I got this book on a whim, as it is one of the only books that the author has written that I had not read. I got it, but had low expectations because I really don't like baseball. This book is about a lot more than baseball. I really don't want to ruin this for anyone with a longer review. If you like the author, give this one a try, it's worth your time.
Worst in the series so far, don't waste your money.
The story starts off pretty good, but gets boring quick. I typically have really liked the Hanna Smith stories. But this one is so confined to such a small area, while there is some mixed in civil war information about Florida, this becomes less than the central plot item in the story. I found several of the characters unrealistic....People are never that simple, there is no just a bad guy or just a good guy, people tend to be more complex than that. In this story, the bad folks are so stereotyped and unbelievable.
Mystique.....I mean Tamia is a pretty rare character. She is so well developed. So if your a fan of the first book, This one is worth your time!!! As a man, I realize I am not the target audience for this book, but the writing is spectacular and the characters are complex and riveting. The inner dialogue of Tamia is very well developed...Love it!
This one has a lot of great plot twists and curve balls you don't see coming. One of my critiques of the first book was the power of Mrs. Chambers (Brandon's mother). She was on the edges, in the first book, but you sensed her tremendous influence over her husband and children. Her claws come out a bit in this book, I would have used her to go in a different direction than the author did, but it was still remarkable.
The reason I didn't go perfect on this review was twofold:
1st, The Cynthia story, while I won't ruin the plot for you, Cynthia becomes a bit more one dimensional. I don't think the author intended to vilify her, and clearly the writing shows she is one of the true victims in the book. You can't paint her as such a successful courtroom warrior, but such a weak character when it comes to Brandon. There is no black woman I know who would let her man defend his ex lover....none, nada...won't happen. I also didn't like the juxtaposition of Fiona and Cynthia having the same lover. It seems like the author had an idea of sewing that link into the story and making it some type of important piece of the story, but it is later forgotten, which begs the question why it was included in the first place?
2nd, Dominic Archer. This figure is so central to the first book, and this book starts off great by putting Archer squarely in the limelight, but then he quickly becomes a background noise. I hope he makes a comeback in the third book.
This could have been so much more! This book is probable my least favorite in the series. If you like the series it's still worth your time. Below are some notes I made on the plot issues.
Yuki and Brady's story is really good and riveting.
Yuki and Brady's story doesn't explain much about the motive/underlying issues as to why....I mean, the so-called pirates/terrorist had no exit strategy. So despite the action, and the wonderful storytelling of the minute to minute action, it is still a pretty much a very surface story.
The burger belly bomb story doesn't end quite right and then the Mackey Morales story gets going really well only to become anti-climatic in the end. I mean did I miss something here? There is another belly bomb after the killers are caught, is this foreshadowing a future book? I hope so, I just didn't like the way this section of the story ended.
I found that the most disappointing part of the book, the Mackey Morales story is invested so heavily by the authors, only to have an ending the just is so-so at best. There are so many hanging issues, does Mackey ever go home and see her baby? Her mom? The dynamic of her mother and her could have been explored better. I mean, Mom is watching her kid right? So there is a court ordered custody this involves time and effort. My point is, Mom is not going to welcome Mackey back into her house with open arms, not call the police etc. We are talking about an innocent kid here. The authors foreshadow this in Mackey's inner dialogue, but then don't even cover it. Then there is all of the foreshadowing about the plan by Mackey to hunt down Boxer, so much time is spent with Morales talking about it, but then the authors just ignore that part of the book, I mean why even bother doing the inner dialogue of Morales, only to ignore it when the moment finally comes?
It seems to me the authors were looking to get a certain length, once they got close it was decided to wrap up the loose ends as quickly as possible.
Mr. Bryson's ability to research is second-to-none. This book is absolutely packed with information about so much! However with that said, this book took me nearly two months to finish. The problem is that I can only listen in 20 to 30 minute periods before my mind would start to wander....Still great stuff, just had to listen in small doses.
I was happy to see Mr. Guidall remember how Tomlinson sounds again, but this book was pretty unremarkable. There was nothing riveting and it moved in a predictable path. The lunatic guy in the book was very unbelievable as a character, I found his character one-dimensional.
The last several books I have read by RWW, I've rallied against Doc dating Hannah Smith. But now that they sort of broke it off, I miss her. Doc is still my favorite character, but Ms. Smith is pretty remarkable too.
Tomlinson has become a third tier character now, I miss having his more cavalier moments in the books. While his demeanor remained the same, and several passages where classic Tomlinson, he became a bit of the side show in this one. I would love to see him and Doc go on a "vacation" together, or would love to see Doc get more involved with one of his kids and get the heck out of Florida for a change.
I read the first book in the series when I was working in American Samoa, so it was quite fitting that I picked up this book during my next visit to American Samoa about a month ago.
This book does not disappoint, it rockets through the fast paced plotline, and I found myself sitting in the car for an extra ten minutes to finish a chapter, only to want "just a bit more" of the next chapter.
Paris, going to pick up "to Paris with love" to explore this character some more. She is one character that is just right.
Missed in this book:
Orlando's women, spent to much time having baby momma drama with the Haitian woman.
London was very undervalued in this book, not much going on with her at all, other than annoying Paris.
Worst part of the Book:
LC taking a significant lessor role in the organization, but still "pulling the strings" from time to time. If we want LC to go away, then make him go away, but don't do this "semi-retired" thing, it's annoying.
I listened to this book while I was working in Guam. While it wasn't his best work, it was still pretty entertaining. I like a strong female lead in books, but what I found a bit odd was some of the plot items of this book, the Captain of the main protagonist seems like he acted outside of his professional control several times and I found that part to be a bit unbelievable.
Loved this book! I am typically pretty good at discovering where a story is going and predicating the ending, but this one blew me away! Can't wait to read the next on in the series. Lil' sister is quite......well I won't ruin it for you.
Only thing I would change is the role of the Bourgeoisie Mother, I thought she could have played a bigger role in pulling some of the strings.
Poor performance and mediocre story at best. I am a die hard fan of the series and I had trouble getting through this one. As other reviews stated, the narrator is not good, but the story is not a whole lot better.
This story does have the same race against the clock urgency to it, and I like the intelligence of the dark energy discussions. I even like the new character, the African American female scientist. But this book is missing an arch nemesis, a "specter like" organization that is trying to manipulate the world as sigma races to overcome the best laid plans.
I will read the next book in the series, but I hope the publisher finds a better narrator.
I really like RWW's writing style and books. What I really don't like about the Hanna Smith novels is that they don't stand apart from his other books. Hanna shouldn't interact with Doc Ford in my opinion, let alone be his girlfriend. Randy....Hanna needs her own life!
Hanna's sidekick is a large body builder who happens to be gay, this character really bothers me, and seems to be based on a cliché.
The story in this book is just good enough to keep me interested.
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