BOOK REVIEW: Robert Ludlam’s The Bourne Initiative by Eric Van Lustbader

BOOK REVIEW: Robert Ludlam’s The Bourne Initiative by Eric Van Lustbader

HarperCollins Australia
June 2017
Paperback, $32.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

7.5 /10

The late Robert Ludlam’s most enduring creation, Jason Bourne, has had one hell of a life. An action adventure field agent more programmed and engineered than trained by the mysterious Treadstone covert agency of the US military, he has spearheaded fourteen novels, a television mini-series and five more recent ‘reboot’ films.

For the uninitiated, Bourne is a far more physical James Bond – as close to superhuman as he can be, Bourne rarely falters throughout The Bourne Initiative, despite being hacked at by a machete, shot, and poisoned in his mission to stop the eponymous Initiative – a cyber weapon created by his late friend General Boris Karpov of the Russian FSB to steal vast amounts of money, then adapted by nefarious forces to get access to US nuclear launch codes.

Interestingly, Ludlam may have created Bourne, but he only wrote the first three adventures, in the 1980’s. Eric Van Lustbader has written the subsequent novels, all since Ludlam’s 2001 death.

Van Lustbader’s style is far more based on the action and style than Ludlam’s, who was an old school author more concerned with characterisation and depth of story. Consequently, whilst a gripping ride, Van Lustbader’s novels are more Hollywood glam and non-stop (sometimes implausible) action, rather than the intriguing stories of the first books.

 

BOOK REVIEW: Robert Ludlam’s The Bourne Initiative by Eric Van Lustbader

Filed Under: Book Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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