April was a very interesting reading month. I seemed to have been plagued by some bad narrators. With audiobooks the narrator is key and ruined several of these for me.
by Ben Coes
This is the 1st book in a series featuring Dewey Andreas, a former Delta Force member. As this book opens he is managing an off shore oil rig that is attacked by terrorists. It's only one of many targets and Dewey is working to find the culprits.
As I think back it was a pretty good story. LOTS of action but also a good dose of absurdities. What really ruined the book for me was the narrator. He couldn't really do different voices very well so his solution was to give them strong accents. The head of the FBI is Mexican, an NSA chief is Irish and, best of all, an interrogator is German....but they are all American. The main character always sounds angry and the rest of the narration is in a tone like he's telling a secret. Incredibly annoying.
The next book in this series has a different narrator so I'll likely give it a try.
by Alex Berenson
This is another 1st in a series terrorist/spy novel. I liked it much better than Power Down. In this one John Wells is "the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover." The CIA isn't sure if he's still friendly or has crossed.
The narrator on this one, Dean Robertson, is much better too.
The Fifth Gospel
by Ian Caldwell
Reviews compare Ian Caldwell to Dan Brown. I suppose that's because of the subject matter. This book is a story built around the Shroud of Turin. "In 2004, as Pope John Paul II's reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome." It's an interesting story with believable characters and a mostly plausible story line.
I read the DaVinci Code and several other Dan Brown books and I'm not a fan of his writing. Ian Caldwell is a much better writer developing deeper characters and a more plausible story plot. I'll read Ian Caldwell again. I've read 2 Dan Brown books and that was my limit with him.
The Ghost War
by Alex Berenson
It's rare that I read 2 books in a series in the same month and I'm not sure how it happened this month. But I thoroughly enjoyed another adventure with John Wells. This time there's a mole in the CIA and China threatening attacks on the US. This is a sequel to The Faithful Spy.
This one was narrated by one of my favorite narrators: George Guidall. He's outstanding.
The History of the Ancient World
by Susan Wise Bauer
April was a month of big accomplishments for me including this website and finishing 2/3 of the great playroom wall. I can also count finishing all 26 1/2 hours of this book.
My history education in Bassett, VA in the mid-1970's leaves much to be desired and my interest in it was zero. I'm much more interested in history now and enjoy reading history books. This one is a comprehensive history of the ancient world (East and West) until the Fall of the Roman Empire.
Now I could listen to John Lee read the telephone book and he kept me going through this but it was a lot to slog through. It was interesting but I think this would be a better book to read with access to maps, timelines and maybe Wikipedia. I don't retain chronological history well and that's what this is. It's thorough but requires a lot of concentration. I made it through and I don't regret reading it but this one will not have wide appeal.
The Kill Switch
James Rollins and Grant Blackwood
James Rollins writes the Sigma Force series. I read the first one, Sandstorm, and didn't love it because there was too much of a fantasy element.
This one is the first in the Tucker Wayne series. Tucker is ex Sigma Force and travels with a well trained Belgian Sheppard.
His assignment is to extract a pharmaceutical researcher from Russia. Of course it's not simple. He and Kane end up on a long adventure to save the world from a weaponized pathogen.
This book was a nice break after the History of the Ancient World! It's not the best mystery book I've read but it was interesting enough to try the next one in the series.
By Dan Jones
I read another Dan Jones book, The War of the Roses, in January. I enjoyed it and was looking forward to this one.
As long as audiobooks have been out and as polular as they are, there's no excuse for poor narration but that's exactly what we have here. After 4 house of listening to Clive Chafer I decided that I did not need to suffer through a bad book and gave up.
The Silent Girls
by Eric Rickstad
At least I finished the month on a relative "up" note. I usually only buy books over 10 hours but this was a bargain book so I gave it a try.
Frank Rath is a private investigator. He raised his niece after his sister was murdered 17 years ago. Now the murderer is up for parole, his daughter is in college and there are young girls missing.
It was a good story with good characters and it left off begging for a sequel!
just finished the Faithful Spy and ordered the 2nd in the series to see if I would continue to like this series - thanks for mentioning it! I'm a page flipper even with the kindle and there is something about reading a book rather than listening to it for me - I wish it wasn't so as I would get more done with audio
4/30/2016 07:08:38 pm
I like Ian Caldwell, and I'll be looking for The Fifth Gospel. I loved Rule of Four! Recommend if you haven't read that one.
5/3/2016 03:44:15 pm
I liked history well enough in school, but it was kind of always the same - American History starting with Columbus and the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving and the Revolution - and you usually got to the Civil War by skipping over anything in between - and then school let out for summer and that was all you learned. It was dry as dust. The histories we are reading now have so much more life in them - the authors are quoting from the contemporary descriptions and it's simply amazing how much detail there is. Thanks for the reviews!
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.