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Archer

ratings
8
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Rising Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert Conroy
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    After a devastating encounter with Japanese submarines at the Battle of Midway, American naval forces are left in disarray as Japan dominates the Pacific, but a bold plan for ambushing the Japanese offers the hope of giving the Americans a fighting chance again.

    Archer says: "Interesting What-If story with some factual errors"
    "Interesting What-If story with some factual errors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    In general I really liked this what-if scenario of a lost Battle of Midway and its potential consequences and find the story and development believable in the confines of what I know about WW2. But being a uboat and submarine buff I was a little disappointed in how little the author knew about tactics and technology in that respect. I admit he knew a lot about the torpedo crisis and the living condisitions, but in other respects the knowledge was less well-researched.
    For example an American submarine would not have had the option to run submerged during the whole daytime because submarines at that time simply didn't have the underwater range for that.
    Japanese ASW tactics in general were far inferior to British ones at the time, so a U.S. Sub commander had a very good chance to slip away after a submerged attack without having been spotted.
    Especially with an enemy with no radar capability, fog is the ideal weather for a sub to attack enemy warships on the surface and get away with it. You home in by submerging and listening, and attack when the enemy is in sight and disappear at flank speed into the fog on a different course. German uboats did that on a regular basis until radar came along.
    Hitting a fleeing battleship, that just ran over your position, from behind with torpedoes when it is running flank speed is close to impossible. The torpedoes are not that much faster than the ship itself, you need time to get the sub to periscope depth and calculate an accurate solution and then have a target that's only 15 meters wide and at best already more than a mile away. Even if the battleship didn't zigzag a few degrees it would not have worked.
    Passive radar detectors were widely used especially by U.S., British and German forces to detect enemey units without using the active radar units. For a sneak attack like the one in this book, this would be a good "weapon" of choice.
    Just a few things.
    Don't get me wrong: the story is cool and entertaining, the narrator is good too and makes the people come to life nicely so there are no major complaints. And I guess my fixation with technical details like those, is a bit more that the average reader may care about :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (640)
    Performance
    (582)
    Story
    (587)

    John Puller's older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason and national security crimes. His inexplicable escape from prison makes him the most wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance at capturing Robert alive, and so Puller takes on the burden of bringing his brother in to face justice. But Puller quickly discovers that there are others pursuing his brother, who only see Robert as a traitor and are unconcerned if he survives.

    Joan says: "Time to Give Baldacci a Break"
    "Same old, same old ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read (or listened to) a large number of Baldacci books this was a bit of a disappointment ... again. As with the last "Will Robie" book I get the impression the stories have become quite repetitive as have the lead characters. Most of them had a difficult past with lots of hardship and are now hard, efficient and show little emotion. The men in the current series are all a bit like Oliver Stone, and the women are all a bit like Michelle Maxwell. They act the same, they think the same and to me they start to feel like the are the same. Although they are quite deep and the author provides a nice background they were rather interchangable in recent books.

    In the past stories mainly centered around classic often brilliant criminals like the guy who faked the lottery in "The Winner", the mass murderer in "Hour Game" or the murderous president in "Absolute Power". In recent years (since the Camel Club series came along) all it is about conspiracies on the highest level of government and/or terrorism. In this case a highly intelligent guy is sitting in a maximum security prison on supposedly trumped up charges. He got out somehow and now people try to prove his innocence while people are getting murdered everywhere. Sound familiar? Right, then you probably read "The Sixth Man".

    Don't get me wrong here: all of Baldacci's books are well written and highly entertaining. And if this is the first Baldacci novel you will probably love it. But for regular readers like me they have become very similar. It seems to me the author needs some new ideas for his story lines.

    BTW: Orlagh Cassidy and Ron McLarty are a very good team again and do a very nice job. Also I like the sound effects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Casino Royale

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1341)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (803)

    Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Fleming's tales of secret agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called "Le Chiffre" by ruining him at the Baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him. It seems that lady luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules.

