The Opal : Matt Turner

  • by Michael Siemsen
  • Narrated by Chris Patton
  • Series: Matt Turner
  • 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Matt Turner grew up witnessing firsthand the worst crimes imaginable. At age nine, he discovered his special ability to "read" the emotional imprints people leave on objects. Against better judgment, his police detective father used his son’s talent to help him solve crimes. Now, at 26, Matt tries to keep to himself, but an enemy he thought long gone interrupts his tropical vacation, flying him all over the globe to help track a 3,500-year-old Egyptian opal found sealed in a Cuban tree trunk. In Cuba, Matt finds not riches but even deadlier foes, and the secrets of a long-dead explorer who will forever alter Matt’s life.

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Customer Reviews

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Not as good as book 1, but still a lot of fun

The Opal by Michael Siemsen is the second novel in the Matt Turner series. Matt Turner has a gift that allows him to read imprints from objects. All people leave an emotional and mental imprint on objects. This ability interferes with Matt’s ability to live a normal life due his inability to touch nearly all objects with his bare skin. After having completed mission where his used his ability to unearth information about an artifact in Kenya, Matt and Tuni, his coworker and girlfriend, are on vacation. But the corrupt archaeologist from that Kenya dig finds and absconds with Matt, forcing him to read a new object, an ancient opal. Placed in such a traumatic situation Matt tries to balance saving himself and Tuni, who is under guard, safe as well. All the while trying to find out more about this new artifact.

While I still love the premise of the book, I think that this book was less well put together compared to the first in the series. There are still two story lines: one in present time and one in the artifact’s time. The present time story is exciting and action packed. Many of the characters from the first novel are present in this sequel and the plot essentially continues where The Dig left off, which I like a lot about this series. The villain continues to be the villain, which adds a lot of continuity. Matt Turner continues to grow as a person as he comes to term with his feelings about his familial relationship, which are drawn more sharply in this novel compared to the first. Overall, I really like the present timeline. Even though some of the actions that the characters take are suspect, the end was intense and I like how the novel ends. However, the artifact timeline was not as well written as in the first novel and the integration with the present time didn’t seem as fluid either. The opal apparently changed hands relatively quickly, which made most of the characters flat and the story was difficult to follow and to become engaged with. The motivation for following the opals timeline was not as compelling either.

Chris Patton continues to do a great job with the narration. As before the characters are well voiced and voiced with variety, which is good because of the variety of nationalities represented. The production quality of the novel was good as well. I would recommend this novel to people who like action novels with a bit of history and science fiction thrown in.

Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

Wow this book is bad

Ugh.
I chose this book because I just finished "A Warm Place to Call Home" by Siemsen. That book was amazing. I recommended it to several people. I was ready to read (listen to) anything that Siemsen wrote.
Wow, "The Opal" is bad.
Where to begin...
The very initial premise of this book is a good one, seems fun, seems like it could go places. But the implementation is terrible. The reader/listener ends up in strange worlds meeting strange people and needing to follow along with strange stories that have nothing to do with the actual story and Siemsen never brings the two together or gives any reason why you should care about these other worlds.
The worst part of this story for me was the relationship and what happens between the main character and his wife. I'm not sure what I was supposed to feel about the wife, but I hated her and blamed her for a bunch of what ends up happening, and I don't think that's what Siemsen had in mind.
At the end, I said "oh, you've got to be kidding me." The ending was so bad. The story just limped to a pathetic halt.
The one tiny interesting thing about the story was the question around if one of the bad guys is actually a bad guy--it made me think "hmmmmm" for a minute. I liked that particular story line.
The narrator was fine, no complaints.

I will not be buying any more of this series. I really hope Siemsen writes more books outside this series--I would give those a shot.


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- Marci

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2014
  • Publisher: Podium Publishing