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Arizona Eagle

Arizona
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  • The Suriname Job

  • A Case Lee Novel, Volume 1
  • By: Vince Milam
  • Narrated by: Tim Dixon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 328
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 304

When a mysterious client asks former Delta Force operator Case Lee to investigate a rebellion in South America, he uncovers an incredible global conspiracy. Welcome to revolution, murder, and behind-the-curtains intrigue. As events unfold, the spies and mercenaries come to a hard realization. You may mess with a lot on this good earth, but you don't mess with Case Lee.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Good!!!!

  • By shelley on 04-07-18

Loquacious, Garrulous, Verbose

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

I am no expert, but it seems to me that a 9 hour, 39 minute book should have more than 39 minutes of action to qualify in the genre. Truthfully, I didn't actually count the minutes of action, but I am pretty sure I gave the benefit of the doubt. I understand character development and scene setting, but those should not ramble on endlessly and should do something to advance the story. At first, I listened intently sure that amidst the piles of verbiage, there would be some clue, hint, key that would pop up later having me ruefully saying, "Dang. I should have caught that." I was wrong. It was as if the author had done a bunch of descriptive writing exercises for class and had a computer program insert them randomly to fill the word-count requirement.

My "clue, hint, key" comment is intended to point out ironically the author's habit of doubling and tripling up on adjectives because apparently, readers without a clue also needed a hint. Oddly, while using redundancy to clarify common words, he wore out his thesaurus with frequent use of words not used frequently in common conversation.

In fact, he has an odd relationship with words in general. He regularly omits articles, pronouns and conjunctions. This creates a staccato tempo that works well in the action scenes as if there just isn't enough time to talk in complete sentences. On the other hand, using that style in descriptive passages and conversations gives the whole book a stilted feel as if the author was maybe from another country trying to sound like he thinks Americans do or even a juvenile attempting to sound older.

Another possibility is that the author is a woman using a male pseudonym trying to sound macho. This last thought is supported by excessive sentimentality, touchy-feelyness and even crying by the "tough-guy" protagonist. The more I think about it, this really does seem like a "chick flick" with just enough explosions and gunfire to keep the men from walking out or falling asleep.

Finally, after the climax, separated by a full hour of unrelated descriptive writing, there is a second climax that is exactly like the first climax -- except for the surprize which was telegraphed somewhere around chapter 3 or 4.

Surprise, bombshell, epiphany.

  • The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

  • A Lisbeth Salander Novel, Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series
  • By: David Lagercrantz
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,723
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,222
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,207

Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others - even she has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking investigative journal Millennium. And she will let nothing stop her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not up to par

  • By cristina on 10-03-17

Salander Missing

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

Lagercrantz could be Larsson's twin from a writing stand point remaining true to the feel of the original. The only problem is that he seems to have forgotten that Lisbeth Salander is the big draw here. In Eye, it is like Salander is making a guest appearance in somebody else's book. Too bad because Lagercrantz writes her well and when she is involved, there is usually a significant increase in the story's energy. The exception is the anti-climatic ending where Lisbeth not only does not get an eye-for-an-eye, she demurs to the literary equivalent of our action hero dialing 911.

  • Bandwidth

  • By: Eliot Peper
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 187
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 184

A rising star at a preeminent political lobbying firm, Dag Calhoun represents the world’s most powerful technology and energy executives. But when a close brush with death reveals that the influence he wields makes him a target, impossible cracks appear in his perfect life. Like everyone else, Dag relies on his digital feed for everything - a feed that is as personal as it is pervasive, and may not be as private as it seems. As he struggles to make sense of the dark forces closing in on him, he discovers that activists are hijacking the feed to manipulate markets and governments.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What. A. Ride. Peper’s Best Yet!

  • By Brian on 05-01-18

Unthrilling, Mislabled, Political Sci-Fi

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

This book is a near future sci-fi political essay on the perceived dangers of Climate Change mislabeled as a mystery technical thriller. The main character is poorly and inconsistently developed, hard-hearted ruthless on one page and a simpering snowflake the next. He waffles from immature and childish one minute and suave woman's man the next. Supposedly a sought-after lobbyist and but so easily manipulated, it is hard to conceive of him negotiating with adults. To tell the truth, the book was so boring, rambling and dull that I only made it about half-way before I gave up. Maybe somebody else wrote the second half and turned it into something. Otherwise, I find it hard to believe how anyone could rate it more than two stars.

  • Hard Road

  • A Jon Reznick Thriller, Book 1
  • By: J. B. Turner
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,602
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,345
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,348

Jon Reznick is a "ghost": a black-ops specialist who takes his orders from shadowy handlers, and his salary from the US government. Still mourning the loss of his beloved wife on 9/11, he's dispatched to carry out a high-level hit. Reznick knows only that it must look like suicide. It's textbook. But the target is not the man Reznick expected. The whole setup is wrong. In an instant the operation is compromised, and Reznick is on the run with the man he was sent to kill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Plenty of Action

  • By shelley on 01-01-18

Torture by Reader

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

Reviewed: 05-03-18

I cannot tell if this story was any good or not because the narration was so unbearable I could not continue. I gave the story rating because it wouldn't let me do the rest of the review without it rather than for the story itself. Besides, I assume the author had some say in choosing the reader.