    Pork C. Fish says: "Ouch!"
    "Quite an Underwhelming experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well, I guess as someone who grew up with the Bond movies, I should have known that there would be considerable differences to the books. In general I always found that novels were much better than the movies made from them, and considered this to be true with the Bond novels as well. However, listening to Ian Flemings first Bond novel was a really underwhelming experience in that regard.
    The Bond I grew up with (Sean Connery mostly) is smart, witty, a bit arrogant, quite sexist but in a considerate and charming way. He is also tough and of course a lethal advisary to all who oppose him. In addition I think fairness is also an attribute I'd associate with James Bond.
    This book showed me a different James Bond. And I must say I really don't like the guy. He is sexist too, but is far from charming most of the time. Even realising the book is from the early fifties, I consider Bond behind his time. He is annoyingly arrogant, but lacks the brilliance to carry it off (like the equally fictional Sherlock Holmes does). Ok I grant him tough and lethal, but he's basically just a pain in the ass with a superiority complex.
    The story ... well that's the other thing. I found it quite boring to be honest. Not much going on there and even the scenes that promise action (like the car chase) are not very well done. Which might partly be attributed to the reader. Simon Vance basically does a good job with intonations and emotions, but reminds me too much of Hugh Frasier reading an Agatha Christie novel. And while I quite like her books and Frasier's reading, they're not what one considers action-packed. And neither is this one.
    So this is the first and the last Bond book for me. Back to the movies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Target

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Ron McLarty
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (43)

    The mission is to enter one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The target is one of the toughest to reach. The result could be momentous - or it could be Armageddon. There is no margin for error. US government operatives Will Robie and Jessica Reel have to prove they are still the best team there is. But are they invincible when pitted against an agent whose training has been under conditions where most would perish? An old man is dying in an Alabama prison hospital, it seems there is one more evil game he has still to play. And it's a game which comes close to home for Reel and Robie.

    Archer says: "Best Will Robie book. Very Entertaining."
    "Best Will Robie book. Very Entertaining."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well I'll keep it short this time. After the second Will Robie book "The Hit", it was safe to assume that we will see more of Jessica Reel. And to make one thing clear: that's a good thing. The two characters simply work well together and dragging a 15-year old teenager (the character "Julie" introduced in "The Innocent") around as a potential victim wouldn't have worked indefinitely anyway.
    However that brings me back to a deficit that plagues many authors who write a large amount of books and/or different series: the main characters become too similar, and the stories tend to show a pattern. That's also true this time to an extent. Will and Jessica in many respects have become similar to Sean (King) and Michelle (Maxwell) and the story basically is something that could have happened to them as well. Without saying too much: If I remember correctly the ones who become a target in this book once were a target in one of the King and Maxwell books as well ;-)
    What I especially liked, was the author's focus on the North Korean assassin and her life. That decidedly made the story better and had a nice "two sides of a coin" feel to it.
    So if you like Baldacci I believe you will be well entertained this time too. The story is fast paced, shows some nice twists (and one strange twist, as well as some things that could have been a little less obvious) and has an interesting sub plot that gives some background knowledge about Jessica's past. As with King and Maxwell the male character's past remains largely obscure.
    Performance is great as always. Orlagh Cassidy and Ron McLarty make the story come alive very nicely and I also like the sound effects thrown in from time to time.

    It seems I didn't keep it short after all but I hope this helps you decide.
    Have fun


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Race: An Isaac Bell Adventure, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (844)
    Performance
    (705)
    Story
    (709)

    It is 1910, the age of flying machines is still in its infancy, and newspaper publisher Preston Whiteway is offering $50,000 for the first daring aviator to cross America in less than 50 days. He is even sponsoring one of the prime candidates - an intrepid woman named Josephine Frost - and that's where Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency, comes in.

    Clint says: "Up, Up, Josephine..."
    "Common Cussler. Entertaining but not brillian"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you expect "The Race" to be a typical Cussler you probably won't be disappointed. Like all the Isaac Bell Adventures the story is a little more obvious than the Dirk Pitt novels or the Oregon Files, but well worth the time if you don't care too much for realism and just wish to be entertained.
    I get the impression that which each new Cussler series the quality tends to drop a notch. The Fargo adventures being the absolute low point with stories far beyond the realm of believability and completely hollow unsympathetic characters. However, "The Race" as well as all the other Isaac Bell stories have a nice captivating story as well as some likeable characters which seem to have passions, feelings, ambitions and goals and thus still seem to be people you can relate to. Don't get me wrong. It's still shallow but it's fun, and that's all I need when the name "Cussler" is on the cover.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2997)
    Performance
    (2596)
    Story
    (2609)

    Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst - enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims.No one else can match Robie's talents as a hitman...no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency.

    Rodney says: "I couldn't Stop Listening"
    "A little TOO typical Baldacci"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Hit again? Why?

