I'm suffering from culture shock.
I'm in a world where Fox News is not an oxymoron.
A spy school that's a sort of Hogwarts where everyone is in Slytherin and really proud of it.
I'm supposed to be caught up in a young woman's struggle to thrive in an elite spy school, which has been infiltrated by a double agent who has been told to terminate her in a make-it-look-like-an-accident way because she's perceived as a threat. My attention should be split between figuring out who the double is - so many red herrings the plot stinks of fish - and rooting for little miss cute but nice to succeed.
Instead, I'm seeing bright children being abused by the State and manipulated into blind obedience in the name of patriotism and trained to kill on command. If this was written by Patterson and set in Pakistan, the school would be the home of the evil bad guys.
Now I'm rubbernecking rather than reading. This is a car wreck I can't look away from.
I like it - style, story, characters: all strong. as far as Summer of Spies goes, and whether this qualifies or not - well, yeah, it’s not the archetype of all Spy novels, more like a variant, but that’s usually interesting too. happy to be giving this author a go; working out well, so far.
um, apologies, in advance, for the fact that the next book I’ll (probably) be reading is called Dead Horsemeat. yeah yeah, I know...blechy updates and cover images coming not long from now. but we’ll deal with it, together, when the time comes.
I wanted a lighter side to my Summer Of Spies reading so I picked up Desert Dark, knowing from the publisher's summary that it was a YA adventure book about a sixteen-year-old heroine attending a school for spies.
Well, it's light and fast and very YA. It started with an attempt on our heroine's life, did a "Three months earlier.." flip followed by an up close and personal murder.
Yet what caught me by surprise is our young heroine's reaction to her situation.
Day One of her new school she's put through a psych eval, finally told the kind of school she's been conned into signing up for and then been threatened with indefinite detention without charge under the Patriot Act if she tells anyone about it.
"So I really get to work for CIA Black Ops? How cool is that?"
Suddenly, I'm in a parallel universe. Can you imagine any teen reacting that way?
I mean, is this kind of patriotic enthusiasm for illegal, lethal, organisations that set themselves outside of control by the democratic process in order to kill America's enemies a plausible response?
Yeh, I know, it's ENTERTAINMENT. It's not real. But still. Really?
His memory is a blank. His bullet-ridden body was fished from the Mediterranean Sea. His face has been altered by plastic surgery. A frame of microfilm has been surgically implanted in his hip. Even his name is a mystery. Marked for death, he is racing for survival through a bizarre world of murderous conspirators -- led by Carlos, the world's most dangerous assassin. Who is Jason Bourne? The answer may kill him.
***2018 Summer of Spies***
Perhaps I came into this novel expecting a bit too much—I’ve never seen the movies, only advertising for them, so I didn’t go in completely blind to the story, but about as close as you can get in our society. I can certainly see that this would make a great shoot-‘em-up, car-chase intense movie. I really can’t say that I cared whether Bourne got his memory back or who he actually was. I would have been much more interested in more exploration of nature of the memory loss rather than all the frantic chasing around!
Kudos to him for his good taste in women, however. I was amused to find out that she was Canadian, from my city. It was also revealing that, although she is a very capable, knowledgeable economist in her own right, she is still often referred to as a ‘girl.’ Oh, I do not miss the 1980s!
I did very much like the book’s ending, but for me it is the perfect ending. I won’t ruin it by continuing on with the rest of the trilogy.