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Blue Dragonfly

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-18

Excruciating

Preston and Child are my favorite writers. Unfortunately, they seem to be running out of stories that are entertaining. I guess that isn't surprising considering their long career and so many really great books in the past. I seem to be returning quite a few of their books lately, which is disappointing. This is so bad that I couldn't listen to anymore beyond their discussion with the camel sellers. Frankly, up to that point the story is boring, the characters are not likable and the story drags. The narrator drones. I'm hoping Preston/Child will recharge and get back to their great story writing.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-18

Uninspired

Two of my favorite books of all time are Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End". So I was excited to hear that he had written another sequel. However, it really falls short of the first two in my opinion. I really connected with the characters in the first two, but found the ones in this book rather one dimensional and I really couldn't feel any connection to them. As usual, Mr. Follett's historical research is excellent, though. I've gotten more than half way through and have decided not to finish it. I have found it boring and ponderous. I keep feeling that he wasn't really as inspired in his writing as he was in the first two novels. Certainly it is a real glimpse into the religious intolerance that still continues to this day and how politically oriented it all is. But without characters one can feel something for it seems almost like a school history book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-18

Horrible characters

I really tried to like this, but the characters were so obnoxious or just plain weak that I didn't care what they were doing or what happened to them. The story drags on without getting anywhere interesting. I just had to give up about half way through because it just seemed to be a story about unappealing people who just got worse as it went along.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-19-18

My All Time Favorite Book

I read "Pillars of the Earth" when it first came out and loved it. So, it was like visiting an old friend to listen to it on Audible. It is such a broad, encompassing story that it is hard to review. For me, there is so much to this historical novel that it is hard to pinpoint what I love the most about it. First, the narration is wonderful. All the characters, whether you love or hate them, are characterized magnificently. Every time I read or listen to this book there is a new revelation to me, which makes it a timeless classic. There is such a variation in the characters. Even though the villains are despicable, you can also understand them. None of the characters are black and white, but presented in various shades of gray. The entire story is multi-dimensional. It is not predictable in any way. Though I am not a religious person, the religious history is fascinating because the story makes it easy to see the historical perspective of the common people being totally under the control of the Church and the Aristocracy. Though there are dark and heart wrenching episodes in the book, it is also very uplifting. You can feel the joy of those who are breaking out of the status quo of the times and doing something unique and different. It is a long book, but also one in which I felt a loss when it ended. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Ken Follett has written a book that has gone down in history as one of the top novels ever written. I like historical fiction and non fiction because no matter what things are like presently one can see how much the world has gotten better over time.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-18

Early Courtney adventures continue

I decided before I listened to this to go back and listen/read each of the early Courteney books in order. It had been such a long time since they first came out that I wanted to catch up on the characters again, so I could remember who was who. So, I ended that trek down memory lane with Blue Horizon, thinking thinking that Tiger's Prey would be the next installment because it was written so much later. However, as I started listening, I realized that Blue Horizon actually comes after this one. Go figure? Some of the characters that were killed off in Blue Horizon are still around in Tiger's Prey and are an integral part of the story. I have mixed feelings about Wilbur Smith's novels. I love the adventures, but I am really turned off by the graphic violence and the graphic sex becomes quite boring. At least I can fast forward past those parts. They are really swashbucklers and the characters are interesting. Mike Grady is an excellent narrator and captures each character really well and makes them multi-dimensional. I like historical fiction and non fiction because it always makes me realize that no matter how we view our present times I realize how lucky we are to live now and how much life has improved.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-23-18

Headed back to the original story lines

Each time Childs/Preston have a new book coming out I am hopeful that they will get back to their original story lines of Pendergast and D'Agosta solving mysterious and uncanny crimes. So, this one is headed back in the direction that originally intrigued me. It was nice that Pendergast's family angst wasn't part of this story, except at the very end when he went to see Constance. Unfortunately, this story seemed like it was written hastily and, as other reviewers have mentioned, didn't have the twists and turns that they originally created in their novels. I actually figured out who the murderer was in the first third of the book. The chase scene of the human prey is so hackneyed and has been used by other authors too many times, But, at least they are headed back in the direction of the team using their diverse skills to solve a crime. I always love it when Pendergast and D'Agosta team up and sort of play off of each other. I'd love to see them do more like "Relic" which is my favorite,

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-17

Not one of the best

I love the Oregon Files books, but this one not so much. I found the story boring and a little too far fetched. It almost felt like I was listening to a Marvel Comics book. Scott Brick is great, as usual, but the story wasn't very appealing to me. Maybe Clive Cussler is grasping at straws to come up with a new adventure?

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-17

I can feel the ice moving under my feet!

This was a free audiobook from Don Katz's 20th Audible anniversary and what a gift! I couldn't stop listening. I even had to look out my window to make sure it wasn't snowing here. LOL The combination of Simon Prebble reading Alfred Lansing's incredible story made it so real. Taken from the diaries and journals written by Shackleton and his crew you feel the cold and the instability of the ice flow. This was the most amazing true story of endurance in a hostile climate that I've ever read. I had just finished listening to "Forever On the Mountain" by James Tabor and the contrast between the bickering men of the Denali climb compared to the rough cohesiveness of the Shackleton expedition speaks to why some survive and some die. This is a book I'll have to listen to again and again. It really speaks to the human spirit of adventure, discovery and survival in such a hostile land. I couldn't wait for the end to see what happened to them, but at the same time I didn't want it to end. I felt as if I was right there, with them. I felt the fear, the cold and the determination. This review is written for the 20th anniversary review sweepstakes, but I would have written it anyway. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-15-17

Boring for me

Any additional comments?

After reading the glowing reviews, I was disappointed in how slow moving and basically boring this book was to me. I could only listen for about an hour, waiting for it to get better until I finally gave up. Maybe one has to be into mountain climbing to appreciate it? Or into Nazis? Me, it didn't hold any interest in either story line (past and future). Purchased on a two for one sale, which I've found don't often have the best of books available.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-17

Fun story

Any additional comments?

I thought I'd try this early effort by Michael Crichton, writing as John Lange, and was pleasantly surprised by how it kept my interest. The characters are really fun and enjoyable. I loved the story of a group of misfits secretly excavating a undiscovered pharaoh's tomb in Egypt. The details were well done and believable. Of course, the real plus was the narrator, Christopher Lane, who always brings the characters to life. His portrayal of the wealthy, but kooky English benefactor sounded like Michael Caine which fit the character perfectly. Great twist at the end and a fun adventure throughout.

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