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Birth of an Assassin

By: Rik Stone
Narrated by: Dennis Kleinman
Series: Birth of an Assassin, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Regular price: £24.19

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Summary

Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution, and institutionalized corruption, elite soldier Jez Kornfeld is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.

Ordered to disperse and arrest a crowd of Jewish demonstrators in Red Square, Jez is dismayed to find his sisters in their ranks. He sneaks them from under the noses of the secret police, but in doing so he has put his own security at risk; he has to get them out of the USSR. They cross into the Ukraine to a port on the Black Sea and he bribes passage for them from Soviet soil. Jez is happy in the knowledge that his sisters are safe, but he is unaware that his every move has been observed and that he has set in motion a chain of events that will plunge his life into a headlong battle to stay alive.

©2013 Rik Stone (P)2015 Rik Stone

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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The future starts here.

Since childhood, young Jesse Kornfeld's one ambition had been to be a soldier. Jewish, growing up in a rural area of Russia, the only son in a family of four siblings, he had listened to his father's stories and anecdotal advice until, at 15, still small and scrawny, he set out for Moscow to enlist. Given the fitting synopsis given, there is no need to further advance the story.

Birth of an Assassin is an intelligently written thriller told in the traditional spy story format, making it both detailed and fast paced. Characterisation is minimal but sufficient, the reader taking the natures of the protagonists from the fast advancing story. And it is the story which holds centre stage as Jez fights against corruption, betrayal and for the love that might have been, himself an unwitting pawn in a greater conspiracy.
Narration is by Dennis Kleinman, whose pleasant on the ear British voice fits perfectly with the novel. As well as reading with appropriate pacing, with eloquence and good intonation, he also gives separate voicing to the various protagonists, and never goes over the top emotionally as he relays the text. A good performance and well suited to the book.

A most enjoyable listen, and one which, I hope, will become the first of an ongoing series.
I was fortunate in being freely gifted with a complimentary copy of Birth of an Assassin by the rights holder, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you. It was a satisfying adventure, well rounded and involving which I would certainly recommend to fans of historically based spy and military thrillers. Or anyone who simply enjoys a good, exciting read.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Fast-pacing and well-written story

Having been born in Poland in the times, when the Russian influence has been felt and hated on the daily basis and when Russian as a foreign language was obligatory to learn at school for all children – it felt not that comfortable to be sucked into a story of the times when the regime held the grip of the giant country of the Soviet Union. It felt uncomfortable, but nevertheless I felt hooked to the story. The language is vibrant, and the story is presented in a way, that it becomes alive. There is a suspense in the book that, together with the spy-story atmosphere as well as the quick pace of the story, makes it entirely ‘s unputdownable. It’s a coming-of-age story with a twist: first a boy, then a soldier, and then, a deadly force.

I was not too thrilled with the narrator, though. Dennis Kleinman’s way of reading and my ears don’t seem to match. But the story was good enough for me to listen to the whole book despite my not liking the narrator.

An observation: Petrichova, being a man, should be called Petrichov. The A at the end of the surname suggests it’s a woman, not a man.

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Piqued my interest

Definitely enough to make me want to finish the series and find out what happens next.
A good story with plenty of intrigue and twists and turns!
Dennis is definitely a good reader and I enjoyed listening to the story but found his characters didn’t vary much from each other, so was sometimes confused as to who was speaking and was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a hint of Russian accent used despite all characters being Russian. This wouldn’t stop me from listening to him again though.
This is an honest review of a free review copy

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  • Rebecca Azizov
  • 01-04-19

unusual and fascinating

a very very good story it's not an easy one it will wreck you a little and it will pain you a lot but it's a wonderful book it's enjoyable and incredible and wonderful it was written in a very special manner that I liked
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Randy Murphy
  • 24-03-19

Very well done

I was sucked into the story from the beginning. Both the author and the performer did an excellent job of portraying the love that was enough to cause someone to perform an act of treason. I will definitely have to check out the rest in the series. I was given a free copy of this audio in return for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • vanita Thornton
  • 24-03-19

this book was given to me for review

good cook and narrated well. suspense and love all in one place. enjoyed this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Virgil Perryman
  • 06-09-18

the details and character development excellent

the careful details and understanding the environment is incredible. Excellent character development without losing the exciting action. Slow to start but hang on the pace increases exponentially.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • happyjo
  • 16-08-18

The people who survived

This book was enjoyable and interesting. I found it to be well written and narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan M
  • 06-08-18

Gripping Story, Awesome Narration!

