Though not my usual favored genre of books, I have, nevertheless, read everything Preston and Child have written collectively and separately. I have l..Show More »iked some better than others, but I will not be reading any more from this series. At least twice per chapter the reader is asked to accept ridiculously clichéd and/or unlikely scenarios necessary to advance the storyline. I don't think I have ever rolled my eyes as much as I did while listening to this this clunker. Sadly, there is little sense of suspense simply because, after only a few chapters, the reader can already guess well in advance which hokey trick is about to be employed.
Perhaps the only thing worse than the writing in this story is the narration. For a brief moment, I honestly thought it was an electronically-generated narration. (Slightly smoother than Kindle's "text to speech" - but not by much.) Add to this the inclusion of annoying - and equally banal - musical "interludes" between key chapters, and the whole thing makes for a hot mess. The entire presentation plays to the lowest common denominator. (Thank goodness for the "Oriental Music" after a key chapter with an elderly Chinese woman and how would we *ever* have known how scary a neighborhood was without stereotypical hip-hop music?)
Count me out for future installments in this series and the same for anything narrated by John Glover.
I've been a Preston & Child fan since Relic was first published. Needless to say I'm a huge Pendergast fan, but I also love all their stand-alone nov..Show More »els as well.
I was excited to see them try something new with Gideon Crew and I applaud their efforts, but Crew still feels a bit pale to me. I can't quite get a handle on who he is and what he's about.
Say the name of any other character in the Preston/Child pantheon - Bill Smithback, Nora Kelly, Palmer Lloyd & Sam McFarlane - Eli Glinn! - and I can describe them, their personalities and their motivations. This is hard to do with Crew. Who is he and what does he want?
This book doesn't really clear that up. At the start all Crew wants is to go fishing, and by the end of it he wants to spend the time he has left working for Glinn. Why?
Maybe this slow reveal of Crew is purposeful and part of whatever it is they're trying with this series. I don't think they've even described what Crew looks like with any memorable detail, at least none that I remember!
I'll keep reading for Glinn and Garza but Crew is still a mystery to me - in a frustrating way because there are other characters - like Preston's Wyman Ford and Abbey Straw - I'd like to read more about.
This book is like skipping stones across the surface of water. It makes ripples, but only marginally holds your attention.
The plot of the bo..Show More »ok is, well, pretty silly. Columbus didn't discover America, Odysseus did. I don't want to write a spoiler, but it goes downhill from there. Details aren't developed. For example, ants rain down on Gideon, getting in his hair, crawling in his ears, but we never find out how he gets rid of them. A nit? Maybe, but I expect better from Preston & Child, at least a few words saying "Gideon did blah blah and got rid of the ants still infesting his hair." This is just an example, the book is full of them.
I won't return the book because I finished it, but I won't recommend it either. I'm not sure I'll read any more Gideon books either.
Don't get me wrong, on its own, this would be a decent, if forgettable, novel. Unfortunately, this novel is possibly a conclusion to two separate stor..Show More »y lines by these same authors. As such, this novel had a lot to live up to, and seemed to fall short of what I've come to expect. The novel feels unfinished, as if several chapters were left on the editing room floor.
The following will spoil some parts of the book, so read at your own risk...
Works by Preston & Childs often have an emotional man vs self theme woven throughout the novel, nicely paralleling the main plotline and dovetailing with it nicely to affect the climax of the book.
For the first 3/4 of the book, this seems to be set up to occur. Gideon struggles to cope with the death of his lover, Sam arrives to challenge Eli's decisions, and Eli himself acts irrationally, hinting at a buried motivation or possible infection. None of the things affect the ending of the book, and it makes the entire novel feel unfinished.