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Disappointing & Caution Spoilers Below!
on 23 July 2014
The appearance of Felix Leiter’s daughter, Cedar, in this book jarred with me and I kept wondering ‘just how old is Bond exactly?’ a question all fans really should avoid like a shark infested swimming pool. The return of a Blofeld character referred to always as ‘Blofeld’ and not ‘he’ or ‘she’ made the supposed twist at the end about as surprising as the fact that Bond once again taps the wife of the supposed bag guy. There really are no prizes for guessing who the new Blofeld is, and there really should have been more an effort at a mystery.
The whole book seems to follow a pattern established in the original books and Broccoli’s films and already plundered to great effect in "Licence Renewed" and it felt really unoriginal this time around.
On the plus side Gardner does well on the trapeze balancing his characters’ hidden agendas and play-acting despite the quickly predicted twist and lack-lustre red-herrings, and his writing style is once again satisfying Flemingesque.
Bond once more unrealistically has every female he wafts his pheromones in a swoon and falling into his arms. He is certainly old enough to be Cedar’s father (if not grandfather) and reality seemed to be stretched by this objectification of women beyond breaking point. Some of the ‘romantic’ moments verged on farce.
Still, for all that, it was another entertaining page-turner, and not the sort of book to over-analyse. If you liked the SPECTRE based films and the idea of doped ice-cream, killer ants, giant man-eating swamp snakes and killer satellites, you will enjoy this book.