Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Fewer Thrills Than Expected: A Review of Pandora's Succession

My Book Review of Pandora’s Succession by Russell Brooks:


Pandora’s Succession by Russell Brooks reads like a 1960’s Bond thriller in a modern-day setting. The book plays out as a standard action story complete with flash and gadgets and the requisite evil villains, but is light on suspense.

The novel is a spy thriller, and tells the story of Ridley Fox, a CIA agent, on the hunt for a deadly viral weapon named Pandora. Along the way he finds old enemies, friends and new threats.

The plotline showed promise with an intriguing and entertaining premise bursting with a lethal virus, cults and spies galore, but I found the author’s style derailed any appeal for me. The prose leaned too heavily on passive voice and adverbs for my taste and this -unfortunately- diluted much of the book’s tension. I also found that many scenes relied on explanation instead of straight action, slowing the flow of the novel. I wanted the exploits to simply happen and evolve naturally instead of relying on elaborate setup and extraneous detail.

As well, the characters, while reasonably well-written, failed to connect with me and I found them lacking in emotional depth. The dialogue often felt atypical and oddly out of place.

I liked the idea of Pandora’s Succession, but I cannot say the book thrilled me.

2 comments:

Joylene Butler said...

Thanks for another great review, Anita. You are my source for everything I want to read these days.

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks, Joylene, I've got a couple more reviews planned in a few days and a guest post coming From Pat Bertram in a day or two.