I've listened to six of the seven part Dark Tower series, as well as pseudo-parallel novels The Black House and The Talisman.
Out of all of these, Wizard and Glass is the best written, most compelling in the series. Part classic Western, part traditional good versus evil borrowing from the themes of Star Wars and The Seven Samurai, this novel looks at the first mission that Roland and his two teenage cohorts undertake as freshly annointed gunslingers --- heroic saviors, lawmen, and messengers of good --- in a world slowly corrupted by a seemingly unstoppable evil.
Along the way, Rolan falls in love with a beautiful young woman that has been promised to be the mistress of a powerful town official, discovers a plot that could spell disaster for the forces of good, and meets up with a powerful and dark evil for which many are willing to kill, or worse.
Action, suspense, magic, powerful evil, treachery, human fraility and flaws, dedication, honor, friendship, and star-crossed love all collide to make a tale that will end long before the reader or listener wills it to do so. Truly Stephen King at his storytelling best.
This is the second Gaiman title I purchased, after having been turned on to his work by two short stories that played like theater pieces engineered specifically for audio.
American Gods is a clever story that blends mythos, mystery, action, human frailty and a commentary on what we as modern Americans value.
It's one of the best listening experience I have ever had and a story so good I have bought every other Gaiman novel and short story since published (and even those previously).
For a refreshing story that follows an ordinary but falible human on his road to recovery and redemption, and how he becomes a central player in the epic battle between the gods of the old world and those gods we have gradually begun to worship in this new world, I highly recommend you pick up this great work of fiction.
I used to be a huge fan of Patterson's work until he branched off into romance and a number of predictable, repetetive short novels that are sold as separate installments rather than a complete work. This title is a prime example.
Alex Cross, once a compelling investigator with a believable background and psyche, now feels like the Rambo of the U.S. crime investigative world: he's called in to investigate on nearly every major case and pretty much always gets his guy.
While the plot is interesting in this particular book, global terrorism and suitcase nukes have been milked just about dry as a theme. I found the continuation of The Weasel as a major character a boring tangent. More problematic, howerver, was the transformation of The Wolf as a violent criminal that once focused primarily on the sex slave trade, but now masterminds and pulls off a hard-to-believe global blackmail plot where he, but for Alex Cross' intervention, is able to thwart the combined investigative power of all the world's major crime and terrorist fighting agencies almost single-handedly.
The plot feels shallow, it's hard to suspend disbelief, and it just isn't the same quality as vintage James Patterson. If you are looking for a quick, light action-crime read (or listen) this may work for you, but if you expect your characters to have any depth or the plot to surprise you or make you think, then I'd pass this one by.
Since first helping co-author Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy, Larry Bond has demonstrated a repeated knack for telling a great written yarn in the military, techno-thriller genre. I found this particular read very consumable, the characters likeable and three-dimensional, and the plot, a race to save the United States from having a "dirty bomb" detonated as the next terrorist act, thrilling and entertaining. The action spans the former Soviet Union, Chechnya, the Middle East, and the United States, and never really lets up from the initial pages. A great read and, assumably, a good listening experience. If you like Tom Clancy's older titles, you'll likely love Larry Bond's newest work.
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