A person who has never in their life heard a British person speaking would probably enjoy this book.
The plot was good, very enjoyable.
J. Charles is a very good narrator, with one HUGE caveat: he should never be the choice when one of the principal characters is supposed to speak in a British accent. There are so many American narrators who can pull it off -- but Mr. Charles just isn't one of them. It is so amateurish, it makes me squirm in my chair, and I'm not even British! I would happily listen to a performance by Mr. Charles in other circumstances, but it really did have an adverse effect on my enjoyment of the book.
I don't think anything could have made this a 4 or 5-star production. Although Mr. Rosenberg can certainly spin a tale, the quality of the writing is pretty pedestrian. This is a pretty fair example of the chewing-gum-for-the-brain novel. And that's fine, because sometimes we want exactly that, and there is room for all kinds of writing. However, the repetitive insertion of the author's religious views was about as welcome as that knock on the front door by the ubiquitous dark-suited gentlemen who want to know if we have heard the "good news" about Jesus! He is entitled to his views, but it is possible to tell a story without imposing them on the reader in such an overt manner.
I would never read another of Mr. Rosenberg's productions. It seems as though the story is merely a device for right-wing religious proselytizing. I have read and whole-heartedly enjoyed books written by authors of many different faiths and backgrounds without feeling that I am being preached to.
Christopher Lane is a good narrator, and at times his narration can be quite moving. Once in a while the challenge of giving voice to each character takes him into a cartoon-like delivery, but since the book presents a fairly high number of characters, it's hard to hold that against him.
This book annoyed me for all of the reasons I have expressed. I don't give a hoot about this author's (or anyone else's) personal religious views, but I don't expect to be bombarded with them. Even the fact that the main protagonist is represented as a Muslim would seem to be a clumsy device to forestall criticism of the inherent bigotry in this book. It fools no one, and is an insult to the intelligence of the reader.
I'm so glad that I purchased this book on sale rather than at full price!
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