Burn­ing up the pages

The am­ne­siac spy’s back in ac­tion and go­ing great guns.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS MONTHLY - Robert Lud­lum’s The Bourne Ret­ri­bu­tion Eric van Lust­bader Grand Cen­tral Pub­lish­ing, 421 pages,

where his­tory is be­ing made.

In typ­i­cal Bourne fash­ion, he makes some friends along the way, some con­verts, oth­ers loy­al­ist faith­ful. Even the daugh­ter of one of Mex­ico’s big­gest drug lords (he was killed in the last book by Bourne) is not im­mune to the sheer force that is Bourne. She be­comes at first, a re­luc­tant ally, then later a con­vert, fully bap­tised on the al­tar of Ja­son Bourne.

The Chi­nese po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment is in­ter­est­ing, as is usual for a Bourne novel. Deng Tsu, known in the up­per ech­e­lons of power as the Pa­tri­arch, is a crafty strate­gist, play­ing the tra­di­tional Min­is­ter Cho against the mod­ern Min­is­ter Ouyang.

I en­joyed the con­sis­tent pace of the book, and felt that even the odd lull in ac­tion be­tween piv­otal scenes con­trib­uted to the over­all feel of the story. I was able to read this book straight through, with­out putting it down once.

The writ­ing is clas­sic Lud­lum, with his trade­mark sim­plis­tic prose ev­i­dent in many places. Lust­bader chan­nels Lud­lum very well, while bring­ing to bear his own out­stand­ing style of writ­ing to fill in the spa­ces be­tween.

As men­tioned above, the Chi­nese el­e­ment is where Bourne al­ways seems to shine, as he brings his past ex­pe­ri­ences and his flair for East­ern lan­guages out to play. Bourne is as ca­pa­ble an op­er­a­tive in Asia as he has ever been, build­ing on both his David Webb per­sona and his pre­vi­ous life as the killer known only as Delta.

One of the only short­com­ings I find in this as well as the last few Ja­son Bourne nov­els is that there is never any clear in­di­ca­tion of what hap­pens to his wife, Marie, and their two chil­dren. This is un­for­tu­nate as Ja­son’s re­la­tion­ship with Marie forms a large and im­por­tant part of his per­sona. As such, I felt that there was still a large hole in the plot and that this makes it very dif­fi­cult to bridge Ja­son Bourne to David Webb, al­ways leav­ing me try­ing to put the pieces to­gether.

Over­all, though, I found the book en­ter­tain­ing. As a Ja­son Bourne fan, hav­ing read and re-read both the Lud­lum as well as Lust­bader se­ries, I have some ques­tions about the con­ti­nu­ity of the char­ac­ter, and how Ja­son Bourne, as David Webb re­lates to Ja­son Bourne in this and the past three nov­els. How­ever, I feel that most fans of the spy and thriller gen­res will en­joy this book with­out think­ing too hard about the miss­ing pieces. I am look­ing for­ward to the next Ja­son Bourne, due for re­lease later this year.

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9. Non-fic­tion 1. re­claimy­our­Heart by yas­min Mo­ga­hed Life­With­out­Lim­its:In­spi­ra­tionFora ridicu­lous­lyGoodLife by nick Vu­ji­cic Wreck­ThisJour­nal(black):ToCreateIs Tode­stroy(Ex­panded) by Keri Smith 4. Lim­it­less:de­vo­tion­sFo­raridicu­lously GoodLife by nick Vu­ji­cic Quiet:ThePow­erOfIn­tro­vert­sIna WorldThatCan’tS­topTalk­ing by Su­san Cain The artofThink­ingClearly by rolf do­belli alexFer­gu­son:Myau­to­bi­og­ra­phy by alex Fer­gu­son IamMalala:TheGir­lWhoS­toodupFor Ed­u­ca­tio­nandWasShot­byTheTal­iban by Malala yousafzai davi­dandGo­liath:un­der­dogs,Mis­fits andT­heartOf­bat­tlingGiants by Mal­colm Glad­well 10. Steal­Likea­nartist

by austin Kleon Fic­tion 1. KL­noir:red by Var­i­ous au­thors KL­noir:White by Var­i­ous au­thors Hor­rorSto­ries by Tunku Halim TheTime­Keeper by Mitch al­bom TheCuckoo’sCall­ing by robert Gal­braith Crazyrichasians by Kevin Kwan TherosiePro­ject by Graeme Sim­sion TheGhost­bride by yangsze Choo FirstPhoneCal­lFromHeaven by Mitch al­bom 10. Mebeforeyou

by Jojo Moyes

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