Ex-Baltimore cop turned special-ops shooter Joe Ledger is back in action.
In The Dragon Factory, Ledger and his team from the Department of Military Sciences square off against two separate groups of corrupt scientists. The beautiful but twisted Jakoby Twins are creating transgenic monsters and genetically enhanced mercenaries for sale to the highest bidder. Their father, who takes evil to an entirely new level, is using cutting-edge science to complete the Nazi master-race program.
Joe must elude the NSA who are gunning for him, fight his way past rogue Spetsnaz teams, and stop these madmen before the Extinction Clock runs out. And when the bloodbath claims one of his own, Joe Ledger declares total war on those people who would burn down the world in order to reshape it in their own dark image.
Take another thrill ride with Joe Ledger.
©2010 Jonathan Maberry (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“In Stoker-winner Maberry’s wild second Joe Ledger novel, Joe and his comrades from the Department of Military Science take on enough villains and their world-threatening plots to fill half a dozen ordinary thrillers.” (Publishers Weekly)
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It starts off as a straight up butt-kicking action novel, with a tiny hint of political back-story to give it some suspense. This continues nicely for about half the novel, then there is an 'intermission' where we get a very long lecture on how horrible eugunenics are. First one character, then the next, then the next, weigh in on the misery behind eugenics or genetic cleansing, or nazism...
Don't get me wrong, these are all bad things, but i don't want a 20 minute lecture in the middle of an action novel about the horrible-ness of it all. If I wanted to read a treatise on ethnic cleansing, I'd go pick up a book on that subject, not one that I thought was a quick and easy butt-kicking action novel.
Even the romantic component is lame...actually, it's so pathetic, I'm not going to bother talking about it. Fortunately, it can be safely overlooked as it's just a quick plug in (heheh, no pun intended) here and there in the story. I suppose it was there to give more depth, but... anyway...
If one could overlook the moralizing and lecturing (which I don't think you can because there is a LOT of it from midway onward), it would be more like 3.5 star. I just can't get all the blah-blah-blah out of my head, and the whole premise is a little too fantastical for my tastes... either it's a thriller, or it's a fantasy. But don't go putting dragons in my butt-kickings. And, no, I don't have a problem with superhero-like butt-kickers, I just don't want the story overstepping its own reality.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
The second book in what is (at the time of this writing) a three book series was a strong follow-up to it's predecessor, Patient Zero. Joe Ledger, now a bit more settled in with his new job, finds new battles to fight and new threats to the continuation of the human race.
This whole series is worth listening to just to hear Ray Porter's performance, possibly the best I've ever heard. I'll be on the lookout for any new books he does and would have no hesitation basing a selection solely on the merits that Ray Porter had narrated.
My only problem with The Dragon Factory was the "flavor" of villain. Jonathan Maberry has brought Nazi's into present day, and as you can imagine, the dialogue of these villains is ugly, offensive, and off-putting. While I fully recognize the fact that if these characters had been less hateful they wouldn't have been the level of villain the story was working towards, I can't pretend that there weren't times that I wished we could fast forward through some of the hate speech. I could have done without it, and feel I still would have been able to understand that these were the "bad guys". I'm sure there's an argument to be made in the other direction, but it's not one I choose to make at this time.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book for a good thriller, performed by a really top rate narrator.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
When I began listening to The Dragon Factory, I was put off by what seemed to be very run of the mill super agent fare. The operative who survives and lays waste the opposition because of his superhuman skills and unfailing luck makes for tiresome reading fairly quickly. Then, to my surprise, the plot thickened into an interesting political/techno stew which, along with the absolutely superb narration by Ray Porter (a 14 carat asset for any book he reads), recaptured my attention and provided several hours of pleasurable listening.
Unfortunately, the mandatory final onslaught devolved into a completely ridiculous and absurdly extended series of combat set pieces between the indomitable Ledger and a seemingly endless queue of grotesque genetic monstrosities all of which are dispatched in remarkably unimaginative ways. In the end, the landscape is decorated with vast numbers of the vanquished. Meanwhile the sins of the evil geniuses at the center of the threat multiply with the body count until Maberry has managed to compile a truly ridiculous laundry list of twisted eugenic permutations, genetic transmogrification and historical monstrosity. It is hard to pay attention to the mayhem while you are guffawing.
Less would definitely have been more in this case, Mr. Maberry.
Nothing like a great book when on the move.
...I was finally able to finish the book. It's any interesting story, but it did not catch and hold my attention. The performance is outstanding. Team shake ups are almost overshadowed by the other story revelations. This is an early hiccup. I'm not giving up on Maberry or Joe Ledger, there is too much promise in the series.
Not really but I don't think I will buy anymore in this series. The first book was great and this one just kept losing my interest.
I may or may not try the next book in the Ledger series. If nothing else the first book was great and I may leave it as 1 win-1 loss.
AKA The Geeky Blogger
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.50
Character Rating: 4.50
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry was wicked smart and brutally twisty.
Read It File It: I am in love with the Joe Ledger! There I said it. It is probably best to get that out there and acknowledged. During the Dragon Factory, I was biting my lip, clicking my nails against the desk, and closing my eyes as things got tense. These books are such intense rides and this one was a little heartbreaking. I recommend these to any one who enjoys a good mystery with a little bit of fringe!
Narrated by: Ray Porter /Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
Going to admit that it took 2 books for me to fall in love with Ray's voice for Joe but now I adore it. Sometimes it just takes a bit and then it clicks!
Final Thoughts: Bring on Book 3!
The story was good but Ray Porter made it great. He has several characters and his inflexions are on the mark.
I like autumn night times. Curtains drawn. The dim lamp. Chaired with a book. Fireside hours. A warm peace.
I delved into this volume and was pleasantly surprised. It's essentially a "what would happen if Nazis had survived" as two evil geniuses prepare to wipe out non-white races using genetically-modified viruses to create a new Aryan race. Joe Ledger remains amazingly competent - he can apparently take out zombies, monsters, and anything you throw at him.
There are plenty of fast pace, twists and variety of plots and subplots, as well as their resolutions. This all happens while kicking ass and taking names, then checking the list of names and kicking everyone's ass again just to make sure. One group's literally making monsters; the other's winding up what they call the Extinction Clock for a multi-racial genocide that makes the "Final Solution" look puny.
It's hard not to fall in love with Jonathan Maberry's intricate globally expansive conspiracy plot and his quirky, real and believable characters. Admittedly some of the science went way over my head but I never actually felt lost, I just took everything in context and muddled my way through the few places where I got semi-lost.
Ray Porter enhances the story as with everything he narrates.
I've jumped around on the Joe Ledger series and haven't read any of them in order, but I'm not lost at all. Seems that no matter which book you start with, Maberry gives the reader a chance to catch up and jump right in.
I'm looking forward to my next Maberry/Ledger adventure.
I have to disagree with most of the reviewers here. This was a fun novel, and I'm glad I bought it. But it was disappointing compared to the first novel. The "bad guy" characters were all rather trite. There were also a number of elements in the plot (and plot connections) that were blatantly obvious, yet the supposedly brilliant people and the supercomputer at the Department of Military Sciences had a hard time figuring out. If it's that obvious to a reader, it kills the suspension of disbelief when it's presented as a startling revelation to the characters.
Really bad bad guys, mad scientists, mosters, evil plots to take over the world, hidden underground lairs, a secret government agency, none-stop action, and the baddest good guy ever - Joe Ledger. This is a great book.
To top it off Ray Porter's narration is world class, some of the best I've ever heard.
I'm becoming a big fan of Jonathan Maberry and Ray Porter.
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