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THE BOURNE SANCTION
By Eric Van Lustbader
Grand Central Publishing, 2008 ($25.99)
Reviewed by Cherie Jung
Jason Bourne finds his life as David Webb, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University, stifling after so many years of adrenaline charged missions for the CIA. When the opportunity to investigate a student's murder in relation to a terrorist plot on the United States presents itself, it's no wonder he jumps at the chance to investigate a previously unknown Muslin extremist sect. Of course, the CIA also want to find out more about this organization called the Black Legion and their plot to attack the U.S. -- and guess what? Someone has decided to kill Bourne, once and for all.
To quote a line from the movie Sabrina (Harrison Ford version) "Sometimes more is just... more."
I'll admit I'm biased. I don't think Lustbader does justice to the Bourne franchise. I think his pacing is off, his characters too one-dimensional and the overall effect boring. A spy thriller should not be boring. A Jason Bourne adventure should not be boring or predictable.
To be honest, I have read a few books by Lustbader that I enjoyed. That was many, many years ago. (Before he decided he was a great writer...) But I can't say that I like the way he's handled any of the Bourne books he's been responsible for writing after the death of Robert Ludlum.
Perhaps it's time to let Jason aka David Webb retire and learn to deal with civilian life on his own.
If you are a die-hard, can't wait, Bourne fan and/or a fan of the Lustbader Bourne books, then by all means, pick up a copy of THE BOURNE SANCTION now. Otherwise, I'd suggest waiting until the book becomes available in paperback (April 28, 2009) before plunking down any money for it.
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