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141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but by no means great
Unfortunately dear Wilbur is taking what can only be described as a downward spiral when it comes to his latest novels.

This book is no exception, while highly entertaining and gripping by most novelists standards, it falls short of his great books.
The villains are one dimensional psychopaths, the heroes are stereotypes and the plot is all too...
Published on 6 April 2011 by E. A. Maclean

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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Those in peril of losing faith in Wilbur Smith.......
Having read every book Wilbur Smith has written, I have always loved his ability to make me feel as if I can see, feel, hear and smell the Africa he writes about, the action sequences so thrilling, the plots well developed and researched, and the lead characters - male and female - so well drawn. With the exception of the truly dire "The Quest" I have enjoyed every...
Published on 19 July 2011 by M. Fisher


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Those in peril of losing faith in Wilbur Smith......., 19 July 2011
By 
M. Fisher (Derby, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having read every book Wilbur Smith has written, I have always loved his ability to make me feel as if I can see, feel, hear and smell the Africa he writes about, the action sequences so thrilling, the plots well developed and researched, and the lead characters - male and female - so well drawn. With the exception of the truly dire "The Quest" I have enjoyed every book.

Now however I am wondering if he has lost his touch (if he actually wrote this of course, as there are rumours to the contrary). This book - poorly researched with glaring inaccuracies, one-dimensional characters, paper-thin plot developments and very little in the way of true "Wilbur Smith" action, was such a disappointment. The sex scenes were either embarrassing or sickly graphic, the violence so unlike him. And the dialogue ("I feel deeply honoured to have received the gift of her love. It is my armour. With her at my side I shall never again know loneliness") - the hero; ("I must have a baby. I must have a piece of you inside me. That will be the ultimate affirmation of our love") - the heroine. Plus lots of "Oh my darling"s. It felt like a bizarre cross between sado-masochistic porn, a Mills & Boon bodice-ripper, and a poorly written action story.

I truly hope that it gets better than this again. I always look forward to his books - or I used to until this.
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars THOSE IN PERIL, 4 Aug 2011
I have been an avid reader of all Wilbur Smith books since the early days. I was hooked when I first read 'When the Lion Feeds' and have read all the Courtney and Ballantyne novels and I loved the Egyptian Novels where I felt I was transported back in time.

His recent books have not been so captivating, although I enjoyed Assegai, but some of that was a little bit tongue in cheek with some of the exploits.

This book is a huge disappointment. Starts of well but disintegrates into what can only be described as a waste of good paper. It seemed that he ran out of ideas of how to fill the middle section of the book and as consequence filled it with a load of nonsense about the main characters on their extended honeymoon!! I almost gave up on it them but kept going. Its a pity because the piracy topic is highly relevant. As an ex Navy man I found the latter stages of the book quite unrealistic. Hector Cross must be some guy, he didn't seem to need any of the people who were in the book to help him capture the villian(s).
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141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but by no means great, 6 April 2011
This review is from: Those In Peril (Hector Cross Novels) (Kindle Edition)
Unfortunately dear Wilbur is taking what can only be described as a downward spiral when it comes to his latest novels.

This book is no exception, while highly entertaining and gripping by most novelists standards, it falls short of his great books.
The villains are one dimensional psychopaths, the heroes are stereotypes and the plot is all too predictable.

It pains me to write such a negative review, as Wilbur Smith has been an omnipotent force throughout my life, accompanying me on wonderful holidays, keeping me amused on long flights and getting me through times of worry and stress with that unique ability to transport the reader to another era, another world.

I yearn for a return to the simmering intensity of the earlier books, the sadness of "When The Lion Feeds", the brilliance of "The Burning Shore", the tales which would suck you in from the very first paragraph and keep you gripped until the last.
Wilbur, you are still the best novelist in the world right now, probably ever, take a look at your last four novels, then your first four, and regain the genius that has for the moment left you.
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable, but not his usual standard!, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Those In Peril (Hector Cross Novels) (Kindle Edition)
I have been a fan of Wilbur Smith for many years and have read just about every book he has written. It sort of runs in the family I guess you could say! Whilst his books normally manage to get me gripped within the first few pages I very nearly stopped reading this book part way through.
The first problem is the factual inaccuracies. A Major commanding a Brigade? Seriously? Brigadiers command Brigades! Then there's the RPG which could split a tank's armour - well really it depends which tank you're talking about but certainly not a modern main battle tank. Then the NATO standard 5.56mm round which is terrible at penetrating armour (yet they are amongst the very best in the world in penetration tests). Oh and who can forget the Duke of Edinburgh talking about the 3rd Battalion of the SAS... Wilbur Smith should have employed a soldier to check his work before it was published.
The second problem is the way in which the book goes on and on about just how "good" everything related to the main characters are. The richest woman in America, the best wine maker, the largest ship, etc etc. It gets tiring after a while because it is unbelievable that one family is surrounded by so much that is just so perfect in every way and is so successful at everything they put their hand to. The point is laboured far too much, which hints at an attempt to increase the word count, whilst not having to think too much about a story.
Some would probably also say that the book is a bit too violent. This could be true to some extent, but I guess the story is what it is and it is about violence. However if Wilbur is going to write in the modern context then perhaps he should be writing about more modern ways of solving problems. So have your violent battle, but when the bad guy is caught, he should be brought to justice, not just shot in the head as if that's what people in the USA or UK do!
I eventually finished the book largely because I was a bit bored and by the end found that I had enjoyed it as a whole. I'm glad I read it on the Kindle not as a normal book because this way I got it much cheaper and wouldn't have thought it worth the full price!!! I know this review seems very negative but overall the book is still better than some.
In summary, it seems to me to be very unpolished and sloppy for a writer as great as Wilbur Smith.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor....very disappointing, 22 April 2011
By 
A. F. Prestwich (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It is many years since I read Wilbur Smith in his African bush era, so I was interested in this change of tack albeit still linked to the African continent. I am afraid I was hugely disappointed with the over the top plot written as if a film script was either in mind or actually being written. The mid-section of the book appeared to be filler whilst he drew up plans for the ending and I found myself skipping pages to get back into some kind of rhythm with the storyline and by the end I did not really care what the outcome was.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near his standard, 25 April 2011
I have read and enjoyed all but this work from Wilbur Smith. This time it is a cross between Boys' Own and a bodice ripper. There has always been a certain raciness to Mr Smith's books but this one is not far short of deliberate pornography. The story line is not up to the usual standard of research, as nobody actually knows too much about these Somali pirates except that they most certainly are not some sort of Robin Hood, taking from the rich to give to the poor. (Excepting possibly the security forces). There is nothing noble or honourable about them at all. As for our heroine - Lara Croft you have competition!

Sorry Mr Smith, but unless you get back to writing the books we all know and enjoy I do not think I shall continue to be a loyal follower.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ghost writing?, 20 Jun 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Those In Peril (Hector Cross Novels) (Kindle Edition)
Not W. Smith's best effort and after 30 minutes of reading, it becomes stereotyped, "the gorgeous hero meet the gorgeous succesful busineswoman and they are soooo talented, can run a marathon, shoot bad guys and speak twelve languages...".... yawn... yawn... yawn... It did not make feel incompetent (I only speak 11 languages...) it bored me...

Predictable and too much detailled sex, I was ashamed to read it on the Subway! You do not need detailled sex in a good book! I really wonder (without prejudice!) if W. Smith actually wrote this one... It is my personal opinion, unfounded and probably incorrect but is it not his usual standard. So do not sue me! just give us another "classic".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Think That Wilbur Smith Wrote This, 21 Aug 2013
This review is from: Those In Peril (Hector Cross Novels) (Kindle Edition)
This book was so bad that I am convinced that Wilbur Smith was not the author. I rather suspect that it was written by a 'co-author'(as Wilbur and Mrs Wilbur would put it in their new franchising venture), but even then, surely Wilbur should have check-read some of the drafts before he allowed something of this banality to go out under his name? After I'd finished a couple of chapters I felt compelled to look up Wilbur Smith on the internet to confirm his age because I wanted to know if he had by any chance become senile, and rather concluded that he had! Wilbur's previous writing - and I have read many of his books - has always been characterised by depth of character, well researched detail, and vivid descriptions of countryside, nature and climate, all of which immerses one into the flowing passages as the various plots unfold. This book was miles off that, and rather resembled self published tack. Many of the action scenes contained such unlikely and impossible detail; such as for example a helicopter which shut down and stopped its main rotor in mid air, then restarted it before impacting the ground - and the main villain being able to shoot people with head shots of millimetric accuracy time and time again whilst bouncing on the back of a 4WD being driven down an unmetalled desert track. The introduction of gratuitous pornographic vignettes, some of which involved lascivious detail of the rape of children, added nothing to the plot and served only to raise questions about what things actually go around the author's head, whoever she or he actually is. There was also evidence of subliminal racism which had not been expunged during edit, such as part of the narrative (ie not vocalised by the characters) which runs along the lines of 'XXX was an Arab, but actually was quite trustworthy' as if the Arabic race was naturally inclined to untrustworthiness. I said 'along the lines' here because I'm afraid I no longer have the book. For the first time ever I consigned a 'Wilbur Smith' to the dustbin (yes - despite Amazon thinking I have the Kindle edition..... if I had the K edition I would have removed from device and then removed from library instead).

Then I decided to write this review, and going back to the dustbin to retrieve the tome for direct quotes, it was already covered with last night's dinner scraps. A worthy end to this very sub-standard effort.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Sexist Hackery, 23 Oct 2011
I have been a huge Wilbur Smith fan since reading Goldmine at 15. As others have suggested, he has been off the pace in his last couple of novels - Assegai was good but not great. This book is dreadful. I read it to the end but the luridly awful sex scenes combined with the worse than usual two-dimensional characterisation was very disappointing. If you are new to Wilbur Smith - do not start here!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars tina, 7 Oct 2011
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Very very disappointing and very badly researched especially when it comes to the nautical side of things. What really comes to mind is Tom Clancy meets Barbara Cartland.
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