This is a writer with talent. In the beginning there seem to be a lot of disjointed events with no clear thread connecting them, but as the story unfolds, in extremely well written dialog, the pieces come together in a very exciting action packed fashion. The narrator is spectacular, the description of places, people and events as good as it gets and the story takes you on a very unique journey, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Myanmar, in cities and in slums and in the jails. This book is so good and unique that I do not want to give away any plot spoilers in this review by talking about specifics of the book. This is the second book I have read by Stephen Leather and as much as I liked the first one (The China man) this book has made me a fan of this writer.
If you are looking for a really surprisingly good action / thriller you have heard nothing about this is the one.
I started to write a review for each title in the series and then realized that I had to wait for the end of the series to write a review because the story is one long one broken up by separate titles. Each segment is fairly long so actually this works out well. Now for the breakdown, solid writing, great characters, well done dialog and action action action - and a great amount of suspense. This genre has a weakness and that is that as the crisis ramps up the books are exciting and action packed, then the survivors hole up and, well, just kind of survive. This book blasts past that sticking point and never looks back, there are plots and subplots and all of it is exciting, not to mention that the 'infected' are more than just props for lots of gore. I have listened to a lot of books in this genre and this is in the top 1%. The one problem, the last book is not the last book, there is more, which since this is such a good series is good, but Audible does not have it available yet, which means I will have to wait for it, :( -
Need to mention that for this book and the characters in it the narration is fantastic, great match.
This is a fun series, as the genre goes there are quite a few poorly written books out there, finding a book that is well written goes a long way in this category, and this is one of them. The action is tight, the pandemic that causes the 'plague' interesting and the cast of characters well done, developed, believable. Dialog is actually good dialog and not something comic book like. The main character seems to loose his weapon a lot for a special forces guy but then nothing is perfect, he is great character and does the right thing when the chips are down. I like this book and am already into the 3rd book in the series as a result, Highly recommended.
There are a lot of moments in this book that had me right there with it, I was involved and thought the writer was on the right track, and the book takes off in that direction from the start and you are pretty sure you have a winner. The narration is solid, the writer has skill at describing a scene and bringing it to the listener (reader) in a plausible manner. Here comes the "but"- the author pens the scene of societal collapse of the urbane fairly well, the characters are diverse and have each some skill which comes into play after the collapse, the mode of the collapse, a cyber attack is well explained and actually plausible, BUT this is written from an urban centric point of view and the description of people in the countryside is horribly derogatory, they are painted as rapists, cannibals, and in one scene are shown to be chasing a cow down with machetes and hacking it to pieces. Nobody in the rural section of the story is presented as anything other than an ignorant villain. Oh, but in the enlightened city, violent acts are stopped by a group of people holding up their phones and taking pictures, that is all it takes. The people who leave NY city for the country side are forever haunted by that stupid move, of course the city would be much safer than farm country once food becomes scarce in the city. There are some well done sections in this book and if the author had stayed within his comfort zone it would have been a good book. The storyline describing the method of cyber attack is done well and the author has knowledge of the subject matter and is able to bring it to the reader in an entertaining manner, as in the degrading situation in the city. The problem with the book comes in the section after they leave the city, things just begin to fall apart from there.
As far as a recommendation the subject matter is interesting and brought to the reader in a well done manner, the story has some holes in it but works at the base level and the narration is well done as well. If prepper grid down subject matter is your genre then you might like this book, if tech suspense it your thing this might be okay but a bit of a departure and not deep enough into your subject matter to be a total thumbs up.
I would recommend it with just a few grimaces.
I cannot understand how this book gets a good review from anybody - one bad cliche after another, poor writing, no, terrible writing. Good narration. Sentence after sentence that does not logically follow the one before it. No character development at all. The head of the the drug cartel is described as "deciding he would not be poor, and soon he became the go to guy for people to get anything they want" done - total character development. I tried to like this book because I like the genre, impossible, it is a bad book and nothing redeems it.
Not recommended, not one second of it.
