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Tsar (Alexander Hawke, #5)
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Tsar (Alexander Hawke #5)

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,760 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Swashbuckling counter Spy Alex Hawke returns in New York Times bestselling author Ted Bell's most explosive tale of international suspense to date. There dwells, somewhere in Russia, a man so powerful no one even knows his name. His existence is only speculated upon, only whispered about in American corridors of power and CIA strategy meetings. Though he is all but invisib ...more
Hardcover, 501 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Anna
Mar 23, 2015 Anna rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anna by: series
Shelves: britmania
This is hardly the page-turner I was anticipating ...
The hallmark of this series is that Bell gleans just enough information from headlines to pull together a convincing series of intertwining scenarios that form the skeleton for the action in the story.
The main characters are larger-than-life, full of bravado with a wry humor and the action is hyperbolic.
It took about 30 chapters for the storylines to even begin to come together, but they never really seemed to coalesce. All of the elements are
...more
Jerome
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
I'm sort of addicted to the Lord Alex Hawke series. They're quirky spy-story page-turners with fun characters and more gadgets and machines than Bond himself. They're fast reads, but still give you something to think about as the plots are crazy incarnations of current events.

The latest Hawke adventure pits him against a self-styled Russian tsar scheming to bring back the great Soviet Union. There are fantastic new air ships! Antique motorcycles! Fast boats! Beautiful girls! Brain-shaped compute
...more
Enrique
Boy of boy, this by far has been the worst spy thriller I have ever read. What can you say when some of the main characters in the novel keep saying baby to each others. The characters are not two or one but zero dimensional. The timelines are ridiculous. The main character is 33 years old yet fought in Gulf War 1 as at Harrier pilot. If that is the case he must have been
Stephen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason
I wish I could have been one of the chosen few to write the Praise for Ted Bell quotes on the back cover. Those guys must have been paid pretty handsomely to give this book a positive review.

There are several aspects of this book that are bad, questionable, unnecessary or that just plain baffle me, but I'll just give you the big ones and move on:

-- There is a terribly long and fairly pointless buildup to what is eventually the main plot line. It isn't until page 140 or so that the primary plot l
...more
Brett Roller
The Bond movies have almost always been smash hits at the box office and many fans know 007 was based on a double agent who hung out in Portugal during World War II, but I’m pretty sure Alex Hawke is a completely fictitious character from the mind of Ted Bell. Hawke is the playboy super agent for the 21st century with a little late 90′s metrosexual emotional bull tossed in.

Now don’t get me wrong. He’s a man’s man shooting around Bermuda on a vintage racing bike at speeds well beyond those recomm
...more
Jackie Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bess
My stepmother occasionally gives me books, and while they're often not exactly my cup of tea, I've learned to stop for a minute & realize that my stepmother is the reason I still have a job. She's one of the only people I know who buys books! She doesn't take them out of the library or obtain them secondhand at the Strand -- no, she'll be at a store shopping for other, completely unrelated things, and suddenly be like, "Hmm, that looks like a cool book, I think I'll buy it." Totally randomly ...more
Erin
My review is - I'm so glad that's over! Unbelievable situations, ridiculous characters, juvenile dialogue, physical impossibilities ... I don't think I need to go on.

I'm a fan of Clive Cussler & that vein of action/adventure and I love a good spy novel but this was really a waste of time.

I think there were just too many holes in the plot. I can suspend disbelief in search of a fun tale (ala Cussler) but seriously? It takes a subcontracted security guy to solve the bomb scenario? A guy with
...more
Bart
I gave this book an F--- (that's three minuses) on my personal A to F scale. I would have given it no stars on Goodreads, but I figured that wouldn't count against it in the tallies of all reader reviews. So I gave it one star, which is more than it deserves.

This is quite literally one of the worst books I have ever bothered to read all-the-way through. The plot is so ridiculously implausible, and the author has nowhere near the writing skill to convince me (at least) to suspend disbelief.

This
...more
Joe
Nov 28, 2008 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: spy thriller readers
Recommended to Joe by: talk radio
If you are into James Bond type spy mysteries/novels, this is as good as any recent, and there are a lot of them out there (I'm barely scraping through "Stone Cold" by Baldacci right now).

The author is better than most in plot, conflict, character development, and descriptions, but a little too heavy on decor and architecture.

He even adds some interesting quotes such as Mark Twain's comment about Bermuda, "You can go to heaven, I'm staying right here."

This is a fast action thriller that is a lit
...more
Dave Carroll
I'm glad I reserved this book almost exclusively for bathroom reading because it didn't deserve any additional investment of time. Without a doubt, one of the cheesiest spy novels I've ever read. The writer's fascination with Bond borders on girlish. It's too bad that the character he crafted from that inspiration is so flat, predictable and immature. "Lord Alexander Hawke" is certainly not a man I'd trust with the fate of the world. Bell really needs to do more research on military equipment an ...more
Mark
I eagerly awaited this new Hawke...so far, it doesn't disappoint...the West's interests are threatened, beautiful women and a trusty sidekick all weave a page turner...parts of the book are torn from the front pages of European papers...decent background on a rising threat of renewed Russian nationalism...Hawke's love interest again proves to be problematic...a fun ride!!!
Mike
This amounts to "more of the same" --- as is the case with many/most authors. For instance, Dan Brown novels (to me) seem pretty much all alike, as are novels by Stuart Woods. I'm fascinated when the works of an author are markedly different, as is the case with Peter Carey. I've read that this (the author's works being different in style) is also true of John Williams, but so far I've only read one of his books ("Stoner"). Anyway, I'm left to puzzle over why I find myself enjoying these all-the ...more
Jeffrey
Good writing - interesting story. Found this at a book sale and look forward to going back and reading the first four. A lot of interesting characters in the book.

