Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Open Source
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on August 17, 2011
Casey Shenk is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, with a sub-ordinary job, two ordinary friends and one unusual passion: blogging about world politics. He speaks only English, has a rather pedestrian education and loves spending time in lower class bars: but he is curious about the world he lives in, he doesn't tire easily, and enjoys solving puzzles. The problem is that he also likes publishing his opinions and findings on the internet.

This is dangerous.

Intrigued by a bizarre news item, he uses his Google-fu to scour the public internet for clues and explanations; based on what he finds in open sources he assembles a plausible hypothesis, and posts it on his blog. The hypothesis is more right than wrong, and powerful people take notice; some see him as a problem to be solved once and for all, while others see him as a potential resource to be used.

"Open Source" is a good and unusual thriller. In contrast to the trend of ever more frantic action, the book returns to the humane pace of yesteryear, allowing the characters to eat, drink, sleep, think and work. The incipient relationship between the two main characters is well handled, and a joy to follow. The characters move at their own pace in a rich environment. The plot unfolds gradually, making the reader wish it would never end.

This book could be the beginning of an excellent series; I am looking forward for a continuation, or indeed for any new book by Matthew Frick.

(Scale: * - unreadable, couldn't finish. ** - bad or very bad, but readable. *** - good work, well worth its price. **** - very good in its genre. ***** - timeless masterpiece.)
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on July 23, 2011
I take no pleasure writing a negative review. However I feel compelled as the current Amazon 5 star rating influenced my purchase decision. In the end I was sorely disappointed. This is book is not a thriller. Elements for a thriller exist. The author has the plot for a thriller and demonstrates knowledge of the subject matter.

What the author does not have is any sense of pacing or dialogue. It's slow. Filling a vending machine or a firefight occur with the same pace and exposition for background. With few examples, every line of dialogue includes an explanation on what the character is feeling, what they are trying to communicate and background for their point of view. Then another character responds and we get an explanation what this character is feeling, what they are trying to communicate and background for their point of view. Then back to the first character, what they are feeling, what they are trying to communicate and background .....

Any comparison to John LeCarre as noted in another review is definitely not warranted.
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on September 12, 2012
Full of dreary, boring, totally unnecessary detail. Tried to flesh out characters but instead just spelled out everything.
I love Le Carré, Jo Nesbo, James Lee Burke and was looking for a good read - novel plot, interesting characters to care about and some ingenuity in the writing. Sorry to say this was a total strike-out for me.
I tried skim reading it but it still wasn't worth my time.
This is my first negative review but after reading so many what I'd call "false-positive" reviews, I had to post this.
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on June 14, 2011
This novel was packed with excitement from beginning to end. International intrigue, spies, murders, assassins, and a vending machine operator! Who knew these would mesh into such a dramatic plot?

The only halfway negative thing I can think of is there were just so many characters, I had trouble keeping up with everyone. But there had to be that many to fulfill the whole storyline. It was my fault if I couldn't keep up with everyone! M.M. Frick did an excellent job with these characters, making them come to life - even the smaller background ones who only showed up once or twice. I could feel who these people were and what motivated them.

The action moves quickly and surprises were around every corner....errrm page turn. I kept trying to find a double agent - oh he's really a bad guy... no he is! I won't tell you if I was right or wrong, but it's a great book to read. Would make an awesome movie as well!

*Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review.
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on March 18, 2011
Just upon reading the prologue, Open Source, by Matthew Frick, has the reader quaking from suspense. This compelling adventure engages the reader from the start and does not let go. Frick's style is to reel in the reader slowly, relentlessly, bit-by-enticing bit.

The story begins on the high seas, with a ship being hijacked, at which point things only get worse for the main character, Casey Shenk, as he sets about to pursue justice. The author's knowledge of all things naval is evident; Frick is an active Naval officer, and his experience flavors the story with unmatched detail and authenticity. Real world events and true to life characters are woven expertly throughout, creating an historical appeal.

The visual imagery of this exciting book lends itself to the possibility of big screen applications. In the tradition of the Bourne series, readers will find this fast-paced adventure "right up their alley."

Simply put, Open Source is a compelling read with a riveting storyline that will be impossible to put down. For lovers of Vince Flynn novels, this international adventure book by Matthew Frick will not disappoint. From the breathtaking imagery of far away places to the details of naval traditions, readers will be talking about this book for some time to come. A must read for adventure lovers everywhere.
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on February 20, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel up the the very end. However, I vaguely recall--about a week after finishing--that I was let down by the conclusion of the novel. I don't really remember what happened. I remember building to a climax with the main characters, but just not what happened after. I don't agree with the reviews about pacing, but I also don't enjoy when I feel that an author has manipulated my sense of time and space. I could relate to the dialogue which, with a very few exceptions, struck me as authentic and necessary. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys military action/mystery novels.
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on November 11, 2014
I think the author did a great job of explaining the U.S involvement in the arms deal race throughout the world. It was informative and though provoking. I really loved the last chapter and how it showed that these countries came together and provided free airspace for the jets to fly through and refueling the stops along the way. It showed that there was a great partnership on all parties to work together for the common good. Well done
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on May 22, 2014
Wow. I always wondered what all those supposed think tanks were all about. Be informed. Have something else to worry about when it comes to what is happening on the world stage and at home. They aren't sitting around with little caps on their heads wondering what each other are thinking about. Enjoy this excellent, exciting read. Except for the nightmares, you'll be glad you did.
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on April 26, 2013
Casey, underemployed as a vending machine servicer at the beginning of this story, is addicted to news and pursuing the story through researching the internet. It is his blog with his findings that brings him to the attention of a rogue Israeli who sends a team to kill him. Others are also reading the blog and the twists and turns are fun to follow as Casey gets help to uncover the real story and to survive his unwitting jeopardy.
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on July 7, 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book a fresh look at sorting through common misinformation techniques used by governments and politicians around the world. It also was written as a great story,that left you not wanting to put it down. The thought that this was based on real events made it even more believable. I will definitely read anything I can find from this author. I would love to see this as a series, please?
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