Gideon’s Sword by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Gideon’s Crossing by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Twelve-year-old Gideon Crewe watches as his father is gunned down and subsequently labeled a traitor by governmental employers, looking to scapegoat him for a mistake which cost several Americans their lives. Gideon learns the truth of the matter on his mother’s deathbed when she asks him to get revenge on those who destroyed his father’s credibility and life. Like dear old dad, Gideon is a terribly smart cookie, and teaches himself all kinds of technology, spy techniques, and good old-fashioned lying- of the pathological kind- for the sole purpose of carrying out his mother’s wishes. The only problem is that he gets so good at what he does that a government sub-contractor makes it hard for him to say no to stealing a set of weapons plans from a Chinese scientist.

A late-comer to the charms of the Preston and Child collaboration having only last year discovered their Agent Pendergast series, I was very much looking forward to the début of their new series. It started off well enough. Gideon is intelligent, witty and charming when need be, and super focused on attaining his objectives. However, the story quickly strays from intelligent and plausible to over the top camp at every turn. It’s possible to limp along to the end of the book on the strength of Gideon’s charm, but the new series is pretty uneven and yet hasn’t decided what it wants to be when every scene begs the question whether it should be taken seriously. There is only so much disbelief that one can suspend.

At this point the second book warrants a look, but if it’s more of the same then this is likely not the series for me. Fans of action and cutting edge technology may find more is offered to them in these pages than I did.

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