The problem with the reader is that the last word in every sentence and almost every phrase had exactly the same inflection. It was as if he was doing a parody of a sing-songy poem. The distraction was so bad I could not focus on what he was reading. The exception seemed to be with dialog which was reasonably good. Unfortunately, it wasn't worth wading through exposition and description just to get to dialog.

  • Red Swan

  • By: P. T. Deutermann
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 411

A behind-the-scenes operator at the CIA, Wallace was integral to the agency's secret war against China's national intelligence service, which infiltrates government offices, major businesses, and systems crucial to our security. Wallace had severely damaged China's Washington spy ring with a devastating ruse, a so-called "black swan", in which a deep-undercover female agent targeted and destroyed a key Chinese official. Now, Wallace's mysterious death suggests that the CIA itself has been compromised and that China has someone inside the agency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific espionage story!

  • By Wayne on 11-18-18

Good Actionless Story

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

This is a good, complex story with well written characters and one of the best narrators in the business. The only reason I don't rate it 5 stars is that there is virtually no action, so there are times it was hard to maintain attention through the talk-a-thon. I know that is just my personal preference. Think Hercule Poirot instead of Jack Reacher.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Hit

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,638
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,712
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,721

Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst - enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims.No one else can match Robie's talents as a hitman...no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I couldn't Stop Listening

  • By Rodney on 05-24-13

The Miss

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

Reviewed: 11-03-17

Every now and then, an author you have previously enjoyed writes a story so bad you wonder if he died and the hired a ghost writer to carry on like Ludlum or Flynn. Research seems to indicate that Baldacci hasn't passed but hard to believe that he wrote this.

Whoever wrote it certainly got in touch with their "softer" side. Maybe he was trying to attract more female readers. I get that you'd like to sell to a wider audience, but this was so touchy-feely-talky that he could have called it "The View"

Bad enough that he made supposedly world class assassins sentimental sob-sisters, but he also turned them simultaneously incompetent. They are constantly bumbling into traps only to escape by improbable luck instead of skill. The villains are easily pictured as Wyle E. Coyote or with handlebar mustaches and capes. The plot is muddled and dialogue banal. After the anticlimactic climax, there is another separate half-hour anticlimax.

I am willing to grant poetic license for dramatic effect in an action novel, but the author really should invest in a firearm expert. Better yet, he should actually fire a burst from an automatic weapon and see how often he could place a shot an inch from his target. I'm betting on yet another "miss"

On a side note, many thanks to the narrators who did a masterful job of making this mess tolerable.

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,394
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,037
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,019

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

Language Barrier

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

Reviewed: 11-21-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'll start by saying I have not been able to finish reading this book even though I like the story.

I think Joe Ide is a good writer. He has well developed characters and I was interested in the story. HIs dialogue is no doubt appropriate for his characters. However, the constant ghetto "gangsta" talk made me feel like I was listening in on a foreign language conversation where I have some knowledge but am not fluent. While contextually, I understand much of what is being said, it is too much work. Instead of looking forward to reading on, I was putting it off.

Those who are fluent, will probably enjoy the book.

Would you be willing to try another book from Joe Ide? Why or why not?

I would actually love to read another book from Joe Ide if he can overcome the dialogue issue.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Code Name: Camelot

  • Noah Wolf, Book 1
  • By: David Archer
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 619
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 574
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 568

After witnessing the murder-suicide of his parents as a child, Noah Wolf suffers from a form of PTSD that has left him without emotion, without a conscience, and without the ability to function as a normal human being. With the help of childhood friends, he learns to watch others around him and mimic their behaviors, in order to conceal the fact that his mind operates more like a computer that he has spent years programming. That program is what allows Noah to pass himself off as normal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Family Friendly Assassin

  • By shelley on 05-12-16

Insomniac Delight

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

Reviewed: 11-21-16

What would have made Code Name: Camelot better?

I know that writing is a difficult business and if David Archer is a high school sophomore turning an English comp paper into his first book, some of what I am about to say can be mitigated.

In that case he would be too young to remember Warren Murphy and William Sapir's The Destroyer. So he can be forgiven for making Noah Wolfe a clone of their Remo Williams. I can get over that, but at least The Destroyer had truck loads of action and a generous supply of humor. This has neither.

To be fair, I have only slogged through eighteen of the thirty chapters, but that is seventeen and a half too long to wait for first action and the only humor is unintentional. ("Original birth"?) With the exception of Noah's dull retelling of a sole action scene, the entire book so far has been touchy-feely exposition which could have been dropped into later action scenes or omitted completely. Seriously, who cares what each character had for breakfast if it doesn't mean anything to the story.

Also, I am as big a fan of gratuitous sex as the next guy, but if you are going to throw in a sex scene with no introduction or hint of attraction between the characters, at least throw some sex into the scene. It was as if Archer, bored with the endless drivel, had a checklist of what to do if the story is going nowhere and "sex-scene" was next up.

