This book was a cut and paste job from Silva's previous excellent series. I loved them all and never missed one. I was with him through all the stuff that is rehashed in "The Kill Artist." Allegedly this is a new book. What a rip-off. None of the characters are new. Nor is the plot even a little bit updated. It looks to me like the author had a deadline and just rigged up something to keep the money coming in.
What a shame. I have loved Allon and suffered with him through Russian prisons and Palestinian torture chambers. I cheered when he prevented the bombing of Vaticant Square and I felt his pain when his wife and son were car bombed.
I would love to know why Silva is now selling stories for which I've already paid.
Without a doubt, this is the worst thing I ever bought from Audible. OK, the story was fairly good. It's about a team of agents trying to keep Iran from nuking the Middle East. What I hated about Damascus Countdown was first the preaching. Mr Rosenberg is not subtle is his desire to convert the reader to reborn status. Almost all the characters in the book take up the religious ranting. This type of proselytizing has no place in what Audible represented as enjoyable fiction to break the he monotony of a hard workout.
Secondly, I hated narrator. I never heard such a terrible accent. He used the same foul sounding voice an all the Middle East characters. What it sounded like was a very bad actor trying to sound like Gunga Din. Not just bad, More than enough to make you want to demand a refund from your friendly MP3 sellers.
Warning, if you're looking for entertainment and not a stroll through the gospel of some meeting-style preacher with an agenda, don't consider this awful book.
The author has created a very depressing post-nuke landscape. It is populated by hideously deformed, people. We meet a former New York bag lady who was actually driven sane during the coast to coast destruction of the United States. Of course, we had a fast on the draw president who gets our bombers and missiles off to hammer the other side. But the author makes it clear that Russia won the conflict.
No American cities are left standing. There are no utilities. Humans can't find food or gas. Crops no longer can survive it the poison atmosphere and contaminated soil.
Only a child named Swan can salvage any hope for the small groups of humans -- and a few animals -- who are left alive. Swan is accompanied by the former bag lady, known as Sister, and a very large former wrestler whose work name was "The Black Frankenstein."
The ruined land is populated by gangs who feel free to steal the gas, fuel and food from the few survivors they encounter. One of them, The Army of Excellence, is lead by a former USAF pilot and POW -- Col Macklin. Macklin is a murderous mad man.
As Swan grows into young womanhood she learns how to bring life back to the soil. Her skills get the crops growing again and place her into the cross hairs of The Army of Excellence.
It's a totally engrossing story and the narration, by Tom Stechschulte is flawless. He has a wonderful voice.
Like many of the memorable books I have experienced through Audible, Swan Song is a brilliantly conceived universe. It is populated by some interesting characters you can learn to like a great deal and a great many incredibly evil individuals who are poised to prevent human survivors from returning to civilized life.
Swan Song was the first Robert McCammon book I have experienced. But I plan to return to his work in the Future.
Usually, I like to listen to action-packed thrillers while I exercise. But every once in a while, I download a book that’s a total departure one of my usual selections. The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman was such a fortunate choice.
I found the performance to be poetic and stirring. It is the story of the Zealots, who died by their own hands on Masada after being besieged by the Tenth Roman Legion in the early part of the Common Era. I enjoyed the author’s description of ordinary life in biblical times, as told from the viewpoint of a young woman. The most interesting thing about The Dovekeepers is its use of the Bible as a guide book and a history book.
I have stood atop Masada. The ramp that was built by the Romans still stands. Herod’s castle has been restored. So, I was able to see myself taking part in page after page of this lovely book.
For me The Dovekeepers was a meaningful, carefully crafted voyage into the violent history of civilization’s earliest days.
I have to explain, this is actually a review of two books. You can’t avoid reading The Magician King once you have finished reading The Magicians. Granted, these books are not for everyone. To really appreciate them, the reader needs to be on familiar terms with the land of Mordor and to have shared the joy of flight with Harry Potter.
In the first book, we meet Quentin, an intellectually gifted high school student who lives in Brooklyn. His life changes dramatically when he is offered a scholarship at Breakbills College. During his undergraduate and graduate training, he learns to become a master of the magical arts.
Grossman is superb at developing a strong, imaginative Breakbills student body. The education of a magician is a truly wondrous, yet grueling process. Along with magic, Quentin learns all about loving as well as the pain of rejection.
Upon graduation Quentin and some of his Breakbills acquaintances find their way to the magical land of Fillory, where they become kings and queens, meet a host of marvelous critters and finally set out upon an expedition to virtually save their magical universe.
I loved Lev Grossman’s books. He has created an entire dimension. His book is populated it with never-before visualized characters. These books tell a tale that leaves the reader spellbound by a supersonic flight of the imagination.
