I don't often read historical fiction, but I will be returning to this genre soon and often in search of a work approaching the caliber of Agincourt. Cornwell does a marvelous job of fully and viscerally plunging you into life in feudal Europe. His attention to details, from the way longbows and arrows are fashioned to the unimaginable brutality of combat, makes the story utterly gripping. The reader gives an impassioned performance in his depiction of Cornwell's words. This one will really stay with you.
This Reacher novel isn't the best I've read, but it's not the worst either. I enjoyed the setting, the buildup and some of the action, and unlike some other reviewers, I found the ending a pretty satisfying cliffhanger. However, I have to agree with those below who found it implausible for Reacher not to have figured certain things out far earlier than he did. The mystery is a bit transparent.
While his character development and fight sequences still can intrigue at times, Child is increasingly dipping into old bags of tricks to keep the Reacher franchise afloat. This was kind of a photo negative of Echo Burning, for those who enjoyed that one. Our intrepid hero drops into a bizarre and uncanny blizzard world, (instead of the inferno of Echo) and battles the elements and the bad guys. Engaging enough, but Child has done better. (Still love listening to Hill, though).
I agree with those who have compared this book favorably with Stephen King's work. Hill does an excellent job of creating fully fleshed-out characters and a viscerally chilling narrative, using a very accessible prose. I didn't love the ending, and I thought the paranormal stuff verged on silly at times, but it's still a very entertaining read. Solid narration by Mr. Lang, too.
A newcomer to the audiobook experience, I've had a couple of disappointments, but this book thrilled me from start to finish. Everything from the choppy prose to the gravelly reading voice is raw, direct and honest. I'd highly recommend it.
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