From the first word, Hands Across the Sky draws the listener into an intoxicating tale of mystery and hope, beautifully told.
When Ezra Quinn, a San Francisco techie, gets a call one Saturday morning, he has no idea that his life is about to change beyond his wildest imaginings. Quinn is offered a lucrative position in the Middle East in his field of wearable tech. A week later, he's on a flight to Dubai.
In Dubai, Quinn meets beautiful, cosmopolitan Leila, who orients him both to his work and to the political complexities in the region. Though the Middle East is on fire, Leila drops a hint that there is another way...the way of the Open Hand.
Leila accompanies Quinn to Cairo, where he meets Alif Zahir, the passionate, intelligent official at the center of the operation. As Quinn begins working on the project, he starts to become suspicious. Is Alif Zahir really who he says he is? And is the project truly aimed at peace? Soon, events will spiral out of control, and Ezra Quinn will find himself caught up in a web of violence and treason from which there seems no escape.
©2015 Andrew John Schmitz (P)2016 Andrew John Schmitz
Take a wee little pinch of the crazed Nazi dentist, from Marathon Man...throw in a heaping cup of anything by Dan Brown...add in a teensy bit of pretty much anything by Paulo Coehlo, sprinkle in a bit of the Millennial tech-savvy generation, to taste...and you've got yourself "Hands Across the Sky."
This is one fast-paced, 21st Century, espionage adventure novel, featuring, quite possibly, one of the most naïve protagonists that I have ever experienced. (I mean, honestly, wouldn't you at least ASK what your new job responsibilities are, and what you new employer actually does BEFORE you pack up everything and move to a very, very, very politically unstable part of the world?)
Nevertheless, other than an incredibly unsatisfying ending, which absolutely leads the listener and/or reader to conclude that this book MUST be the first in a series, "Hands Across the Sky" is an engaging and thought-provoking novel, that raises many questions about who actually writes the history we all accept as true, as well as, the role of our US government in the Middle East quagmire. It also offers a compelling narrative regarding the ancient conflict between our dark and our light; the will-to-power vs the desire to share, help, protect and nurture each other; the closed hand vs the Open Hand.
Performer Collene Curran's reading is spot-on. She have a very lyrical and pleasant voice which renders the softer parts of the story all the better. Her way of describing food (of which there are many, in this book) are hunger-inducing, and a visceral, sensory experience for the listener. Listening to the scene where Ezra Quinn is taken far out into the desert, and (Wait! I can't say that SPOILER ALERT!)...well suffice to say, Curran's expert reading turns this horrifying scene up to "11."
All-in-all, a great listen on your commute.
"Hands Across the Sky" is an immersive story, well-crafted and richly told. The listener is transported from the glittering San Francisco Bay to the heat and friction of modern-day Egypt. Politics and spirituality, technology and tradition are tensely woven into a tale of international espionage. Andrew John Schmitz's elegant and intoxicating writing is brought to life through the artful and imaginative voice of narrator Collene Curran.
A sumptuous exotic tale of adventure and sacrifice. Filled with rich imagery to arouse your senses. Although the story is set in modern day, you feel as though you have been transported to another time. Collene Curran performs her narration with a delicate touch. Her characters are well defined, and her narrator weaves their tales with fine threads of multiple colors and tones. You are drawn immediately into the story from the start and want to simply listen and follow the life changing journey of Ezra Quinn.I was given a free copy of this audiobook in return for my honest review. However, I picked it out of the many titles offered to me because I immediately felt a connection when I heard Collene Curran's voice. I was not disappointed.
The Kite Runner...in terms of the underlying tension that the middle east struggles with.
When Leila prepared the coffee for him.
Yes, I felt a deep compassion and empathy for the struggles the characters experienced.
I will be looking for more audiobooks narrated by Collene Curran. She has a very unique style.
I love to read, so much so that I now read through audio books even when I'm driving.
Either version would probably work for most people, but when the novels are set in other countries I find the audio book can help me in following the story better.
There were a lot of great moments in the book, but without giving away any spoilers for me it was the torture.
When they are gathering for the demonstration and they don't think they will have enough people with them, then people all over the streets start holding up red flags.
I liked when Quinn when to Tareks house and the descriptions and relationships that Quinn had with Tarek and his family.
This was an extremely well written novel. Thank you for the chance to listen to it for free for an honest review.Enjoyed narrator Collene Curran.
This story combines elements of modern Egypt, modern middle east, technical know how, spies, intrigue, and love. It is set during the Arab spring mostly in Egypt. I enjoyed all the technical descriptions. Overall a good story and it kept my interest. Some sex, but not descriptive sex. A little violence. And a lot of hands theming.
After having lived in Dubai for 7 years, I was astounded to hear there are oil fields and a camel market there. Oil- yes, but off shore and the camel market is so far into the beige desert, that it can't be seen from Burj Khalifa. A few other statements were just wrong, which put me off a bit, so I then kind of switched off and just listened for background noise while working. Would have been more interesting if the narrator would have changed her voice a bit more for the male characters.
Wow! Just finished reading Hands Across The Sky .. It was given to me as a gift. Outstanding. I found it difficult to put this book down. In fact, I didn't. I read it in one sitting. Thought it was a fast moving dramatic mystery story with compelling characters that deceptively results in an epiphanous moment of self-examination and reassessment of values. Looking forward to more in this series. Highly recommended And intriguing story..
I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily decided to review."
A good listen makes for an amazing day!
The narration was amazing. I loved the subtle nuances the book had in regards to the different areas of the world and the plot of characters.
The plot was very unique, and the cast of characters made this ensemble really turn brighter as I kept listening.
"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."
I rate on how mush I enjoyed a book, I am not a book critic.
A political drama set in Egypt. It was beautifully written. But, I thought most of the events was unlikely and unrealistic. (He tells no one where he is going for the next year? He does not know what he is going to do, or for whom? He does not intervene the fight on the roof? Only one student is bugged?) In today's times, that is stupid, not adventures.
The story spends a lot of time describing food and building atmospheric scenes, killing any possible suspense. It made this a slow, drawn-out drama, not a action or thriller.
Just not my cup of tea, sorry.
The narrator has a beautiful voice, but with all the descriptive scenes it felt to slow and drawn out.
"This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
I enjoyed this audio book from start to finish! It has a great plot full of twists and turns, suspense, mystery, humor, tragedy, hope and a little bit of love! The narrator is perfect for the characters in this book with her many different tones and ease of reading. I'm hoping this is the first in a series because I just can't get enough of Ezra Quinn and Leila.
"I was voluntarily provided this review copy at no charge by the author, publisher or narrator."
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