James Lee Burke is a truly great artist. Yet, his work is a riddle to me, although I take great joy from each page of his books. Yes, I have enjoyed all of the books. What I like about each of them is -- first off -- the quality of his writing. His descriptions of a scene, or a person, or an act of violence are clear and flowing and simply make you wonder why nobody else has ever figured how to use the language in exactly the same way.
What causes me to wonder and question the man is simply where does he get the inspiration for those murderous, terribly violent and shockingly original characters about which he writes. Several of his heroes have been officers of the law. Although they are good cops, they are always deeply flawed. They seen to corner the market on violent acts. Once, one of Burke's characters dumped a whole pot of scalding hot gumbo on the head of a criminal suspect. In Feast Day, the lead character -- Hackberry Holland -- hits a bartender across the mouth with the fat end of a pool cue, just to see if he still had his old swing.
The plots of Burke's books are often so violent that you have to sit back and wonder if there are people in the world who can actually perform such acts. One of the villains in Feast Day has a Thompson .45 machine gun. He uses it frequently and with great joy to dismember his victims
The plot of Feast Day is -- as to be expected -- a bit strange. There's an oriental woman who worked for the CIA. She still feels deep guilt about calling down the wrath of modern day weapons on people who wanted nothing more than life on the land of their birth. There's a nasty Russian who plans to capture and sell to Al Qaida a man who can provide the blueprints for the Predator drone.
You get face to face with a lot of original characters. You almost grow used to the violence. But you never, never have a moment to shift your thoughts to anything outside of the pages of Feast Day of Fools.
In the past, I have often enjoyed the books of Presto and Childs. This one was most disappointing. It's like they tried to write to a proven formula, but got some of the ingredients wrong. The story is unbelievable. The hero is a mind-reading, supercool dude, who just does not come off as truly mortal. In fact, there is a lot of science fiction in The Ice Limit.
I could have sworn that I was listening to a book by Clive Cussler. Only it lacked the originality of Cussler's characters. Often when I read other Audible subscriber's reviews, I have to disagree with them. It seems that sometimes a reader gets off to a bad start when in the early stages of the book. You miss a critical point and the story becomes meaningless. That did not happen when I was listening to The Ice Limit.
If your time is valuable and you don't care for a jerky plot and characters who do not come off as being human, just leave The Ice Limit in the deep freeze -- where it truly belongs.
This book does not present flag waving pictures about elite troops winning text book battles on fields of glory. Rather, it is about a group of starving, shell shocked, ground pounding U.S. Marines fighting and dying in the jungles of Viet Nam. Mellis and Hawk are two young officers who are ordered to lead their marines from hill to hill and landing zone to landing zone. They face an intractable enemy, jungle rot, man eating tigers and a group of senior officers more concerned with promotion than with the survival of their subordinates. One by one, the men of Alpha Company fall to bullets, mines, disease, or accident. Yet they go on fighting -- because they have been trained to fight until resistance is no longer an option. Matterhorn had me from the first page and never let up. Now I can see that we did not just lose the Viet Nam war. We let the politicians and self-promoting rear echelon egg heads throw it away!
I do not know why I downloaded Black Hills. But I am truly glad that I took the time to check out the book. It's a totally emcompassing work of historical fiction. The author has taken great pains to study the culture of the Lacota Sioux -- in particular, Paha Sapa -- who we meet when he is a child of 11. Paha Sapa, whose name means Black Hills in Lacota, takes a minor part in "The Rubbing Out of Long Hair." He becomes haunted with the ghost of General Custer and carries that hostile spirit in his mind until he grows old.
Paha Sapa's journey follows the history of the Sioux nation. His entire tribe is murdered by the U.S. Army. He has to learn to live in the world of the people he calls "waichu". These are the white men, who the indians refer to as "fat takers".
As the plot develops, we learn much about Sioux language and culture. Paha Sapa joins Buffolo Bill's Wild West Show. He becomes a demolition expert and works on the monument at Mount Rushmore. Of course, he becomes a husband and father. My only regret is that Mr Simmons left out many details in the courtship of Paha Sapa and his wife, Rain.
If you love a great story, you will not be disappointed it Black Hills.
On one level, Ms Neffenegger's book is about Henry -- a time traveling librarian -- and his artist wife, Clair, who he first met on a jump into the past when she was still a toddler in her parents privileged home.
Even the most casual reader will find great good humor and charm in these people. Time travel is non-voluntary. At any moment, Henry can find himself in an unknown date and time. When he time- travels, it is not possible to bring clothes or money. So people often panic when he pops into the scene, nude and defenseless.
To cope with the problems of time travel, Henry learns to fight like a tiger and trains to outrun those who would harm him while he is on a journey. In the grip of the space-time continuum, and the harsh reality of genetics, Henry and Clair form a deep and unbreakable bond of love and trust. Even death cannot destroy their shared devotion. I was charmed by the poetry of their love and thrilled with openness of their love-making.
To me, The Time Traveler's Wife was a truly wonderful listen.
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