My first Charlie Huston book was Sleepless, which was a solid Five star excellent distopian thriller. I liked it so much I've listened to it 3 times. I'd put Sleepless right up there with Stephen King's The Stand. Since then I've tried several of his books, hoping for that same quality (and haven't found it yet). Its almost like Sleepless was written by someone else. With Skinner, in the beginning I thought yeah, this could be good. But no, this book consisted of brief spurts of action separated by long periods of boring dialog and lots of "feelings". Who knew an assassin could be so deadly and efficient and yet so sensitive at the same time. But that wasn't the worst thing about this book, three quarters of the way through the author starts beating me over the head with this liberal dogma, best summarized as the world is going to Hell in a hand basket because citizens of the US and Europe are selfish, exploiting and greedy and screwing over everybody in China, India and Africa. Oh yeah, and the world is going to end because of Global Warming. When I read or listen to a book, I want to be entertained, not brainwashed or preached at.
I listened to the audible version of this. Very entertaining, every time I thought I had it figured out, something else would happen going in another direction. Excellent character development, and an original story unlike any I've ever read.
Kind of reminded me of a cross between Michael Crichton and Stephen King (the **good** Stephen King, the one who wrote The Stand and The Shining, not the body snatcher from another planet currently occupying his body, churning out crap like "The Dome"...).
I've read Blake Crouch before but nothing that made an impression on me. This, however, was different and I couldn't stop until I finished it. I've already purchased the sequel and look forward to listening to it.
I only wish all audiobooks were this good. This one was excellent from start to finish, everything from the story, character development and narration were flawless. I love it when a story hooks me from the first page and holds on until the end.
Another thing I liked about this book was that the characters were believable, as in they acted like real people and each had unique flaws. An annoying thing about some action stories is the way that that characters are often 2 dimensional and the hero is some kind of superman, not so in this one. Also I liked the way there was the political infighting and backstabbing in the Legion unit. In my experience, any time you get a bunch of people together you're going to have that kind of thing and yet its often an element that's left out of fiction (the B grade fiction anyway). I spent 20 years in the US Army, and the unit portrayed in this story seemed like a real military unit, the terms and technology were different but the people acted in a way consistent with my experience of how real soldiers talk and act.
I would rate this book right up there with some of my other favorite military fictional reads, to list a few: A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War Series by John Ringo), Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse by Tom Clancy, Invasion America Series by Vaughn Heppner, Armor by John Steakley, Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein and Redliners by David Drake.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Undying Mercenaries series.
I've read and enjoyed several Edward Lee books, but this was my first audiobook by the author. I found it excellent from start to finish. There have been some of his books that were too graphic for me to finish, not this one though. The story, character development and narration were all well done. I'm hoping that in the near future even more of Lee's works will be available on audible.
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