Ex-Baltimore cop turned special-ops shooter Joe Ledger is back in action.
In The Dragon Factory, Ledger and his team from the Department of Military Sciences square off against two separate groups of corrupt scientists. The beautiful but twisted Jakoby Twins are creating transgenic monsters and genetically enhanced mercenaries for sale to the highest bidder. Their father, who takes evil to an entirely new level, is using cutting-edge science to complete the Nazi master-race program.
Joe must elude the NSA who are gunning for him, fight his way past rogue Spetsnaz teams, and stop these madmen before the Extinction Clock runs out. And when the bloodbath claims one of his own, Joe Ledger declares total war on those people who would burn down the world in order to reshape it in their own dark image.
They Lose All Sense.
Another Five Star Novel, with a Five Star Performance by Ray Porter.
I will be the first to admit that this not as good as Patient Zero the first book in this series and even though you could read this book without reading that book, I believe you would be happier to read PZ first. PZ introduces you to Joe Ledger and to the Department of Military Sciences (X-Files on steroids). Some have given this less the five stars, the trap they have fallen into is that they are comparing Maberry to Maberry. That's like giving your second favorite book in the world three or four stars, cause it ain't as good as your favorite. Meaning only one book you have ever read could earn five stars. This book is still better then most of what is out there.
This is a Mad Scientist Novel (Mevil), no Zombies, but lots of genetic monsters.
Pro: Like a Koontz novel this filled with all kinds of creatures and bad guys. Here is a sample of what you will come across; Centaurs, Scorpion Dogs, Elves, The Chamber of Myths, Quetzalcoatl, Chinese Dragons, European Dragons, Sea Serpents, Gargoyles, The Hive, anti-aging gene, White Angel, mudpeople, transgenic soldiers, albino twins, life unworthy of life, extinction clock, Tigerhounds, clones, Neanderthals, New Men, unicorns, faith gene, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. The bad guys are cliche, Nazi's, Albinos and Russians, but in a book like this sometimes cliche is good. I lived for almost a year as a kid in Germany and went on vacation there almost two years ago and I love the German people, but you have to admit they make great bad guys. You may say that is politically incorrect, but you know you agree.
Con: I got sick and tired of the Extinction Clock. Every one of the 133 chapters starts with the Extinction Clock Countdown. It seemed to me that they kind of Wussied Ledger a little. He falls in love in this, he gets touchy feelie in parts, he less of a smart a@@ and he thinks before acting, something he didn't do in book 1. There are a couple of points where the book gets real patriotic in a patronizing way. There are a couple of duller then usual parts and the book seems a little unnecessarily stretched out. The epilogue is kind of stupid. Keep in mind we are comparing Ledger to Ledger, which sets the bar pretty high.
Ray Porter is great. I did notice in this book that Ray sounds an awful lot like Tom Hanks. I like Tom Hanks, so that is not a problem with me, it just seemed weird.
26 of 29 people found this review helpful
I have to disagree with most of the reviewers here. This was a fun novel, and I'm glad I bought it. But it was disappointing compared to the first novel. The "bad guy" characters were all rather trite. There were also a number of elements in the plot (and plot connections) that were blatantly obvious, yet the supposedly brilliant people and the supercomputer at the Department of Military Sciences had a hard time figuring out. If it's that obvious to a reader, it kills the suspension of disbelief when it's presented as a startling revelation to the characters.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful
Joe Ledger is the supernatural Jack Bauer. The Dragon Factory even has a countdown clock. So, I wasn't totally sold on book one, but it was good enough for me to give book two a spin and I'm glad that I did. How can AIDS, Nazis, clones, unicorns, and a potential ethnic cleansing on a massive scale all be tied together? The answer: apparently seamlessly if you are Jonathan Maberry. I will fully admit that I went into this with heavy skepticism. I'm still not ready to call this "horror" per se, but it is certainly a thriller. You owe it to yourself to give it a spin.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
this story is even better than patient zero!!! seriously,I can't even..... awesome, amazing, and crazy good!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
It starts off as a straight up butt-kicking action novel, with a tiny hint of political back-story to give it some suspense. This continues nicely for about half the novel, then there is an 'intermission' where we get a very long lecture on how horrible eugunenics are. First one character, then the next, then the next, weigh in on the misery behind eugenics or genetic cleansing, or nazism...
