AUSTIN, TX, United States | Member Since 2008
In my opinion, this may be one of Vince Flynn's very best books. For those familiar with Flynn's past challenge, writing at this level must be no small task. As for presenting "The Last Man" as an audiobook, continuing with the talented George Guidall was also a big plus. Guidall knows the characters - and brings life to them.
Vince Flynn also does what many writers can't do - he's successfully managed the inevitable maturation of an action protagonist whose career has spanned many theaters of intrigue. To do so without making Rapp either uninteresting or unbelievable takes both skill and imagination.
Rest assured, however, the slightly older Mitch Rapp won't disappoint. He's still very to the point and lethal. Even better, Flynn doesn't neglect the evolution of supporting characters like CIA Director Irene Kennedy, Hurley, Coleman and, etc. He also introduces new players - and resurrects old ones - all of whom should prove enjoyable in future stories. Flynn then weaves all these characters into a plausible fast-paced story based on complications the US has with Pakistan (and the Mid East, in general). The complications include duplicitous villains at home and abroad, dangerous thugs and inter-agency competition - all wrapped by greed and ambition.
Along the way, the author gives readers plenty of action and enjoyment while progressing to a somewhat predictable but nonetheless satisfying ending. For me, at least, I enjoy the way that Flynn "lets" Rapp and Kennedy deliver elegant justice rather than cobbling together a slew of implausible events solely for the sake of surprise.
I thought the characters, story and performance were all solid. That being said, the principal players were early teenagers, making the book more appealing to a younger audience. The performer was quite good – colonial English thing is preferred language. That all works well except when pronouncing things that were quite American – such as the Potomac River. Nonetheless, the reader had a good range of voice – despite age or gender.
If you have followed the development of John Wells as a character and you like Berenson's style of writing, this is an audiobook that should not be missed.
Berenson has consistently been able to insert a core group realistic but flawed characters into well-developed, exciting plots that reflect current international intrigues. Though Wells and his allies are often bound together by circumstance rather than choice, it's hard not to "pull" for them – even like them for what they are.
For audiobook listeners white myself, continuing to use George Guidall as the performer is a big plus. Not only does Guidall master of a wide range of voices, language and accents, he also understands story pace and transitions.
A reader can start with this ninth novel about John Wells and still be satisfied – though it probably makes more sense to have read/listened to prior novels to appreciate the life transitions of the protagonists.
I look forward to Berenson's next John Wells release.
If you enjoy Dead Six and it's characters, then Swords of Exodus will not disappoint – in fact, it both enriches the major characters, adds more despicable villains and intensifies the running story.
Some readers (or listeners) do not like the series' cliffhanger endings. For me, however, the conclusions are satisfying enough. On the other hand, I agree with the cliffhanger critics that the follow-on books come too slowly.
Standing somewhere between science-fiction and military thrillers, the second of the Dead Six series is action-packed and performed brilliantly by Bronson Pinchot.
I would recommend starting with Dead Six and continue with Swords of Exodus if you like the two authors' style, story and characters. As for me, I can't wait for Blue Project - and hope the authors will continue the series.
In my opinion, the writer spent too much time on military hardware and not enough on character development. On top of everything else, there were no easy characters to latch on to as favorites. Otherwise, the general plot and writing skills carried the audiobook enough to keep my interest. This release was not my favorite in the Black Flagged sherries.
If you like fiction and the discussion around telepathy, this book will be worth your time and money.
I am fascinated by the subject of telepathy and the evolution of the senses as the human brain continues to evolve. Accordingly, this book had me interested before the first world was spoken. In my opinion, the author developed the story well, using an interesting range of both good and unlikeable characters. Dr. Fleishman went on to mix together a little high level science, suspense, cultural tidbits and a fast moving plot - a recipe for a good book in my library.
Please know that this is the author's first book - and it's published in both traditional and Audible formats. As with many Audible versions of a book, a performer can add to or detract from a book. In this case, the performer's interpretation of one of the more interesting characters was rather harsh to my ear. Otherwise, Orenstein captured a range of genders, ages and accents rather well. All in all, the performance was solid.
