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Publisher's Summary

A seemingly mundane computer cleanup leads to an electrifying quest for an enigmatic - and deadly - treasure in this gripping techno-thriller.

After selling his dorm-room startup for millions and effectively retiring at the age of 25, Alex Fife is eager for a new challenge. When he agrees to clean up an old PC as a favor, he never expects to find the adventure of a lifetime waiting for him inside the machine. But as he rummages through old emails, Alex stumbles upon a startling discovery: The previous owner, a shady antiques smuggler, had been trying to unload a mysterious object known as the Florentine on the black market. And with the dealer's untimely passing, the Florentine is now unaccounted for and ripe for the taking. Alex dives headfirst into a hunt for the priceless object. What starts out as a seemingly innocuous pursuit quickly devolves into a nightmare when Alex discovers the true technological nature of the Florentine. Not just a lost treasure, it's something far more insidious: a weapon that could bring the developed world to its knees. Alex races through subterranean grottos, freezing morgues, and hidden cellars in the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, desperate to find the Florentine before it falls into the wrong hands. Because if nefarious forces find it first, there'll be nothing Alex - or anyone else - can do to prevent a catastrophic attack.

©2015 Carey Nachenberg; This edition published in 2015 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Florentine Deception

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

Feels like non-fiction, which is terrifying.

Alex Fife is a multi-millionaire former computer virus buster. He's also a fan of a good treasure hunt. The Florentine Deception is the perfect combination of both of these worlds. Mixing in old school treasure hunting with new school computer technology, The Florentine Deception weaves in and out of some amazing (and terrifying) worlds that feel more like non-fiction than fiction.

The narration was done by Nick Podehl, and holy crap does he kill it. I honestly think I've listened to a book or two narrated by him before, but I will definitely be checking him out in the future. The characters were 100% believable and the voices he gave them were very fitting for each character. Even the female voices were pretty good, which isn't easy to accomplish as a male narrator.

I consumed this book like it was real. Alex Fife and the situations that he gets himself in were just crazy. But the scariest part was that everything that Nachenberg wrote is totally plausible. That's what makes The Florentine Deception so scary.

Alex was so incredibly likable as a character. The way he was written made me really like him and all of his interactions with the other characters in the book. His roommates and friends were all the perfect additions to his life. Not one single person felt out of place in this novel. A feat in itself.

The techno/computer things in this were written by someone with A LOT of knowledge, but they are easy to read. They don't read like a computer manual or anything. It's actually borderline elegant.

I won't spoil anything for you, but I was extremely pleased with the ending. A few times throughout I wasn't sure how it was going to end, but I was happy with the choice that Nachenberg went with.

Overall, a wonderful technothriller that was full of twists and turns that had me begging for more. Nachenberg is a name to remember, especially when it comes to mixing reality with our new computer-oriented world.

I was given a free copy of this by the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Like this and want to see more? BriansBookBlog DOT com

3 people found this helpful

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Very entertaining!

Great book, kept me engaged and I listened to nearly the entire audiobook in one go! Loved the UCLA, spelunking, and climbing references.

1 person found this helpful

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Must Read If You Like Tech and Realistic Fiction

Not just a generic mystery novel. I felt I could really relate to the protagonist, Alex Fife. His grandfather in the story is hilarious -- probably my favorite character. There is a part where Alex and his grandfather is trying to do something in the hospital and that situation was just all around hilarious (intentionally being vague to avoid spoiling the story). Also loved how the cyber problem/crime in the story could actually happen in real life and was explained in a way that non-technical people would understand. I usually listen to audiobooks when I'm doing chores but found myself also listening at the gym and making time for the book. You're not going to want to put this story down once you start.

1 person found this helpful

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A riveting adventure!

The Florentine Deception was a thrilling mystery-adventure that kept me guessing until the very end. The down-to-earth group of friends, realistic descriptions, and promise of untold treasure make you feel like you're searching for the Florentine right alongside Alex. The book has an even pacing, allowing the listener to getting to know the lovable characters before the deception really begins to take off!I Nachenberg's storytelling ability is thorough and engaging, and I found myself laughing and grimacing with the characters as they embarked on their high-stakes adventure. Alex is a truly clever main character, wielding his technological prowess expertly, and you as the listener often feel like you are partaking in his clever schemes. I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who is craving a good adventure!

1 person found this helpful

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Fast paced cybertech adventure

This book offers a very unique mix of many genres, from cyber crime, adventure, mystery, and survival thriller. The author provides an extremely realistic and believable yet crazy ridiculous scenario that drives the plot along at a brisk pace. The characters are likeable and relatable to millienals and the tech and outdoors crowd. However the dialogue and some side characters can at times be cheesy and cliche.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SS
  • 09-07-17

Couldn't stop listening!

I don't usually listen to mystery stories but this one really had me hooked. There were several points in the story that felt frustrating bc the energy and action wouldn't let me take a break! But I guess that's what kept me listening. :P the performance was also fantastic so all in all a wild and enjoyable ride!

1 person found this helpful

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Phenomenal storytelling

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

Carey Nachenberg is considered to be one of the world's experts in cybersecurity. In this novel, he puts together his passion for cybersecurity with his amazing ability to tell a story and creates a truly addictive thriller

What did you like best about this story?

Every single part of the story is based on tech vulnerabilities that are real, there is no sci-fi and aliens landing...this book will teach you what is possible and make you more aware about the real threats in cyberspace

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hands down, this is the best narration in the 160 titles I've gone through so far.Nick Pedehl brings life to each character. Sometimes you wonder how he can switch so quickly and execute entire dialogues with rapid switch of distinct voice tones.

