Michael survived China. Barely. But now he's got bigger problems. A pair of coordinates broadcast on an obscure frequency have brought Michael to Istanbul, Turkey where credible chatter has emerged that a terrorist group plans to use a devastating device to hold the world hostage.
Designed by Nikola Tesla, arguably the greatest inventor of the Twentieth Century, the weapon is experimental, it is capable, and it has been missing for almost sixty years.
If Michael is to prevent a catastrophe, he'll need to get to the device before the Conspiracy or risk upsetting the global balance of power forever. Of course, finding the Tesla Device is one thing, knowing whom he can trust with it is another matter entirely.
To survive, he'll have to do both. If he doesn't, what started as a bad day is about to become a disaster.
©2013 Lars Guignard (P)2013 Lars Guignard
I was more than thrilled to dive back into the world of Michael Chase in the second book in the Lethal Circuit series, Blown Circuit. I don’t read a lot of espionage thrillers, though I usually have a good time when I do. I really enjoyed Lethal Circuit, and though it was nice to have the familiarity with Michael’s background, it’s definitely not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy the thrills and action in Blown Circuit (but I highly recommend it, it’s also a wonderfully exciting spy thriller). There are a few familiar faces from the last book, but Guignard does a great job of explaining their significance, so new readers (or those who have trouble remembering all the details of book one) are in the know.
Michael is still on the hunt for his father, following his clues to Istanbul, where he discovers a terrorist plot to revive a device designed by Nikola Tesla that could raze cities. After the last book, I’ve learned never to trust anyone Michael encounters, friend, foe, or stranger, but the plot twists and betrayals still managed to surprise me. Once again Guignard completely transported me to another country, and I was as much in awe of the sights and sounds of Istanbul as I was with the non-stop action and intrigue. And the action is definitely non-stop this time around—the book begins with a bang and never really lets up.
I enjoyed Blown Circuit slightly more than the last book. The suspense level was so much higher in this book, and it was tightly plotted and thrilling throughout the story. Guignard has achieved a good balance between plot, character development and action. The narrator did a wonderful job at rapidly shifting between accents, which he gets to show off pretty often, and conveying the tension and drama of the nonstop action. By the end of the book we have a satisfying resolution to the Tesla Device adventure, but still plenty of questions to keep us itching for another mission with Michael. I can’t wait to see where he goes next!
I’ll admit I was very excited to see this audio book after finishing the first book in the series, Lethal Circuit. But initially I wasn’t sure if I would listen to it or not. Yes, I wanted to know what would happen next but what kept me from instantly rushing to listen was worry over the narrator. Then I found out there was a new narrator for this book and most of my worries went away.
As soon as I started listening to this audio book I could tell it was going to be good. Though I was thrown for a loop right away as well. The book was written in first person, where as the previous novel was done in third person. It took me several chapters to get used to this shift in perspective, however the further into the story I got I realized that I actually enjoyed it being written this way. Being done in first person really gives the reader/listener a better view of what is happening in the story and a deeper look into who Michael is and what it takes him to overcome the odds he is facing to try to save the day again. I think this style of writing also brought a smoother feel to the story. It’s true I would have liked to have seen a more in depth look at some of the new and recurring characters, however it was only a minor thing to not know what a character was thinking at a particular moment in the book.
As with the previous novel there was a lot of action in this book and that along with the quick paced, well-flowing story line I found myself listening to hours of this at a time but it only feeling like a few minutes had gone by. There is a nice mix of action as well, from fist fights, gun battles, speeding boats, explosions, dangerous climbing and so much more. Without this the book would have lacked a lot of it’s heart and soul, and I’m glad for the large amount of action from page one all the way to the final page.
There was a great mix of characters in this book. Along with some recurring characters, some of who were less expected than others, there was also a good amount of new characters as well. Of course as each character is introduced I was trying to figure out who they truly were and how they would affect the story as it progress. Some of the guesses that I made were accurate, while others were well off their mark.
I have to say that the narrator, Russel Jonas, did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. He did real well with putting the various emotions Michael was feeling into the story, the rhythm he set as he read really brought the actions scenes truly to life. Since my main worry over this book had been about the narrator I was so happy when this new narrator worked out and really helped this story become what it was.