Much of this book seems like a collection of writing exercises that the author wanted to put to use. One of the exercises must have been to describe different rooms in as much detail as possible. Fine as exercises go, but usually only necessary to advance the plot. Of course, it would help to have a plot to advance. Maybe that comes up in the final chapters.

Also, we get it that Noah doesn't have emotions. We actually got it from the dust jacket cover and the first twenty time it was mentioned. Instead of having it repeated with the introduction of every character, Archer should hold a group meeting and make one big announcement.

We also know Noah is the coolest and best at everything he does because every other character mentions it at least once. Probably not necessary to mention it again...ever. Finally, it is not really necessary to utilize every cliché ever unless you are developing a compendium of cliché's and/or trying to put people to sleep. If the latter was the goal, mission complete.

What aspect of Adam Verner’s performance would you have changed?

Adam Verner is a pretty good narrator. He does accents, different character voices and even women so that it isn't necessary to use "he said, she said" in exchanges of dialogue. I did find myself wishing that he had used a different voice for Wolfe. The "anchorman" baritone reminds me of Gary Owens on the old Laugh In TV show and makes Wolf sound like a pompous ass. That is exacerbated by the cartoonish dialogue but you can't blame the narrator for that.

  • The Savannah Project

  • Jake Pendleton Series, Book 1
  • By: Chuck Barrett
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 340
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 338

Terrorism, duty, and personal safety collide when Jake Pendleton, an investigator for the NTSB, is called to investigate an aircraft accident in Savannah, Georgia during the St. Patrick's Day celebration. The accident, which at first appears to be quite run-of-the-mill, turns out to be anything but. Since Jake is not willing to pretend there are no suspicious circumstances and more than the usual share of rather unlikely "coincidences," he sets off a veritable avalanche of secrets, violence and treachery.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Even Scott Brick couldn't save a story arc

  • By Andrew Pollack on 05-25-14

Flesh Wound to the Head

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

Reviewed: 06-04-16

What disappointed you about The Savannah Project?

The book starts with a rape that has no particular relationship to the story, has the climax in the middle of the book, the anticlimax ending as the villain walks away from a gun shot to the head.

Well, that wasn't exactly the ending. The flesh wound to the head apparently scrambled his brain. In spite of being on the world's top ten most wanted list, a huge man with skunk-striped hair, head wound and odd colored eyes, he whizzes through international travel unnoticed and kills the protagonists girl friend who has no part in the plot but apparently serves to set up a sequel. The end.

I missed the news story where the IRA got sick and tired of Islamic extremists getting all of the terrorism credit and decided to make a come back, but The Savannah Project is apparently their coming out party in fiction.This book seemed like it has about 95/5 talk/action ratio, but it is hard to tell because so much of the talk has nothing to do with furthering the plot. It felt like someone gave the author a word quota and he filled it with passages from his descriptive writing classes on other topics.

What little action there is cartoonish. The former black ops sidekick gets easily captured, stumbles and bumps his shin, can't seem to hit his target with a gun, turns his back on a guy he is beating up who pulls a knife to fight anew unaffected from his pummeling, gets shot numerous times wile cracking wise all the way home.

Lots of people get shot -- two in the neck which the author must feel is so much easier to hit than center mass. One person gets shot in the leg, survives with a flesh wound only to be shot later in the same leg several times. However, she bravely declares that it hurts like hell, "but I'll live." Probably had some previously undisclosed medical training.

Implausible events, incompetent protagonists, aimless storyline, this book has it all including a flesh wound to the head.

Would you ever listen to anything by Chuck Barrett again?

Not likely.

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

Scott Brick is the best narrator in the world and only his masterful skills made this tedious story bearable. Brick could read a Napa parts catalog and make it as interesting as this book.

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

This book was a frustrating disappointment.

  • 1,000 Yards

  • A John Milton Short Story
  • By: Mark Dawson
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 387
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 357
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 357

From Amazon number-one best-selling author Mark Dawson, this novella is an introduction to John Milton, the most dangerous assassin in the pay of Her Majesty’s government. Meet John Milton. He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd, but you wouldn't want to be on his list.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story but too short

  • By Cartec on 08-08-16

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

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

Reviewed: 03-30-16

Glad this was a short story or I would not have been able to finish it. All talk; little action and even the action was slow and wordy. It was hard to feel anything for the lead character. I am okay with a protagonist having a few flaws, but this guy had no redeeming features to make you care about him.

Also, I thought a "cleaner" was someone who cleaned up bodies and forensic evidence after an assassin did his stuff. Here, Milton is the assassin but described as a cleaner. Not a big deal by itself, but just added to a muddled story.

The narration made it worse. Thorp is a decent reader, does different voices, etc. and admittedly, the author did not give him much to work with. However, he seems overly dramatic on trivial or routine lines and has nowhere to go from there. One caveat: To my ear, the reader's "sing-songy" British accent took a slow plodding story and softened the already round edges. But, maybe that is just me and British folks don't like American narration.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful