This is my first Reynolds book I have read or listened to. Very good.
What a breath of fresh air. Mr. Ringo writes a great story in the Heinlein tradition and he is, unlike the likes of greats Stephen King and Greg Bear, upfront and open in his fiction writting concerning his political views. It is so very nice not to get a Stephen King or Greg Bear style sucker punch directed at conservatives in the middle of a good story. Either writers (and movies makers) should avoid making political insults against half the population of the U.S. or be upfront in their storyline as John Ringo is.
This was a great listen, although it is obviously written by a women in that it borders on being a "Romance Novel" full of unfulfilled and forbidden desires and how the two main characters incessantly express how wonderful the other is despite or in-spite off this or that. However the biggest disappointment is that the novel is not complete within itself and is apparently the first of a series. That is fine, except that I would like to have known beforehand that the book had no conclusion. I would give this a solid four stars if either it had a conclusion or advertised itself as the first of a series. My recommendation would be to wait until a second book comes out before buying this book.
Overall the book is a good listen, but it fails miserably in the closing chapters, very much like some of Stephen Kings later works. The "well it's time to finish the book, this will be the last chapter" mentality. The ending is abrupt and feels unfinished with to many unresolved story lines. If this were the start of a series, the ending would be fine.
Overall the story is probably a good read. I personally found Peter Clement's voice to be rather unpleasant and tiresome to listen to. The narrator constantly changed the volume of his voice making it difficult to follow while driving.
As far as the research into the science, it all sounds believable but as a retired Naval Officer, I found his lack of research into military ordinance and ranks irritating. There are no such ranks as 1st and 2nd Lt. in the Navy.
Karl does wonderfully well at capturing the feel of war. All war is horrible and noble at the same time, and those fighting it always end up fighting for their comrades more then in any other reason. Viet Nam was a different war, as all wars are, but unique in ways others wars aren't. I served in the Navy during part of that time frame, the racial strife of the times and the paradoxes created are poignantly portrayed by Karl.
This is as good as the best of the many books he has written. He skillfully builds you up for something horrible to happen, but then nothing does. Because you are reading Stephen King, you no something horrible is going to happen, you expect it, but when you think this is it, things turn out rather benign. He skillfully deploys this technique over and over, but each time he adds a little more suspense, a little more anticipation, a little more wierd. He carefully works you up to a conclusion that is well thought out and very satisfying.
The only criticism I have of the King is the gratiutus jabs he takes at people who do not share his politics. I have always thought that people in the entertainment business should keep in mind that if they are writting or performing for everyone's enjoyment, then they should not write as if just for a circle of like minded friends. If they want to make a political statement, then be brave enough to write a book or article addressing thier concerns so the reader knows what to expect. It is rather cowardly to put it in a work of entertainment. Afterall, conservative Republicans like to read Steven King to. Overall this book is a must listen too.
The book starts slow, a lot of synonyms used at nauseum really slows the story down at first. The story picks up and becomes really interesting and starts to tighten up and speed up as the book progresses. The ending is rediculous. King and Koontz, masterfull storytellers, have of late seem to have lost the ability or have not put much effort into good endings.
Great factoids, but the book is probably a better read then a listen. Glen reads the book as if he were on his radio show, and so the book is best listenned to in several sessions, rather then emersing yourself in it for long periods of time. Glen wearies the ear after awile. Also some of the facts you might want to write down, and that is difficult with an audio book. I recommend reading it rather then listenning to it.
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