Enjoyable romp - but so far fetched that you had to conciously suspend disbelief within the first 15 minutes
The most interesting aspect was the slow reveal of the plot and motives. The least interesting was Reachers continuing indestructability. Really? He's over 50 and has the physique of an olympian athelete and the reactions of a cheetah on methamphetamine. He fells foes with one punch, maybe two. No room for self doubt or physical reality. Mind like a Russian chess player - with only two moves, considering only two possible outcomes . Lee Child , if he continues with this series would do better to take in to account the progression of time and give Jack a few more dimensions than Superman missing his cape.
Time for Reacher to grow up I feel.
I really wanted to like this - Book 1 was exceptional, but sadly this compared poorly to the first book, and I was disappointed by the plot. Whilst the narration and performance by Ray Chase was first class, the story seemed to take a diversion to Camelot / Westoros which was a step too far. Like a good film the author should sweep the reader along in a willing suspension of disbelief , sadly this scenario was a complete disconnect from everything preceding it.
Perhaps the author was under pressure for a quick follow up to Book 1, this has made me think carefully about Book 3.
I would caution listeners to only use spare credits on this episode in the series, in retrospect I kind of wish the series had been limited to Book 1, it was that good, and this struggled to reach 60% of the heights reached in the first book.
A great blend of story, narration, acting , pace, the growth of characters, and throughout it all a gritty laconic take on how the average person would deal with world changing events. The use of language and descriptions are remarkable.
Too many to mention. Seemingly ordinary moments were shocking, extraordinary moments perversely mundane, but managed in a fluid and controlled manner that ratcheted up the tension. An ambitious story arc, that combines two Apocalypses, I was hooked from the first 5 minutes.
The two lead characters are both flawed, neither comes across as your GI Joe type and frankly, in pre-disaster times they would have ended up on skid row or inside a cell. I'll go with Walt as he seemed to have descended deepest into despair and climbed the furthest out. The characters start out angry, needy, manipulative, vulnerable, selfish, desperate. Events start to shape them into something else. A welcome relief from previous books of this type that portray the leads as Martial Art / Special forces McGyver super heroes.
Author and Narrator are seemingly perfectly matched. Rarely have I heard a book so well produced on Audible. Well done. Onto Book 2 - I have no idea how that will compare.
A well thought through thriller, with good characterisation and plot development. Far more intelligently written than the "Zombie" apocalypse genre, and keeping the scene tight and focussed on a family & their local neighbourhood makes it very relevant to the listener.
Some reviewers have posted that this family seemed to be smug in their prepped - up house whilst the world collapsed around them; my view is that when the chips are down those who have done some preparation will inevitably be better of than those who have not.
The choices get harder and harder for the family as the story develops. Some people crack under the strain and behave in ways that would be unthinkable pre-pandemic.
As usual in the USA based scenario - the hero seems to have on hand a range of firearms to provide "Stand off" protection to his family and to deter potential disaster striking early.
I shudder to think of a similar scenario in Europe where the only people with firearms would be the bad guys, with no Law enforcement available to act as a deterrent.
A strict policy of zero firearms is great in times of peace and plenty, and when the usual 2% of the population who are criminals are being contained by a well staffed police force. Outside of that scenario - well this story illustrates the potential folly of that position and the risk it exposes the general population to. (Think of the London riots where the police where forced into retreat for days at a time).
It has to be Alex, who was shown to be a bit more complex and have more self doubt than the usual lead characters in these situations. Conversely I found Kate his wife more difficult to empathise with , particularly her ability to sleep soundly every night regardless of the previous days harrowing events - why the hero could not persuade her to have her share of "night watch" duty is beyond me !
I take on board other peoples comment on the obvious maturity of his voice. It did not fit with any of the characters ages, and at times that slightly irritated. On balance though, his measured delivery and pacing offset any misgivings and I really enjoyed hearing him narrate.
Probably Charlie - the weird Neighbour who turns good - just to hear some of his views ( for a laugh).
No - lacks originality, Author gifts the protagonist with millions of dollars, black belt martial art abilities, and to cap it all the voice of an Angel and the ability to play guitar like Eric Clapton. Deeply loves his guns and thousands of words spent describing different weapon attributes.
The most interesting part for me ( and it also nearly stopped me from completing the book - sorry) was the almost homo - erotic descriptions of Gabriel, the "buddy" of the hero Eric, and how they enjoyed grappling ..The least interesting was the portrayal of the main character, he came across as conceited, snide, waspish and a know - it - all. Never mind surviving the apocalypse, it would be hard to see him surviving the company of strangers for more than an hour, he was that annoying.
I think the narration lacked dimesion and believability - maybe it was the editing or studio work, but different characters seem to have inhaled helium before speaking.
Please God, no.
The quality of the writing improves from book to book, and the depth of character description and motivations are real story drivers.
I am a real post-societal thriller fan, and this series has me hooked. The writing has improved from Book 1 in leaps and bounds and the story-line gets richer. Sometimes I have to take a break as the tension gets a bit too high and I dread to hear what happens next !
Believeable characterisation and good acting .
New listeners - persevere, you need to listen to the first two books to do the series justice.
also as an aside, the value in terms of listening hours and "entertainment bang for buck" increases ( look at the run times for each book ) as the series progresses.
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