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3.9 out of 5 stars43
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VINE VOICEon 7 June 2010
Like many readers of action thrillers, I was hooked on Jason Bourne with Robert Ludlum's first three books way back when. Thanks to Eric Van Lustbader, this `superhero' is kept alive and kicking in the original's great tradition. This book, is part of a trilogy, too - the last part so, unless you're in the groove, as it were, it's complicated. There is Arkadin, there's Soraya Moore showing Bourne and us, the face of moderate Islam, both from earlier episodes but, as always, some very heavy newcomers to the storyline.

Bourne's loss of memory contines to plague him at crucial moments, as he hunts down the killer of an art-dealer friend. She entrusted to him a piece of jewellery which, surprise, surprise, means a great deal more than first thought. Others intent on obtaining the curiously engraved ring believe it will help their cause for world dominance, so, inevitably, Severus Domna will take any action to locate it and use it. That the ring is, in fact, a sort of USB for a missing laptop brings us up to date with technology but there is still the matter of the good old-fashioned Russian killer, Leonid Arkadin, to deal with. Arkadin was similarly trained by Treadstone, Bourne's original outfit before he morphed into a rogue element and is responsible for the killing of Bourne's friend, Tracy Atherton, so the scene is set for a thrilling chase, the hunter hunted, helped along the way by just about everybody else wishing to see Bourne (and, indeed Arkadin) summarily disposed of.

This is number 8 in the long-running series and it won't spoil this book to suggest that number 9 will still fixate on Bourne's amnesia as he uses all his skills to stay alive and discover who he really is, whilst keeping one step ahead of so many enemies. The author writes a great action thriller, very much in the vein of Robert Ludlum but certainly in his own inimitable style. Helped along the way by some marvellous films, there is no let up in Bourne's popularity and this book will do it no harm, either. With such a long list of characters, it can, at times, become a little confusing, especially when there are several global scene changes within the same chapter but don't let this put you off. There's a breath-taking finale which makes all the earlier roller-coaster pages so worthwhile; I'm sure you'll be impatient for book 9, to say the least.
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on 20 May 2014
#8 in the Jason Bourne series. Bourne is again up against his old adversary Arkadin, the Russian assassin.

Some quibbles- p.13 "mass of skeletal humanity...the chat of Hindi and Urdu" and p.16 "I won't take the bike away from you... he said in Hindi" Arkadin is in Bangalore in southern India addressing the local underclass. Only 1 in 40 speak Hindi as their mother tongue and 1 in 8 Urdu though the later has a much higher use amongst down and outs.

P.85 "hovered now like the ravens in the Tower of London" The ravens have their wings clipped to stop them escaping, which would doom the Kingdom, therefore no hovering.

P.103 "Diego spread his hands. I am at your service Senor Stone. he said in true Catalan style*

Diego's father comes from Colombia and lives in Seville.with houses in Cadiz,Paris and London. I think Castillian was meant.
P.463 Arkadin "spoke formally as if he were Catalan, rather than a Mexican" same mistake.

P.211 has Arkadin watching scornfully at multi-million dollar yachts on an Alpine lake. Would such vessels be seen there?

The entire passage seems to be identical with one from another Bourne novel set in Mexico or Monte Carlo, I forget which.

P.261 "Eyeing it (Willard's resume), the receptionist smiled and said Your name?
Wouldn't that be the first thing on the top of the page?

P.521 "on the other hand,there had been attraction.Arkadin's three men had been neutralized"
I think the word attrition was meant.
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This was amazingly disappointing for me as I'm a huge fan of the Bourne films and was hoping to engross myself immediately in the book and lose myself in the action. Unfortunately for me I hit a problem immediately in the book. The Author sets the opening in Bangalore in Southern India. Unfortunately I think the name in an Atlas is as far as he's even got. I strongly suspect his imagery and comments about the city and the squalor were all taken from either visiting Mumbai (Bombay) or seeing pictures of the same. Having worked in India for 18 months I know Bangalore and Mumbai intimately and his description of Bangalore in the book could honestly not be further from the truth. His description is bang on for Mumbai though. So what happened? I suspect the author has been to Mumbai and assumed Bangalore is the same. He set the story in Bangalore because it was once the main hub of software development and outsourcing in India. Whatever the reason ... for me the book flopped. Bangalore is a beautiful and clean city and is/was untainted by western values. Once I realised he'd not done his research I found myself unable to immerse myself in the imagery as it just kept jarring; and so, I had to put the book down. I'm also not sure why Eric Van Lustbader is using Robert Ludlum's Bourne character in a book. Anyway, just a different perspective on what has always been for me a `real-life' character unlike 007. Shame.
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"And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD." -- 2 Chronicles 12:14 (NKJV)

