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Soft Target Audiobook

Soft Target: Ray Cruz, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Stephen Hunter is back with another breakneck thriller, in which ex-Marine sniper, Ray Kruz, must outwit a group of murderous Somali terrorists who’ve laid siege to the Mall of America.

Recently retired marine sergeant Ray Kruz has been talked into a mall trip by his fiancé, the beautiful Molly Chan. For Ray, Molly represents a way to reconnect with normal life, something his 20 years in the service and five tours in two combat zones have prevented. But now he finds himself in the middle of the softest target of all, a huge consumer mall where a self-styled “Mumbai Brigade” has come to bring massive death to the heartland. They just didn’t know Ray Cruz was in the building….

©2011 Stephen Hunter (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (543 )
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3.9 (470 )
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4.1 (475 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susanna 01-16-14
    Susanna 01-16-14

    Reader, writer, quilter, needleworker, Kentuckian.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Obobo=Obama"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Soft Target to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print versions.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ray Cruz, of course. He's the Hero. I liked his pragmatism and willingness to step up.


    Have you listened to any of Phil Gigante’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes! He always does an amazing job, and this was no different. His narration serves the story well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Fast-paced thriller with several points to make


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book. The action was fast-paced, and Ray Cruz is a wonderful character. I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers. I gave it 4 stars because overall it was worth the $$. However, a number of the characters were more vessels to make a point than individuals living the story. The most pronounced example was Obobo, who is a very thinly disguised Obama figure. Hunter does not have much respect for our president nor for "let's all just get along" liberal/pacifist thinking. I am for the most part on the same page, but his efforts to make the point were heavy handed at times so it did interfere with the story. He also busted trial lawyers (one was named "Shyster" - seriously?!).

    The basic story line is that a group of Islamic fanatics take over The Mall of America with the goal of killing everyone to strike a blow in retaliation for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The majority of the bad guys are Somali, and Hunter does make the point that they grew up very hard. Our hero, Ray Cruz, is shopping with his fiancée when the attack starts and steps up to end the situation from the inside out. Meanwhile, Obobo, the head of the state police, is so knotted up in liberal-think and cowardice that he refuses to do what needs to be done to stop the situation with least harm. A "rogue" SWAT commander steps up on the outside to do what Obobo won't. The meat of the story is how all those elements come together to bring resolution.

    Many of the repeat characters in the book are non-Caucasian - Hmong, Somali, African American, half-Chinese. The ethnicities don't play a role in moving the story forward, so I found it interesting that Hunter made that choice. Perhaps to counter-balance the Obama hammering? It doesn't distract either, so it's just a "huh." moment.

    Overall, a book worth your money unless you think Obama is awesome and would get your shorts in a wad reading this characterization of him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LB 06-11-13
    LB 06-11-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The beginning was a bit slow but soon caught up"

    I enjoyed it, not as full action as the Gray Man which is more my style, but enjoyable and predictable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Copperas Cove, Texas, United States 06-03-13
    Carol Copperas Cove, Texas, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Addictive!"

    Very exciting! Never boring! Interesting characters! Made the drive to and from work fly by! Highly recommend. Will look for more by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cletus van Damme 04-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hunter's best work in years"

    Hunter is at his best writing fast-paced, action thrillers. Regrettably, in the past few years he has gotten off-target (pun intended) with densely-plotted procedurals involving the venerable Bob Lee Swagger. Bob Lee played out years ago and should have been retired following "Time to Hunt." Keeping the character going has induced a form of writer's block displayed in "The 47th Samurai" and "The Third Bullet" among others. With this book, Hunter is back doing what he does best. This action-packed ripper ranks up there with "Point of Impact" for sheer excitement. Perhaps Hunter should drop the entire Swagger family (particularly Nikki, who is simply annoying), forget continuity with past novels, and invent new characters. This one is a definite winner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl King, NC, United States 02-06-12
    Karl King, NC, United States 02-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Just Ok, Was hopeing for better."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would but only because its the first in a series.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Predictable.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Phil Gigante?

    yes


    Was Soft Target worth the listening time?

    Yes, but its not Hunter and companys best.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danielhl3 New York, NY USA 01-17-12
    danielhl3 New York, NY USA 01-17-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Soft Hunter"

    Stephen Hunter is great, but ... Soft Target is a little forced. Ray Cruz is a lttle too straightforward and wily at the same time. The story hovered on the verge of credibility the whole time, but I'm glad I heard it and look forward to the next Cruz book with a touch harder target.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Valencia, CA, United States 01-16-12
    Jeff Valencia, CA, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ray Cruz needs to have More Adventures"
    If you could sum up Soft Target in three words, what would they be?

    ElligantImpressiveExciting


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Ray Cruz's skills need to be developed but it was a great Pilot book


    What does Phil Gigante bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Phil is a wonderful narrator. I love listening to anything he does.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The relationship that developed between Ray and feisty Miss Lavelva were wonderful together.


    Any additional comments?

    PLEASE develop Lavelva as his partner and we are good to go for a long time series. Loved the book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 01-16-12
    David 01-16-12

    junkonly

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Action Packed with Mediocre Story"
    What did you like best about Soft Target? What did you like least?

    The book is filled with action packed scenes which keep your interest but the story is based on an unusual premise that is beyond reality.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Another action packed thriller.


    Which character – as performed by Phil Gigante – was your favorite?

    Ray Cruz.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. The action scenes would make it worth while.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance by Phil Gigante was very good and as always, it's great to hear the firearms expertise by Stephen Hunter - something lacking in many other novels in this genre. In one scene, he describes the nuances of downhill shooting perfectly - it reminded me of my first miss from a tree stand looking downhill at a buck. Anyway, the action scenes really peaked my interest despite the unusual

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 01-16-12
    Eric 01-16-12
    ratings
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    27
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good. But...."
    If you could sum up Soft Target in three words, what would they be?

    Not typical Hunter.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen Hunter? Why or why not?

    I will continue to read Hunter. He is usually very dependably entertaing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Don't expect vintage Hunter.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the plot. I wish the ending had been a little more satisfying. I grew to dislike the police commander and his bootlicker worse than the terrorists. I finished the book frustrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spyros Dimatos 01-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good quick story"

    Hunter does a nice job adding some more charactor to Cruz. I dont think Cruz can replace Swagger, but still a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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