This book picks up the story line of the last novel five years into the future. Where the last book was action packed and moved very quickly this second book in the series takes a look at the current trends in demographics and political expediency and builds society as the main character for this book. The character Ragna Bartewell is back and one of the only characters from the first book to carry the story forward, but it is the condition of society itself that is the star of this story. If one pays attention to events it is possible to see how the author developed this storyline and it is a compelling case that he makes, the writing is solid and the dialog well done, the ending is exciting as are other turning points in the story. Where the last book moved from one action scene to the next this book builds tension to the end in a more classic thriller style, and does deliver an exciting ending. I rated this book a bit below the first only because the development phase of this book delved on a bit, it was well done but a bit overdone at times, although in the end it did make for very well established characters and a solid storyline.
This is one story I could not stop listening to, it was written from the perspective of so many that have to sit and silently endure the droning herd mooing along toward what can only be their inevitable final captive destination fattened and giddy waiting for the final shoe to drop. This book was written from the perspective of a former SEAL and that experience comes through in what is a very well written book, the story of which revolves around the theme of expansive militaristic federal policing and their disregard for the individual rights established at the founding and adoption of the constitutional republic we live in. If there are those out there that think there are to many bureaucrats in to many agencies with to much policing power and a total disregard for justice and our rights you will love this book, the author lays out a story that could be juxtaposed onto one of many out of control regulatory bureaucracies, but this story is very compelling and well written.
If there is a negative it would be the narration, the guy has a good voice but amateurish presentation and sound quality, although I would say the story is so compelling that it overcomes this downfall.
Although still not Hemingway the story and sequence of events tied together with great action and suspenseful situations make this one great series. The writing has improved in this the third book but the action and story are what make this book work. The characters are great, the villains are, well truly wicked, mostly because they represent the real thing, they are not some supernatural aliens but are those that walk among us. I like the dialog and the relationships built among the players, the family dynamic among Morgan's clan is particularly well done and you become invested in their fate emotionally. With a lot of the books of this genre there is the "event", battle with the hordes and then things get flat - this whole series avoids that trap altogether which keeps the action moving and the suspense ripping along, no doubt this is going to be a classic series for the prepper set. This is a good series and I cannot wait for the next installment.
this is not the best written story out there, this author presents this story like it is a first draft, and it is still great. If you are into the prepper world and feel that the current government is to intrusive, you will love this book, it is overall a great story from the first book and continues into this second story as well. The author is way into the tech of prepping, as are a lot of preppers, so for that audience it is great. If you are not a prepper then this book will outline at least one scenario for your fate, and it is that of the silly little totalitarian who thinks that "resource sharing" is now the current plan since you were to busy laughing at those who were diligent and put resources into the rainy day fund. This is a fun book and it brings to focus all the big gov plans for those who are content with watching T.V. and hitting the pipe, hey, if you like your current lifestyle you can keep your current lifestyle - what ever!
Some books are great literary works, some books have an important message, and some books are neither but are still fun books. This is a fun book, there are some moments when the next paragraph is so telegraphed by this author it is painful, and some of the dialog is so basic and cliched it hurts. At times the over done technical brand identification aspect of the story kills the moment. But guess what? This is a really good book and full of action and great characters and real interactions it is not exactly evident if you are listening to a fictional story or a diary or events. I found myself listening to this book until it was finished and that included every chance I got, which is not common, I liked it and that is that - it is worth your time and more, I am going to download the sequel as soon as I am done with this review.
I would highly recommend this book with the knowledge that the writhing is not top shelf but the story is.
This book popped up on my radar from time to time but because of some of the descriptions it never made it into my cart until a reviewer I follow mentioned it, so, needing something to download I half-heartedly put it in my cart. I have never been so surprised by a story in all the audio books I have listened to, it is simply wonderful.
A lot, or overwhelmingly most, of the books that delve into this subject matter are not written all that well, some contain important messages, like One Second After, which it turns out the author of which was influenced by this book, but by and large the writing is not the strong point of the books in this category. This book is a game changer, it is written with brilliance - the dialog, the characters, the plot and circumstance encompassed within the covers of this book are excellent, it set a standard for literature that has not been met since in this genre, and I like and read a lot of stories in this genre. This is an exciting well laid out story with a message everyone should be exposed to, as even though it was written in the '50's it is still as relevant today as it was then, maybe even more so.
The narration is also excellent, it does not get better as a match and enhanced the experience I am sure.
Highly, Highly recommended. I should have listened to this book a long time ago.
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