Audiobook Review: Runner by Patrick Lee

3 03 2014

Runner by Patrick Lee (Sam Dryden, Bk. 1)

Read by Raul Esparza

Macmillan Audio

Length: 8 Hrs 39 Min

Genre: Thriller

Grade: A

I am a real sucker for tales that don’t let themselves be defined by easy genre labels and this is one of the biggest reasons I have become such a big fan of Patrick Lee. His first series, The Breach/Travis Chase Trilogy is a favorite of mine, and I waited with grand anticipation for Runner, the first book in his new series staring Sam Dryden. Well, the anticipation was far from the greatest pleasure of this experience. Runner is super sonic thriller with a science fiction edge that is sure to please fans of multiple genres. Sam Dryden is a complicated but likeable character. In fact, he starts of almost as a cliché, the broken hero, yet builds up into something so much more. He finds his redemption in a strange little girl who is being chased my merciless killers for reasons she doesn’t fully understand. If the book starts off a bit rote, that roteness is redeemed with a series of well choreographed reveals that have you reexamining any assumptions made early on. Runner examines complex issues as diverse as childhood development, the true nature of evil, governmental influence and the potential for science to disrupt society, yet these exploration take a back street to the relationship at the heart of this tale. One of my biggest pet peeves in fiction is how much could be simply resolves if characters fully communicate with each other, and Lee manages to laugh at this notion, creating secrets between characters who have no secrets. Lee is no slouch in the action department either. How Lee manages to fully develop these character amidst big screen style elaborate chase sequences amazes me. If you are like me and are becoming a bit hesitant when every new book is part of a series, don’t worry here. Runner can absolutely serve as a standalone, with a fully resolved plot line, yet with enough underlining mythology to increase your desire to have the next Sam Dryden novel in your hands or ears as soon as possible.

Raul Esparza gives a strong performance in his reading of Runner. While his characterizations often lean to the subtle side, they are affective and memorable. He gives an offbeat delivery to the narrative, often emphasizing sentences in places you wouldn’t expect, and altering the tradition cadence with a well times pause. It keeps the listener on their toes, examining each word and where it fits into the narrative. In fast paced action thrillers, it’s easy to become lost in the action, but Esparza never let’s you get comfortable, causing you to hanging on every word, breathlessly waiting for the next twist in the road. Runner is a treat for both fans of thrillers and Science Fiction, or those like me, who like them swirled.

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4 03 2014
February Audiobook Report | The Guilded Earlobe

[…] « Audiobook Review: Runner by Patrick Lee […]

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