As this political crisis plays out, Russia gains a new leader. Not just a president, but a new tsar, a signal to the world that the old, imperial Russia is back and plans to have her day. And in America, a mysterious killer, known only as Happy the Baker, brutally murders an innocent family and literally flattens the small Midwestern town they once called home. Just a taste, according to the new tsar, of what will happen if America does not back down.
Onto this stage must step Alex Hawke, espionage agent extraordinaire and the only man, both Americans and the Brits agree, who can stop the absolute madness born and bred inside the modern police state of Vladimir Putin's "New Russia".
Take another thrill ride with Alex Hawke.
©2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; ©2008 Ted Bell
"As always, Bell pulls out all the stops with terrific action scenes, fiendish murders, diabolical villains, dramatic rescues and all the cool weaponry the reader could possibly hope for." (Publisher's Weekly)
"I couldn't put it down." (Rush Limbaugh)
I have listened to all of the Alexander Hawke novels available from Audible. This book, like all in the series, is based upon a James Bond-like character who battles egomaniacal world-conquering bad guys. The books in this series are less believable than some, but if you like to escape through fantasy, the series is great. The futuristic technology is well-thought out, the characters are enjoyable, and the action is non-stop. This book can easily stand alone, but I'd recommend reading/listening to the books in chronological order. Even better than the story line is the narration. The narrator "performs" each book, and is the best I've ever listened to. I listen while taking long walks and in the car. If you can't enjoy far-fetched action-packed stories with macho men and beautiful women, don't bother with this book. If you like to escape into action and fantasy, you can't get a better deal in terms of hours of enjoyment for the dollars spent. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys James Bond, James Rollins' books, etc. Lots of fun.
This book would have ranked four stars if the characters had not been so stereotypical. The plot was unique and fast-moving, and tne reader was quite good. But it's not "great literature," but so what? It was a fun read.
Now don't go getting all "high-brow" on us here guys. It is what it is, and what it is, is bloody marvelous! Sure the plot is fantastic and predictable, but so what? This is audio book drama at its finest. If you are looking for terrific entertainment to make that daily commute actually enjoyable, look no further. John Shea's reading is the best I have heard and Ted Bell can spin a yarn! I love this series!
This book is very predictable, repetitive, and filled with cliches. Even if you like this genre of books would steer you away from this one. Overly long, wildly inconsistent, and outlandish plot with predictable villian and hero- it would be better if this was a comic book.
Another good Hawke book. I especially like the way the action and heroism is not relegated to a single person but shared amongst the various characters. The ending of this one was a bit of a surprise, because there was a comment made by a character that left me expecting a surprise action at the end, but nothing more was said of it and the "action" didn't occur. I'm wondering if Ted Bell is saving that for the next book.
If you like spy works, this book will have its moments. I find the narration gifted, but the beach scene of Dr. No by Ian Flemming is clearly inspiration to at least the opening scene in this book. The similarities were so strong that I purchased the Dr. No audiobook to compare. Homage or plagiarism? I am still undecided on that count, but settling into the work, I let the question fade. No matter the intent, the opening here grabs attention. Some of the premises occaisionally strain credibility, but I was interested throughout until the very end when the work breaks. Several of the last thematic elements seem very forced. Add in free use of rough language and this work is clearly not for everyone.
silly beyond belief! It's one thing to stretch reality for the sake of a story, it's another when brain death is a requirement for appreciating the plot. The author's previous books were along these lines so I probably should have known to pass on this one. It's a long book but I quit listening well before the end. Don't waste a precious credit on this loser.
He pauses in completely random and inappropriate places.
This book suffers from a lack of identity. At times I felt as though I were reading what I expected: a modern spy thriller, but those times were far too few. At other times the book vacillated between tawdry romance novel, 19th century melodrama, and Young Adult mystery. So much so that at one point I actually went back to the description to make sure I hadn't picked up a YA book without realizing it. The veering style was so distracting that it pulled me out of the story several times. When you're noticing the writing style, the writing style needs work. This wasn't helped by John Shea's odd habit of inserting pauses in completely inappropriate places where ... they just don't make sense.
There are some instances where the author has taken liberties with history. The book is also a bit macabre in places. However, it grows on you and would probably be a good foundation for a movie.
Read my book, Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer, on Amazon today!
I "read" audiobooks while at home, while walking, and while using Bluetooth In my car and on my Harley. Walking and riding my Harley involve traffic and other noises. I've spent many enjoyable hours doing these activities while listening to audiobooks. But with Tsar, by Ted Bell, narrated by John Shea, it is frustratingly impossible. He reads carefully, he does an admirable job of foriegn accents and characters' voices, and he even performs dramatically, but his one fatal flaw overshadows all these strengths and renders the audiobook useless. This flaw relates to fluctuations in volume. Mr. Shea alternates between shouting and whispering, even within the same sentence, and he does this, not once, not a few times for effect, but throughout the narration. The last few words of most sentences are inaudible. And if I set the volume high enough to hear them, the first stacato burst of the next jolts my heart and hurts me ears. Unacceptable! And it's such a shame, because Tsar is a really good book. Oh well ... I guess this is one book I'll have to read with my eyes. I'm just angry I paid for this unusable audiobook.
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