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3.8 out of 5 stars60
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 June 2010
As with all the previous Bourne books, "Identity", "Supremacy", "Ultimatum" and "Legacy", the Betrayal is a gripping read. The reason I gave it four stars rather than five is that I found it difficult and slightly off putting, getting my head and tongue around all the foreign names of characters. I also purchased The Bourne Sanction and The Bourne Deception. I will review these books when they are read. If you thought the Bourne films with Matt Damon were good then you will love the books because they are in a different league. The films come nowhere near telling the stories the books portray. If you don't have any and are an avid reader, then I would advise buying the whole set of Bourne books. Your bookshelves will love you for it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 December 2013
The Ludlum originals were pretty far-fetched, but these sequels, of which this is the second, really take the biscuit when it comes to ludicrous fantasy.

The author clearly decided he wasn't up to continuing with the relationship between Bourne and Marie (which was one of the strengths of the original Bourne trilogy). In his first attempt (Bourne Legacy) he simply sends Marie and the children off to a safe house at the outset and then hardly mentions them again. In this one, he takes the easy way out and kills her off (from pneumonia). Neither does he follow up the interesting part of Legacy (the discovery that Bourne's son by his first marriage actually survived). The older son is never mentioned in this book.

All we get are endless sadistic descriptions of extreme brutality. I suppose there must be rather sad people out there who enjoy reading page after page describing horrific injuries. But I have to admit I find that sort of thing desperately unappealing. I suppose I could take it if the story were compelling. But it isn't. It is complete nonsense. Yes, we get the usual stuff about the CIA wanting to kill Bourne (that becomes more and more difficult to believe with each story since they all end up with him saving America). And, as usual, there is a genuine fiend out there who also wants to murder Bourne. Carlos is now dead, so we have to find someone else with a motive for killing Bourne. This time it is a terrorist whose father was seriously injured by Bourne and whose sister is thought to have been killed by him. We are given no explanation of why Bourne had done those things. I suppose we are meant to accept that his comfortable life as a harmless university professor (as he was when Ludlum left him) came to an en end and he resumed his career as a hired killer for the USA.

Not only is Bourne now the chameleon we always knew him to be, but he, and the evil terrorist, are now apparently capable of changing their appearances so successfully that they can actually pretend, successfully, to be other real people. Close friends and relations, we are led to believe, are completely taken in. This is nonsense on a grand scale.

What is really sad is that sadistic, nasty, nonsensical books of this sort have readers who apparently like them. I do hope I never have the misfortune to meet anyone who admires this beastly rubbish.

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Anyone familiar with Eric Van Lustbader original work can attest that he is a very good action-thriller writer. I would recommend NINJA and WHITE NINJA without any reservation. The BOURNE BETRAYAL however is an entirely different story...

As with DUNE and the GODFATHER, whenever a publisher has different writers attempt the continuation of a book franchise after the passing of the original author, this fails. Miserably.
Trying to walk in someone else's footprints will produce an unfamiliar stride and an unnatural gait. Similarly, trying to write on someone's else's ink-marks yet produce something original at the same time is just awkward. And that is the feeling this book leaves you with.

Gone are Ludlum's serpentine plot twists. The plot is so thin that saying anything about it would spoil it entirely. Despite its 700 pages, this is as shallow as a movie script pitch - and the big screen is what it is obviously aimed at.

It has gone far enough. Let's not encourage them anymore...
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on 5 January 2009
I originally bought the first three of the Bourne books as a result of my great liking of the new films of the same name; indeed, I have always been under the impression that a greater appreciation of a given story can be attained from the reading of a book than its corresponding film. Suffice to say I adored the first two novels - Identity and Supremacy - but somehow felt that the third of the series lacked a little something.

I nearly refrained from purchasing the Van Lustbader Bourne books from fear that they would be nothing more than stretching the story, as is not unheard of within television shows these days. But upon reading The Bourne Betrayal I found that this was by no means the case: I found the story to be absolutely fantastic! A brilliantly written and immersive spy-thriller, with a substantial, and what I believe to be inspired, twist in the plot.

