Top critical review
Dull, plodding exercise in pre-millennium Bond franchise extension
on 5 December 2015
This long, slow, bloodless, charmless grind is bad Bond written to a Tom Clancy word-count in a pre-millennial time when there was still bookshop shelf-space and holiday suitcases to weigh down. It explains why the Fleming estate has since switched to event publishing with celebrity stunt writers-for-hire.
It's Bond written by an acknowledged "professional fan" and it's all the worst things you've ever heard about fan-fiction. It drags on through page after page of info-dump exposition, anaemic sex, queasy sadism and a couple of the dullest sections of any notional thriller in the history of publishing. Cynical page-count pumping is the only explanation for the turn by turn description of a night playing Mah Jong.
There is none of the character of the original books, and none of the pace, noise and spectacle of the Brosnan phase of the movie franchise it seems to be trying to imitate (unless you count "World is Not Enough" #shudder).
Thanks, Ian Fleming Estate, for dropping the price in the kindle Black Friday sales so I could impulse-buy this cheaply. Thanks amazon for suddenly dropping the number of books in the series on sale so I didn't buy many more.