This is the third book of the Clifton Chronicles. The first book is typical Jeffrey Archer, and is a very strong start. The series languished in the second book. This book is just flat terrible. The characters are flat, and the problems all seem superficial and petty. The plot changed at least three times, and this isn't a very long book. It seems as if Mr. Archer had a number of storyboards done, and just slapped a few together because he had a publishing deadline.
Hopefully the next book gets back to good storytelling, but I'm not sure I will even give it a chance as this series has been on a steady decline.
I picked this book up after reading Red Shirts by Mr. Scalzi. Red Shirts was hilarious and fun, and I wanted to check out another of his stories. Old Man's War was a pretty interesting narrative. I enjoyed the beginning of the book the best because it seemed to offer the most witty banter, and you were discovering new twists. As the book unfolded the story seemed to slow, and kind of ground to a halt by the end.
The narrator was engaging the whole time, so that was good.
I have now listened to the entire WWW series. It is a very thought provoking story. I have long enjoyed Sawyer's yarns because they challenge my preconceptions. The only knock I have against the story is the blatant audible.com product placements throughout the story. Seemed a little tacky, but an author has to get paid.
This story grabbed me quickly and wouldn't let me go, even through the somewhat slow portions near the end. I listened to the whole thing in just a few days. I just had to know what would happen next.
I listened to the entire book to make sure I wasn't missing any major plot twists or surprise endings. There were neither. The book plods along for 46 hours with no real tension. The characters are flat, and even when shocking things were happening in the book, I didn't feel a sense of tension.
Perhaps I missed the finer allusions, and lost some of the Japanese cultural references, but I did not like this story. I thought it was long and boring. Do yourself a favor, get "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. Just as long and far more engaging.
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