Intriguing plot, attractive heroes readers can identify with, credible villains and an assassin who makes "Carlos the Jackal" (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) look like a girl scout selling cookies. The timing of events at the end is a bit rushed as the action becomes more and more fantastical. The climax is believable but only if one can accept an excess of literary license with the competence of the Washington D.C. Capitol Police. Listening to this audiobook felt like playing a game of Jenga that thankfully ends before the author can remove one more block.
This is the version of the Robin Hood story I always wanted to hear. Not the one where Maid Marian and Robin never end up together, not the one where Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn end up old but separate; not the one where Robin Hood dies young. Yecch! Who needs to be depressed. This is swashbuckling, more cool than Errol Flynn and Alan Hale, more interesting and more historically accurate. Angus Donald can write a story that sucks you in with interesting detail and a unique take on tough situations. Graham Padden's narration is superb.
This is one of the best books of the summer. When I read the publisher's description I thought this would be a work of fantasy involving time and the possibility of peace between Muslims and Jews. I was delighted to find instead a deep story about people, just people. It was not a reference to politics or war or the problems of the Middle East. It was a study on the question of what it means to be human, about freedom and redemption that comes from choosing to do the right thing, and most of all, love. The descriptions of the immigrant communities and geography of Manhattan in the late 1800's were wonderful and deeply satisfying. The characters and dialogue captivating and true. George Guidall's narration was, as usual, excellent.
Is this what literature is supposed to be like? I think so. Wonderful.
This is the case of a great storyline wasted by an author who could not manage to keep his Bush Derangement Syndrome disorder out of his writing. The FBI and administration officials in the story are not merely evil, they are are incredibly stupid and hamfisted. A Delta Force commander is played as a dolt. Evil I can handle, stupid and hamfisted is a bridge too far. Moreover, whatever your views of the Federal Government may be the United States Military is undeniably one of the most competent institutions on the planet today. Yet Mr. Alpert describes Delta Force as a bunch of trigger happy thugs who stupidly use excessive force on American soil at the drop of a hat. This a great story ruined by unoriginal snark, ideological blinders and obvious disrespect for the reader. It jumped the shark early, and only my own obsessive compulsiveness enabled me to finish the book.
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