Jason Bourne (aka David Webb) still can't remember very much as the book opens, but flashbacks help direct his steps anyway. More evil characters than you can shake a stick at are aiming at using or stopping Bourne to accomplish some power- or wealth-enhancing ploy. The more interesting parts of the character development show contrasts between highly trained operatives Bourne and Arkady as the two circle one another. How will the potential for violence between them be resolved?

The book connects deeply into earlier plots. I would discourage anyone from starting their reading of the post-Ludlum Bourne books with this one.

I thought that the book's ending was one of the more satisfying ones in the New Bournes.

The best parts of the book for me were the action sequences. Mr. Lustbader does those well. I could easily imagine them occurring in front of me, and the fine action descriptions helped bring the book to life for me.

The book's biggest weakness is that many of the villains don't seem to be real. They feel more like paper targets in a target range waiting for someone to score bulls-eyes on them. Arkady is the exception. His history and menace come across quite effectively.
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on 1 March 2011
The latest in the Bourne series is another fantastic edition in the books of our new favourite Spy.Refering back to previous books occasionally,it keeps the story rolling out of the Jason Bourne verses the baddies,in this instance his old adversary Arkadin !
With some fellow friends to aide him,he gets enrolled into his usual antics,with brilliant twists and turns in the usual Bourne manner to make yet another MUST HAVE book.Quite simply,SUPERB !!
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on 24 June 2010
Having read all the previous Bourne books (both Ludlum's and Van Lustbader), as well as reading most of Eric Van Lustbader's previous books (Ninja, Zero, Miko etc), I had great expectations for this book. Sadly, I felt that this was the worst of the 8 Bourne books. The were so many characters involved, so many sub plots that never really fused into one and seemed to be written just for completeness sake, that this novel seemed very disjointed. Shame because I love the Bourne chronology, am an avid fan of the movies and think that boundaries have been pushed with this work. For example, the latest James Bond films have had to keep pace with the action of Jason Bourne, and have improved as a result.

Eric Van Lustbader writes in the style of Robert Ludlum, and his previous Bourne books were excellent - just think that this was a step too far, where he tried to hard to make everything make sense.

I look forward to book 9, if one is in the making, and would love to see a film of The Bourne Legacy (book 4), to put Bourne back in the public eye.

Overall, a decent read but not one that I would rave about.
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on 20 August 2012
I must declare that I am a long time fan of Robert Ludlum and have not had a poor book from him in the years I have read his tales ( I make one exception and that was The Road to Gandolfo). I also enjoy reading the later ones that have been either co-written or completed by Lustbader, although I am not quite as great a fan of his as I was of Ludlum
Once again the story line goes into intricate detail and has all sorts of twists and twirls, with nothing being what it seems and betrayals galore. Boune prevails as we know he will, although always battered and bruised.

Another good read, but I feel that the Bourne novels should cease now as it gets harder to believe some of the things he does when you consider the age he must be.
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on 22 December 2015
Last one of the series it seems and now I have to find something else to take on holiday with me!!!

Fully up to the quality of previous Bourne novels and an engaging read
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on 14 November 2012
Can't wait for this to be made into a film. Action packed and well written. Could visualise this on the screen. More books like this please.
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on 4 May 2015
Brilliant read. Hardly wanted to put it down! My only question for the author is, whatever happened to Bourne's son who helped him out in battle in one of the previous books and also his daughter? Continuity please, but still enjoyable read.
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