Don't get me wrong, these are all bad things, but i don't want a 20 minute lecture in the middle of an action novel about the horrible-ness of it all. If I wanted to read a treatise on ethnic cleansing, I'd go pick up a book on that subject, not one that I thought was a quick and easy butt-kicking action novel.
Even the romantic component is lame...actually, it's so pathetic, I'm not going to bother talking about it. Fortunately, it can be safely overlooked as it's just a quick plug in (heheh, no pun intended) here and there in the story. I suppose it was there to give more depth, but... anyway...
If one could overlook the moralizing and lecturing (which I don't think you can because there is a LOT of it from midway onward), it would be more like 3.5 star. I just can't get all the blah-blah-blah out of my head, and the whole premise is a little too fantastical for my tastes... either it's a thriller, or it's a fantasy. But don't go putting dragons in my butt-kickings. And, no, I don't have a problem with superhero-like butt-kickers, I just don't want the story overstepping its own reality.
25 of 32 people found this review helpful
I'm normally a fantasy LOTR,GoT, type fan, but Joe ledger, is a phenomenal character. I'm hooked.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
When I began listening to The Dragon Factory, I was put off by what seemed to be very run of the mill super agent fare. The operative who survives and lays waste the opposition because of his superhuman skills and unfailing luck makes for tiresome reading fairly quickly. Then, to my surprise, the plot thickened into an interesting political/techno stew which, along with the absolutely superb narration by Ray Porter (a 14 carat asset for any book he reads), recaptured my attention and provided several hours of pleasurable listening.
Unfortunately, the mandatory final onslaught devolved into a completely ridiculous and absurdly extended series of combat set pieces between the indomitable Ledger and a seemingly endless queue of grotesque genetic monstrosities all of which are dispatched in remarkably unimaginative ways. In the end, the landscape is decorated with vast numbers of the vanquished. Meanwhile the sins of the evil geniuses at the center of the threat multiply with the body count until Maberry has managed to compile a truly ridiculous laundry list of twisted eugenic permutations, genetic transmogrification and historical monstrosity. It is hard to pay attention to the mayhem while you are guffawing.
Less would definitely have been more in this case, Mr. Maberry.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful
The second book in what is (at the time of this writing) a three book series was a strong follow-up to it's predecessor, Patient Zero. Joe Ledger, now a bit more settled in with his new job, finds new battles to fight and new threats to the continuation of the human race.
This whole series is worth listening to just to hear Ray Porter's performance, possibly the best I've ever heard. I'll be on the lookout for any new books he does and would have no hesitation basing a selection solely on the merits that Ray Porter had narrated.
My only problem with The Dragon Factory was the "flavor" of villain. Jonathan Maberry has brought Nazi's into present day, and as you can imagine, the dialogue of these villains is ugly, offensive, and off-putting. While I fully recognize the fact that if these characters had been less hateful they wouldn't have been the level of villain the story was working towards, I can't pretend that there weren't times that I wished we could fast forward through some of the hate speech. I could have done without it, and feel I still would have been able to understand that these were the "bad guys". I'm sure there's an argument to be made in the other direction, but it's not one I choose to make at this time.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book for a good thriller, performed by a really top rate narrator.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Although I enjoy Jonathan Maberry's writing style, his world views bleed too much into his stories, and his views are insane. The basic premise of the entire series is that capitalism is the root of all evil. Jihadists are just misled and the real evil is Christianity, big business, and the U.S. Government. He insinuates many times that Obama's accomplishments were masked by Dr. Evil conspiracies on Wall Street, while implicating Bush (by name) in several evil plots. I know it's fiction, but seeding this kind of political opinion into fiction has created a lot of ignorance of late. Concerning the military and combat; this author is without a single clue. A Phily cop jumps into a role where he's leading (and out fighting) tier1 operators like Delta Force. As a veteran who enjoyed movies like Rambo, but laughed at the ridiculousness of it, I can say that Joe Ledger is many times more laughable. These stories could have been a lot better if the author would have done his homework and resisted seeding it with extremist liberal tripe. It's a real shame.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The narrator was excellent. The characters and the plot are typical of any good action thriller (think Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn). There is some good character development, but again, this is an action novel. Overall, extremely enjoyable and worth the credit.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful