The Dewey Andreas series follows the same plot line and general tenor of Brad Thor's Scott Harvath series. The hero never gets shot even though he waltzes through a hail of bullets, and everyone else gets killed. I can deal with this; it is not as real as for example Steven Hunter's excellent Bob Lee Swagger series, but it is good for quick entertainment.
Ordinarily I would have given this book a 4 for story as it was predictable and didn't keep me guessing, but was otherwise an enjoyable read. But I had to take it down a notch for the way the novel was resolved. While the approach was indeed novel, it so strained the suspension of disbelief as to be difficult to swallow. Without revealing the ending, I would say it was like having the tooth fairy intervene. It just was not tethered to the way the world really works.
But if you like Harvath, Mitch Rapp, and that kind of super-agent-hero, then you'll be right at home in this book. It is worth your time for the voice characterizations alone. It was a great performance by the reader.
Lucas Davenport is an engaging character, and the police procedurals featuring his character are among the best. The only thing that has become a bit trite is the "feel" of the novels. They all feel about the same. This pervasive feel has even begun to infect some of Sandford's other work.
While I am sure the city of Minneapolis loves it that Davenport is "their character" it might be nice to freshen things up a bit with a trip out of state, a vacation, or something that takes Lucas out of his comfort zone, and makes him live on his wits and guile. But, hey, that's just me whispering into the mythical John Sandford's ear.
I enjoyed the book (although it clearly sets up a sequel). It also merges characters from Sandford's Kidd series. I liked that a lot too.
Other than needing a fresh coat of paint, this old house is still fun to dwell in.
The thing I love about David Baldacci is that his books never disappoint you. The characters behave in predictable ways. Things work or don't work because this feeds the author's plan. In this case the marriage of the two assassins in the book (the figurative, not literal marriage) is something that works well and that keeps the reader off balance just enough to make the story enjoyable.
Another thing I really like is that female characters are voiced by a woman, and male characters are voiced by a male. Ron and Orlagh do a great job on this book. I loved their performances.
The story is solid, and after years of listening to so many of the author's other characters, these are not just the same old guys with the same old problems. There is a refreshing newness to the writing. This keeps his work from ever getting old.
You'll enjoy the book.
When Dean Koontz writes a series of books, the one thing you can count on is that as the books go forward in the series they get better. Unlike many authors who write a good first couple of books, Koontz keeps writing Odd Thomas in a fresh and exciting way. What I find helpful is that David Aaron Baker gives voice to Odd in a way that is unique. With him dictating the events unfolding, it feels like Odd himself is talking to you. In many ways, he has become Odd Thomas to me, and I don't think it would feel the same if someone else were to read the series. So I give the performance very high marks.
But as new characters come into the series, and old characters continue, I find myself amazed that Koontz can fashion characters that are at once both entertaining and unique. The premise of the novel is, as with all the others, a test for Odd's abilities and yet another punch on the ticket toward his destiny.
I guess if I have a frustration, it would be that after reading Odd Thomas again, I want to go immediately to the next book. These are so good, and the story so thematically powerful (there is evil in the world, and it takes more than good to overcome it, it takes good with a sense of humor and a willingness to hit hard), that I can't put one down without thinking "Okay, Koontz, get busy, I'm waiting!"
If you have not read any of the other books, get them first, listen to them in series, and then end with this one. You'll feel exactly the same way!
Some books just seem predestined to let you down. So it is with Inferno. Dan Brown is a great author, and the premise of this book is a very good one. I thought the book was well-written and the voicing by the reader was exceptional. It kept this book going at a heart-pounding pace... until....well until the plot was revealed toward the end of the book.
Ordinarily the story in a Dan Brown book is a 5. This one rates a 3 because it left me going "what the hell were you thinking?" Only an author with prior published books can get by with a resolution like this one. It would be rejected (or the publisher would demand a fix to the ending) if the author were not well known and the book could not be sold on the name alone.
If you elect to get this book, read the Wikipedia entry for Dante (as in, Dante's Inferno) before you listen to the book. It will provide some background you will find helpful.
If you like Odd Thomas and the numerous other characters created by Dean Koontz (who feels like an old friend to me at this point), then you'll love this book. The character is a modern Oliver Twist, and his partner a modern-day Mary Poppins (sort of). The characterizations in the book are done in Koontz's masterful style, and the story keeps moving forward. I really enjoyed the way the book was read too.
This is book 8 in the Will Trent series. I had not heard any of the prior works by Ms. Slaughter and decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. The characters were three-dimensional, the plotting was very good (even though I figured out who the bad guy was before I was supposed to), and even though it was the 8th book in the series it still provided enough backstory for it to be worthy of a listen. That's rare in one of these series books. It's something you don't get, for example, with the Sandford/Davenport series. So I thought if this book was this good that it was worthwhile to go back and see what the prior books in the series were like. I have gotten through three of them, and they're all very good. I would certainly recommend this series of books.
I had not listened to any of Robert Crais earlier work, but will go back and listen to them now. The opening of the story with Maggie, the German Shepherd in Afghanistan was riveting. The story only got better from there. While Scott James certainly suffered in the opening chapters, it is Maggie's tale that grabs your heart and won't let go. When Maggie is voiced ("Alpha happy, pack happy") you can hear in her words the truth of a dog's life, and you know that someone has taken the time to think about the subject before writing about it.
The only author on par with Crais' explication of dogs is Dean Koontz, and this is easily as good as, if not maybe a little better than some of Koontz's work. As the story unwinds you feel yourself pulling for Scott James, the cop and hero of the book, but you are drawn to Maggie. You keep thinking, I hope she makes it out okay.
This is a terrific book. You won't regret listening to it. In fact, you'll listen to it twice just because it's that good!
In the top 2%.
Odd Thomas continues to be the star of this show. He is quirky, quick with a rejoinder, and unquestionably brave in pursuit of his goal of protecting the vulnerable. You have to love Odd as much for what he isn't (especially talented) as for what he is (resolute).
Koontz has given Odd a distinctive voice, and Baker captures that voice. I really prefer to listen rather than read anything written by Koontz because Baker does such a nice job telling the story.
Odd always makes me laugh.
I canot wait to listen to the next installment due out in May of 2013.
about the middle 40% or so.
The Sandford Prey series. Like the Prey series, this series focuses on one cop, and one set of methods.
I feel like he knows and understand's Bosch.
Cold cases can burn you too...
The only thing I didn't like is the fact that the female character in the book never has her motivation explained. Other than that, it was terrific.
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