03 March 2011

Review: Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Gideon Crew was twelve years old when he saw his father, who had been accused of being a traitor, gunned down by federal agents. When he was twenty-four, he was called to his mother's sickbed, and before she died, she told Gideon the truth about his father's innocence and made a last request that he seek revenge for his father's murder.

Gideon is a careful man, and thus he takes his time fulfilling his promise to his mother. He changes his life and works out a foolproof plan. All the while, he is being secretly watched by Eli Glinn, a subcontractor to the Department of Homeland Security. Just when Gideon thinks he has earned the right to a quiet future, Glinn makes him an offer he finds difficult to refuse.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's new series begins with the just released Gideon's Sword. The authors introduce readers to Gideon Crew: an art thief turned physicist turned special agent working for government security. Gideon's unpredictability and unique background make him the perfect operative for Eli Glinn's purposes. Unfortunately, Gideon's lack of formal training as an agent means he can make mistakes, sometimes with grave consequences.

Gideon's Sword is an action-packed mystery-thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. Although Gideon can be sure that one of his opponents, Nodding Crane, is a brutal hit man, he is uncertain about the loyalties and trustworthiness of everyone else he meets during his mission to steal the plans for a new high-tech weapon from a Chinese scientist traveling to the United States. To make things more difficult, no one seems have clear idea of what the weapon might be or why the scientist decided to leave China.

Gideon's arsenal of talents includes quick memorization of facts and numbers and the ability to mimic voices. He can change his personality as easily as he changes disguises, extracting information from his marks without their even realizing it. Gideon is a complex protagonist who generally wants to do the right thing but who has his own code of ethics. Even if you don't condone his decisions, you'll be on his side.

While Gideon's Sword does not end on a cliff-hanger, it most definitely sets you up for the next in series. I hope we don't have to wait very long.

I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Hachette Audio; 10 hr), read by John Glover. Glover does a fabulous job creating tension and getting us inside Gideon's world. His changes in pacing and volume help make this an exciting listen. The only thing I didn't like was the use of some music and sound effects under the narration. Let me be clear that this happens only a handful of times and does not muffle the reading; still, I wish the music hadn't been there. Regardless, I am looking forward to listening to the next Gideon Crew book, and I hope Glover is the narrator.

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Gideon's Sword at Powell's
Gideon's Sword at Book Depository
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Published by Hachette Group / Grand Central Publishing, February 2011
ISBN-13: 9780446564328
YTD: 24
Source: Review, audio and print (see review policy)
Rating: B+
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Sandy Nawrot 3/3/11, 7:26 AM  

Awhile back, I listened to Cemetary Dance by these authors, and while it was a tad wacky, it was really tight and suspenseful. I especially enjoyed the characters. I'm intrigued by the longevity of these two guys, who seem to work well together and have for years. I'll keep my eyes open for this audio!

heyiwanttoreadthat.com 3/3/11, 10:29 AM  

I've heard quite a bit about these authors but have never read any of their work. I really am going to have to give them a try.

Jennifer 3/3/11, 10:30 AM  

You enjoyed the book a little more than I did. I wonder if you thoughts would be slightly different if I had listened to it on audio? I ned to try audio books. Thanks for your review.

iubookgirl 3/3/11, 10:46 AM  

Sounds like a good series to start following. Thanks for the review.

Zibilee 3/3/11, 11:07 AM  

I have read a few books by Lincoln and Child, and haven't been disappointed in even one of them, so this sounds like a series that I must take a look at. They are a really good team, and like Sandy says in her above comment, their narratives are always really tight. Thanks for the great review. This one goes on the list!

Kris 3/3/11, 12:55 PM  

Sounds like an excellent book...and it gets even more kudo's for being good on audio. I'll have to keep this one in mind next time I'm on an audio hunt.

bermudaonion 3/3/11, 1:34 PM  

I'm not a fan of sound effects and music in audio books either. I was listening to one in the car and it had sirens in it and that made me jump a mile high. I'll have to look for this series.

Anonymous,  3/3/11, 2:29 PM  

I read it. I liked it. It was too short.

Julie P. 3/3/11, 3:39 PM  

This one wasn't really on my radar, but I think I might like it...

Coffee and a Book Chick 3/3/11, 6:01 PM  

I tend to enjoy the musical interludes that I hear with some productions. The Passion of Artemisia was one that I really enjoyed and was the first audio book that finally got me hooked into "reading" in this way. I wonder if I would like the music in this one, or if it would be annoying for me as well? Might have to check it out! :)

le0pard13 3/3/11, 6:54 PM  

You got me intrigued with this one, Beth (plus, I'm a John Glover fan). It's going on the TBR pile. Thanks.

Carrie K. 3/3/11, 9:40 PM  

My library just got this title on audio via Overdrive - I was wondering what it was! Thanks for the review - this one is going on my queue.

Beth Hoffman 3/4/11, 9:41 AM  

Your review has me intrigued. I don't recall seeing this author's name before, but think I just might like this book.

Have a terrific weekend!

Jenners 3/4/11, 9:14 PM  

I've not read anything by these authors but I feel like I should. This sounds like a great start for a series.

Robin McCormack 3/6/11, 11:37 PM  

Definitely intrigued on this one.

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