To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
You have found a series of books that will keep you reading for some weeks to come. They are very enjoyable and have a dash of mystery all solved by a highly trained reliable hero who might look as if he's about to die, but comes through shining. Seriously, the books are fun and a great way to get out of your own head space.
I read this page-turning, all action thriller while away on a very wet and rainy holiday last week. It turned out to be the perfect antidote to the weather! In 'The Doomsday Prophecy' Ben Hope's plans to renew his study of theology are dashed as he gets involved in the search for a missing young archaeologist. The plot has plenty of twists and turns with Hope fighting evil foes in Corfu, USA, and Israel. However, while strong on action, the story is somewhat lacking in atmosphere and character development. The book is a perfect holiday read as it can be read as a stand-alone novel, without the need for any prior knowledge of the previous stories in the series. In some ways the novel reminds me of the stories I enjoyed in my youth; a gripping but slightly fantastical adventure story featuring a completely indestructible, all action, hero. In short, pure escapism ... can't wait to get stuck in to the next one in the series!
These Scott Mariani/Ben Hope books are getting a bit formulaic now. The story rattles along as usual from country to country. Bens intermediate skirmishes with the bad guys, while looking for the missing girl who knows important stuff, eventually lead to a big climax in which our hero demonstrates his special forces training and rescues the girl. Sorry if that spoils it for you, but you now get the gist of all these books. Still a decent read mind, for the story telling and the daring-do stuff.
This rollercoaster thriller transports readers from the academia of Oxford university to the most hallowed Jerusalem enclave; and several places in between. The plot races along at breathtaking speed to a barely believable conclusion. Put everything on hold. because you won't be able to put this book down.
...this one is a three star offering. It's as though Mariani's second Ben Hope novel was the true first but he had to fire out "The Alchemist's Secret" to prove the series might work...and now he's got to continue. The result is the third novel's plot is as weakly chained together as the second novel was tightly bound; the third novel's cast of extras are caricatures of the second; the most powerful love story Mariana could have dreamt up - Hope own wife - has been knifed in favour of two stereotypes - the spoilt rich girl and the hard nosed CIA agent. Even the wannabe megalomaniac's psychotic sidekick - Jones - is a pale imitation of the previous Bozza and Glass. Enough said...it's not as good as the first two. The story centres around Ben's continuing hopes (excuse the pun) to extricate himself from his former SAS turned do-gooder mercenary lifestyle and complete his theology degree. Trouble is this puts him straight into the sphere of his old professor Tom Bradbury whose TV personality and brilliant archeologist-daughter, Zoe, has gone missing in Corfu. Zoe is beautiful and a pain in the proverbial ass with a wild lifestyle. Not the kind of person Ben wants to go saving so he enlists an old army mate by the name Charlie to go have a look - which all ends rather nastily meaning our reluctant hero has to don his military gloves again and travel between Corfu, the US, and Israel to unravel a tricky plot centred around the "End-of-the-World" prophecies in Revelation. We get an attempt at mystery with the televangelist con artist Clayton Cleaver and the lawyer Skid (who for some reason reminded me of Saul from 'Breaking Bad') wrapped up with Ms Daisy Augusta (though there's little in the way of driving going on). By the time we're half way through, the author has tired of this and pulls in an entirely new set of bad characters who are the real reason for the entire plot. Which isn't terribly good writing, to be honest. Made me feel like he first half of the novel was irrelevant and a waste of money. I have to say, though, the scene of the shooting competition culminating in a lit match was rather well done. From this point on Ben descends into his customary spiral of death and mayhem as he takes on a rogue unit of the CIA, sprints around Jerusalem and, in a rather excruciatingly cliched way, saves the world with a second to spare. By the end of it he's exhausted so it's no wonder he brushes off Alex. However, it does appear he might have given up his attempts to retire to a vicarage so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next one. Overall, not bad. But not as good as the first two. Hope the fourth's back on track.
This is my third encounter with Ben Hope, an ex-SAS trained soldier, after he leaves the army, he sets up a business dealing with the rescue of people kidnapped.
