Robert Ludlum’s (TM) The Bourne Initiative, Eric Van Lusbader, author; Holter Graham, narrator
I was terribly disappointed with this book. What I, as a reader, am led to believe is that there is an effort to bring down the world’s economy by several shady figures from Russia and Somalia. It turns out, instead, to be a plot to enable Russia to expand its borders by invading other countries without any interference. This scheme, however, is not discovered until deep into the novel after an obscene amount of violence and gore with bodies piling up in every corner. The solution to the disarming of the Bourne Initiative doe not become clear until the last few pages of the book, and long before that, I was ready to give up. I stayed with it hoping for some twist that would be more engaging.
The overlay of sorcery throughout became a bit nonsensical at times, especially when the idea of brainwashing would have worked just as well, and probably would have been more credible. It didn’t feel plausible that someone could be in complete control of someone he so thoroughly tortured.
The number of characters, none of whom I admired, and the numerous tangential themes were far too distracting and made the story a chore to follow. It should not be such hard work to enjoy a book.
The characters that were the heroes seemed to escape death in every impossible kind of situation. Yet, since the reader knows that Bourne will live, constantly placing him in harm’s way and then miraculously clutching him out of it made it seem a bit unbelievable, and perhaps, a waste of time. When the author waxed poetic it seemed out of place. When the narrator portrayed female characters, he over emoted and made them too sultry. They whispered in sexy, breathy voices and it became harder and harder to understand or hear them. His interpretation of each character was not very clearly differentiated making it difficult to determine which character was being featured.
After awhile the story became very tedious. Still, I continued hoping that it would morph into some kind of a good mystery that did not demand that I suspend disbelief. It never quite came together for me.