I have noticed some of my fellow reviewers expressing dissappointment in the techniques and style with which the book was written, which is their prerogative, but personally I would argue that these are merely a result of a new author, and though it is true that certain differences can be noticed I feel that - yes, the style of the writing features a few differences from the originals, but further that Van Lustbader's take on the story of Jason Bourne is superb in its own right and ever remains true to the original novels.

An excellent read :)
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on 24 February 2011
I enjoyed this marginally more than the previous book in the series (The Bourne Legacy). Having said that Lustbader's action pieces are still occasionally hard to understand, and Bourne's face-swopping thing was quite frankly ridiculous.

Thankfully the good far outweighs the bad. 'Betrayal' contains a clever, intricate plot with lots of twists and surprises. It's never completely clear how the book will end. The locations are also very nice. I really enjoyed reading about Ethopia, Turkey, and the Ukraine. The lenghty foot chase through Odessa was the highlight of the book for me.

One thing Lustbader does better than Ludlum is villains. Carlos aside, I can't remember much in the way of villains in the first three books. In this entry there are lots of different threats to Bourne, all with distinct names and personalities and varying motivations. The lenghthy Arabic names are sometimes annoying but it's only a minor complaint.

The timeline of these latest two books doesn't mesh all that well with the first three, most glaringly Bourne's age. You just have to use your imagination though to get past it (which is part and parcel of reading books anyway). Lustbader writing about a 60 year old spy with knee trouble wouldn't have been nearly as much fun to follow. It's much easier to simply pretend Bourne was younger than stated in the original trilogy and get on with it.
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on 18 January 2014
#5 in the Jason Bourne series and a good fast-paced read.
Some quibbles/errors p.63 having killed a hotel waiter in D.C "You broke his neck" Strange as on p.62 he had slashed his throat from side to side. The murderer then strips the corpse to assume his identity, something impossible if covered in blood. The waiter a Pakistani Moslem also displays a vast knowledge of Jewish-owned firms.
p.311 etc. refers to a character as Sarah ibn Ashef. Should she more properly be called Sarah bint Ashef?
P.347 "...Blue Mosque on one side and the Hagia Sophia ,built a century earlier, on the other." It was built eleven centuries before.
p.414 "Bourne and Feyd al-Saoud had known each other for some time. They had worked together once in Iceland."
Bourne had not spoken or worked with him, only stepped over his sincerely dead body.
It should have been his Russian friend Boris Karpov.The Saudis are mainly into the supply side of Islamic terrorism.
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on 5 June 2014
I was so disappointed with this novel that I have been unable to complete it. The story line was too far fetched and the characterisation too superficial to keep my attention engaged. I also found the initial action scenes to be contrived and poorly written. In my opinion, this book is not one of Lustbader's best; I expected so much more from the latest in the Jason Bourne series.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and Writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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on 7 March 2013
The book starts with more twists and turns than a curlywurly. However after the story reaches half way it loses the intrigue and turns into a straight action story with all the story lines in the open. I was expecting one major twist to occur at the end but nothing happened. Some parts of the story lacked credibility which would not really come across very well in a film, even though this is clearly written for the big screen.

I enjoyed reading the book but thought it could have been better written. I thought about 4 stars, but settled on 3 because it didn't encourage me to read any more books in the saga.
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on 4 June 2014
More twists and turns than a rollercoaster!! I was loathe to put it down at nightime, wanting to know what was going to happen next, to the point that I did sneak a peek at the last page midway through, because I got a bit worried my hero wasn't going to survive the many beatings/stabbings etc. he'd had from the outset! A good read, but I did not give it a five star rating because I was very disappointed that Bourne's son Khan, was not featured at all in this book considering his major role and reunion with his father in the previous book! This was a disappointing lack of plot consistency for me
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on 6 February 2010
If you loved the Bourne Movies, you have got to read the books.

With Ludlum's untimely death, Eric Van Lustbader has taken on the mantle as 'the chronicler of Bourne'. He's no Robert Ludlum, but he the next best thing...... Lets hope these 'sequels' make it to the silver screen. Robert Ludlum: The Second Bourne Trilogy: The Bourne Legacy, The Bourne Betrayal, The Bourne Sanction: The Bourne Trilogy
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