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Spymaster audiobook cover art

A Real Struggle

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-14-19

Scott Harvath has become a caricature. Doping to stay in shape? Persuading local law enforcement to go along with his schemes? The narration is at time boring and at others exaggerated. Mostly, the story is just disjointed and boring.

Second Strike audiobook cover art

Superficial, Predictable, and Boring

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-18

I really wanted to like this book. Paul Michael is an excellent narrator, but the story was a boring rehash of the first book which was a boring predictable slog for me to listen to. I fell asleep multiple times trying to power through it. There are hints of a decent story here, but the plot relies on conclusory connections that are not well-established. It's almost like he took bits and pieces of other action/spy novels and put them together. This can't hold a candle to the likes of Gabriel Allon, Mitch Rapp, or John Wells. Sorry to say, but a weak book effort.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Inferno audiobook cover art

This Boring Book Never Gets Going

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

There is nothing that could save this book. It was just so uninteresting. It starts off with a contrived plot device of memory loss to keep the suspense. It includes long passages of descriptions of art and literature and locales that may be interesting in another context but not in the context of a supposed mystery book. The author resorts to other gimmicks to keep the "suspense" going (which I won't spoil in case you want to waste a credit on this one). To say that the characters are one dimensional would be charitable. I made myself finish this book, and doing so took me over a month I was so uninterested in getting back to listening.

Has Inferno turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. It has turned me off of books by this author.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Paul Michael?

Yes. He is a good narrator and did the best he could with really poor material.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No.

Any additional comments?

I hope Dan Brown can figure out how to write again. Some of his other books were decent, but this just didn't rise to the level of decent fiction.

The Lost Symbol audiobook cover art

Boring, pretentious, and tedious

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-30-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing can save this weak attempt at historical fiction.

What could Dan Brown have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have made it half as long.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was fine.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lost Symbol?

The first third and the last third of the book could be shortened tremendously.

The Fifth Assassin audiobook cover art

Disjointed Story Melodramatically Narrated

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The plot and writing of it could have been less disjointed and more cohesive. The narration could have been less melodramatic. Additionally, the historical connections could have been more succinctly and clearly presented toward the beginning of the novel to provide a better framework for the storyline.

What was most disappointing about Brad Meltzer’s story?

The story jumped around too much without sufficient connection or explanation.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Normally, I like Scott Brick, but in this book, he over-dramatized the characters from the beginning. Maybe it was the writing, but compared to his other great narrations (Robert Littel's "The Company" for example), Brick's narration of this book falls flat. It is like he's reading every sentence as if it were the climax of the story.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Fifth Assassin?

I don't know that I would cut the scenes so much as rearrange them for better continuity. There are a lot of flashbacks.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

Coup d'Etat audiobook cover art

Excellent narrator and compelling story.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-25-12

What made the experience of listening to Coup d'Etat the most enjoyable?

The story is thought provoking while a bit implausible. If you like the genre, this is definitely a quality book worth spending time with.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Coup d'Etat?

The final "shoot-out" ... I won't say more as to ruin the story.

What does David de Vries bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator handled the multiple accents and characters perfectly. Not melodramatic and not monotone. In fact, I was worried that a different author for the second book in the series would ruin things, but the opposite is true. David de Vries puts Peter Herman to shame. I will be looking for more books narrated by David de Vries.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Parts of this book are just not plausible, but in some ways it's like science fiction. You suspend your belief a bit and go with it. On the other hand, some of it is just plausible enough to make you worry about nuclear weapons in the hands of Pakistan.

The writing reads well, and while not perfect, the story pulls you in with enough unpredictability to keep the suspense and interest until the very end.

Ruins audiobook cover art

Not OSC's best; mostly engaging with a weak ending

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-18-12

Would you consider the audio edition of Ruins to be better than the print version?

Yes. The multiple narrators of this quality increase the enjoyment of the work.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was weak and unsatisfying. I think this reflects an overall superficiality in some parts of the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

OSC's nack for capturing key emotions remains in tact. A few scenes really grabbed me, but compared with Speaker for the Dead or even a few of the Ender Series, this is weak.

Any additional comments?

When compared with, for example, the depth of thought and development that occurred in the Ender Series sequels, this book is superficial. It's almost like he outlined the series with some great ideas, but for some reason (probably the press of having to publish), he can't develop the details to the extent he did in earlier series.

The Parsifal Mosaic audiobook cover art

Dated, Slow Moving, Vague Story

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-15-12

Would you try another book from Robert Ludlum and/or Scott Brick?

I might try another Ludlum, but this plot was so dated and mired in the 70's balance of power power world, it was hard to relate to. The plot moves very slowly and is vague and obtuse. Scott Brick does his usual good job, but it seems that even he has a hard time staying interested in this book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Ludlum again?

Probably not.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, but that's not a good thing. The story was so bad, it was hard for the narrator to keep it interesting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed. Some of Ludlum's other books or co-authored books have been interesting.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Third Option audiobook cover art

Very Poor Narrator, but the Story was Decent

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-14-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I wish the motives of the

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nick Sullivan?

Anyone else. He has a really amateurish style and is quite stilted at times.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Shadows in Flight audiobook cover art

Half of a Book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-12

Would you try another book from Orson Scott Card and/or the narrators?

Yes

What was most disappointing about Orson Scott Card’s story?

It was too short. The story ending is weak, as if it was rushed to meet deadlines or make money.

Any additional comments?

Card should have waited until he had a completed story to publish.