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I love thrillers where the main character kicks butt... and Scot Harvath does a lot of that in this book!
It picks up right where 'Full Black' left off - smack dab in the action with Scot Harvath. For this reason I highly recommend you listen to 'Full Black' first to set this one up.
This volume centers around a conspiracy that - though some of its elements may sound farfetched - rings with a lot of truth and may just give you chills at how close to reality it could actually be. As usual, Armand Schultz brings the characters to life and keeps the book interesting even through some of the longer infodumps. This book also fleshes out some of the backstories for some of the characters too.
While I still have to give Flynn the nod for writing truly epic thrillers that bring everything together just right, Brad Thor gives him a run for his money. If you like Flynn, you will probably like this, too. Definitely recommended.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Everyone in the world seems to be gunning for Scott Harvath, Brad Thor's superhero character of all time. After his girlfriend is shot and killed, he goes to ground to try to figure out what's going on and who added his name to the "black list", a list of people to be executed by the US Government. He finds himself cut off from everyone with back-stabbers everywhere. If he makes a phone call, uses the Internet or sends an e-mail, shortly afterward there is a hit team there to take him out. He finds it almost impossible to stay hidden and "off the grid" since anything he does, says or sends is immediately visible to data aggregators at an NSA contractor gone rogue. His only allies are his long-time friend "the dwarf" and a couple others. And, he's apparently got the US government, law enforcement and military against him. How will he ever overcome this huge problem? A good edge of your seat listen. Recommend!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Loved it and enjoyed the time listening to another great book from Brad Thor. His story always keeps you transfixed in the book. Just another way to keep you listening and enjoying the book. Another way to get your attention on the story as he thrills your mind with adventure.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
The *first* chapter is taut and exciting. A woman is fleeing shadowy pursuers through a busy shopping mall. She's only too aware of her diminished options in our ultra-surveilled pan-opticon state. She carries out some desperate and unseen remedy in a lingerie store - the last bastion of privacy in a dystopian world! Awesome! What's going to happen next?
Well - first of all the reading-age drops. Brad Thor rests on his Chapter 1 laurels and starts grinding out dull, over-explained prose. If you were reading it your eyes would skate across whole sections of this plonking explicatory text; you would fast-forward to where something happens.
However with an audiobook you have to listen to every word. It doesn't help that the vocal talent is merely adequate - of which more later.
There's also little in the way of effective scene-setting. Locations across the globe are bland and barely established - there's no immersion and no evocative description.
There's nothing in the way of emotional landscape. The hero is a bland, super-accomplished, emotionless cypher. He moves from one poorly described location to another while the text informs us of his laundry-list of accomplishments and credentials. Scott Harvath never shows a flicker of life, introspection or human vulnerability. Why would we care what happens to him?
The hacker character (on the other hand) is likeable and memorable. I was rooting for that little guy - he was the only character with a discernable pulse. But even his scenes - set against the same wasteland of poorly established locations as the rest of the book - couldn't save this tedious thriller-by-numbers.
Disclaimer: I could only get through about a dozen chapters.
What aspect of Armand Schultz’s performance might you have changed?
On the vocal talent:
Armand Schultz gives a flat read with little vocal variety.
It was adequate (hence the three stars) but it was monotone and added nothing to the admittedly dull material. Schultz compares poorly to audiobook stars like Degas, Longworth, Pacey or Armstrong.
Professional audiobook readers should have a rich vocal palette. The best ones have the ability to move between different vocal instruments - moving seamlessly between accents and phoneme-sets.
Schultz either doesn't have or doesn't exhibit these skills. The most I can say is that he reads the text clearly without hesitation or breath-issues. That's not really good enough.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful