Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gideon's Sword

Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Grand Central PublishingFebruary 2011
Hardcover, 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9780446564328
highly recommended

Introducing Gideon Crew: trickster, prodigy, master thief
At twelve, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down.
At twenty-four, summoned to his dying mother's bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him.
Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father's destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful.
But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon's special skills. Someone who has need of just such a renegade.
For Gideon, this operation may be only the beginning . . .
My Thoughts:

In Gideon's Sword authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are taking a huge risk by introducing a new character, Gideon Crew, and a new series. This is risky because fans of their wildly popular Pendergast novels aren't likely to warm up to a new character competing for Preston and Child's attention. While I include myself in their fan base, writing both together and separately, I'm willing to give this interloper named Gideon Crew a chance.

From the synopsis, I thought the story would revolve around Gideon finding the man responsible for his father's death and getting revenge, but actually that is only a very small part of the novel right at the beginning. After that Gideon is recruited by a secret agency to do a little job for them: find a way to get the plans for a secret weapon from a Chinese scientist. The first storyline not only introduces us to Gideon Crew and gives a little back story, it also shows us Gideon's thought processes and how he operates. The second storyline is much more involved and has several narrow escapes and twists and turns before it is resolved.

Since it is a Preston and Child book, need I mention that it is well written? The story is fast paced and flows smoothly. While, admittedly, I felt that the story seemed somewhat less intense and intriguing, and felt shorter than I would normally expect from Preston and Child, I rather liked Gideon as a lead character and want to see what he does next.

Many of the reviews for Gideon's Sword written by fans have tended to be negative. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have had ten books to develop their Aloysius Pendergast character. This is our very first introduction to Gideon Crew. I fully expect the next Gideon Crew novel to dial up the tension and suspense.

Also, apparently the movie rights to Gideon's Sword have been purchased.

To rate this novel is problematic. It is not their strongest work, so compared to other novels they have written, it falls a little short. On the other hand, if I evaluate it simply as a stand alone novel not in comparison with anything else, well, I really liked it very much and would highly recommend it.


August 1988
Nothing in his twelve years of life had prepared Gideon Crew for that day. Every insignificant detail, every trivial gesture, every sound and smell, became frozen as if in a block of glass, unchanging and permanent, ready to be examined at will. opening

A buzz of fumbled static came through the sound system and then the electronically magnified sound of a partial sob, grotesque and strange. Melvin? Another choking sound.
Gideon froze. That's my mother's voice, he thought.
It was like a dream where nothing made sense. It wasn't real. pg. 5

The shots rang out, so close together they sounded like firecrackers, and his father was abruptly punched back into the darkness of the doorway. pg. 7

October 1996
"The time has come for me to tell you a truth -" she gasped in some air. "- that will make you miserable." pg. 9

She shook her head. "They ruined his life. That's why he did what he did, took that hostage."
"What does it matter now? Long ago I accepted that Dad made a mistake."
The eyes opened suddenly. "No mistake. He was the scapegoat." pg. 11

But when he bent down to kiss her the hand shot up again, grasping his collar with claw-like fingers. Her eyes pinned his and she said, with manic intensity: "Even the score."
"Do to Tucker what he did to your father. Destroy him. And in the end, make sure he knows why - and by whom." pg. 12

Present Day
Nevertheless, he understood enough to realize what he had in his hands was the smoking gun. pg. 31

That was it. Proof that his father had been framed. And then murdered. pg. 32


Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs. I love A. Pendergast, but I am certainly willing to give Gideon a try. I just bought the book. I am looking forward to reading it.:-)

Lori L said...

I hope you like it!