As an avid listener and holder of over 2900 Audible titles, I believe this book to be somewhere between 4 and 5 stars. Realistically, I may have pumped this book up by half a star because of the subject matter. Conversely, a reader/listener might drop it a star if the subject matter is unappealing; however, if so, why get it in the first place. I noticed an extremely small number of many readers poorly rated this book - as did one listener. Don't let them put you off - some people are just that way. If you like books of this genre, you won't be disappointed.
In Jet I, the character and story both took a bit too long to develop. Jet seemed to be simply another one dimensional super assassin with extraterrestrial skills and impossible luck. In time, Blake did get around to developing a fun, exciting story with interesting characters, including Jet.
Though it's helpful to listen to (read) Blake's Jet books in sequence, Jet II can be read as a stand alone. Again, the plot is fun, fast-paced and supported by very good (extremely evil & despicable) villains. Though it's no big surprise that these villains are sure to share the same fate, you can't help but cheer for their just rewards.
Braden Wright is an excellent reader capable of a range of voices for varied age, gender and nationality. He reads with a good sense of pace and transitions plot settings very well. Someone should proof a few of his pronunciations, however. For example, gaping is pronounced "gay-ping" not "gah-ping". Wright also described the possibility of gruesome torture as to fill-it (fillet) someone. For welding and woodworking, "fill-it" is OK - but for cooking "fill-ay" is correct. As mentioned, however, Wright is a really good performer.
*** SPOILER ALERT***
It seems a shame that both male allies in Jet I & II have to die. Though flawed, each of their characters were interesting and complex enough to seemingly have value in future stories.I suppose it males sense that Jet can't be "tied down" - but ...
In a time when many traditional mystery and suspense protagonists are running out of steam, author Mike Lawson continues to keep Joe DeMarco and his supporting cast fresh. Unlike the superman-like protagonists in other series, the self-deprecating and often vulnerable Joe DeMarco gives readers believable doses of bravery and good judgement. Supporting characters like former Speaker Mahoney, retired spook Emma and others continue to surprise with additional character complexities.
Even more important, Lawson know how to "spin a good yarn". House Odds has a really good plot with twists and turns that will keep you interested until the end. Also important in any good audiobook, Joe Barrett delivers a really solid performance.
If you like the political thriller genre, don't miss the chance to give this audiobook "a listen".
If you like Alex Berenson, Brad Thor or Vince Flynn, then this espionage thriller should be worth your time and money.
On the other hand, if you demand constant realism, this audiobook may disappoint from time to time. However, I found the main character, Scorpion, complex enough to look past the times when he might have seemed somewhat super-human. By avoiding cliche and highlighting his intentions and tactics, Kaplan made Scorpion and his deeds really interesting if not always well-grounded.
I also liked the supporting characters, both the good guys and villains. In many cases, Kaplan gives readers the latitude to make their own determination of good and evil.
In contrast to many of today's espionage thrillers that focus too much on the hero's franchise rather than on satisfying endings, Kaplan skillfully delivers a conclusion to this book while still setting up the Scorpion's next battle.
In summary, the intricate plot, the realistic description of Iran's inner workings, the intrigue between factions and nations and Paul Boehmer's ability to grasp language, accents, age and gender made this audiobook one of my top "listens" of the past year.
I look forward to Andrew Kaplan's next Scorpion novel.
I have enjoyed many of Harlan Coben's novels - and Scott Brick is an accomplished performer. Furthermore, the concept of Six Years seemed to have a lot of promise. Though the plot was intriguing, unfortunately, the character was not. For a big, strong ex-bouncer turned poly sci professor and critical thinking devotee, the protagonist was a study in contradiction. Scott Brick's interpretation of the character further emphasized these contradictions. Given the issues with the main character, I found it difficult to immerse myself into the story.
Brett Battles is a very good author. I really have enjoyed his "Cleaner" series as well as some of his stand alone work like Little Girl Gone. However, he missed the mark on this one. In my opinion, way too much time was spent on weak characters and a slow, cliched buildup to an unsatisfying ending. I will continue to be interested in his work - but I wish I had skipped this one.
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