    Yes I would. The story is fast paced, there are nice story twists which I most likely will have forgotten after some time and I liked the performance a lot. The duo McLarty/Cassidy makes the Baldacci audio books come alive!
    What really makes this book less than very good is the fact that it's TOO much like other recent Baldacci productions. No matter whether the characters are called "Oliver Stone (aka John Carr)", "John Puller" "A. Shaw" or "Will Robie" they all seem to be the same guy. So the loner agent/spy/killer/soldier stumbles into some conspiracy, partners up with someone even though he doesn't want to, saves a couple of people, rights some wrongs but in the end the government screws him over a little or totally. The concept still works but it starts to become a little too obvious. No harm done. The whole thing is quite enjoyable and you will have a good time if you liked other recent Baldacci audio books. So four stars overall but only three for the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rendezvous

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 2 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (254)

    In this tense, riveting mind game, New York Times bestselling novelist Nelson DeMille delivers a suspenseful short story in the tradition of his classic military novels The General's Daughter and Word of Honor. A band of soldiers in its last month of service in Vietnam goes out on a patrol through enemy territory with a female sniper in its path. Recounting the mission in shattering and sometimes gruesome detail, DeMille creates a concise masterpiece of moody suspense.

    karen says: "Fabulous -- and a puzzler"
    "Very good short story. Little overpriced ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Rendezvous in three words, what would they be?

    fast paced, unexpected, compelling


    What did you like best about this story?

    I didn't know what to expect and I wasn't disappointed so to speak. Like "Up Country" and "Word of Honor" it is about deMille's time in Vietnam. American Platoon vs. Vietnamese sniper. But I don't want to give anything away here. The story is short enough to ruin it for everyone reading here if I say too much.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say really. Same as above. Don't want to call a spoiler alert.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No problem here, since it's only a short story :-)


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther: John Corey Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    It's one of the most dangerous and volatile countries in the world: Yemen. A Middle Eastern hotbed of corruption and insurgency and the perfect training ground for Islamic terrorists. When FBI agents John Corey and Kate Mayfield are assigned to overseas posts in Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, they are tasked with hunting down a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative.

    Martin says: "My heart sank when I saw who the narrator was ..."
    "Mostly tedious, sometimes funny. Worst Corey book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Well, yeah, there is. The plot actually. Although the basic story sounds like a no-brainer for a good book, deMille this time simply didn't manage to pull it off. Maybe it was just one "we are hunting the Arabian terrorist with a chip on his shoulder" story too much. It's hard to be precise for me here, but the story seemed a little tedious, although there was a lot going on and the desciptions in Jemen were very good and gave me a nice picture of the surroundings it seemed that the story was not really moving forward. It was a little like story for story's sake.
    In addition John Corey for the first time (read them all) really really got on my nerves and I would have liked to kick his wisecracking butt back to NYC. Introducing another alpha male - Paul Brenner - whom I liked very much in "General's Daughter" and "Up Country" was not the stroke of genius it first seemed to be. First of all he was only a supporting figure which he doesn't deserve, and second he is a wiseass too and two wiseasses where too much this time. In addition Brick uses the same intonation for both of them and that sometimes gets confusing in certain dialogs.
    What I really couldn't understand though was the bad guy. After such terrific villains as the Lion, Frederic Tobin or our favorite CIA guy Ted Nash (R.I.P.) to name only a few, this guy - the Panther - seemed to be totally pathetic and not an opponent at all to any of our three heroes. The guy is arrogant, stupid and basically only a thug and worst of all incompetent as a terrorist. I mean killing tourist is not a terribly nice thing to do but it really doesn't take a genius to accomplish it. His final hideout was a joke and the story's end beyond anticlimactic. In essence I was glad it was over but if the ending had been better it might have made the whole book a bit better. Maybe it's time for John Corey to change profession or maybe to hunt some other bad guys. Maybe really something of the "Wrong place wrong time" feel I got from Plum Island, or maybe a good detective story like in "The Book Case" Would love to hear more from Corey's NYPD days.


    If you’ve listened to books by Nelson DeMille before, how does this one compare?

    Badly. This one doesn't stand up to any of them.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Quite well. Always liked the guy and he did his job as expected. His main problem was that he used the same intonation for both Corey and Brenner, which probably couln't be helped since he read all Corey as well as all Brenner books.


    Did The Panther inspire you to do anything?

    Well it didn't exactly inspire me to go to Jemen, but that most likely wasn't the intention. John Corey made a strong case for staying clear of the area.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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