A seemingly mundane computer cleanup leads to an electrifying quest for an enigmatic - and deadly - treasure in this gripping techno-thriller.
After selling his dorm-room startup for millions and effectively retiring at the age of 25, Alex Fife is eager for a new challenge. When he agrees to clean up an old PC as a favor, he never expects to find the adventure of a lifetime waiting for him inside the machine. But as he rummages through old emails, Alex stumbles upon a startling discovery: The previous owner, a shady antiques smuggler, had been trying to unload a mysterious object known as the Florentine on the black market. And with the dealer's untimely passing, the Florentine is now unaccounted for and ripe for the taking. Alex dives headfirst into a hunt for the priceless object. What starts out as a seemingly innocuous pursuit quickly devolves into a nightmare when Alex discovers the true technological nature of the Florentine. Not just a lost treasure, it's something far more insidious: a weapon that could bring the developed world to its knees. Alex races through subterranean grottos, freezing morgues, and hidden cellars in the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, desperate to find the Florentine before it falls into the wrong hands. Because if nefarious forces find it first, there'll be nothing Alex - or anyone else - can do to prevent a catastrophic attack.
©2015 Carey Nachenberg; This edition published in 2015 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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"Feels like non-fiction, which is terrifying."
Alex Fife is a multi-millionaire former computer virus buster. He's also a fan of a good treasure hunt. The Florentine Deception is the perfect combination of both of these worlds. Mixing in old school treasure hunting with new school computer technology, The Florentine Deception weaves in and out of some amazing (and terrifying) worlds that feel more like non-fiction than fiction.
The narration was done by Nick Podehl, and holy crap does he kill it. I honestly think I've listened to a book or two narrated by him before, but I will definitely be checking him out in the future. The characters were 100% believable and the voices he gave them were very fitting for each character. Even the female voices were pretty good, which isn't easy to accomplish as a male narrator.
I consumed this book like it was real. Alex Fife and the situations that he gets himself in were just crazy. But the scariest part was that everything that Nachenberg wrote is totally plausible. That's what makes The Florentine Deception so scary.
Alex was so incredibly likable as a character. The way he was written made me really like him and all of his interactions with the other characters in the book. His roommates and friends were all the perfect additions to his life. Not one single person felt out of place in this novel. A feat in itself.
The techno/computer things in this were written by someone with A LOT of knowledge, but they are easy to read. They don't read like a computer manual or anything. It's actually borderline elegant.
I won't spoil anything for you, but I was extremely pleased with the ending. A few times throughout I wasn't sure how it was going to end, but I was happy with the choice that Nachenberg went with.
Overall, a wonderful technothriller that was full of twists and turns that had me begging for more. Nachenberg is a name to remember, especially when it comes to mixing reality with our new computer-oriented world.
I was given a free copy of this by the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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"A cool mix of caving, mystery, & computer stuff."
Alex Fife is rather bored. He had the luck and the skills to start a successful company young and then sell it for a very pretty profit. Now at 25, he needs a new challenge. Cleaning up an old PC for a charity is not quite the challenge he was looking for, but he stumbles upon references to the Florentine, an item an antiques dealer was trying to sell on the black market. Alex’s hunt for the Florentine turns out to be a bigger challenge than he had in mind.
Alex and Steven, who have been best friends for some years, initially dug into the Florentine mystery out of boredom and curiosity. Richard Lister, the now deceased antiques dealer, was involved in some shady things. Alex and Steven hatch a plan to check out his house, which is for sale. Hillary, Steven’s wife, thinks they’re a bit nuts but swiftly gets caught up in the excitement. One discovery leads to another as the action spirals up. However, the stakes also continue to rise as it becomes apparent they aren’t the only one looking for the Florentine.
This was a pretty fun read. I enjoyed that Alex and crew thought they were looking for one thing and as things progressed, it became apparent they were looking for something completely different. Us readers know from the book’s description that this will happen, but it was fun to see how the author made his characters work it out. This story is mostly about the action, though there is some character development for Alex and Steven. There’s also a touch of romance, which was fine, though I didn’t feel that it particularly added to the book.
