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Dark Site

A Sam Dryden Novel
Narrated by: Gary Galone
Series: Sam Dryden, Book 3
Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Lee's imagination knows no boundaries, which makes the story elements completely unpredictable...Just when it seems clear what's truly going on, another surprise appears." --Associated Press

From Patrick Lee, author of Runner, Sam Dryden comes under attack from unknown forces as an unremembered episode from his past threatens more than just his life. 

On an otherwise normal morning, former Special Forces operative Sam Dryden is the target of an unsuccessful attempted abduction. Using his attacker's cell phone, he learns that another person, a woman named Danica Ellis, is also being targeted. Dryden arrives just in time to save Danica from the assault team sent after her. But neither of them recognizes the other or has any idea why they are being targeted. The only clue is a heavily redacted, official-looking document given to Danica by her stepfather before he was killed.    

Dryden immediately recognizes it as a "scrub file". A scrub file is a record of what a subject knew before their memories were chemically destroyed. The redacted document refers to witnesses to a secret military site in Ashland, Iowa, in 1989. Both Dryden and Danica Ellis lived in Ashland in 1989, when they were both 12 years old, though neither of them has any memory of the other.   

Switching back and forth between the present day, when Dryden and Danica try to elude the forces that are after them, and the past in Ashland, Iowa, when both were 12, making a discovery that forever changed their lives, this latest Sam Dryden audiobook proves yet again that Patrick Lee is one of the most original, compelling thriller writers today.

©2019 Patrick Lee (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • Springfield, OR, United States
  • 05-28-19

Good story hammered by a bad narrator

The previous two Sam Dryden novels were narrated well, Ari Fliakos (who read the previous book) had a natural steely calm that brought the Sam Dryden novel to life. This go around, the narration is read by a new comer, Gary Galonek whose style who bites off words harshly and choppily with an east coast accent for a series that takes place out west. I cringed when I heard "Oregon" pronounced as "O-ree-gone".

His cadence might work more for throwback detective novel but it feels stilted. I haven't finished the book but I found myself having to concentrate on the novel instead of melting into the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

dialogue, narrator baaaad

Given the weakness of the dialogue (12-year-olds have never talked like that, in real life or fiction), the ineptness of the narrator is a truly unnecessary addition to the presentation of this book. The book is set in Oregon . . . so why did they find someone who pronounces it O ree Gone??? The narrator can't pronounce any geographical names correctly except New Orleans, which I'm assuming must be a coincidence, given how he manages to put the emphasis in most sentences in the wrong place as well.
The storyline is relatively familiar and none-too-believable, even beyond the silliness of the things people say to each other and how they say them. It's not fantastic enough to be a fantasy, but not realistic enough to be fiction, nor technical enough to be scifi, though it makes a stab at all three genres in any given paragraph.
It's not a bad book in that it isn't preaching the overthrow of democracy by a racist dictatorship, nor is it a good book that shows the way out of darkness through application of morality and cleverness. There are worse narrators out there committing more egregious crimes against the language; it's not a book to abandon altogether and request a refund, and who knows? Subsequent effrts might be more palatable. It's a mediocre restaurant meal for which this is the best tip I can give.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting addition to the zombie pantheon

I enjoyed listening to Runner, Mr. Lee’s first novel (the story & narration are both engrossing). The narration of Dark Site is distractingly awful and while I enjoyed the story, I can’t recommend the Audible version of this book. Get the kindle or a physical version & enjoy the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Where is Jeff Gurner?

Changing narrators with the 3rd book in a series is tantamount to telling your listeners you just don't care about their feelings. Maybe, based upon the story, paying for excellent narration wasn't worth it. Lee, can and has done better than this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a good as others in the series.

I like this series for its main character and its originality however three thing with this one. 1) the narrator takes getting use to. Doesn’t do the story justice. 2) I’m not into the back and forth from one time (20 years) earlier to present time. And lastly 3) kids this smart and investigative at 12 discovering top secret stuff, but yet at times stupid as the tale unfolds, just not feasible. Tended to drag. Almost lost patience with it but didn’t.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mystery thriller w horror & science-fantasy touch


I listened to the Audible audiobook as a stand-alone and enjoyed it immensely. Sam Dryden and Danica Ellis, who are strangers, join forces in order to fight off killers who’re trying to kill them for unknown reasons.

The plot is fairly complex and would have made a good ‘X-Files’ episode—albeit one evocative of ‘’Stranger Things.’ The storyline’s sense of other-worldliness segues toward military-industrial and then, horror with science-fantasy touches.

If you’re not fond of flashbacks, be warned that there are multiple time-jumps from 2018 to 1989, when Sam and Danica were twelve-year-old kids living in an odd town that only seemed real. Sam is a more believable hero than most in the Bourne/Bond mold. As for Danica, her character’s personality change was believable, because of the time-jump storyline. The secondary characters could have used more fleshing out—especially the villain, who needed some humanizing.

Listening to the audiobook, the action scenes at the denouement continued for too long. It may be due to 1989 bleeding into/onto 2018, but I didn’t need a John Wick-type action sequence.

Excellent audiobook for long plane trips.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Can't get past the narration

I have loved all the other Patrick Lee books and was anxiously waiting for this one. But all the other comments about the narration are true. It doesn't work for this book. Barely into it and instead of listening decided to write this review. I heard you can return books at audible and I may end up doing that and just reading it. It's really hard to focus on the story as the narration is more like it's a childs book being read. It's a big difference from all his other books. Hoping it will improve further in and If it does i will update this review. But for now disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator is distractingly bad

I'm going to muscle through the book, but the narration is distractingly bad.

He. SPEAKS. In. A. VERY. stilted. Way. It's almost like if they recorded the guy saying every word in the English language and then used a computer to do a text-to-speech conversion.

He also does VERY strange things with emphasis. Like, if a recent line was "Sam picked up the gun" and then a bit later "Sam picked up the other gun", the narrator will say "SAM picked up the other GUN" instead of "Sam picked up the OTHER gun". Most of the time it's like the narrator doesn't really follow what's happening in the story; just reading the words. Also, if there is a sentence with "and" it is broken up oddly. As in: "Sam WENT to the door. ...... AND ..... Opened IT." Maybe it was a rush job.

I cannot imagine how this performance made it past the editorial process. Like I said, I'll listen to the rest of the book, but I won't listen again until someone who speaks English re-does the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Narrator can make or break

I’m only about a third of the way through this audio book. I’m going to muscle through because I really liked the two prior Sam Dryden novels. However, knowing how important a narrator is to an audio book, I can’t for the life of me understand how an author, editor, or whomever is responsible for the audio recording, can allow a story of this genre to be read by someone who continuously sounds like he’s reading a Judy Blume book to a kindergarten class. Hard to get a feel for what the author was really trying to convey. Disappointing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic book!

Love this series! I couldn't wait to get this book and I'm not disappointed! Patrick Lee is a phenomenal writer. Suspenseful but also with an amazingly clever plot. I highly reccomend this series!