As for things I didn’t like about the book, well there weren’t many of them. The first one was the shift from third to first person. While it didn’t bother me in the end so much I feel that at least for consistency wise in the series I would have liked to see the story remain in the third person perspective. This small detail wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but being thrown off at the beginning having assumed it would be in third person because of the previous book led the a small amount of distraction from the story. The second thing I didn’t like was how things became a bit too predictable, especially in the second half of the book. I was a bit disappointed to see a few too many things coming but mainly to see Michael fall for nearly the same things he did in the previous book. I honestly wanted to yell at him, pointing out the obvious mistakes he was making but more so that he made those same mistakes only days ago (since this book happens a few days after the end of Lethal Circuit). However, it’s these stupid mistakes that he makes that also gives Michael that realistic feel to him. He is a flawed character, he makes mistakes, sometimes makes the same one twice, and yet he learns from others. The fact that he isn’t a perfect character brings an appeal to listening to this book.
Overall I thought this book was really good, not great like I was hoping for but really good. I think those who enjoyed the previous book as well as those who like action and thriller novels will enjoy this book and I look forward to seeing future books in this series.
Candace's Book Blog
Blown Circuit takes off only days after Lethal Circuit ends. If you haven’t read or listened to the first book, it’s kind of okay. This was definitely it’s own story. There are things mentioned in this from the first book though and I think you would benefit from reading it. This book is fast paced and action packed, without really a moment to relax as Michael is constantly on the run for his life.
Characters~ Michael is the main character and I really like him. He’s not perfect and we see that, but that makes him even better as a character. Michael is one of those characters that knows a lot of stuff. It may seem a bit far-fetched that he knows so much about all these things, but it’s easy for me to write it off as him being smart and having a good memory. His father also kind of trained him as he grew up so he knows how to work with what he has, in the situation he’s in. He might not always make the right choices, but he makes the best choice he can with the information he has. And it’s always entertaining seeing how he’ll get out of it.
There’s a lot of new characters in this installment, but also some from the previous book. I don’t want to spoil anything though, so I won’t say more. This is a book where you never know who is good and who is bad. Who you can trust.
Plot~ This is an action packed spy thriller and Michael is constantly on the run. He’s originally trying to find his father but he’s sucked into a different thing and that becomes priority at the moment. He has to kind of solve a puzzle and piece the clues together and then make sure that the wrong people don’t get their hands on it. This is easier said than done… The book is full of twists and turns. Some are more predictable, but for the most part I felt like I was on a wild ride that I had no clue where it would take me. And it was fun!
Narration~ This has a new narrator and he did perfect! I thought it was amazing that he sounded similar enough to the narrator from the first book but better. He did the many various accents absolutely perfect and I have not a single complaint about the narration. It was perfect!
Negatives~ My only negative is actually something that fits the story and the genre so it’s only a personal issue (remember this is kind of outside my normal genres), but it felt like some things were explained a bit too thoroughly. Like too much explanation. For many this would actually be a positive because they need these explanations to really understand what is happening. I found that I didn’t really care so much about all that stuff, like what kind of gun it was and what it can do, etc. This is a negative that is actually a positive for many (if not most).
Overall, this was an excellent book and I think it’s a series that I’ll have to continue as I’m really loving Michael and want to know more about his father and what is happening in those regards.
Blown Circuit by Lars Guignard is the second book in his thrilling Circuit Series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first, Lethal Circuit, and couldn't wait to continue Michael's story in Blown Circuit. Lars Guignard has written another fantastic spy thriller. The action and adventure never stop! Michael is an enjoyable character and I am glad his story is a series. Blown Circuit has a different narrator than the first book in the series. I think that Russell did a great job narrating the story. It felt smooth to listen to and he easily transported me into Michael's world.
Blown Circuit by Lars Guignard is a well-written thriller. The narrator tells the story perfectly. Well worth the read, and definitely the listen. :)
I received a complimentary audiobook from the author for review purposes. This did not influence my review in any way.
I'm a Canadian book blogger who loves audiobooks. My favourite genres are sci-fi and fantasy, especially anything paranormal.
