NSA director Theodore Anders has a simple goal: collect every phone call, email, and keystroke tapped on the Internet. He knows unlimited surveillance is the only way to keep America safe.
Evelyn Gallagher doesn't care much about any of that. She just wants to keep her head down and manage the NSA's camera network and facial recognition program so she can afford private school for her deaf son, Dash.
But when Evelyn discovers the existence of a program code-named God's Eye and connects it with the mysterious deaths of a string of journalists and whistle-blowers, her doubts put her and Dash in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins: Delgado, a sadistic bomb maker and hacker, and Manus, a damaged giant of a man who until now has cared for nothing beyond protecting the director.
Within an elaborate game of political blackmail, terrorist provocations, and White House scheming, a global war is being fought - a war between those desperate to keep the state's darkest secrets and those intent on revealing them. A war that Evelyn will need all her espionage training and savvy to survive, because the director has the ultimate advantage: The God's Eye View.
©2016 Barry Eisler (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I'm a Barry Eisler fan. But...
Every writer has his strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, this book highlights Eisler's weaknesses. He's very good at the action part, the suspense, the logic. He's not so good at characters. John Rain is/was a perfect vehicle for Eisler, as there isn't much deep thought involved.
That's the first problem with this story. The characters are one-dimensional. Maybe one and a half.
The second problem is the NSA/technology piece. I understand the overall premise. Maybe even agree with it a little. But when he gets down to describing the nitty-gritty details, it's all wrong. He didn't do his research.
Eisler needs a good friend (or a good editor) to tell him when he's riding his personal hobbyhorse too much, instead of writing fiction.
Overall, I'd say the book is okay for burning time, maybe a little bit entertaining. But if someone asked me for a Barry Eisler book, this is not the one I'd recommend.
No, not really. Eisler typically does pretty decent characters, but the characters in this book seemed stereotypical and hollow. The whole "person knows too much" + "will do whatever it takes to protect my kid" + "crazy NSA/CIA/Other TLA director bent on having all the power" + "2 dimensional bad guy who has redemption story at the end" adds up to a book that I don't feel is worthy of a credit.
I don't mind violence in books when it helps the plot, but Eisler graphically describes brutal killings in several places as a lazy replacement for taking the time to establish that the antagonist is a bad person - on top of that, because it's so clumsily done, you can see the redemption story coming a mile away.
I also don't mind sex in a book when it helps the plot. This book has 2 lengthy and graphic sex scenes that sound like they were written by a 12 year old boy describing what he thinks sex is like. It's awful. I endured the first one, but the second one had me hitting the 30 second skip button over and over until it was done. Scott Brick could probably pull off these scenes, but the author just sounded excited which was a little disturbing.
On to the technology - the NSA can suddenly use any camera attached to the internet to watch people. Can use the microphone of any device that has an internet connection, can track any person instantly as long as their phone is turned on, blah blah blah. Whether or not this is something that can be done on demand is questionable, but the plot reminds me of the movie Enemy of the State that came out 18 year ago.
If you want something pulpy and that you can ignore entire chapters and not be lost at the end, this is the listen for you. If not, there are much better ways to spend a credit.
Story started off slow and was lagging until closer to the end. Performance was decent but some of the male voices sounded too similar which was confusing at first until I figured out who was who. I wish all these audio books would use seperate narrators for male/female roles, because a man trying to sound like a woman and vice versa sounds ridiculous. And it's not the narrators' fault, they do the best they can. For some reason I imagined Manis as a Native American man, but it worked for me. Overall, this book is definitely worth reading if you're into CIA/spy/government stories and I like that it included many "real life" aspects. I think anyone who reads this will find it entertaining and thought provoking despite the voice issue, which is easily overlooked once you get into the story.
a humble, seeking, loudmouth, Jesus lover, and sometimes heretic explores his questions, concerns, and varied interests through books.
This is a well written espionage story. Great characters and character development. Great narration.
Overall very well done, but has a lot of graphic sexual stuff that has no purpose other than satisfying people's need for verbal pornography. The sex does nothing to further the story and I found it rather distracting and overly graphic. When is audible going to come up with a content rating system?
