Monday, April 2, 2012

Gideon's Sword

Book Review

Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

I had seen these authors on the library shelves before now. I didn't really know a thing about them.

Of course, I guess it is supposed to mean something when you see "#1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Authors"....

I haven't given much credence to "bestselling" authors producing good books. My standards require more than just selling.

But, since I didn't know much else about these authors, and this was available in large print, it was worth a shot.

A shot of what...

well, that's another story.

It turned out I was impressed alright, but not in a way I want to be again anytime soon.

Gideon's Sword

This book appears to be the beginning of what may be a series for these authors. We are introduced to Gideon Crew, who's had a tough life so far. But he starts to redeem himself by working for the government.

I was surprised that seemingly all of the back story is given to us at the beginning of the story. In short order. Lickity split. And then we jump forward ten or so years, to another touchpoint in Gideon's life. But we don't hesitate there either. Jump again. Now we are more or less in the present day. And now the primary story begins.

Hmmm. I would have like to been given a bit at a time, say through dialogue with other characters in the story. But nope. We don't get it that way. We get the first quarter of the book as back story thrown at us.

And at the end of it, I had no better idea who Gideon really was or what made him tick. I just knew that he had a rough upbringing and presumably that would justify his actions in the present day.

It didn't matter, though, since I already didn't care about the protagonist. That's when I knew I was in trouble. I didn't care about the main character.

And so what's the purpose of continuing to read then?

Good question.

For me, I didn't have anything else at hand waiting to be read instead. Good for Gideon, bad for me.

I hate to use stereotypes, but this is one time that I just can't see any other logic: This is a man's book. A book for men.

Forgive me. Some women may enjoy this book. It just, most definitely, is not my type of book.

The characters are shallow and one dimensional. The settings are cardboard. The motivations are manufactured. Nothing is believable. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters. And certainly not for the protagonist, after the way he treats the few women in the story.

The only thing this book has going for it is action. Action. Action. Action. We jump from one set of action to the next. No pacing. No insight. No understanding. No breathers.

Just action.

In that single aspect, this book reminds me of The Da Vinci Code. All action. I hated that book.

And Gideon's Sword gives us not just action. But perfect action. Everything goes Gideon's way. Everything falls into perfect place. Clearly, this character is not human.

So, it turns out, I didn't like this book. Could you tell?

I made it to the end in spite of my feelings towards it. It ended with what appears to be the lead in to the beginning of next book, presumably.

I'll never know.

I have no intention of finding out if another Gideon Crew book is ever published.

Pity. The writing style was mildly enjoyable. Too bad there were no redeeming qualities in the story structure to support it.

There are better things to spend my reading time on.

If you are a man and like action adventure stories, you might just like this. Or even if you are a woman. But I won't be looking for more stories like this one.

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