Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jamie Freveletti (Robert Ludlum): The Janus Reprisal

Jamie Freveletti takes her first instance of writing for the very famous Robert Ludlum in the covert-one series that Ludlum was never able to complete himself.

 It begins with a terrorist attack at a hotel where Covert-One operative Colonel Jon Smith is attending a conference in The Hague on infectious diseases, together with leading scientists and political figures from around the world.This is no random attack, these terrorist know what they are looking for and who to kill in order to make their mission a success. But the hotel is not the only target, the airport, train stations and the criminal court are all attacked, leaving people wondering what and who are the overall target. All Smith knows that what was stole from the Hotel has the potential to shape the world and he needs to figure out quick what the plan is. Smith is about to be visited by someone from his past who has more than enough reasons to want him dead.

When I started to read this book I was unaware that there were several books before it, I guess this is my fault as I should have looked as most of the books that have Ludlums name attached to it will be part of a series. Due to not reading the books before I felt like there was a piece of a puzzle and that I was missing some of Dattar and Smith's history. I'm still not sure if they one of the other books has Dattar's capture in it, I could not tell from the other books synopsizes. I also did not know any of the history of the Covert-One group therefore, there were people that I did not know what the relationships within that group or even what the grouped wanted to achieve and who the group worked for, so this added to my overall confusion within the book.

For me this book was okay and I had a hard time getting into the book in general despite the fact that the book starts out at a relatively fast pace. There are quite a few actions scenes throughout the book and I enjoyed that Freveletti was okay with Smith getting hurt when the action ensures. I specifically liked the scene with the mustard gas, I mean who uses mustard gas these days, it was a nice and interesting twist that I did not see coming. I found one aspect that this book was missing was some sort of mystery, the reader knows the bad guy (but so does the hero) but also what Dattar is trying to achieve and as much as Freveletti attempted to hide who the mole was, I found it fairly easy to figure out and was forever waiting for someone in the book to catch up to me.

The book was an interesting story and idea, however, it is one that I am finding more common now though. I think that biological warfare has taken over as the popular idea in the action adventure novels, kind of like how the zombie theme has taken over the paranormal, urban fantasy genre. However, with the biological warfare idea I find that there is less deviation from between the storylines. I have yet to read an book, where the author added a true twist to the subject.

While reading the book, I did not become invested in any of the characters. I do not know if this is because I have not read the previous books to this one where Smith is the main character or the overall lack of character development done by Freveletti. I'm actually leaning to the prospect that it is both .I like that Nolan in this book, she was pretty resourceful for a women who is used to working the stock market and not dodging bullets. I think that there is more to Nolan's past than Fereveletti let on and I wonder if she will be in the next book. I really liked that Nolan kept trying to avoid being helped, it was an interesting twist from the usual damsel in distress in these types of books and Nolan showed a lot of strength throughout the book.

I think that with any series you should always start from the beginning, and I think that this was my mistake with this book. If you have read the previous books I think that you will like this one as well, though this is the first one that Freveletti has written so it would be interesting to see if the book's overall style, flow, writing and plot are different from the other books before this one.

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On a side note I know that this series was supposed to be created by Robert Ludlum, but I had a hard time finding which ones he had written but according to Wikipedia he did not write any of them, that they are based upon some of his ideas, but who really knows. This makes me think that these authors are just writing under Ludlums name in order to get people to pick up the book, which I do not appreciate. If your writing is not enough to stand out on it's own then maybe you should change something in your writing, maybe this is an author's way to attempt to get a head start in the literary world. I also would like to know who decides on who can use Ludlum's name as there are several different authors that have written novels in this Covert-One series. Sorry for the rant, but I was not completely aware, that this book really did not have anything to do with Ludlum or anything that has been well documented.

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