There’s plenty of computer geek speak in this book, which is what I was expecting, since Alex and most of his friends are computer scientists of one flavor or another. I enjoyed watching Alex use his expertise to collect info on the Florentine and also in laying traps for the bad guys. However, there were a few times when Alex was explaining some basic things (such as fire walls) to other computer savvy folks and that just came off as out of character. I think the author wanted these things laid out clearly for the reader, in case they aren’t computer nerds, but it came off as a bit clunky.
In contrast, the author did a great job in explaining some basics about caving. Alex has a few friends, including the most interesting Linda, who are caving folks and this techno-thriller requires some cave exploration. Hooray! Steven is not a caving person, so Alex has the perfect newbie to explain some basics to. However, there were times when Alex got a little dense on the subject. For instance, he thought it was pretty ingenious of his friend Potter to bring along glow sticks, which I would think would be a basic in most caving survival packs. Then there was that scene where Alex and crew gave up a little too easily for my taste. I felt the author was eager to move on to the next section of the book.
Now let’s talk about the morgue and Alex’s grandfather (Papa). This was by far my favorite scene of the book. Papa was so funny and yet took his role in the task so seriously! I really enjoyed this morgue caper as Alex and crew gathered further information. I’m glad the author didn’t make light of morgue security because it provided so much opportunity for Alex and Papa to have these tense, yet ridiculous, conversations.
Over all, this was a light, fun read. There were some clunky bits here and there. However, this is balanced out by the morgue scene and ratcheting-up tension and action of the story. Once the true nature of the Florentine is figured out by Alex, there’s a race on to either capture the Florentine or counteract it. The ending wraps up all the questions (except for those concerning Alex’s future love life) for this tale and leaves the door open for future installments. It would be interesting to see what Alex and crew go after next time.
I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author (via iRead Book Tours) in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Nick Podehl was a good fit for Alex. He had that successful mid-20s feel to the voice that made Alex come through clearly. The narrator had to do several accents – Puerto Rican, Russian, Philipino, vague Arab, Ukranian, and regional American accents – and he did them well. His female voices were realistic.
"A Fun & Entertaining Diversion"
If you're looking for an exciting adventure that offers the listener mystery, suspense, treasure hunts and high-tech intrigue with lots of red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing, you'll enjoy the delightfully narrated The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg!
The Florentine Deception is about a young millionaire named Alex who believes he stumbles upon the key to finding a valuable diamond - only to discover that he holds the key to something much more dangerous and deadly!
What starts out as an exciting adventure for Alex and his friends turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse as they race against the clock on more than one occasion to keep themselves and others out of danger!
The Florentine Deception is my first experience with Audible, and it's been a positive one. I feel like I'm in the midst of a video game as I listen to the book - the narrator makes the action come to life!
The one thing that I did not like - particularly in the narrated version - was the excessive use of foul language throughout, which detracted from the story for me.
Aside from that, The Florentine Deception was quite enjoyable - the perfect entertainment for a lazy summer day!
The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg is a fast-paced technothriller that had me listening nonstop. It is such a joy when the right narrator reads the right book, and Nick Podehl really did a fantastic job with this one. One of my favorite things about the book was the way it was written – the author wrote a story that wasn’t bogged down with futuristic, unknown tech terms. It made it easy for me to read and enjoy without having to keep looking up words or feel like I’m lost. The story felt plausible, which is what makes it great. Alex is easy to like and you want to be right by his side in figuring this one out. While I was listening, I kept thinking that this would make an awesome action movie – one I would totally go see! The Florentine Deception is an exciting read that will keep you up past your bedtime to find out what is going to happen.
"if you enjoy action or cyber-crime stories"
The Florentine Deception was an enjoyable adventure-type story with an interesting plot, lots of action and some nice humor. Although it is a techno-thriller centering around a cyber-security expert you do not need a profound knowledge of computer science to follow the story. The author does a great job providing just enough details for easy understanding and without it getting too technical or dull. The main theme was really a treasure hunt to find the location of the Florentine. This involved among other things a funny trip to the morgue with the hero's grandfather, a climbing adventure and a few altercations with a couple of adversaries who were also after the Florentine. The author created a likable group of characters who were supporting the somewhat unlikely hero of this story: Alex is a twenty-five-year-old computer geek who made tons of money with his start-up and is now spending his days drifting, mainly climbing with friends and doing computer-related favors for his relatives. While there wasn't a lot of character development or truly breathtaking twists, it was an easy and fun story to listen to.
