Omaha, NE, United States | Member Since 2002
Tom Clancy - writing about Jack Ryan and his 21st century swashbuckling and globe-trotting adventure/spy/drama books - must have been having a VERY bad day when he wrote this stinker of a book! Jack Ryan, now President, authorizes his OWN SON and NEPHEWS to become paid assasins for a government kill-team that targets 'suspected' 'bad guys' ??? Give me a break! The whole book was so implausible that I had a hard time in grasping the concept -- thinking that surely I was missing out on the IMPORTANT stuff.... and come to find out, there wasn't any of THAT, either!
To make matters even worse, the narrator sounds like he's reading poetry - not trying to enliven already dull characters and at least differentiate in voices or dialog, plus he has an annoying habit of ending all his long-winded sentences on a 'downturn' -- sounding like everything had a "Oh, poor thing, it's so sad....." sound -- that might be helpful in reading bedtime stories to not-very-sleepy kids -- but certainly not what was needed for an 'action' story.
And the reward for listening through a painful 16 hours of this nonsense? The story just ends.... as our unproven (to me) hero flies off into the blue - supposedly on his way to another adventure. If it's another adventure like this first one, I'll read a paragraph synopsis and feel like I came out ahead.
Tom Clancy may have 'hit it big' previously -- but this is a total bust! I only rated it ONE star because there was nothing LESS that would qualify as a rating!
This tale of a Connecticut town whisked back into the stone age - and the female captain of a sailing ship - is not the typical 'back into time' story. The captain and her ship offers adventures to other worlds - in pursuit of goods from Europe as well as the pursuit of the bad guy, all told in a compelling manner. It was an interesting & 'fun' read, but didn't have the 'depth' that I need to want to read it again.
"Outing" the captain as a lesbian - and introducing a native girl as a 'companion' to the captain - was disturbing to me. It didn't seem to have much real reason to be in the story, other than, perhaps, for the author to either introduce a SMALL amount of 'sensationalism' - which wasn't too 'sensational' - or controversy. It just seemed 'out of place'.
The captain was the main character - and McLaren did an excellent job in capturing her.
The story spirals around an unsuspected, strange love story that, totally unintentional, unleashes a hellish conclusion. This is NOT your typical murder mystery cop case. It roils with 'under-stories', about all the characters, that keep you interested - and wondering - until the end.
Oddly, after I gave it considerable thought, I thought the detective's final decision was absolutely correct - and absolutely disappointing. It showed a knowledge of one's self, and a moral decision that most would shirk.
As usual, Hogan's performance was 'right on' - telling the story through the author's words, without intruding his own personality.
I love the Shardlake mysteries - and the Shardlake character. I love the setting in Henry the 8th's England - and all the tiny details that author Sansom uses to make his books come alive. I love everything about these books - except that it takes Author Sansom too darned long to write a sequel! ;D The Shardlake series is intriguing in it's unusual 'murders' and 'victims', as well as all the day-to-day characters that fatten up the scenery a bit more. Reader Steven Crossley does an excellent job of voicing the characters. Now that I've listened to this latest book, I'll have to wait another couple of years to hear more - and THAT is the only reason I didn't give this title a 5-star rating! ;D
If you enjoyed the TV series "A Game of Thrones", I'm sure you are looking forward to reading this most recent book of the (to date) 5-book series. DON'T. You will be totally lost in this mishmash of intertwining half-plots and the horrendous performance by Roy Dotrice. Mr. Dotrice has only 3 voices - his normal voice, a lower, rougher version of his normal voice, and a perversion of pseudo-female voices that all fall into one category: crusty crone. Don't expect to hear a seductive voice for Dani - or any type of female voice that is realistic to character. Male characters are similarly flawed - and you often hear the same 'voice' for two different characters - within seconds of each other! - in a conversation. It makes listening - and understanding the story - almost impossible, and totally frustrating. Add Mr. Dotrice's annoying habit of breaking sentences with a slight pause - in a totally inappropriate spot - and the frustration mounts. I enjoyed the earlier books - though that was a LONG time ago. I don't recall the reader making such a mess of the novel, in the earlier books. Other reviewers have praised his work - and I simply cannot understand how they could do so! I love books - I love the written (and well-read) word - and I was looking forward to 49 hours of listening enjoyment. But, it has been "forced labor" to listen to this book. Although I am on part 4, it has been sheer persistence that has kept me listening so far - and I can hardly remember any of the plot, because the characters seem to 'run together' to make a jumble of words. If you are really interested in this series, I recommend that you start with book #1, and work through the series. You'll have a much better understanding of the books and characters - and hopefully have embedded in your mind the important parts of the story, the plot, and be able to sort out the characters by name. Or - wait for the HBO series instead!
I loved this book - every word of it, from the very unusual start.....right down to the last words BEFORE the ending. You quickly become immersed in the hidden Victorian world of sex for sale and the sinners who consider themselves perfect gentlemen in every way - with no thought or understanding of the women they use and abuse, whether whores, wives or servants.
All the realistic and captivating characters are totally believable, and the narrator clearly defines them. The plot has twists and turns that are, for the most part, not too surprising. But the characters, and the story, carry you forward, and keep you caring about the characters - with hope that the story will be true to their personalities and the expected choices that they should make.
