"Filled with raw power, [Livia Lone] may be the darkest thriller of the year." - Kirkus Reviews
Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them...the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason.
Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison.
Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.
But when a fresh lead offers new hope of finding Nason and the men who trafficked them both, Livia will have to go beyond just being a cop. Beyond even being a vigilante. She'll have to relive the horrors of the past. Take on one of the most powerful men in the US government. And uncover a conspiracy of almost unimaginable evil.
In every way, it's an unfair fight. But Livia has two advantages: her unending love for Nason -
And a lifelong lust for vengeance.
©2016 Barry Eisler. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I would read the book again, rather than listen
If you've read Eisler's other books, you know the well crafted, fast paced, sexy, gritty works they are
Barry is a terrific author and a great guy. What he isn't, however, is an actor. Although his performance is quite good, I'd rather see his books read by Jeff Harding, who read some of the earlier Rain books
Excellent narration brought this story to life. Thought provoking topic, a black mirror on our species's.
"This is a heartbreaker that makes u want 2 hit someone!"
This is another really Excellent book from Barry Eisler. Although I would really like more of the John Rain series, his last book (Gods Eye View) and this one really demonstrate his writing as well as his narrating abilities.
This is a very dark story involving human trafficking and the sex industry. There were scenes that were somewhat difficult to listen to, however this story is a work of fiction. I realize that there are people that just do not want to listen to books like this but I also think it is very important not to bury our heads in the sand and think that will make this awful side of (in)humanity go away.
I agree with Audible listener Wayne in saying this book has my most HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
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"A difficult listen, but a must listen novel"
Livia Lone is a dark and painful novel. Its topic is from the most depraved portions of humanity. The topic of this novel is sexual abuse and sex trafficking of preteen and early teen girls. It is also a story of retribution, righteous retribution. Livia Lone is a beautifully written and narrated audiobook about painful situations. It is not like Eisler's John Rain series or even similar to The God's Eye View (Eisler's prior book). As has now become the norm Barry Eisler narrates his own audiobooks. He is a very dependable 5 star narrator. Livia Lone has my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION.
"Wishing Livia was real..."
To start, I really like Eisler's work... particularly when he focuses on troubled vigilante protagonists who are driven to seek justice (his forays into "political" thrillers are not quite as strong).
I had a hard time putting this book down. It was disturbing and satisfying at the same time. You hate everyone you are supposed to hate and you don't feel even a twinge of guilt when Livia does "bad" things. The story is based on disgusting and disturbing activities that really happen, and, while Livia was a survivor, I suspect she exists only in this fiction: too bad.
It is suspenseful, and the story unfolds with "then" and "now" sections, which gradually come together at the end - this was really well done. You become fully immersed in Livia's world and at some points you might find yourself wanting join in with Livia as she doles out some justice.
The narration is good (Eisler narrates his own works and is decent at it, although you can tell it is not his primary occupation). There is some swearing and sex (not overly graphic but it is violent) and the premise behind the entire story is mature.
I will be buying any other Eisler books when they come out.
"A mixed bag from Eisler"
Warning: There will be a few SPOILERS as I leave examples to some of my concerns, but I will tread lightly as possible.
I’m a fairly big Barry Eisler fan, particularly of his great John Rain series. Until Eisler's last novel, The God’s Eye View, I thought he could do little wrong. I didn’t like God’s Eye View almost at all, feeling it was Eisler’s first flat out failure.
Livia Lone is a better novel. Eisler’s heart is generally in the right place this time. But some scene leave me genuinely baffled. As other reviewers have mentioned, there are part in Livia Lone that make you want to hit something. The subject is Andrew Vachssian child abuse of a sexual nature. Like Vachss, the story is classic pulp with touches of noir. Unflinching.
My problem with Eisler’s spin on the material is that he goes way over the line in detail of the abuse to the point the intent feels cheapened. Early on we get a standard Kill Bill type scene of a female jujitsu expert luring a rapist someplace quiet. That’s fine. What bugged me was the NEXT scene where the woman goes home and relives the murder in a rater graphic masturbation session.
Don’t misunderstand...I’m no prude. Normally I’m down for Eisler’s sensuality, even if by now those scenes play more like a recurring joke more than a natural part of the story.
I guess I’m just uncomfortable with the same approach taken to the sex/masturbation scene as applied later to a scene coerced fellatio via a little girl. I’m sure it is unintentional on Eisler’s part. Honestly I have no idea what he’s thinking. Or maybe I’m weird, ha. I feel like if we’re getting into scenes where we’re dealing graphically with kids being sexually abused, it should be a more serious novel than a standard revenge story that only seems marginally different because the main character is a woman instead of tale your pick of action heroes.
"Sex Trafficking Victim Exacts Revenge"
Not for the faint of heart. Title character wrenched with her sister from her Thai village ends up in Idaho with a brutal stepfather and becomes a cop determined to find her sister and exact revenge. The rich and powerful, like Trump, are so awful that they get what they deserve. For that reason, fun to experience during inauguration week.
"Tough to review this"
Wow! I'm not sure how to review this.
This is not a quick or an easy read. I've read all of Eisler's books and liked them a lot. This is very different. The subject matter, human trafficking, is not a pleasant one. Eisler actually tones down what could have been ghastly graphic scenes. They were still uncomfortable but could have been worse.
I thought breaking the story into "then" and "now" was well done. The heroine (?) is literally kick-ass but she isn't really likeable.
I enjoy the author's narration of the audiobook.
"Great "then" and "now""
While you might guess the final outcome early on. There was still a lot of suspense and unexpected events. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
"I loved this character and this book. This story"
was new and original and I embarked on the journey with Livia the while time. She is a hero beyond comprehension and I applaud her drive. Thanks Barry. More please.
A GREAT book. Tough to listen to graphic scenes in some spots, but it's just as much as the situation calls for- nothing gratuitous. Amazing story and, sadly, one that is an everyday occurrence here in the good ol' USA. Would love to see this character made into a series!
"Love and vengeance make the world go round"
Livia Lone by Barry Eisler is a bit of a tough read. The title character has had such a tragic life and managed to make lemonade, but without much sugar, out of the lemons life has thrown at her. The tale is told as a "then" and "now" going back to her childhood when she and her sister were sold to slave traffickers. While it's clear from the "now" she's grown up and managed to become a cop, the "then" provides an unending series of graphic abuse and betrayal. She becomes a secret, female combination of Batman and Judge Dredd, all the while looking for her long lost sister she pledged to protect regardless of where or whom it takes her to..
Eisler build her character gradually from a shy, innocent, naive girl to a cold blooded, calculating vigilante never letting evil best her. The story builds slowly with a good mix of actions scenes and the dawning of realization about who her true enemies are and how she has been manipulated. Vengeance is a dish best served cold with as much pain as possible, and Livia grows into a master chef.
Typically, authors reading their own work should come wrapped with caution tape (except for comedies where timing is critical), but Eisler has the proper tone and pacing to render a credible thriller. His range of voices is more than adequate.
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