The first and most bizarre event nearly becomes a monumental catastrophe when something goes awry at an American theme park, wreaking havoc on visitors looking for nothing more than a sun-splashed holiday.
In a different part of the country, a USAF F-15 pilot, escorting another jet in the skies over the Midwest, inexplicably loses control of his plane, endangering the lives of several people and deeply puzzling those following his mission on the ground.
Then, in the misty calm of a coastal California evening, the world’s premier scientist on the subject of artificial intelligence gets a strange phone call. When he hangs up, he quietly grabs his coat and leaves for an after-dinner stroll from which he never returns.
It’s up to Hawke and the brilliant former inspector Ambrose Congreve to find out what could possibly be happening. But how does one identify—and fight—an enemy one can’t see, a real phantom? Even these seasoned operatives are mystified. Is there really such a thing as an ultra-intelligent machine, a cyberweapon that can shift the geopolitical balance of power?
In a hunt that takes him from Palo Alto, California, to the Russian frontier, to Cambridge University and the glistening Mediterranean aboard his newly christened and armed super-yacht Blackhawke, Alex Hawke is joined by the unstoppable Stokely Jones and his ex-CIA buddy Harry Brock. As he moves closer to unmasking the scientist behind these extraordinary events, he goes nose-to-nose with an enemy unlike any he’s fought before—and may never again.
©2012 Ted Bell (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“A hero to rival Bond by an author to rival Cussler.” (The Bookseller)
I found the plot of this book extraordinarily unbelievable. Yes, I realize it is fiction. But, I really don't think artificial intelligence is anywhere near the capabilities described. The story, based on the improbably AI gone amok premise is very hard to get in to. I listened to the entire novel but frankly, couldn't wait for it to end. The narration is terrible and sleep inducing. Don't recommend this one.
A big big disappointment here. Frankly, while I am used to and generally enjoy Ted Bell's vivid descriptions and clever plots, this one is too far out there to put me in the edge of my seat wanting more.
I think this is Ted Bell's best book yet. Alex has become more arrogant and a bit pompus, even for an elite Brit character. He has absolutely no qualms about killing or being the bad guy, but is a pussycat with now having a family! It is a very interesting mix. I loved every minute and the narration was again superb. John Shea is the perfect narrator for this series. I'd like to listen to more of his books. Don't pass this one up if you like thrillers!!
It is excellent :-)
The artificial intelligence (Perseus) points out that Hawke is a warrior with empathy. That phrase provides all of the insight you need into the story dynamics. Bell is a good writer, he just needs a little editorial guidance.
Intrigue and suspense a very well thought out story, A great midwinter action novel
for those long hours of interior living. Ted Bell keeps this rollercoaster rolling by plotting steadfast and headlong into one action unto another, While John Shea's performance articulates the total drama of each written word, the novels imagery comes to life.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
All of Hawke books are kinda cliché & although he may have some cool toys no one beats the original bond, especially when the character involved is based off of him!? This particular book brings a bit of a twist but many books it seems have been using a technology based Armageddon as part of the draw... for Bell's book this makes this book a bit better compared to all the other ones which are entertaining if your into the 'good guy' winning all the time with incredible weapons & wealth beyond economic imagination then these books are for u
Overall though, thru all the books I find his supporting characters to be much more enjoyable to hear then Hawke himself... like Stokley Jones for sure, Congrieve (wanna be Sherlock who worked for Scotland yard), & Brock who is the USA's CIA NOC. Without them the books would not have the same appeal. Some books have great supporting characters in this case he NEEDs the characters to help create a better story
I use all of Bell's books as a substitute for Bond now because that's basically what it is, except Bond was ALL about Queen & England while there is more of an international taste to all the stories, I might be forgetting about an Israeli team member but I read one of the funnier things another critic wrote & that was about one of Bells earlier books, I think it was is 'Warlord' or 'Spy' but when he beats up a professional sumo wrestler.... um... yeaaaa, its parts like that which keep Bell in the entertaining, candy isle instead of moving anywhere near a work of art/Novel category... fun, just fun. As usual though the Narrator 'Shea' who only has a handful of books he's done is fantastic & wish he was used for more books
sports announcer, cyclist, enjoys to travel and the outdoors.
as long as you understand technology then you will be fine with this novel. a very good book - ted bell story
The pace of the story and the character of Alex Hawke.
Yes - presents aspects of Alex Hawke that weren't revealed until a unique part of his past catches him by surprise! The story combines today's technology with ancient fears and grudges as Alex, once again, must save us from destruction.
Loved the accents, the cadence and the timbre of his voice. Felt it added to the vibrancy of the story.
Was surprised by an unexpected revelation and the impact it has on Alex Hawke.
Great addition to the series, one of the most evenly paced action thrillers I have enjoyed in a long time!
No. Hate to listen to ANY book more than once.
Ther are too many books I have NOT listened too even though I have listened to ove 1800 books in the last 25 years (have a list of every single one).
Nothing I hated more than to get an hour into a book and discover I had already heard it.
Therefore, I started an alphabetical list.
Great performance by John
Action packed cyber film
What a great bunch of characters
I've been a Ted Bell fan for quite a while now and I've read all the Alex Hawke novels. They are all kind of "over-the-top" far-fetched in some ways, but hey that's part of the fun of this series. Phantom is no different and is exactly what you would come to expect from this series. I think Bell addresses the important issue of cyber-security in this novel, although working in the information security field myself, I found some of the logic regarding the main antogonist a little hard to swallow. But setting this aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the book as I have the others in this series.
I think what I liked best is Bell's attempt to address an important not to mention very real threat of the day, cyber-security.
First, I can't say enough good things about John Shea. He is one of my favorite performers, absolutely grade A fabulous. I love how he performs all the characters, but I especially like Stokely Jones.
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