You quickly find yourself cheering for an extraordinary 'fallen woman' and hoping that she will overcome all the odds against her. Then wonderful things begin to happen to this deserving woman, and you want this to be the best 'Cinderella story' of all time. But I don't want to spoil the ending for you.
Under ordinary circumstances, I would have rated this book at 5 stars. But, the sudden, unexpected ending really ticked me off - and I down-graded the rating by 1 star. This is ?going to be? or is ?now? a BBC series - so I must assume that the reason for the abrupt ending for the book is because a SECOND season (and book) will soon be on our reading horizon. Curses on the ending of a series that leaves you hanging! But it's nice to know that you will eventually 'know all', when the next season begins. I am looking forward to seeing the TV series - and certainly looking forward to another book that continues with the life of Sugar - a very unusual lady of the night.
Alright - I admit it: I am ONLY 7 hours into this novel....but they have been the longest 7 hours of an audio book that I have ever painfully limped through. I'm intelligent and literate - but my tolerance for 'stream of conscious' type stories evidently has gotten very low. The idea seemed very intriguing: a fine art forger who is a little "different".... And I love the idea of a very long book that gives me a lot of time to enjoy the way words play against each other. But at this rate, I think I'll never make it through the 48 hours total. The Pope used to ask Michaelangelo "When will you make an end?!?" as the years went on and the Sistine Chapel still wasn't finished. For this author, I must ask: "When will you make a beginning?!?" (And a middle, and an end, too!)
....until you feel like you've been covered by the literary equivalent of quicksand. I had hoped for something like "The Company" - or, at the least, an INTERESTING read with action and choice tidbits about the CIA's usually questionable actions. Instead, I could hardly discern the characters - one from another - by the author's descriptive mechanisms and even worse, by the narrator's voice. Will Patton's hushed, whispery voice, often near monotone, matched the mood of the book - depressed, weary to the bone and ready to give up the 'worthless world' and simply float like flotsam until the fates have their way with you. Granted, this may well be the way 'in country' CIA feel,by the time they've been dragged through the politics and stupidities of several countries.... but do we have to base an entire book on this? In addition, after listening to the excellent performances of many other narrators, I was continually exasperated to hear almost the same voice, with the same inflections, each time a new charater was introduced. Patton's idea of language skills seemed to be to lower the voice a bit, make it a bit more whispery -- but with nothing that even came close to sounding like the charater's accents - not Asian, not Indian, not even British. It was doubly hard to keep up with the characters when they all seemed to sound alike. The prose was nice - but in a war zone, I expected a little excitement - voices raised in screams, howls and expletives. Instead, it was: "I'm so tired I think I'll just sit here and whine for a few hundred pages." I, too, will be sure to read ALL the reviews before I make my next selection!
Arrrgghhh! I just listed to 17+ hours of so-so fiction, even less enhanced by a reader who did not create definition between speakers, and who, throughout the entire book, read as though his subject was a history book, instead of a 'drama'. By chapter 9,999, the book was failing to completely hold my attention..... but I could, at least, 'award myself' with hearing a resolution at the end of the book....and then learned that IT WAS TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT BOOK! And even worse, that Part 2 would BE CONTINUED IN PART 3! All I wanted was a reasonably interesting l-o-n-g book that would be at least entertaining while making a long vacation drive. Then, to learn I had to continue with parts 2 & 3 -- well, it was just too much! Shouldn't we be warned that the story is CONTINUED in 2 more books, without a resolution until the end of part 3? Sure, it was an 'OK read', but it will take some serious consideration - or, perhaps, another very long, boring drive, to spend my book credits for Parts 2 and 3! If the author was a 'page turner' like Stephen King, you could at least partially forgive a continuation of a continuation ala The Dark Tower.....but the book would need a lot more interesting twists, turns and surprises to be in a similar league. The story could be told more quickly, and more interestingly.
Like many of you, I was enthralled with Part One of Koontz' Frankenstein 'updated'. I immediately downloaded Part Two -- and quickly realized I should have followed my gut feeling.... don't spend your money on it!
Remember the opening lines of Part One, read by Koontz??? He wrote this book because he didn't like what the TV network had done to his script for a mini series based on the book. I assume he wanted to be sure that his loving readers weren't duped into watching a mini series that wasn't up to his usual quality of writing.
Unfortunately, he duped his readers into buying a 'half book' -- there is no end to Part Two -- it seems to assume that you're stupid enough to buy a 'no end' Part Three...and on and on.
The plot was pretty transparent - but you do hope to see the monstrous 'bad guy' meet a painful end. Unfortunately, very few of the main character's fates are resolved. The narrator is a bit too 'soft' to my liking - but his Southern accents are a bit better than Scott Bricks.....Unfortunately, N'Awlins accents are different than from the typical Southern drawl...sometimes sounding more like people are from New Jersey than New Orleans! I often had difficulty in determining who was speaking - the male or female cop...and I agree that the female cop's voice (and attitude) wasn't nearly as self-assured and driven as I would expect. I did, however, rather like his 'soft and low' voice for Deuchain. ?SP? It seemed to go more with the life experiences of the central character -- life happens - you can't fight all of it.
After reading "The Gunslinger" by Stephen King(all of the books that have been published so far) - and finding each of those 'story parts' reasonably satisfying, I find Frankenstein's Part Two pretty weak, and a blatant attempt to get double the money for a book that's only worth half the price!
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