My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Review: The Caucasus Cauldron

The Caucasus Cauldron The Caucasus Cauldron by James Lingard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book: **
Performance: **

An Awkward and Confusing Action/Adventure

This book didn’t work for me. To start, the cadence and emotive performance didn’t seem natural to me, and it exacerbated the uneven prose, awkward dialog (including several internal soliloquies) within a plot that struggles to find traction. The bulk of the story is a contrived hunt for two uninspiring agents (from MI6 and FSB) … and I can’t for the life of me understand why they are working together. So while dodging Georgian and Chechen thugs …. er …. soldiers, the duo stumbles from one encounter to another without rhyme or reason outside of a strange need to add even more gratuitous violence and manufactured outrage to hide the general lack of any finesse (I lost count of how many versions of now you die English that pops up in this story). Unfortunately this was not evident in the short sample I listened to. Nominally they are looking for Sergei (a former British agent now separatist leader). Oh … let’s throw in a dysfunctional mr & mrs smith style romance to stitch together all the action. Honestly, I had a hard time following the story as very little made sense to me.

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheCauscasusCauldron #FreeAudiobkFacebkGrp

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.