Although this was a giveaway promotion, it cost me two hours of my time trying to see if the writing would improve. It didn't. Some good ideas are squandered by cookie-cutter characters and scattershot plotting. Forget about saving your money, save your time.
I slogged through this dry as powder adventure with some hope of it becoming more vibrant to no avail. The idea is really intriguing, but the writing is so A to B rote and uncolorful that it tasks your patience at every turn. Just about everyone is so cold and heartless that you kind of hope the bad guys will succeed, even though most of their work is as ham-handed as the author's. The two stars are for Scott Brick who does his best to enliven this turkey that arrives C.O.D.
I'm always enthusiastic when a new Deaver book is released. Unfortunately, Dennis Boutsikaris doesn't share my enthusiasm. More often than not, he doesn't even bother to pronounce the hero's name right - Rhyme is often pronounced "Rahm"(like the Chief of Staff) making scenes with "Ron the recruit" difficult to distinguish. And this narrator doesn't worry about making any effort with voice timbre or even accents, so often there are several characters in a scene speaking with the same voice. Very lazy work.
The book is a four-star winner with some very creepy moments and Deaver's mastery of suspense is in evidence. I'll be thinking twice before I plug anything in. But the final moments are very positive and hopefully will lead to more Rhyme books - just not ones read by Boutsikaris.
This is a bittersweet tale. Our hero has a lovely relationship with his aging dog Stella, although the reader can't be sure whether Stella is talking to him or she is his conscience. As he goes through his passage to maturity with his girl and his family, is Stella the voice of reason or is she his enabler? All this will be solved by the ending, but I caution the reader not to expect a comedy. It is funny, but mostly it will take your heart on a marvelous emotional excursion.
The violence, gore and cruelty may put some off, but it's a typical Patterson yarn - once the story begins, hold on for the ride. Special mention must be given to Christian Rummel, who's pitch perfect on both men and women and whose mastery of dialects is uncanny.
The one star is for Peretsky's book, which isn't bad. Though she deserves some heat for the lack of supervision, the production company that allowed this to be released is the main culprit. The narrator mispronounces so many words that one would think English isn't her first language. The engineers ruin the pace with slap-dash editing and jarring volume shifts. Doesn't this company supervise their productions?
This is a rip-roaring "V.I." novel read with versatility and passion by Jean Smart, but the microphone bumps and shifts in sound quality knocked this down to four stars. If you are listening with headphones, turn down the volume about 2 hours and 25 minutes before the end. The volume jumps to DEAFENING and the sound is comparable to bad AM radio. Still, it's worth the listening experience.
I liked this book from the beginning. As it progressed, I thought that my iPod was skipping(something it never does). The last word of each chapter is clipped by the announcement of the next chapter. It jarred me so that by the middle of the book, I was taken out of the story each time it occurred. Audible should remaster the recording, giving it some breathing room between chapters to fix this sloppy error, as the book and the narrator are four-star material.
I love this book. I hate this audiobook. Its sound is so irritating that I gave up after an hour and went back to the paperback version to finish it. So, five stars for the book; one star for the audiobook experience. The Audible people were kind enough to give me a credit to lighten this experience.
The story here is brilliant in its ability to show the parallels between our time in history and the social upheavals of a hundred years ago. It is heartbreaking and funny ; uplifting and heartwarming. Enough cannot be said about the narration by Dylan Baker, an actor I've admired for years. This performance displays a range of emotion, dialect and versatility rarely equalled. This is a vital and entertaining audio experience.
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