Yes. I've listened to 2 of his stories, and they were both exciting espionage adventures. His storytelling is fast paced and action based.
The audiobook production really enhanced the story. Not only did the voice fit Michael’s personality, but I don’t think I’ve listened to a more involved narrator. The excitement and energy that the narrator brought made the story that much more harrowing. It’s obvious that the narrator got sucked into the story and the enthusiasm that he brought to the production was incredible.
Yes. There is a lot of political and historical information which I found myself a little lost following. But the action more than makes up for it as the plots rolls by super fast with lots of twists, turns and surprises. It’s not really necessary to completely understand the political aspects to enjoy the urgency of the book.
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Michael Chase is a reluctant spy for the CIA. All he wants is to find his dad, but trying to locate him in China turned into a whole other mission that he barely survived. Now, credible intel puts his dad in Turkey, so Michael heads there with hopes of finally finding him. Instead, he comes up empty except for a few obscure clues and yet another mission to save the world from bad things. Will he survive this time, too? And will he finally find his father?
This is an exciting scavenger hunt and a race to find the pieces to the Tesla device before the bad guys do. The race is heart pounding, the clues mysterious and Michael has no idea who to trust. It’s an enjoyable thrilling ride. However…Michael is just too knowledgeable about everything. He knows every kind of weapon, boat, ship, vehicle, helicopter and just about every fact from ancient history to the present in every subject under the sun. Ok, maybe he doesn’t know everything, but it sure seems that way. It gets to be tedious listening when everything is explained in painstaking detail and it slows the pace of the story down. Also, for a rookie agent he has an incredible amount of good luck. Now, some people are just that way, lucky in most things they do. But I find it hard to believe that the bad guys are such terrible shots. Did they learn from the A-Team or the Storm Trooper School of Firearms? Just sayin’. All-in-all though this thriller has a decent plot and several twists to keep the reader guessing.
The narration for this story is pretty good except for a tendency of the narrator to sometimes drag out the end of a sentence. It sounded weird. Other than that I give the narration a thumbs up.
Non stop action.
That I had to keep on my toes and pay close attention because I knew that the characters and events that happened early in the book would come back to haunt Michael. I never could predict what was going to happen.
Miriam, a Turkish woman. I forgot that a man was the narrator for the female character. He did a great job transitioning between and American man and a Turkish woman.
Never Let Your Guard Down.
I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own. I was compensated in no way for this review.
I would sum up Blown Circuit by Lars Guignard as a Fun Spy Sequel.
I would for those who like spy thrillers - it is a well-paced story that takes an interesting turn from the first story by moving into first person to give us more insight into Michael's character.
This series has become a great way for me to step out of my comfort zone and away from my usual genres. Spy thrillers are generally not my thing, but with this series, the combination of excellent writing and skilled narration is proving to be quite irresistible.
While he was in China searching for his father, Michael Chase’s numerous talents have been recognized by his father’s agency, the CIA. He has been recruited and trained in an accelerated process and now he is, once again, following his father’s clues, albeit with the agency’s support.
This time, Michael travels to Istanbul to fight a terrorist group intent on using one of Nikola Tesla’s devices to hold the world hostage. The pacing of this book is relentless. Michael jumps from one dangerous situation straight into the next, leaving the reader no time to breathe at all. And yet, Lars Guignard leads us through numerous plot twists quite skillfully, never allowing confusion to join us on our journey.
I’m generally uncomfortable when the audio narrator changes in the middle of a series, but this time, the change was for the better. I enjoyed Ben Sullivan’s narration of the previous book, but Russell Jonas gives Michael and extra something that simply wasn’t there before. His uses his calm, no-nonsense voice to deliver the never-ending action scenes and bring them to life, crystal clear in the listener’s mind. Since this is his narrating debut, I hope he’ll prove to be versatile enough and transfer the same skill to other genres. I’d be very happy to buy books narrated by him in the future.
I’ll certainly be going back to this series when the opportunity arises. It has become a favorite of mine even after the first book, but Blown Circuit succeeded in cementing my affection for Michael and his story. I just hope the audio publisher will keep Jonas on as the narrator.
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