“The Enigma Rising” is the second book in the “Enigma” series of books co-written by Charles V. Breakfield and Roxanne E. Burkey. The Audible narration is performed by Derek Shoales; who is a different narrator from the first book’s narration. Although this book is categorized as a technothriller, I would not place it is that genre. The first book seemed to excessively use technology where this book seems to go to the other extreme by lacked as cohesive blending of technology and thrill. Instead, I would put the book in the mystery and suspense category with some technology aspects thrown in for good measure. If you enjoy rater dark stories of drug runners, back stabbing, and deception, you may find that you enjoy this book. Even though I enjoy solidly written technical thrillers, I found this book departs too far from what I would have expected to fully enjoy it.
I thought the premise laid out in the author’s summary section was compelling, but I felt compared to the first book, this one missed the mark. I wanted to know more about the R-Group and understand the technology they utilized in more detail. For me, understanding exciting new technology and how it functions makes for a good technothriller, yet technology did not seem to be central to this book. Sure, there was suspense, mystery, and a little scheming, but I found the lack of focus on the technology made the book feel a little deflated for me.
I often found the book to be more confusing and overly complicated than the first book in the series. Apart from some electronic banking, satellite hacking, and some penetration testing, this story was less technology centric as it was character and event focused. I felt this story did not flow as smoothly as the first, and I would have liked to have had a bit more of a prequel section bringing the listener up to speed on the previous book’s events. Throughout the book, bits and pieces seemed to fill in some of the story gaps, but it just never reached that point where I felt a part of the story.
The book is vast and takes place over a number of location, some of them quite exotic, yet I did not get the feeling I was there. I did not feel the writing was overly descript, as I would have liked to have had some portions (mostly the technical ones) be more descript than they were. I want to learn something new and exciting about a technology I have not seen or heard of, but I found this never materialized for me even thought there were places I thought it would have fit perfectly.
I found the narration by Derek Shoales to be well done as there were many accents and a fair number of characters needing to be voiced. I found the audio levels to be consistent and the pacing of the book’s narration to be at an average speed. I do not recall any noticeable audio artifacts such as swallows, page turns or other background noise while listening.
For parents or potential younger readers, it should be noted that this book is not intended for younger readers as the language is quite vulgar along with direct and descriptive scenes of sex, many references to sexual innuendos, and a focus on the pornography industry. There is also a fair amount of quite graphic violence that would not be suitable for younger readers. Along with the above, there is a fair number of adult topics such as drug use, alcohol use, along with others. I would only recommend this book to mature audiences who are not offended by the above subject matter.
In summary, the book is really an action suspense story with a technology veneer. If you are a fan of technology thrillers, you may found yourself disappointed with the level of detail and actual technology used. Instead, if you like action and mystery books with some technology thrown in, you may enjoy this series.