- File Size: 2346 KB
- Print Length: 313 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: December 5, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07JGM8WT2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,007 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Toll (Kestrel Book 2) Kindle Edition
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"Fast-paced action keeps you glued to the book"--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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This one really made you think of where this world is headed. Something ugly is going to happen at some point, and I for one won't be around to witness it.
I wondered how this team would tackle this weapon once they had found it, not knowing all that much about it and knowing what it was capable of doing. But, they knew they had to try and learned on the fly.
Still trying to figure out how Jessica managed to make it to the surface!
The story is set in the present time and the crescendo is well done. Most focus is from Captain Greenwood's point of view, and I believe this is the book where the series brings the team and main characters together, as we'll see them for the Kestrel series going forward. I wish we had more character development for every member of the team, but that would mean a longer book, which might not be better.
Sometimes, I have trouble following the physical space in action sequences, but in Toll, like Changer, it was easy for me to follow who was where. My favorite location, because I've been there recently, is Barcelona, it made me smile and remember very vividly one of the places I most enjoyed. Because of the great action sequences, I found myself skipping some paragraphs ahead and having to go back so I didn't lose the thread of the narrative. Very thrilling.
Also, I'm glad Aldridge (I love his sense of humor) has a contingency plan for Brexit, I hope he doesn't need it.
This is not only a great standalone read, but also a fantastic sequel. It does everything a sequel should do, and it does it all in style. I especially loved how the main characters evolved and the relationships between them grew. And of course, the story was every bit as nail-biting as the first one, if not more. It was believable (within the genre’s established boundaries) and extremely well-paced, and my only regret is that it seemed to end far too soon.
In particular, seeing a certain Scottish scientist toughen up a bit and start to get comfortable in his new shoes as a full-blown KESTREL member was incredibly satisfying. And having a three-dimensional villain whose motivations you can not only understand, but actually empathize with, really raised the stakes and kept me invested in the story the whole time.
Also, I'd like to commend the author for creating not one, but two badass women who stand completely apart from the stereotypes we so often see in the genre. As a society, we need so many more of these, so badly. Greenwood is already one of my favorite fictional characters, although I must confess I have a soft spot for Ramos, my tough-as-nails fellow Spaniard. I can’t wait to see more of them in future installments.
All in all, TOLL was easily one of the most satisfying reads I've picked up in a long time, and I can easily recommend it. Well worth your time.
As with Changer (the first book in the series), I stayed up way too late to finish Toll; it's nearly impossible to put it down. It’s an easy and exciting read, with deep and lovable characters set across a beautiful European backdrop. A worthy sequel in a magnificent series.
This sweating of the details come across in the writing. The plot is believable. The villain is not a mustache-twirling Bond villain, and is instead a nuanced character. It is easy to symphathise with his cause, but not his methods. The plot moves well, and he gives enough of a reminder of who the recurring characters are early enough, and doesn't bog down the book with a recap of the earlier book. Reading Changer helps, but isn't a requirement.
I was surprised at the end to find some locations I thought were made up completely, actually exist. This is a well-researched book.
Top international reviews
Like other reviewers I appreciated that the main baddie is actually someone you’d have a lot of time for and maybe even side with. The only part of the book I didn’t get on with was when one of the characters has an anti-Brexit moment. Not because I disagreed with any of their points, but simply because it took me out of the novel, but that’s a minor quibble. Overall, Toll is an enjoyable techno thriller and the cover is great too. I can’t wait to see what Matt comes up with for KESTREL book 3!
Gemmell beautifully crafts an engaging techno-thriller complete with believable characters, incredible locations and a fast paced storyline that once it grabs you doesn't let go, with evocative writing and attention to detail. Other than the storyline, it's amazing how much of what features in the book is real, location wise. Looking forward to the next one already!
I enjoyed Gemmell’s first book, Changer, but this feels much more cohesive and engaging as a story. He’s also pulled-off quite a trick in creating a villain who is more rounded-out and engaging as a character than one might expect.