I have read or listened to all ten of the Robinson’s novels in the Arnold Morgan series. The last “To the Death” was a horrible close to the ten. I ..Show More »am sad to say that the first of the Mack Bedford series is even worse – something I never thought possible. One of the most interesting parts of Robinson’s novels was his humanization of the obstacle character. He forced you to get to know the bad guy and at some level sympathize; and then when the bad guy would slither away and ultimately get killed -- I was conflicted. Sure I wanted the bad guy to get what was coming, but there was still emotion there. The stories were complex, with many characters. So many characters that you sometimes needed to take notes and they resurfaced like old friends throughout the novels.
All of these reason for loving his works gone. Diamondhead is a flat story with very little thrill and thin non-existent conflict. I couldn’t connect with the plot and the main character never seemed to be in any bodily danger and just cut through challenges; by the three quarter mark I was begging for it to be over. There were no auxiliary characters of note, certainly none that I want to hear from ever again and the mission just made no sense and just doesn't tie my mental model of a Navy Seal. More laughable, the French bad guy Andre Fosch, was about as impotent bad guy as you can conjure – even his wife was flat and her backstory added nothing, was unresolved, and a yawner.
The narrator, Charles Leggett did not succeed in bringing any interest to the story. His voice was monotone, uninspiring and undifferentiated.
Maybe I’ll read the next just to see if Robinson got off on the wrong foot; but this is strike two Robinson. It will take me six months to recover from this poorly conceived and sloppily executed work of uninteresting fiction before I'll consider reading the next installment. If you had been a fan of Robinson, like me, skip this book and try the next – maybe it will be better; but I am not counting on it. All in all – a disaster.
Robinson's book two in the Mack Bedford series is quite a bit more realistic and plausible than book one. There are troubling things in this series s..Show More »o far and in this work in particular. First, the first 3 hours are a monologue of the narrator telling not showing. All interesting information but without any meaningful dialog, it is a bit tedious. By half way, the dialog was a little better; but still tedious -- it did pick up near the end. Also, by the half way mark the main character is barely involved -- his involvement is setup, but no real action until well into act II.
As to the story line, the premise hangs together rather nicely. However, if you favor left wing politics, I think you are going to be put off. Robinson goes out of his way to paint left-wing politics in a much less than reasonable light. If you are politically right or a centrist you'll think it okay. I normally wouldn't mention politics in a tech-thriller but Robinson makes so may cutting remarks it has to be mentioned.
The narration is very good. As always, the portrayal of the US Navy Seals is fabulous. I am a fan of Robinson. The first book in the series was substandard, this one was average -- perhaps he is on a trajectory. We'll see. I recommend reading at least the abridged version, that ought to cut out much of the political commentary -- but I am still a fan.
Patrick Robinson loves the US Navy seals. I don’t remember one of his books where they are not in some way the star of the novel. In Delta Solution,..Show More » pirates from Somalia are nabbing boats like fishing in a stocked pond – catch, ransom and release. The US Navy is impotent to do anything about until the Delta Solution headed by Mack Bedford rolls onto the scene.
The narration is done by Peter Berkot who does an acceptably average job on with inflections and accepts. Here is the rub with this book, it’s at least two ship seizures too long and drags in the middle causing the “enough already” response. At one point, I wound up listening at 2X speed just to get the story moving. I am a strong Robinson fan but he has lost his voice since the Arnold Morgan series which ended badly – the terrorists ultimately getting what they wanted there too. I am going to the read the fourth book, but if he doesn’t turn the corner, I think it's the end of the line for Patrick Robinson.
Power Play is the latest in the Mack Bedford series. At this point there is no doubt that the old Patrick Robinson style of the Admiral Moran series ..Show More »is not coming back. In that series, Robinson made you feel for the villain almost as much as for the hero.
Power Play is about a resurging Russian nation and a plan to strike back at the United States for making it feel impotent. The plot is interesting and there are plenty of twists -- however, many of these twists are foreseeable and the story lack surprise and depth. Joe Barrnett did not add any punch to the story, his character voices were mainly flat and without emotion.
This is a fence novel in that, if you are a eager fan of Robinson - listen ; if you are considering reading this novel as a first Robinson reader -- I'd pass. I am going to pass on novel 5 if it is ever released.