I finished this book about a week ago and have been trying to figure out how to put my reaction to it in words. Like others I was disappointed that the story wasn't wrapped up, but it is more than that. I just don’t feel satisfied with this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but it seems Wells’ development, his skills, maturity is frozen some place in the past. In many series as the character ages they become less impulsive, more wise, depend less on physical strength and speed and more on cunning, but not so here. Night Ranger showed some maturing of Wells and I liked where the character was going, but not so with The Counterfeit Agent. Plus, as another reviewer said Wells’ personal relationship with Ann doesn't make sense. Within 24 hours of meeting him in an earlier novel, he was off saving the world. Why after multiple years in the relationship is she surprised to see he is still interested in the same work? Her reasoning almost seems like a slap in the face for all the people in the military who also go off to defend the country leaving spouses and kids behind. If you like the John Wells series then by all means get this but don’t expect it to be as good as some of the previous novels nor to be as satisfied.
Butcher is a superb writer. This series and books are written on so many levels. Yes they are action, yes they are fantasy, and there is morality, life lessons, treachery, politics - everything. Pace is excellent, characters continue to develop and mature. My only complaint is that we have to wait too long between each new book.
Kolt and his Tier one operators are back in the beginning of this novel for more well told great detail and action. As usual Kolt finds himself in trouble with commanding officers and Kernel Webber trying to protect him. About half way through the novel Kolt becomes a singleton operator for some mystery organization, at this point I found the transition from a team operator to singleton hard to follow. Kolt and the story spin to more of a CIA operation with Kolt on his own and clearly not part of a team. I miss ‘the team’. I continue to appreciate the professionalism and respect Kolt shows for the female character Hawk, a nice change from many authors. However, there were elements that were missing (I mean what happened to Troy, Hawks boyfriend, when she was missing or later when awards are given), or the fact that Kolt won’t leave a team mate behind yet he doesn’t seem to scour the earth or put pressure on or make a real effort to find Hawk. The first two novels and the beginning of this one are full of exacting detail (mag loaded in pocket with bullets to the right) but then all of a sudden almost all detail disappears and Kolt is a singleton operator. Some of the detail returns at the end in the action sequences and my reaction was ‘phew I am back to the same author and story teller’. I enjoyed the first book, LOVED the second book and the third book is worth the credit but not as great at the second book. I like the characters and the way they are written, like the team and unit, I am looking forward to more.
It was great to once again listen to the adventures of Oliver Stone and the Camel Club. This is a nice little story. It reminded me of what attracted me to Baldacci's writing in the first place. Baldacci should write more novels for the Camel club series and improve the characters in his latest series. In the Camel club novels we know a bit about the history of all the characters even Oliver, but in the King Maxwell and Robie Real we pretty much just known the dysfunctional background of the female characters which plays into their emotional swings. In this short story Baldacci proves he can still write good characters and plots.
I have listened to all the Nation McBride novels. The first two were probably the best. They introduced interesting characters and twisting plots. Option to Kill had loads of potential with the kid who turns out to be his niece texting Nathan for help but got a bit weird dragging the kid along even to the desert. Ready to Kill isn't even close to being satisfying. The first third of the book could be edited out. Lots of detail that never gets used and isn't needed. The plot, if you call it that, is too simple and uninteresting. The most interesting part comes at the end of the book when Nathan and his foe are finally face to face – I won’t say more so I don’t spoil it. I could have set this book down (turned it off) at any time and never been compelled to pick it back up. This is not a page turner and won’t keep you up at night. Dick Hill does a good job. I only gave this book 2 stars because it failed on more than one level – lack of a good plot, lack of suspense, lacked a compelling story and was just ho-hum.
What a wonderful surprise. Unlike so many other authors who have developed a series and decide to go back and do a prequel or retrospective of a character Eisler actually has the character looking back on his early life vs writing as if the story is being told as a current event.. Not only is this a new perspective but it is so well done – WOW. If you are a John Rain fan you must listen/read this one. It fills in history and helps you see how Rain became the in control lethal assassin he is in the novels we have all come to enjoy. And Eisler does an excellent job of reading his own work and helping us 'see' and 'hear' the characters as he envisioned as he wrote it.
This review is for all 3 novels .. The Sean Duffy series is very well written. The backdrop of the Troubles in the 1980s and the references to contemporary events add a special sense of time and place – along with melancholy because the times were so dark in Northern Ireland. The sense of the time, the feel for the place along with the excellent writing make this a detective series well worth the reading or listening too. It is history, a detective story and so very well written and well read.
Baldacci seems to have come up with a recipe for his books and it involves a male character who we generally know little about (no family history, no personal history) and a female character who is tough and lethal but troubled mentally from dysfunctional past (we know her history). The male character is steady, calm, the strategist and thinking (which is about all we know about them). The female kicks butt yet is emotionally unstable. In the early books of a series the male character plays a more prominent role and then as a series continues becomes more background. You can see the pattern in the King & Maxwell novels as well as the Robbie & Real novels as they degraded into this recipe. I don’t enjoy this formula and am getting turned off with each new Baldacci book to the point I will not read or listen to another unless the reviews are outstanding. I loved the Camel Club, especially the early books, liked King and Maxwell early books, enjoyed the first Will Robbie book (The Innocent), The Last Man Standing … I guess Baldacci’s earlier writing…. The Target seems to be 3 short stories connected by a thin thread in order to roll them all into one novel. This isn't a page turner, won’t keep you up at night, and actually is a book you could set down and not go back to. As far as the narrators go, I have never been that impressed with Oraigh Cassidy but in books like the Camel Club series she didn't have to do too many female voices, in this one she did and it was beyond her skills.
Wood's writing and Shapiro's narration have produced another fine listen. Victor behaves a bit out of character from the first 2 in the series (meeting people face to face for example), but his cold calculating ever stratigizing mind is still a strong characteristic. The story is a different twist than the usual assassination character novels - nice to see something new. I can't wait for the next in this series.
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.
The story almost seemed to have been written by two different people. The first part of the book was well written and thorough. Many nice touches that really helped the reader/listener connect with the character. The second part of the book Victor seemed to be a different person. The caution, adherence to protocol seemed to disappear. It was as if he was two different characters or written by two different authors. It also seemed a bit 'cartoonish' with all the players descending on the same location at the same time. I loved the first half of the book and ho hum on the second part. If the whole book was written as well as the first half it would have easily gotten 4 stars. However, listen to this book to help you with the next two (although not necessary). The next two will really hook you in.
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