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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
12
Mount Dragon: A Novel
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change


on 16 February 2015
How do these guys keep up such a good standard ? You must buy it, but be prepared ! YOU WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN !
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on 14 September 2008
The usually-reliable Preston & Child deliver their spin on the well-worn apocalyptic virus scenario and for two thirds of the book succeed admirabley. Unfortunately it then takes a startling detour and becomes a rather tedious desert survival yarn - complete with ludicrous romantic interlude. It picks up again towards the end but don't be surprised if you find yourself skim-reading the final third.
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on 9 March 2015
Up to standard as usual
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on 17 March 2015
I'm a big fan of Preston & Child novels they never fail to entertain.
Unusual storyline & really enjoyable. Looking forward to reading another one.
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on 1 March 2015
Up to the usual standard. They keep your interest and attention from page 1.
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on 12 August 2015
Lots of action and intrigue. A good read.
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on 24 January 2015
Fantastic read as alway. Compelling from the first page to the last.
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on 16 January 2015
Very entertaining and gripping until the end
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on 28 October 1999
Mount Dragon is a story that takes you on a ride that leaves you wanting more. When i read it, i thought it would contain an elemet of fear in the way of a creature. It appeared that it was in fact a virus, a killer disease. I was a bit sadded that it was just mearly this. But, the trademark hold of the Lincoln Preston combination off fast paced thrills and spills was present. the development of the character of guy was very interesting and very well told. Mount Dragon is a very good piece of writing that offers the reader a story to visualise. All credit to Licoln and Preston.(But i would like to see more stuff like the Relic! Please guys, monsters are so coool!!)
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 September 2005
For anyone wondering how Preston and Child have found the time to squeeze out yet another book the answer is that they haven't. Mount Dragon is a reprint of their sophomore novel following their debut with Relic. To the best of my knowledge it has never been published in the UK.
This is a shame, because it is a perfectly good book. Dealing with preoccupations that both authors have revisited since, including the dangers of science out of control and the history of the American southwest, it is not up to the standard of some of their more recent efforts such as Still Life With Crows, but more than holds its own against The Ice Limit and Thunderhead.
The plot involves Paul Carson, a brilliant geneticist working for the GeneDyne corporation, who is transfered to their research facility at the titular Mount Dragon in New Mexico to work on a genetic vaccine for all types of influenza. Once there he quickly discovers that all is not well at Mount Dragon and that hidden dangers pose a threat to all of mankind. Isolated and with a woman he doesn't like as his only possible ally, he must find a way to prevent the spread of a deadly disease before its too late.
In other words it is a straightforward, cautionary tale about the hazards of meddling with genetics wrapped up in a race against time thriller. As usual with Preston and Child however, both the story and the science are handled well. The science of genetics is explained clearly and with an eye to maintaining realism. Enough information is included to educate the lay reader without boring them or slowing the story and events are kept firmly within the realms of possibility. The story meanwhile, unfolds at a steady pace and includes enough twists and turns to keep the reader intrigued without dashing ahead at breakneck speed. The characters are well drawn and given enough quirks to be more than stock 'good guy' or 'bad guy' stereotypes, although as with most thrillers there is not enough time to go into each individual's psyche too deeply.
What elevates Mount Dragon above being a stock techno-thriller however, and hints at the two authors' future promise, is the way that, two thirds of the way through they flip the plot on its head with a twist that reveals much of what has gone before to be a series of red-herrings. This sudden shift, which works perfectly and neither insults nor confuses the reader, leads to a final act that is full of further surprises and greater originality. What had been heading towards being slight Andromeda Strain rip-off is transformed, for the better, into a tale of survival against the elements.
There are weaknesses of course. Whilst the key characters are as well drawn as can be expected, their actions and behaviour do not always ring true. This is certainly the case with the romantic interest plot-line that appears out of nowhere, is cliched and feels a little like the authors ticking a box marked 'obligatory love interest'.
There is also a patent lack of atmosphere to some passages of book. There is obviously meant to be a slowly increasing undercurrent of danger and threat to the scenes set at the research facility during the first two thirds of the book, but this fails to translate from the page and leaves it a little flat. It also makes later events feel slightly rushed and a litte disjointed, as previously unseen threats come to the surface. This lack of atmosphere is suprising for authors who seem to revel in generating palpable fear and tension, but serves to illustrate how they have grown as writers since this book.
Not that it is easy to guess that Mount Dragon was written almost ten years ago. Unlike reprints of some books there are few giveaways to its age. The technologies it deals with, both directly and peripherally, feel as relevant today as they did now, and the desert location has a quality that is timeless.
For Preston and Child fans Mount Dragon will be a fun read that also reveals two authors trying out ideas and concepts that they will use to greater effect in other later novels. For those simply looking for a well written, entertaining thriller it should also more than satisfy. Recommended.
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