Nov 11, 2012

Book of the Moment - Carte Blanche (James Bond)

 
A pretty solid spy story, but is it James Bond? You'll have to decide that for yourself. There's probably no other character in media with so many incarnations that split its fan base, except Doctor Who. Everyone has their favorite Bond(s) and I think everyone probably has their favorite authors who write Bond as well.

I don't envy Deaver for having to bring the most famous spy into a modern day setting but considering he was handpicked by Fleming's estate, that has to count for something. He knows how to tell a spy story, that's for sure, but I have to say this could almost be any spy. I didn't feel there was enough "Bond" in Bond. I like Bond best when it gets a little crazy and over the top. But this is a new start and could be setting the stage for Bond to be more grounded in this series.

I did enjoy the story and the villains felt like proper Bond baddies with their own quirks that made them memorable. I also liked the new allies that we're introduced to as well but you may need a scorecard to keep track of them until you can remember who is working for what agency. There's so many agencies and acronyms that there's a four and a half page glossary to help you out.

Deaver drops so much product placement in places, I have to wonder if he's getting any kind of kickback. I understand giving brand names for certain things helps set the mood and immediately lets you know how "glamorous" things are but at the same time it's almost beating you over the head in places.

The ending of the book is where it gets really intriguing. You think the story has reached its end after the climactic battle only to find you've got about another 50 pages of plot twists.

There is an ongoing story arc setup about Bond learning what happened to his parents who were supposedly killed in a mountain climbing accident. I like the idea of giving this new series continuity and something to make this more than an unconnected series of adventures.

Final verdict: If you're a Bond fan, it can't hurt to check this out. It's definitely worth giving it a chance. At worst, you'll have a good spy story.

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