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

Yes, I could not stop listening to this book. Carey, we need a sequel!

Any additional comments?

Disclosure: Carey and I both work at Google and I know him personally. I learned about the book from a talk he delivered at Google.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A cool mix of caving, mystery, & computer stuff.

Alex Fife is rather bored. He had the luck and the skills to start a successful company young and then sell it for a very pretty profit. Now at 25, he needs a new challenge. Cleaning up an old PC for a charity is not quite the challenge he was looking for, but he stumbles upon references to the Florentine, an item an antiques dealer was trying to sell on the black market. Alex’s hunt for the Florentine turns out to be a bigger challenge than he had in mind.

Alex and Steven, who have been best friends for some years, initially dug into the Florentine mystery out of boredom and curiosity. Richard Lister, the now deceased antiques dealer, was involved in some shady things. Alex and Steven hatch a plan to check out his house, which is for sale. Hillary, Steven’s wife, thinks they’re a bit nuts but swiftly gets caught up in the excitement. One discovery leads to another as the action spirals up. However, the stakes also continue to rise as it becomes apparent they aren’t the only one looking for the Florentine.

This was a pretty fun read. I enjoyed that Alex and crew thought they were looking for one thing and as things progressed, it became apparent they were looking for something completely different. Us readers know from the book’s description that this will happen, but it was fun to see how the author made his characters work it out. This story is mostly about the action, though there is some character development for Alex and Steven. There’s also a touch of romance, which was fine, though I didn’t feel that it particularly added to the book.

There’s plenty of computer geek speak in this book, which is what I was expecting, since Alex and most of his friends are computer scientists of one flavor or another. I enjoyed watching Alex use his expertise to collect info on the Florentine and also in laying traps for the bad guys. However, there were a few times when Alex was explaining some basic things (such as fire walls) to other computer savvy folks and that just came off as out of character. I think the author wanted these things laid out clearly for the reader, in case they aren’t computer nerds, but it came off as a bit clunky.

In contrast, the author did a great job in explaining some basics about caving. Alex has a few friends, including the most interesting Linda, who are caving folks and this techno-thriller requires some cave exploration. Hooray! Steven is not a caving person, so Alex has the perfect newbie to explain some basics to. However, there were times when Alex got a little dense on the subject. For instance, he thought it was pretty ingenious of his friend Potter to bring along glow sticks, which I would think would be a basic in most caving survival packs. Then there was that scene where Alex and crew gave up a little too easily for my taste. I felt the author was eager to move on to the next section of the book.

Now let’s talk about the morgue and Alex’s grandfather (Papa). This was by far my favorite scene of the book. Papa was so funny and yet took his role in the task so seriously! I really enjoyed this morgue caper as Alex and crew gathered further information. I’m glad the author didn’t make light of morgue security because it provided so much opportunity for Alex and Papa to have these tense, yet ridiculous, conversations.

Over all, this was a light, fun read. There were some clunky bits here and there. However, this is balanced out by the morgue scene and ratcheting-up tension and action of the story. Once the true nature of the Florentine is figured out by Alex, there’s a race on to either capture the Florentine or counteract it. The ending wraps up all the questions (except for those concerning Alex’s future love life) for this tale and leaves the door open for future installments. It would be interesting to see what Alex and crew go after next time.

I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author (via iRead Book Tours) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Nick Podehl was a good fit for Alex. He had that successful mid-20s feel to the voice that made Alex come through clearly. The narrator had to do several accents – Puerto Rican, Russian, Philipino, vague Arab, Ukranian, and regional American accents – and he did them well. His female voices were realistic.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Fun & Entertaining Diversion

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you're looking for an exciting adventure that offers the listener mystery, suspense, treasure hunts and high-tech intrigue with lots of red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing, you'll enjoy the delightfully narrated The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg!

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

The Florentine Deception is about a young millionaire named Alex who believes he stumbles upon the key to finding a valuable diamond - only to discover that he holds the key to something much more dangerous and deadly!

Which scene was your favorite?

What starts out as an exciting adventure for Alex and his friends turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse as they race against the clock on more than one occasion to keep themselves and others out of danger!

Was The Florentine Deception worth the listening time?

The Florentine Deception is my first experience with Audible, and it's been a positive one. I feel like I'm in the midst of a video game as I listen to the book - the narrator makes the action come to life!

Any additional comments?

The one thing that I did not like - particularly in the narrated version - was the excessive use of foul language throughout, which detracted from the story for me.

Aside from that, The Florentine Deception was quite enjoyable - the perfect entertainment for a lazy summer day!

1 person found this helpful

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Fast-paced Technothriller

The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg is a fast-paced technothriller that had me listening nonstop. It is such a joy when the right narrator reads the right book, and Nick Podehl really did a fantastic job with this one. One of my favorite things about the book was the way it was written – the author wrote a story that wasn’t bogged down with futuristic, unknown tech terms. It made it easy for me to read and enjoy without having to keep looking up words or feel like I’m lost. The story felt plausible, which is what makes it great. Alex is easy to like and you want to be right by his side in figuring this one out. While I was listening, I kept thinking that this would make an awesome action movie – one I would totally go see! The Florentine Deception is an exciting read that will keep you up past your bedtime to find out what is going to happen.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Lexi Carnell
  • Lexi Carnell
  • 10-09-18

amazing

Loved the narrators voice, really made the book enjoyable to listen to. Anyone with any knowledge of cyber security will love this book And if u don't have knowledge on cyber security still a great listen!!

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  • Wicked Kea
  • 04-28-17

a read for teens

A better read for male teens than adults. Writing ok. Plot thin, but fun. Hilarious mortuary scenes are a bonus. His female characters are insipid, at best.