If the author had left out the graphic sex and the sexual assault I would have rated this book with 5 stars...
I have listened to all Eisler's other works on Audible & greatly enjoyed them. With this book i listened to chap 26 & had enough. If I wished ti hear lewd words/descriptors such as heard in porn, I would have purchased that. This work, however, was sold as a spy/espionage novel. Eisler's lucky these are not rated as it would have an explicit warning on it... very discouraging...
I think I may have a new favorite author! Well, 2nd favorite... Stephen King will always be my #1, but if all of Barry Eisler's books are as good as this one, he is a very close 2nd. I usually only listen to audiobooks when I get in bed at night and I set the timer for 30-45 minutes so the audio will stop shortly after I fall asleep. I couldn't put this one down (so to speak) and listened not only half the night, but throughout the day when I could as well. I finished the entire book (11+ hrs, I think) in less than 2 days. I can't wait to start the next one!
BTW, I read some reviews written by people who thought the sex scenes were much too graphic and didn't add anything, or have any relevance to, the story. I have to admit, the author/narrator did a very good job of creating a very detailed visual in my mind! If you're reticent or prudish about passionate sex, you can always just fast forward through those few short scenes. I do think that the scenes are very relevant to the story, however. The intense sexual desire and relationship the characters have with each other seems to be, in part, the physical expression of an underlying, deep longing to feel accepted and understood and needed by someone, and finding those things in each other is what drives them to make the choices they make. The author/narrator does a fantastic job of pulling you into the characters, making you feel that you know them on a deeper level and not just as some characters in a book.
Yea... I think I'm hooked! Keeping my fingers crossed that the next one I read or listen to is just as good.y
Though I have got mixed feelings about whistleblowers to whom the author dedicated his book, it would be difficult for me not to appreciate his talent in constructing the breath-taking story, full of the action twists, expressive episodes and characters. So, putting aside the author's intended 'ideological' message, I think it is an exemplary thriller of its kind, not worse than any of Barry Eisler's John Rain novels. Last but not least, I simply love listening to his audio narrative.
I love all Barry Eisler's books and he is a terrific narrator (should do other books in addition to his own). This is another great addition to the list with a new character, Marvin (won't say more), who I hope to see in future stories. The story is action packed, moves swiftly, and takes on the issue of government over reach. You won't want to put it down till you finish.
Barry Eisler's The God's Eye View is a frighteningly prophetic vision for the potential evolutionary trajectory of a nation destined to maintain national security and protect its citizens from all mal-intent. The plot surrounds a unscrupulous, NSA director determined to implement total, full time surveillance capability worldwide. An NSA analyst, partly responsible for developing some of the software gets caught up in the middle after piecing together clues that point to targeted assassinations of intelligence personnel and reporters. Risking it all, including her deaf son, leads to a series of narrowing escapes.
The tradecraft is less than ideal with a greater focus on how it can be used, rather than on more creative ways to circumvent the system that protagonists usually employ. The bigger criticism is the not so subtle contradiction of needing to integrate various form of intelligence gathering in order to connect the dots, while at the same time a desire to compartmentalize the information so only a select few can see the big picture. Add to that a megamaniancal high level USG official of the opinion that only he should know the full capabilities and no compunction about murder ("sir, our secret just went live on Youtube, what do we do? we must kill everyone with an internet connection to protect US citizens"), and the affair quickly spirals out of control with an inexhaustible supply of evil henchmen ready to wack whomever needs wacking. Eisler completes the tale, by offering the admonition that the battle will continue only with new players.
The narration performed by the author himself is surprisingly unexpectedly good. Eisler has a clear sense of his characters and what they would sound like. He matches the renditions with respectable pacing and mood throughout. Unfortunately, there are few if any memorable characters, except on the dark side with relief at their inability to return for a sequel.
The story itself was barely plausible but the reading made the experience excruciating. Mr. Eisler is a decent writer. I got this book because I enjoyed his John Rain stories. This, however, was not up to that standard and was made worse by Eisler's sophomoric reading. It probably would have been passable had he not attempted voices. They were beyond bad but did not reach the laughable sweet spot.
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