• Soft Target

  • Ray Cruz, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Hunter
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (708 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Stephen Hunter is back with another breakneck thriller, in which ex-Marine sniper, Ray Kruz, must outwit a group of murderous Somali terrorists who’ve laid siege to the Mall of America.

Recently retired marine sergeant Ray Kruz has been talked into a mall trip by his fiancé, the beautiful Molly Chan. For Ray, Molly represents a way to reconnect with normal life, something his 20 years in the service and five tours in two combat zones have prevented. But now he finds himself in the middle of the softest target of all, a huge consumer mall where a self-styled “Mumbai Brigade” has come to bring massive death to the heartland. They just didn’t know Ray Cruz was in the building….

©2011 Stephen Hunter (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Soft Target

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Bubble Gum Basic

This has the ear markings of a hundred or more "Good and Worthy" Action books. Before you think this is one of those novels; stop.
I believe it has a dozen or so paragraphs from each great novel of the Great writers of action and adventure rolled into one book. I would never state that there is a verbatim sequence of these other great novels because that would be plain illegal.
This book is fine if you need a quick pick; you see it, and time is ticking before you lose your hot spot WIFI connection.
To have it to hear in the background while you shop or multitask this is a good book. But if it costs a credit or more than $5 please spend a little time to find something else.
I listened to it all so there is some attraction and basic plot at work. It's just is a plot with a hero and nemesis that is comic book 101. There is nothing of substance in the whole book. But who said that is a bad thing?

9 people found this helpful

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

The Son of Swagger

Ray Cruz is following in the steps of his father, Bob Lee Swagger, the famous marine sniper. The story is fast paced, and shows several points of view of the events. While the story is decent, I found it to be basically an enjoyable, updated version of the traditional hero/villain storyline. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if you are looking for a truly unique story, a little more searching will be required.

Phil Gigante did a good job with the narration, and I would not hesitate at all to listen to him narrate any other books that pique my curiosity.

The one thing about this book that I did not care for, was how some people that think that words mean more than action, and that by spewing all this political correct gibberish, everything will be all better. They continue to get promoted well beyond any measure of their competence. It illustrates all too clearly, an epidemic that we are seeing all to frequently now a days.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Another Action packed story from Hunter

When I saw this was about a Marine sniper I thought it was going to be a war story but no the hero Sargent Ray Kruz has just retired from the Corp and is in Minnesota to visit his fiancé , Molly Chan's family. They go to the Mall of America for some gifts and get caught in a take over by a group of Somali Terrorists. Now begins a fast past, action and suspense packed story. Ray's sister is a reporter in a news helicopter above the mail and uses the news copter to block a terrorist from escaping in a copter. Both siblings are hero's in the story. As the story ends a truism occurs incompetence gets promoted. Phil Gigante does a great job narrating the book. This book makes an exciting passage of time I almost read it in one session. If you like Hunter books and action packed stories this is the book for you.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

HUNTER DOES IT AGAIN!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES! Everyone should listen (or read if you have to) to every single Hunter book! He is the best of his genre! Do yourself a favor and get this BOOK! NOW!
I have to drive 5 hours each Monday to get my Cancer treatment and this story just lifts your spirit and makes you feel and think that our country will prevail against those who have come to kill us! I love Mr. Hunter's many books and SOFT TARGET is another great one! If you have any 55-65 year old white males on your Christmas list-you shopping is now DONE!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

YES! This is a great take on terrorism and every American should listen and reflect on this subject and how it affects us all!

Which scene was your favorite?

The moment that Cruz realizes HOW he is gonna take out the bad guys!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Terrorism meets it match! CRUZ on attack!

Any additional comments?

I urge everybody to get this book and enjoy it!

6 people found this helpful

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

Enjoyable counterpoint to Current Events

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was a decent story about a retired special ops guy who decides to do more than cower while armed men take over a mall. Since I was in Omaha a couple years ago when a kid decided to start shooting up a department store, it was a way for me to ride along on a story with a better ending. This book was decently written, with a flowing story, and had good characterization which allowed me to "get to know" the characters. The narrator was skilled and easy to listen to.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

There was tension, but without any of the awkward pauses for asides like many authors like to put in. The background info was just enough to ensure you could relate to what was going on. This book was less, to me, about "OMG, save them!" than it was about "Now get THAT one!" to me. I enjoyed descriptions of tactics, especially as the protagonist employed them.

Have you listened to any of Phil Gigante’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not heard him before, but he did great on this one. I look forward to his other work.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

The author and narrator should stick together for other projects.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The next generation has begun

What did you love best about Soft Target?

Breakneck speed and it captures what is on everyone's mind today; terrorism in our own neighborhoods.

What did you like best about this story?

Ray Cruz is a real guy and not a super hero and that made us all identify with him.

Which scene was your favorite?

As the plan falls apart for the terrorists their incompetence takes over. Nice to think that we have better people walking the Malls than most of these groups send to do their dirty work.

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

I couldn't get out of the car. Kept reminding myself that it would be here when I got back in.

Any additional comments?

Stephen Hunter cranks them out and the readable style makes each of his books a lot like dessert after a good meal. For all of us former military guys it is a chance to remember that there are still good people out there to watch over our country.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The next generation has begun

What did you love best about Soft Target?

Breakneck speed and it captures what is on everyone's mind today; terrorism in our own neighborhoods.

What did you like best about this story?

Ray Cruz is a real guy and not a super hero and that made us all identify with him.

Which scene was your favorite?

As the plan falls apart for the terrorists their incompetence takes over. Nice to think that we have better people walking the Malls than most of these groups send to do their dirty work.

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

I couldn't get out of the car. Kept reminding myself that it would be here when I got back in.

Any additional comments?

Stephen Hunter cranks them out and the readable style makes each of his books a lot like dessert after a good meal. For all of us former military guys it is a chance to remember that there are still good people out there to watch over our country.

4 people found this helpful

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

Author is making a political statement not a story

What would have made Soft Target better?

Stick to a solid story line and avoid posturing through characters

What was most disappointing about Stephen Hunter’s story?

There is no way that the Chief of Minnesota State Policy would be so inept. The author, in trying to make political statement about his views of the curent President, creates his character as Kenyan born, and trained in Harvard. His linking the inept Col Obobo to President Obama is blatant as well as absurd. If President Obama was similar to the story's Col Obobo then Bin Laden and 22 senior terrorist leaders would still be alive.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

His earlier story lines in the Bob Lee Swagger novels were better executed. He should go back to the formula. The action lines were good.

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

The story left me flat.

4 people found this helpful

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

Oh Come On!

What would have made Soft Target better?

Leaving Politics out of it! What happened to the great books (Hot Springs and before)?
Then you focused on the story and characters, not just angry, FOX watching, political commentary. This criticism comes from a 48!yr old WM from Alabama!

What could Stephen Hunter have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Focus on story, not soap box.

Have you listened to any of Phil Gigante’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Narrator not relevant.

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

Great take on over used plot line, but poorly executed.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Hunter, you are an author I used to follow. I just re-listened to Hot Springs before I bought this trash. STICK to what you know. Mr. Obbo? Do you really have this many people in my demographic to alienate. Best of luck and last purchase of your work.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent writing, action from beginning to end

No "Fluff, all meat, I don't like books that go on an on............................ This book is OUTSTANDING. Mr Hunter, give us more, please.

2 people found this helpful