Mr. Wood does such a great job of writing his characters that you are suck into the story. I like that he seemed to give a conscious and a soul to his handler at the CIA, something few authors do. He also does a nice job of moving the story along with lots of action but it doesn't feel like it is forced or contrived but flows naturally. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next but also didn't want the book to end. Mr. Shapiro does a great job with voices, inflection and speed.
I have listened to all 3 books in this series, the first one was the best of the three, and this might be the least. The plots have potential but I think the double and triple secrecy, distrust, convoluted plots, number of characters, the ease or frequency that characters are killed off, and lack of a likable protagonist make it difficult to feel satisfied at the end of the book. I have listened to the Grey Man, John Wells, Jack Reacher, John Rain, Johnathan Quinn, Pike Logan and other espionage series and this is by far the series that is the most graphic, cavalier and liberal with the use of torture. It also goes to great lengths to describe multiple times the human body’s reaction to being hit with various types of ammunition. It almost feels like the author has a fascination with firearms with the level of detail given to them and the ammunition, torture and bullets penetrating flesh. The whole series feels off, a bit disturbing or unsettling. Even Tom Wood’s Victor and Barry Eisler’s John Rain series about assassins are satisfying, this Black Flag series isn't. Listen/read the first book but stop there.
This is my first Tom Clancy book and if this is any indication of how he wrote it will be my last. I have been enjoying the Grey Man series by Mark Greaney and went looking to see if he has released another in the series yet. Instead I see a Tom Clancy/Mark Greaney recent release Support and Defend. So I give it a try. Pretty good book and well worth a listen but I realized it wasn't the first book in the series so I decided to go back and pick up the earlier books when the campus series started. What a mistake. Teeth of the Tiger is nothing like Support and Defend. It is repetitive (more than once we are given information –the same information only presented a wee bit differently). It is melancholy, lacks energy to move the book forward; there is no suspense (NONE), loaded with useless detail about the Sr. Ryan that isn’t needed for the story. Actually a good bit of the book recaps events from the Sr. Ryan’s life almost with nostalgic reverence. It was actually torturous to listen to and more than once I considered just turning it off never to turn it back on. Now that I have finished the book I realize I should have just turned it off. I guess I kept it on because I had enjoyed Support and Defend and naively held out hope for this book. Don’t waste your time or a credit, skip this book.
The Robin Monarch series balances time spent developing the characters, learning about their internal conflicts, and plenty of action. He is a hero we can love and root for. I have listened to all 3 novels and the short stories and enjoyed all of them, including this one. The Thief, through flashbacks, provides a great deal of Monarch & Sister Rachael’s history. This was a good book but I don’t think it was the best of the 3 and I can’t put my finger on why. While I wanted to keep listening and not turn it off, once off I wasn't going nuts trying to get back to the book, at least not in the beginning. I should mention that Sullivan clearly has a 'playful' side deliberately using irony and humor which enhances the books and makes them different than some in this genre. If you have enjoyed the other Monarch stories you will like this one, just maybe not as much as some of the others.
There really wasn't much 'Reacher' about this story. I am not even sure why it was written. The only thing I found interesting about this short story was the location - because I know the area in Maine; an area that even most Mainers don't know (most live in southern Maine and never drive north). There just didn't seem to be much point to the story. Reacher was an observer and not really a participant in the story - very un-Reacher like.
I am a big fan of espionage, mystery, and detective thrillers. I appreciate and enjoy a good action story with well developed characters and lots of action - this book has it plus a new perspective. It was interesting to listen to the internal compos and struggle of apparently competing vocations that of a minister/preacher and a soldier, yet I am sure that our military men and women don't have to be 'of the cloth' to feel these same struggles. Don't let the vocational twist however distract from the fact that his predominately an espionage story with the usual bad guys, betrayal, money and action scenes. I am looking forward to the next installment in this story. I found the narrator did a good job.
I have read or listened to just about every Baldacci story. I actually think some of his earlier work is some of his best. This novel hearkens back to some of the earlier work with strong characters who have emotions and some baggage but aren't paralyzed or relationship-dysfunctional (latest Kind-Maxwell for example or Robie-Real), it includes conspiracies, twists, and a satisfying ending. The week point in this whole novel is the scene around the cabin. Since I don't want to spoil the novel or the scene lets just say the characters behave so out of character that it jolted the story and well felt odd like the reader/listener is in a different novel. Two intelligent, deliberate characters with supposedly lots of experience behave like armatures .. it is such a shock that it takes a while for the reader/listener to recover. I checked with a friend of mine who also listened to the novel and who is actually the one who introduced me to Baldacci and he too found the behavior of the characters in the scene disruptive to the flow. The reader mental jerk in the story line is very disruptive but a few scenes later I recovered and went on to enjoy the remainder of the story. Would I recommend this, yes. If you like Baldacci you will enjoy this story.
I am a big fan of espionage thrillers (Battles, Berenson, Eisler, Flynn, Greaney, Taylor, etc) so I don’t make these comments lightly – I love a good thriller. This is the second Jake Adams novel I have listened to. The plot has possibilities but the characters are superficial, the protagonist doesn't seem to do anything other than be in the story. His actions don’t influence events nor does he solve anything, to be honest I am not sure Jake Adams has any impact on the story line other than to connect characters. I felt very unsatisfied with this novel. It isn't that the writing is poor or that Stefan Rudnicki doesn't do a great job narrating the novel, it simply lacks a hero who actually is important to the story and influences the outcome. Spoiler alert – Adams fails to protect his clients, fails to protect one of the witnesses, and puts himself in compromising situations that result in his being beaten. Just doesn't seem much like a hero or someone who drives the story, it happens around him.
There are two books in this series, this is the second. The first was very enjoyable and satisfying this book much less so. I haven't been able to put my finger on why. I think one reason is Dick Hill. Stefan Rudnicki narrated the first book and does a better job creating a cool under pressure operator tone and cadence. And I think he did a better female voice. Dick Hill seems to have an edge and almost pushy tone to his reading. The story is also a bit stretched with some elements barely tied together. It just wasn't as satisfying as The Protector.
An enjoyable and satisfying story. Interesting plot and lots of action that is well paced. Characters are well developed. Some surprise twists the novel really has everything. Stefan Rudnicki does a good job with male and female voices. I enjoyed his narration of the story. Well worth the listen.
This story reminded me a bit of the Sigma Series by James Rollins. In the Sigma Series the operatives deal with mostly biological threats in this new series with Trent Turner and Island Industries is dealing with technology threats. To create suspense the author uses each chapter to follow a different thread in the story. This technique is used fairly commonly by other authors but seamlessly and aren't the only method to create suspense.. This felt contrived and forced – like it was being used as a recipe for suspense. It also seems the author tossed everything including the kitchen sink into the plot. There are just too many side stories, issues or clichés that it again felt forced. Maybe a better editor? A few general examples that shouldn't spoil anything: a powerful elected official involved with a secret society, blackmail, dysfunctional family, family members in trouble, beautiful talented women who then helps save the day, unknown offspring, protagonist in hot water with employer … just so much tossed into this book, could have been a number of books with the different elements expanded into more of a story. It is just too much. And then there are events that seem to come from no where and are never explained (how did the Russian Assassin find Trent at the gas pump?) I think the series and author have lots of promise, but the author and editor need to slow down not put everything in the first or second novel. The topic of technical espionage has lots of promise and the protagonist is a good hero but the suspense or action are too forced and details missed
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