The plot itself was pretty good. Plenty of action and suspense. It was a curious book in that Greaney spent time exploring the character and motivations of the main "bad guy" and not nearly as much about the Dom Caruso, the main hero. I would have liked to know more what makes Dom tick. As it stands the book made him pretty 2 dimensional.
Meh. There are some good things about this installment. The characters are engaging and the storylines are pretty good. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through and it plods along in spots.
The thing that is sort of irritating in spots is some forced "speechifying" that was in the first two installments, just not as obvious as it is here. It's like when a TV show wants to make a point by the plot, but they stick in 5 minute dialogue or soliloquy at the end to make sure the dim-witted get the point before it's over.
That and the gratuitous sex scenes get a bit cringe-worthy at times. It seems like there's a timer in Follett's head that says, "Time to insert another graphic scene whether it makes sense or not." Par for Follett, but it seems forced at times.
I thought the overall storyline was interesting, but to have Nathan McBride drag around a 12 year old on his harrowing adventures in constant danger seemed pretty reckless for a trained operative. Be ready to suspend your disbelief.
I'm not sure if it was the performance or the dialogue in the text, but sometimes the 12 year-old heroine sounded like a 5 year old and sometimes she sounded like she was 25.
This being the third Nathan McBride audiobook I've listened to, it finally struck me what I find problematic with Dick Hill's performance. He sounds old. Generally I like to think of the narrator in my head as being about how I'd imagine the main character. When I hear Dick Hill do Nathan McBride I hear someone more like an old grizzled detective than a younger, in his prime, special ops guy.
But, overall, worth the credit.
Interesting story line with lots of twists. You don't usually get an ancient artifact story in rural Minnesota. Plenty of interesting characters.
This is the third Virgil Flowers audiobook I've listened to. I just don't like Eric Conger as much as the narrator of Sandford's Prey series. The narration is just average. If you're from Minnesota, both Conger and Ferrone's occasional hatchet jobs on local place names will cause a chuckle.
I mostly enjoy the Alex Hawke series and this one was ok. Seems like thriller writers got together and all decided to use the Chinese as protagonists for the last 2 years or so.
For whatever reason, this one was bouncing back and forth between a few three story threads all the time which got sort of irritating. When it started to flow together about 3/4 the way through it finished well.
I can never quite get into John Shea's performances. It was ok, but it seems like he's done better in the past. Something about his Stokely Jones really grates on me. His job was made easier because his main Chinese bad guy and his daughter all speak with British accents. Ok, but not great.
I really liked the early Cotton Malone books, but the series seemed like it was losing steam into just being "ok" and formulaic. I found the story line here to be well paced and engaging. I did find the big historical secret to be a bit of a laugh-er, but if you can suspend your disbelief and stifle some giggles and focus on the spy story and intrigue aspects it's an enjoyable ride.
Scott Brick does his usual solid job. He's not my favorite but he does a good performance, but I do always struggle with his representation of female characters that always sound the same.
I think the story line was pretty good although it was a bit one dimensional with very few surprise twists. In the end the cliche "Love is stronger than hate" bumper-sticker meme was written in a way that it seemed pretty forced.
Usually when I dislike a book it's because the narration is flat. In this case, the narration is over-wrought and overdone. It made the final confrontation very hard to listen to because it seemed so over-the-top. I've heard this narrator in the Jack Reacher series and he was ok, but in this one it was a hard one to listen to. And he does Hispanic characters especially poorly in this one to the point it almost made me chuckle.
I abandoned this one about an hour and a half in. It was just a stale recitation of multiple murders in LA over a several years. I was expecting a murder mystery.
The narrator was below average. Just not interesting. In fact, quite depressing.
They spent way too much time setting up the characters in the first half of the book it just got tedious. The narrator was not very good, pausing after each sentence or two it made the whole book seem choppy. Sort of like a book narrated by William Shatner.
The second half of the book was ok and moved at a decent pace. The narrator actually went three or four sentences between pauses.
The story seemed ok. A bit formulaic if you've seen 24. The shadowy secret forces behind an apparent terrorist attack, etc., etc.. The narration was awful. It did get better near the end. I think Mr. Bernard needs to get more practice before doing another audiobook.
It's hard to evaluate the merits of the story when the narration is not very good.
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