have hoped for a stronger conclusion - one reflecting the title of the book - rather than leaving readers to hope for more satisfaction in the next installment.
Rene Auberjonois continues to master Special Agent Pendergast's voice - both its tone and pace - in a way that adds to his depth of character. In addition, he is skilled at portraying a wide range of male and female characters. Furthermore, Auberjonois does not over-act or cheapen those speaking with accents or in other languages. His mistake free, well paced performance was the highlight of this book.
Special Agent Pendergast continues to be one of the most interesting current fictional characters.
This book is both well-written and narrated. If you enjoy fast-paced fiction thrillers that follow current issues, this book should be well worth your purchase. Jack McClure is both a likable and a believable main character - and the supporting characters (good and bad) complement an interesting complex plot. If I had a minor criticism, I think the narrator might think about a better way to transition the fast paced parallel events that make up the story. These transitions probably would not a problem reading the book - but occasionally caused me to rewind while listening.
Since I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Trust - my first Jack McClure book - I plan to read Van Lustbader's earlier McClure books.
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