Fist of all, I am a huge Orson Scott Card fan, and have almost every book he has written. This is by far his worst effort.
The characters spent 90% of the book bickering with each other. While "teaming" together, the characters were constantly annoyed and upset with each other, whining, complaining, and disgruntled. This constant sniping and bickering was not necessary for the plot, and made for a miserable listening experience.
I'll buy into the idea that the way the characters felt was realistic, but not what I look for in fiction.
Grave disappointment. I kept waiting for the "friends" to stop snarling at each other, and to just move on with the story, but it was not to be.
I loved the first book, Pathfinder, and was so looking forward to the sequel. What a disappointment.
- Solid plot.
- Good secondary characters (Shep, Kat, Boss Man, Dodge, etc); the author does a good job of making the secondary characters very likable or easy to hate.
- Pretty good writing for the action sequences.
- Dialogue between secondary characters is good.
- The main character, Michael Wingate, is so whinny and weak it is painful following his story. He spends all his time weeping over little things (a contractor screwed him) and big things (actual bad things happen to him).
- Dialogue between Michael and anyone else is painful to read. Michael is way too lost and whining. It is realistic for a man to act this way, but it is no fun to read.
- Way way way too much talk about how much Michael loves his wife and kid. Ok, we get it. He loves them. He's worried. This book could have been reduced by 25% and lost nothing just by cutting a few thousand words on this topic. Hey, we love his wife and daughter, too, because the author did a good job of making them likable. But we don't need to listen to Michael's inner voice incessantly bemoaning the family's situation.
I almost stopped reading after Chapter 13, then in Chapter 14 met Shep. Shep is a really well written, interesting character - and unfortunately, that caused me to keep reading. This book has a lot of potential, but it is lost in the bitching and moaning of the main character.
Oh, and it is poorly narrated, as Scott Brick speaks in something of a fading soft voice. This actually amplifies Michael Wingate's whining - just narrate with a strong voice, the weak, fading soft voice was really annoying.
If you want to read a good book with this sort of genre, I recommend "The Son" by Jo Nesbo.
I love the premise of the trilogy, and Robin Hobb does a very good job of character development and general storytelling. But the pain and suffering that main characters go through, and the terrible decisions they make, ruins this book. After reading reviews of the third book in the trilogy, I decided not to read it. Great performance by Paul Boehmer.
I guess if you like dark books where there is mostly pain and loss and crappy things happening, with no end in sight, this will be a great book for you.
I've read all of Jo Nesbo's book, and I generally view him as a solid "4 star" author. This is his best work; great characters, great plot. Edge of your seat, the "pages" fly by. Highly recommend; I don't give many 5 star ratings.
I really enjoyed this book. Good characters, good story. Very good storytelling, with believable plot and believable action.
The narration was too slow. Each. Word. Often. Spoken. With. Great. Precision. The story was decent and entertaining, though the character development could have been a little better.
I didn't plan on reading further into the series, but at the end of the book was the first two chapters of the second book in the series, and it started very well. Different narrator, and he sounded very good, and an interesting start to the book, so I'm going to give Jack Reacher another try.
Hobb's writing is very good, the characters are well developed and interesting, and the premise of the plot is very good. Boehmer does a great job narrating.
But it is just PAINFUL, the terrible decisions that are made by the protagonists of the story. You like and care about Fitz, but it is just painful as he lurches from one bad decision to another. And often he gets terrible advice from his mentors.
Thank you to the reviewers of Book 3 who made it clear that Book 3 is more of the same, so I could save myself the pain of slogging through it. The first book was pretty good, I'd recommend stopping there.
The Gray Man is this super awesome guy - I'm good with that. He's portrayed as very well trained, and very good at what he does. But how does he get through the book alive (sorry for the spoiler, but I assume since this is Book 1 in "The Gray Man Series," one would figure he'll live through it)? He lives through it by getting lucky, time and time again. It gets tiring reading about how he just barely misses getting killed, and makes dumb decisions. Based on the main characters actions, he really isn't well trained or good at what he does, but rather he is dumb, honest, very stubborn, and very lucky. A mostly entertaining book, but if Greaney would have the character rely just a little more on skill, and a little less on luck and dogged determination, it would be much more enjoyable.
This series feels like it could be so good, but it just misses. The dialogue between characters - particularly between good guy and bad guy, or during or just before battle - is terrible.
Also, the Gray Man makes certain decisions that just make no sense - one such decision caused me to actually stopped reading with about an hour left of this book, which I NEVER do. It was so ridiculous, that about only an hour to do go, I just gave up on the book completely.
For books that are similar but actually work and make sense, read the Mitch Rapp series. I was hoping this would be another series I could get into, but I'm done with it after 1.9 books.
Along with the "Consent to Kill," Vince Flynn raised raised the bar with "Act of Treason." I've enjoyed all of the Mitch Rapp series, but "Consent to Kill" was the best, with "Act of Treason" a close second.
I've enjoyed the Mitch Rapp series, each prior book was good and enjoyable. This one, though, really took off, and I couldn't put it down.
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