Nick Podehl's narration was as ever excellent, and one of the reasons I decided to listen to this book in the first place. He was a great fit for the character of Alex, but also managed to bring all the other characters to life with different voices and believable accents. It always feels as if he really gets into the stories he narrates and he is enjoying himself, which in turn makes it easy for the listener to engage with the audio book. There were no problems with the production.
I think it's worthwhile mentioning that the author is donating the proceeds of this debut publication to charities supporting underprivileged students and veterans. So if you enjoy action or cyber-crime stories and/or have an interest in climbing and/or computer security, you should definitely enjoy this audio book whilst simultaneously supporting a very good cause.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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Wow! I don't normally write a full review but I felt compelled to with this book. The author has a way of making the reader feel as though he's part of the story. I couldn't stop listening! The narration was very good as well - I liked the voices. Please Carey write another book soon! Hurry!
"A great read with lots of excitement."
You didn't have to worry about turning pages. It was relaxing to just stretch out in a recliner, close my eyes and let the actor's voice drawn me into the story line.
My son is a programmer with a start up company developing a product. They hope to do just what the trio in this story did - sell it for large dollars. So I loved all 3 of these guys, but the main character - Alex Fife - was the most developed. Readers walk in his shoes through out this story line, so I felt most drawn to him..
Same as in the previous question - Alex Fife.
It could happen.
This story is a great mix of excitement, intrigue, mystery and danger. The fact that the introduction is by someone who recognized this cyber security threat 20 years early and couldn't get anyone to take him seriously is amazing. The idea that this out there plot is a real possibility really ads to the enjoyment.
"So much fun- scary but fun!"
A treasure adventure that morphed into espionage on a very real stable level. I hope to read more from the author and hear more from the reader/narrator/actor.
"An Exciting Adventure"
Such an enjoyable audiobook!
An mystery lover can appreciate the excitement of finding a clue to a missing gem. Even more fun to run across it while simply checking out an old computer. Like a hidden compartment or buried treasure, it bring to life the imagination.
So did The Florentine Deception. Finding the clue in the computer would be exciting enough. Yet what Alex Fife discovers is potential treason, foreign assassins, and an imminent plot to destroy America. Will his skills be enough to prevent it? Will it be too late? All because of a gem?
Alex, fortunately has a wealth of knowledge. Having sold his successful computer security software, he is singularly in a position to delve into the old system tracing back to who and what it involves. What he finds could cost his life and those he holds dear.
It’s a thrill ride of an adventure, with lots of action and twists to keep you wondering how they can succeed. From deep within the computer to to deep within a cave that may hold the answers, he and his likable friends try to stay one step ahead of killers. Only it doesn’t always work.
I’m always pleased to find a book available in audio format. Narrated by popular Nick Podehl, the audiobook runs just over ten and a half hours. He does have a great voice that suits Alex Fife very well.
Thank you to iRead Book Tours for providing this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. Loved listening to such an exciting story. You can find my full review on Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine.
"Gripping techno thriller with excellent narration"
Yes I would. Knowing that the author has expertise in the nature of the events that unfold in this book made it come alive. I would highly advise not to skip the foreword as it describes the author's background and gives the plot some context. I am not usually one for fiction, but this had me at the edge of my seat.
I have a favorite scene more than a favorite character, but it definitely involves the main character and his love interest. I will refrain from spoiling anything, but I definitely had to pause to catch my breath a bit.
This being my first fictional audiobook, it took a bit of getting used to at first but by the end Nick had me completely enveloped in the characters. He definitely added a valuable component to the experience, especially in the beginning as I was getting to know the characters.
I definitely tried. Once I got about halfway through, I just couldn't put it down. I might have ruined the ending for myself; I had to stop and do groceries lest I starve or resign to eat dinner after midnight. Carve out your time when you read this book or you might miss your highway exit or skip dinner in the process.
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