In this the third book, Ben is still trying to recover from the horrific death of his wife, Leigh and decides to go back to studying theology at Oxford, except his professor Tom Bradbury's daughter goes missing while in Corfu.
Ben arranges for his friend Charlie, also ex-SAS to fly out to Corfu to find her but things take a nasty turn (to put it mildy!) and Ben is forced to take over the investigation into her "capture" by rogue CIA agents who have shipped her back to America.
With any Ben Hope book, one can be sure to be taken on a history, archaeology or current affairs investigation. Thanks to Scott Mariani, I've learnt about some subjects that otherwise would not have come under my radar. In this book, I've learnt about and to quote from Scott Mariani's summary of the book "Although The Doomsday Prophecy is a work of fiction, it is a fact that many millions of people across the world, the majority of them evangelical American Christians, fervently believe that we may at any moment be plunged into the apocalyptic End Time events that they claim to be forecast in the Bible." I had never heard about these fundamentalists before, so again, thank you Mr Mariani for my further education.
I fortunately have about six in this series to read. Scott Mariani's style of writing flows and one can never claim boredom or lack of enthusiasm to turn the next page to find out how Ben will get himself out of his various escapades. A really excellent series of books and would make a wonderful television series as well.
As the third in the Ben Hope series, we're expecting much more from the Doomsday Prophecy - we kind of know what Hope is capable of and we know just how far reaching conspiracies can be. We want the thrills and spills, we want to wonder whether these things might actually be happening out there, and we want a little bit more besides. It's an addiction of sorts, the preferred fix for armchair adrenaline junkies.
The Doomsday Prophecy keeps us waiting a little longer for the action and the real intrigue to unfold, but then it more than makes up for leaving us dangling for so long. We're all familiar with at least the idea of biblical prophecy, whether we've waded through it ourselves or not. Every time there's trouble in the Middle East someone wheels out the predictions. Mariani takes it to a different level. Spoiler alert - Ben Hope does not fight God. At least not in the sense of fists and bullets flying.
The plot, as we were hoping, is action, adventure and intrigue indeed, then cross and double cross and even a bit of triple cross in there for good measure. So we might see it coming before it happens. That's half the joy of this series. We know perfectly well there's no way we as average human beings could get out of these situations and we want to see how the highly skilled and possibly slightly mad Hope does it.
The scheming in the Doomsday Prophecy is so multi-layered and far reaching that we can't see for sure where it reached its zenith until Hope has the answers. We are kept guessing just who is at the top. It's a little like playing a console game and just when you think you've beaten the boss, an evil laugh booms out and you fight on to meet the next one. To keep to the analogy, for every boss you kill, the danger mounts.
Mariani never give us huge amounts of character detail on anyone but Hope, and yet he somehow manages to create strong impressions of each so that we can intensely like or dislike, trust or mistrust the cast. Female readers will appreciate his female characters. In this one ladies, there's one you'll come to dislike, but its ok girls - Ben does too.
The Doomsday Prophecy gives us much more insight into Ben Hope, the man behind the operative. Again, Mariani tells us a lot in so few words that we hardly know why we know what we know. I may have been reading these books too much over a period of days, but I'm beginning to wonder if there's not some subliminal code at work. Or perhaps it's the simple fact that these books read like watching a movie - you see them as much as read them - so the impressions are that much stronger.
Round three to you, Mr Mariani - as soon as I've posted this, I'm commencing round four.
Having read all of the Ben Hope books some years ago, I knew I enjoyed them so decided to purchase them again on my kindle, and I am not disappointed. Ben is still in shock over the death of his wife, and has decided to return to the church studying in Oxford for his final year, for once he feels at peace and is convinced he has made the right decision, but with talents such as his, it is not long before his tutor asks Ben to find his daughter who has gone missing in Greece. Ben refuses the job and gives it to an old army colleague Charlie, but when he is killed by a bomb in a coffee shop, Ben takes over the search for Zoe the daughter of his tutor. We go to the mountains of America in search of Zoe, the mysterious Cleaver and why are the FBI involved.