I was pulled into this book by Rik Stone from the very beginning. There is so much going on with this book from the action, the treason, the motivation, love, and corruption. I absolutely loved the twists in the book. The historical descriptions also added to the book. I thought the narration was really well done by Dennis Kleinman. Both the author and narrator were new to me. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I would listen to more books by this author and narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheilav
  • 21-04-18

A new look at murder

The story kept me wanting more information. I did enjoy the different inclusions of family life. The story line seems to show that corruption is everywhere and that blackmail will last like cockroaches.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bernard
  • 14-03-16

Very enjoyable , fantastic performance by Kleinman

What did you love best about Birth of an Assassin?

interesting story and plot kept me involved

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

yes. It was interesting to hear a story where the protagonist was a Russian assassin that you rooted for!

Which scene was your favorite?

the ending when he found out Anna was alive. Also when he killed his arch enemy in the street.

Any additional comments?

very good narration by Mr. Kleinman. Looking forward to more titles done by him

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 21-07-17

action, treason, corruption, friendship, and love

Just after WWII, Jez Kornfeld, a young Jew whose maximum aspiration in life is joining the army, is wrongly led to the KGB headquarters when asking for the Red Army. He makes a good impression there and has a successful career. But in helping his family he will lose part of the privileges he had, and soon he will be involved in a case of prostitution and corruption, in which his own life will be in danger.

It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did I was hooked. This is an action packed thriller with interesting characters and an amazing plot, always moving forward, and with several twists and turns. This was not my typical book and I was afraid that I could have troubles to enjoy it, but I absolutely loved it.

We fist meet a fifteen year old Jez, still so young and full of illusions. His main goal in life is joining the army. The novel covers around twenty years, and in that time we witness a profound evolution in Jez. From that naive boy who joined the army, Jez became a real assassin, killing more easily each time. There will be a point which seems of no return for him, and he will have to challenge his wishes and beliefs.

There is a nemesis in this book, an evil character which will try to end Jez. He has his weak points too, he is human; but I really enjoyed how wicked he was, while still keeping it real.

And there is love too in this book. Yes, this book has it all! As you know, I am not keen on romance per say, but when it is so seamlessly intertwined with a story, and although important, it is kept on a second plane, I think it can give an extra layer of depth to the story. Here it helps to complete Jez's picture and makes the story more polished.

Dennis Kleinman's style perfectly suited the book. His voice and performance made me feel I was a witness to the story. He trapped me into it and I could not let it go. His interpretations were also spot on but I missed some more variety of voices. Sadly all characters sounded the same except for women. This is the only drawback for me, since all the other aspects of the narration were superb and the audio production was perfect.

As I have previously said, this book has it all: action, treason, corruption, friendship, and love. It is very well written and will delight everyone, even those who are not into military thrillers. I am looking forward to books two and three.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ash
  • 08-05-19

Forget Red Sparrow, read Birth of an Assassin

There are some books that the suspense keeps me gripped, and I have to know what happens next. Other stories I love because I enjoy being in the company of the characters. I’m in no hurry to get to the end, in fact, I hope it never comes. That’s how I felt about Jez.

When a story has problems, they stand out like stones, easy and clear to see, but when it doesn’t, it’s like watching a river. It flows and is hard to point a single piece of moving water and say, ‘that’s what made it great.’ This story is like a flowing river. Easy to follow and enjoyable. Forget Red Sparrow, read Birth of an Assassin.