▸ thriller

Read: Black Order

With now having read the third book in a series by James Rollins, he is now officially part of my rotation.

Black Order is a nice mix of action adventure, thriller, and science fiction. It is certainly not (high brow) literature but it is good for relaxing a couple of hours. Even though the characters (within a given book) still remain a bit flat, over the course of several novels in the series there is now some noticeable character development.

And even though I did not want to think (much) while reading the (such a) book, there was an interesting take on intelligent design.

Two things annoyed me.

First, the publisher should spend some money on a foreign language editor before a book is printed. There are some foreign language words and phrases (as it happens, most of them in German) that are just plain wrong. At least once I could only get the meaning after trying to conceive how an automatic translation would translate that phrase. At any rate, the title of the book should be translated correctly: And no, “Black Order” is not “Schwarzer Auftrag.”

Second, the book could have ended one supernatural experience earlier.

Read: The Edge of Madness

Michael Dobbs' novel The Edge of Madness is rather on the edge of disappointing.

For a cyber-thriller there is too little cyber, too little [or or even none] ‘wow, this is what technology can do nowadays.’ For a political thriller there is too little politics, scheming, plotting even though there are four different heads of their states involved in the plot. The characters are mostly cardboard cut-outs. Only the reluctant ‘hero’ gets a little more depth, some glimpses of his darker past.

The plot is rather constructed. The solution to the big problem is too convenient. In the end, the evil guys are all dead or get what they deserve. At the end of the episode all is back to normal.

Utterly unremarkable.

Read: Sandstorm

While Sandstorm started strong – its female protagonist feels truly alive – it soon seems to change into a script for a TV movie that tries to combine too many tropes at the same time. There are too many coincidences, shootouts with increasingly heavy artillery, “surprising” reunions and family ties.

As a movie this would still result in an entertaining, action packed 90 minutes flick. The novel, however, loses much of its appeal. The characters become uninteresting and uni-dimensional. You struggle through the book. You still kind of enjoy it. Yet there is the lingering feeling it could be better with a little less.