This first book in the two-book series following the flawed Will Piper is wonderfully done. The story is well developed, believable and simply an enjoyable listen. In the genre of Dan Brown... you can read either book first and you will find it completely understandable and enjoyable... tying the two together makes it remarkable.
This is more of a story about how a country (willing to invest billions) could slow down (not eliminate) the flow of cocaine in the world. It is not a story, it is a narration and a poor one at that. It was difficult to listen to a policy-wonk explanation of "how to" in the disguise of a novel. Save you effort.
The plot concept is wonderful and the author does a nice job setting up the main characters and the location. The "action" comes in very predictable spurts and is so unrealistic that it feels as though the reader is the one on the roller coaster ride. It is clear that no-one important will be hurt and yet the main characters are remarkably at every major event. It is so unbelievable that I began laughing out loud at the later critical scenes. The final acts include a robot dog with C4 strapped to its back and a short fuse that is lit... incredibly it takes minutes for this fuse to ignite the C4 and to our amazement, this accidentially happens in just the right spot. The author fails to address what happens to one of the main characters at the end even though he has clearly tried to tie up all the loose ends! A frustrating read.
The writing style is a very effective blend of current day and historical background. The mix works well and seems to arrive at just the point that the reader is looking for more information. The plot was sufficiently complex to make it an enjoyable listen. Well done.
The author certainly has an interesting story line, but does such a poor job with the story that the reader is forced to make up events. At times the plot is connected and developed as when the author builds the main character. However the action sequences are rushed, inexplicable at points and wrapped up in such a simple fashion each time that they are simply not believable. The final 3 hours of the audiobook are painful and frustrating. Too bad, because the potential is there.
Speaker for the Dead is an excellent book that is the perfect companion to Enders Game! Ender and his family have brilliance beyond most humans and are able to use light-speed travel to extend their lives thousands of years as Ender searches for himself and to replace the Hive Queen!
The problems with this are cautionary and are strictly related to the production:
1) The production uses 8 different voices for the book. However, they do not relate to the characters, instead they seem to come and go at random. You get used to Ender with a particular voice, the chapter changes and a new voice is there. There is no rhyme or reason for this change.
2) Periodically (and unfortunately at the most important points in the book), the production company inserts music on top of the words that is so overpowering that you virtually can't hear the words. I have listened to dozens of books and have rarely been as frustrated. I want the words, not the music that some producer wants to insert.
All in all an great listen if you can keep your level of frustration with the way it was presented down to a minimum.
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