2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Full of pace, chases and action, 12 Jan. 2010
The other reviews give a nice overview of the stories so I'll just comment on my views of the trilogy itself.
The pacing is excellent and you're never left hoping for the chapter to hurry up at any stage. Benson's writing style or vocabulary isn't ground breaking, but he has a way of making any topic exciting - when I read the first story would involve a pursuit up a mountain I half rolled my eyes, figuring I'd be bored out of my brains, but when I read the story it was actually one of the best parts of the trilogy as Bond encounters Russians and exciting fight scenes within his own camp upon his ascent.
What I liked also about this trilogy was how mad the main bad guy came across, there's none of this Quantum of Solace (the film adaptation) business where the bad guy is a pathetic weed that ruins how believable the fundamental plot is. The way The Union brand their members with an 'eye tattoo' was another enjoyable touch - far fetched but physically possible, just how I like my Bond villains and gadgets.
I read the entire book in a couple of days that's how much I was hooked into it, each story flows neatly into one another and the way things come to a head at the Cannes Film Festival is fantastic. Never Dream of Dying would make for a great film IMO.
Negatives? Well one thing I could say is that Benson is *far* raunchier than Fleming or John Gardner with his description of Bond's female acquaintances. Where Gardner/Fleming would politely point out that a female was attractive, Benson borders on trashy teen novel with his build ups (and narrations to its "completion"!) of Bond's sexual encounters. It can become a little cheesy but it happens infrequently enough to not really be of concern and doesn't detract anything from the trilogy - it's ultimately no worse than the stuff you've seen in the film adaptations.