Charlie Castillo's secret unit has been disbanded - but that doesn't mean he's out of business. As experience has painfully shown him, there are many things the intelligence community can't do, won't do, or doesn't do well, and he has the men and assets to help set things straight.
But the first opportunity, when it comes, is shocking: A FedEx package arrives, bearing photos of barrels containing some of the most dangerous biohazard materials on earth, all of which were supposed to have been destroyed during a raid on a secret Russian factory in the Congo. Who has them, and what do they want? Castillo has a feeling he's not going to like the answers.
©2010 W.E.B. Griffin (P)2010 Penguin
I have been waiting months for the next book in this series. As a rule I never get the abridged version because I want more story for my money, but this book would have been the perfect abridged version. The new aspects of the story would have fit nicely in a shorter format and the hours of inaccurate rehash could have been sent to the edit room recycle bin. I am not sure if Dick Hill read the story and refused to narrate it but I could not blame him. This one just did not do justice to the earlier books of the series.
I have been a Griffin fan for a while now. Since the Brotherhood of War Series and some of his earlier work written under different names. This is the first time I can say I was disappointed in one of his books. This book (and the one before it) totally changed the characters that we had become invested in throughout the series. I don't want to give the story away but by the end of this book I am not even sure I like Charlie Castillo let alone any of the other characters. Only Max and Lester stayed true to character. Even his grandmother got on my nerves.
If you have been reading the series you need to listen to this if only for closure. If you have never read any of the Presidential Agent books don't start here. Up until the last two books it really was a great series. I don't know what happened with this one but shame on you Mr. Butterworth (both III and IV), shame on you! Your fans and Charlie Castillo's fans deserved better.
I've read the entire Presidential Agent series, and I've got to say this is by far the worst. This book is BAD. The problem isn't really the narrator, its the material he was given to work with. The first half of the story is a recap of all the other books, with some inconsistencies. The second part of the book is the team sitting around talking about what to do. The only "action" is at the very end. I almost stopped listening several times, but kept hanging on hoping it would get better. It didn't. The book also appears to be written for twelve year olds with all the dumb nicknames used, and repeated bad/sophomoric jokes. I am dissappointed to say this will probably be the last book in this series I read.
I have had one complaint about Griffin's books all along, and I don't know why I was expecting anything different this time around. And that is his need to recap the entire previous series books that came before, several times throughout the current book. Hearing the same story rehashed over and over grows old. The overall story line and plot was good, the narrartion was good, but the constant revisiting of previous books caused me to lose interest several times.
Was sooo excited to get a new Charlie Castiliio adventure....boy did it fall flat! The majority of the book relived the previous story lines, this was followed by cursing, a stupid President, and mixing up the previous characters and their animosity towards each other. Sadly, it costs me a credit, but I'm glad I didn't pay full price. I reads the review posted prior to purchasing the book, and the only negative was the narrator; he was the least of the problems with this book! I'm not sure if W.E.B. let a ghost writer destroy his Charlie Castillio series or he just dropped the ball himself, but bad, bad, bad....save your credits/money....don't waste is on this book. JRDenver
The complaints about the narrator are unfounded. He does a good to great job with a story and writing that are both really poor in comparison to the author's other works. The characters in this series are even more cartoon-like than the author's other books, but this installment is probably the worst. Ever since Charlie had a child from a one night stand with classmate's fiance, and then fell in love with the Russian defector, things seem to have gone on to be just plain silly. There is a ton of re-hashing the previous plots, and I can't count how many times the characters make obscene gestures at one another. If you keep your plot and writing expectations low, the narration of this book is good enough to provide a pleasant listen.
I get it that somebody should be able to pick up the series in this book and not be lost. But I'd be surprised if less than half of this book wasn't a summary of the previous books. The plot had a lot of potential but was so watered down it lost it's punch.
It could have been a 4 or 5 star experience if the new action to summary ratio was more like 4:1 instead of 2:3.
I've already purchased the next book in the series. I'll listen to it but if the ratio of new action to summary isn't seriously tilted towards new action I'll not buy another W.E.B Griffin book again.
He is excellent at differentiating the voices in this dialog heavy book.
Less repetition of previous stories; the characters simply do not ring true as they have in the past; the dialog is often trite.
He could have written it rather than have his much less talented co-author write it.
I have enjoyed all of the various Griffin series: military, spies, police. Even earlier books in this group. I give this one star because I couldn't give zero. This one is a rip - literally one-third of the book is recapping and complete retelling of things that occurred in the prior books of this group. I am talking about hours - 3-4 hours of recap used as filler to make this longer. I understand and expect a recap of a character or background for someone who didn't read prior books but this is absurd. It starts and doesn't quit and goes on for chapters. Someone who hasn't read prior books doesn't need that much and those that have read them don't need/want to hear it. Write original or make it a shorter book but don't fill hours with pure repetition. I don't know who Butterworth is but this doesn't sound like Griffin.
Parts of the book were a little far fetched (ok a lot), but the flow and action were well portrayed.
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