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Blowout Audible – Unabridged

3.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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By Craig VINE VOICE on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This title really had all the elements needed to be a five-star thriller. Without giving away too much of the plot, most of the action centers around the efforts of the American government to create an alternative energy source to oil. Of course these efforts are not about to accepted by those elements who have a strong interest in oil, especially as it relates to money. From this, we get 400+ pages of a mostly good, almost great thriller.

Unfortunately, there are two issues that prevent this from being the great, straightforward thriller it should have been, with the first being the obvious political leanings of the author(s). It's obvious early on that the story is not going to be exactly pro-oil, and that's fine. However, I really could have done without the multiple lectures on global warming, discussions about which group of scientists is likely to be correct, discussions about other planets' changing climates, and the lack of any "pro-oil" character in the book having even an apparent shred of decency.

The second and perhaps more painful piece was the relationship between the two protagonists, a county sherriff (who of course is also a war hero) and the newspaper reporter who just happens to have a very important father. First off, there was really no reason for them to interact as more than co-leads but of course that doesn't happen. I was shocked not only at how quickly they fell in love, but also by how their relationship changes......without getting into details, the epilogue did not seem to fit. The discussions between these two when it comes to their relationship seemed unbelievable, clumsy and a little bit painful.

Even with my reservations, I would still recommend this title. It's just disappointing, since this really could have been a five-star thriller.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I always enjoy David Hagberg's writing so when I saw he co-authored the book I was expecting great things. I was disappointing in the first couple chapters - it got so immersed in the science of the main plot (using bacteria to transform coal into gas) that it almost made me put the book down (and understand, I love science). I'm glad I stuck it out. As the story unfolds, War hero Sheriff Nate Osborne and reporter Ashley Borden (who's father coincidentally runs the facility in question) get on the case and the book reads more like a David Hagberg novel. Great twists and a terrific ending (which I won't tell you about - no spoiler here). Read it - you'll enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Over half this book should have been edited out. There were hundreds of organizations and companies mentioned in the first chapter. Too many to even try to keep up with. ANd most of the lit was giving background history of each one and what their politial views were. It jumped from the storyline to the scientific aspects of a subject and background reviews for each one.

I just wanted a story I could follow with ease not a scientific journal.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I like politics. I do. And I like the environment. And I'm all for alternative energy sources.

But when a book is so bogged down by political environmentalism and scientific jargon that I wondered at times, "Is there a story here? Because I think the authors dove into the science and forgot about the plot."

And then there's the plot. The unlikely love story comes together in, well, unlikely ways. Really, they're head over heels about each other after one (albeit emotional and dramatic) encounter? And then he gets to play knight in shining armor and rescue her on a white horse? (Okay, I don't think the horse was white. But still.) As one familiar with politic and military protocol, I found that part of the storyline far-fetched as well. Which leaves the action sequences, which I do admit were interesting and fun reads and could one day make the basis for a decent political thriller in the theaters. Those parts aren't consistent or long enough to carry the story, though. Once the authors finally got to the end, they wrapped it up quickly without much resolution, which almost seemed like an admission that this was really meant to be a really long political statement rather than an actual novel.

And one final pet peeve: "Bray" was an interesting word choice for "laugh." And it worked well... the first half dozen times. When its use got well into double digits, I began to wonder if the authors needed a lesson on using a thesaurus.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The authors, both of whom bring considerable real-life expertise to this promising geopolitical thriller, did a good job of setting up the premise of this book: The attempts by the U.S. domestic terrorist group Posse Comitatus and their veiled-in-shadow backers to shut down an equally veiled-in-shadow Clean Coal initiative. The back cover summarizes the book's promise well: This is definitely "a high-concept thriller about America's dangerous addiction to foreign oil—a dependency that could cripple our economy and our ecosystem."

As I started out reading the book, it seemed to lean a little too heavily on cataloguing types of weapons (which will surely appeal to the "out of my cold dead hands" crowd), but the first half of the book moved briskly and convincingly enough to catch me up in the action. Often I found myself wondering if, and wishing that, such an initiative really exists today. BLOWOUT presents to readers some juicy complexity to chew on (thanks to Dorgan, I expect), and Haberg's extensive experience with writing action-packed books definitely shows. Had the characterizations been as strong as the action, I would have rated this book more highly than I did.

I should have known what was coming, though, when, halfway through the book, love interests began rather implausibly to pop up between the most important characters; when the women were sometimes called by their first names, the men by their last names, within the same sentence; when the few very carefully drawn characters began to say and do things completely out of character; when the loose ends had been battered and bent as often as Sheriff Osborne's lost-leg prosthesis. The "love" bits were not believable.
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