Monthly Archives: June 2012

The halfway mark and The Prometheus Deception #cbr4

We’ve almost hit the halfway point for the Cannonball Read IV. I’m crazy behind though. I’ve read 17 books and only reviewed 12. While that is good for me, I’m nowhere near 52. But the summer and vacation starts today, so here’s to some great reads in the next month!

The Prometheus Deception by Robert Ludlum has nothing to do with the marketing campaign for Prometheus as my friend recently asked me when he saw me reading the book. I don’t quite know how to interpret that question because I never saw the marketing campaign. The movie I enjoyed, however. But this book has nothing to do with the movie. It is an addition to the Ludlum spy canon complete with turns and twists that will make your head spin much like Linda Blair in The Exorcist (i.e., not in a good way).

As the story begins, the main character, Nick Bryson, is a master spy working for a super secret spy agency called the Directorate, but he is asked to resign by the company for some vague reasons about age and judgement. He assumes a new identity as a dowdy professor and five years later all hell breaks lose when the CIA comes to recruit him to bring down the Directorate (for some additionally vague reasons). After some strange occurrences, betrayals, and more, Nick begins to question who his friends are and who is telling the truth.

As this sounds, it is the typical Ludlum story. Now, I am definitely a fan of the Bourne series, so that’s one reason why I picked this up. In that series Ludlum handles well the interplay between betrayal and truth. In this book the main character just seems amazingly gullible. A bit too gullible for a master spy. Actually his willingness to believe whomever has his attention in a moment makes him a particularly frightening spy as he is killing a lot of people and blowing a lot of stuff up. Let’s just say this character and the storyline are not the top of Ludlum’s game, and considering this is one of his last (or his last novel), then the failings make more sense. Quick summer read though.

As spy stories go, Ludlum tends to be extremely detailed and technical in his writing. If you like very detailed descriptions of how to pull off a particular heist (and who doesn’t?!), he is a great storyteller for you. If you are looking for a more nuanced character, try the Bourne books.