Typical adventure action type story, interesting bit with Putin in a Russian prison that was creative writing - which that chapter is representative of the creative writing throughout.

The airship travel is novel and well done, as are many of the other components. Some unique aspects that kept me reading this.

And the hidden gem for me w
...more
Samuel R. Colletto, Jr.
If I can at least finish a bad novel, I'll give it two stars. I hardly ever stop reading a book primarily because I hate leaving anything unfinished. However, with "Tsar," I'm making an exception.

I cannot fathom how I managed to get through 21 chapters/235 pages of this cliched, contrived, unoriginal, verbose nonsense. This is no exaggeration: I think roughly 200 pages out of the 235 I managed to read (choke down, really) were devoted to superfluous description and cheesy dialogue. I also tried
...more
Jennifer
Sep 16, 2009 Jennifer added it
Recommends it for: Tom Clancy Fans
Shelves: will-loan-out
A more Navy Seal type "James Bond" is called on to save the democratic free world from the clutches of a strong Russia. I'm reading it for action and it has a present-day conspiracy feel to it...

Ted Bell may be my new "Tom Clancy" Fix... I plan to read more of is titles
Randy


Now in paperback, New York Times bestselling author Ted Bell’s latest action-packed thriller features the return of counter spy Alex Hawke as he faces a global nightmare of epic proportions.

Somewhere in Russia, there dwells a man so powerful no one even knows his name. His existence is only speculated upon, only whispered about in American corridors and CIA strategy meetings. Though he is practically invisible, he is pulling strings—and pulling them hard. For suddenly, Russia is a far, far mor

...more
Gary
Outstanding winter read, the Tsar's plan for world domination came from left field and made perfect sense. Got me wondering why it hasen't been tried already.
Wayne
This, the 5th Alexander Hawke novel, has everything: daring-do, adventure, intrigue, bad guys, good guys, love, etc. In TSAR, Lord Hawke and his cohorts Stoke, Brock, etc.along with the US President are faced with a mysterious Russian leader with plans to make Russia the most powerful nation at the expense of the US and Britain. They face impossible challenges in resourceful ways. One must cast away doubts, and just sit back and enjoy reading this fanciful adventure story. TSAR introduces Anasta ...more
Ed
#5 in the Alex Hawke series. Alex Hawke, British Lord, billionaire, ex-fighter pilot and SBS member, is also the descendent of the pirate Blackhawke. Acting as a government agent, often in agreement with the U.S., he is a modern day James Bond.

Alex Hawke is recuperating from his Amazon adventure on Bermuda when he meets the beautiful daughter of a powerful Russian. The man has composed a symphony, is about to receive the Nobel Prize in physics, designed a powerful yet inexpensive computer, and d
...more
Birgit
A good beach book even in the winter. Intersting technology; likeable main characters.
Keith
Amazing. Never had a dull moment, and the ending was incredible.
Douglas Cook
First sentence - "The end of the world was in plain sight."
Kara Jorges
Swashbuckling British spy Alex Hawke has been healing his body and soul in Bermuda after the ravages of his last adventure. He whiles away his days swimming in the ocean and sunning himself on a private beach. One day, a beautiful woman rises up out of the sea. Anastasia Korsakova is the daughter of Count Ivan Korsakov, a brilliant industrialist who is rumored to be even more powerful than the Russian president. Korsakov is beloved the world over for his invention of the Zeta computer, a brain-s ...more
Jarkko
Maybe I am getting old, but I didn't like this book. It should contain all necessary things for a cool agent story but somehow it never caught me. There is the Bermuda islands, Miami, funny talking agents who know how to swear in a cool way, beautiful babes, modern weapons and violence.

My first irritation came when reading about Fancha and Stokely in the beginning. I kept asking myself: why should I read about these guys??? Why is Ted Bell writing like 10 pages of some Fado singer looking pretty
...more
Sandy
As an avowed Russophile, I'm simply a sucker for any thriller that takes place in or heavily involves Russia (especially contemporary Russia). "Tsar" certainly has its moments, setting up a very imaginative crisis that the hero, MI6 agent Alex Hawke and his fellow spooks must rush to solve. The book takes place in some sumptuous settings and Ted Bell really works in some interesting tidbits of Russian history and culture. However, I thought the book was a bit plodding, took way too long for the ...more
Wayne Wilson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Billy
Good story w/ so-so storytelling..., (I will add that my review of this book on Amazon was actually attacked quite viciously by the author which I found to be very unprofessional...)

I finished this book several days ago, but waited to write the review, considering how best to put in to words what I liked & disliked about this work. This is the first book by Ted Bell that I have read. I see that he has many others, most which seem to be centered on the "hero" of this work, English spy Lord Al
...more
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Ted Bell, formerly Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University and Writer-In-Residence at Sidney-Sussex College, is a full-time writer. He is the author of 9 consecutive New York Times Bestsellers. His novels include the Alex Hawke series of spy thrillers published by Harper & Collins. And the Nick McIver Time Travel Adventures published by St. Martins. His books are international bestsellers, pu ...more
More about Ted Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Alexander Hawke (9 books)
  • Hawke (Alexander Hawke, #1)
  • Assassin (Alexander Hawke, #2)
  • Pirate (Alexander Hawke, #3)
  • Spy (Alexander Hawke, #4)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7)
  • Warriors (Alexander Hawke, #8)
  • Patriot (Alexander Hawke, 9)
Hawke (Alexander Hawke, #1) Assassin (Alexander Hawke, #2) Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6) Pirate (Alexander Hawke, #3) Spy (Alexander Hawke, #4)

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