- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 36 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: June 3, 2008
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001AQHZ5Q
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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China Lake: An Evan Delaney Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
First, the premise: Attorney/journalist Evan Delaney's former sister-in-law Tabitha joins a cult -- and not one of your friendly chanting-and-togas cults, either, but, rather, a batshit-crazy Westboro Baptist-ish church that thrives on conflict. Tabitha decides she's going to reclaim custody of her son Luke -- Evan's nephew -- around the same time that the leader of the cult is found dead in Evan's brother's back yard. Ultimately, it falls on Evan's shoulders to prove her brother's innocence, save Luke, and try to extract Tabitha from the cult... Much mayhem ensues.
I loved this novel. And not in the distanced, objective, 'ah, that's-a-well-constructed-plot kind of way;' I loved China Lake in a thoroughly engrossed, can't-put-it-down, wish-I-knew-these-characters, wish-I'd-written-this-book kind of way. The first thing that attracts me to any work of fiction is the characters, and Gardiner hits a home run with Evan and the rest of the cast. As is the case with most serial protagonists, Evan Delaney has some challenging personality quirks: she's snarky, untrusting, commitment-phobic, headstrong... Gardiner doesn't hold back with these faults, and there are definitely times over the course of the series that I've wanted to shake dear old Evan as a result. But, it makes for a complex, layered heroine, and I've found myself loving her all the more for the challenges she actively works to overcome.
The pacing in China Lake is non-stop, as it is with all five books in the series. While Gardiner's plots are occasionally outlandish, I find myself willingly suspending disbelief simply for the joy of the ride. But the thing that keeps me coming back in all this is the relationship between Evan and Jesse, Evan's paraplegic, ultra-sharp attorney boyfriend. It's sexy, it's real, it's romantic as hell, and I'm as in love with Jesse as I've been with any fictional character who's come down the pike over the years. Gardiner writes with grit, humor, and a wonderful instinct for balancing plot, character, unfolding action, and escalating tension. If you enjoy well-crafted thrillers with biting wit and complex characters, and you're all right with plots that every so often push the limits of the rational mind, check out China Lake. If you're anything like me, you'll be completely hooked on Evan Delaney and looking for your next fix by the final page.
Evan Delaney is a lawyer and a Sci-Fi author. She stands up to an ultra-right church group, <i>the Remnant</i> at a friend's funeral. She really underestimated them. Peter Wyoming and his cult are "Enders" and they plan to speed up the Apocalypse on or near HELL-O-WEEN. They've already got one of her family members and they have designs on another. They'll stop at nothing including framing her Naval Fighter Pilot brother for Murder! Even Evan's disabled lawyer boyfriend is in their cross-hairs.
The plot is fast moving and Gardiner's prose is easy to read. Pages will fly as you read. Would I recommend this novel? A resounding YES!
I enjoyed the characters. I liked Evan a lot. She was the kind of person I would like to be friends with. Down to earth, witty, a bit of a smart ass but a heart of gold. She was stubborn and willful. Thankfully that tenacity paid off. She was the ultimate hero. Jesse, Evan's boyfriend, was a bit annoying at times. I'm not a fan of characters who are omnipotent, overly opinionated and sanctimonious. At times Jesse was the poster boy. Brian, Evan's brother, was a bit like Jesse. He carried himself in a way that showed he was in-charge and the authority on all. Truthfully, I thought he was a jerk. The string of villains Ms. Gardiner brought to the table were fantastic. All equally creepy and delusional. I particularly liked Glory who with time I thought could have been a great ally to Evan. And with Evan's guidance, a strong resourceful woman. And then there is Luke. I liked Luke a lot. He was well spoken, smart, an old soul. I hated seeing all the trauma he had to go through. Thankfully Aunt Evan was there to protect him.
What frightens me about this novel is how real it can be. How there are Christian zealous groups out there who can wreck havoc on the world in the name of Jesus. I think Ms. Gardiner wrote this novel in such a way that I experienced that terror myself. While I was reading this novel, I actually went on the Internet, searching for these kinds of groups to see how safe we are as a nation from them.
This novel was chocked full of surprises. With every page there was a new surprise. Every corner led to more mystery, more thrills. I had no idea where she was going or how we would get there. It was a suspenseful journey, one that left me breathless in the end. One that had me wanting more adventures with Evan.