When I first started listening to this audiobook I gave it all the chances I give a first-in-a-series-novel. My internal dialogue went sort of like th..Show More »is: 'Well maybe it will get better…I hope he explains that later…(or) that was just so unbelievable…etc.' Since I was working on some 1940's electric heater restorations at my workbench, I decided to play a game I call, "How bad can this book really get." This book is right there as one of the worst I have listened to in my collection of nearly 1,600 audiobooks.
Every situation is this book is contrived and silly. Many plot lines seem to be afterthoughts, as if to explain the inexplicable. At the end of the book (no spoilers) the author throws in a weird twist that is one of those billion to one circumstances that could explain the whole plot if we didn't understand probabilities against what he has penned.
Forget this book! However, the last one in the series was just released and has Scott Brick as narrator. It is not listed as part of the series (but it is). I think the producers are distancing themselves from the early works by bringing in a narrator we all enjoy. Don't be fooled…even if the others are better than this one, the author has too far to go to earn his royalties from our credits.
I enjoy the Phillip Mercer books in general, the relationship between Mercer and Harry White especially but in this novel there was an Italian charact..Show More »er that the narrator managed to make into Count Dracula. Maybe it was just me but it was difficult to get past on this listen.
I continue to enjoy working backwards from the most recent Philip Mercer novel through the Audible collection. I bought the first novel, Vulcan's Forg..Show More »e, as a paperback and just couldn't get through the cardboard cutout villain and plot, but de Bruhl definitely has definitely come into his own as the series lives and breathes. "Pandora's Curse" is a nice return to the arctic for those who remember Alistair MacLean's "Ice Station Zebra."
More than anything, de Bruhl's novels enjoy marvelous performances by J. Charles. Charles is so good with some voices, like Harry's, that I actually enjoy some novels more than others because I get to hear more of that character! Charles' performance here is marred somewhat by some really clumsy editing by Audible: there are occasionally shifts in tonal quality that made me wonder if I was listening to the same narrator! And so the missing star here is not for Mr. Charles, but for the Audible staff responsible for quality control.
I came to Jack du Brul from his collaboration with Clive Cussler. His first Mercer novel is a bit too much like Cussler at his worst: some history-cha..Show More »nging artifact is in play, but the world never really changes. I jumped ahead to the most recent book in the Mercer series and was delighted by the more human scale of the story. (Is Mercer perhaps a bit too much at times to be believed? Why, yes, but that goes with the genre -- there is no permanent hearing damage from so many explosions: I wish the world was as kind.)
The narrator here, and some of the audio effects done in production are quite fine. His performance of Mercer's sidekick Harry makes me laugh out loud quite a bit, helping to highlight the comical relief that I think du Brul intends for the character. I have no idea if author's get any say in their narrators, but my advice to duBrul is do what you can to hold onto Charles.