Miranda's Reviews > Cold Vengeance

Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston
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Aug 10, 2011

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I did not really enjoy this installation of the Pendergast series. It's not that it's badly written, but the authors are really starting to move Pendergast's character and plot lines into the conspiracy theory thriller genre. While I love a good conspiracy thriller, what I loved about Pendergast was the archeology, science, museum settings, New York City and New Orleans settings and Holmesian feel.

None of that is evident in the new Pendergast. He even goes so far as to make multiple glaring mistakes (and frankly the mistakes are predictable plot points, maybe that's his problem) that he mocks himself for. He's all over the world, hunting stags in a marsh, finding a World War II Nazi conspiracy and shooting half a dozen men on a boat with magically placed gymnastics and bullets and other feats of spy thriller action rather than his previous Holmesian and seemingly magical insights into human habit, psychology and history. And I know I should be for character development, but I want smart Pendergast back...not good shot Pendergast.

One thing I was super happy to see is that they brought back Corrie Swanson from Still Life with Crows. She's probably one of my favorite characters in the series and I've been wondering about her. Constance is also back, as well as a continuance of the characters picked up in Cold Fever.

I was also irritated that this book is set up as a cliffhanger, for no particularly good reason. The book isn't that long and not that much happens in it beyond a hunting accident and the aforementioned slaughter on the boat. It's complete exposition, with far too much inner monologue, apparently to set up for what I hope is a thrilling finale. But there's nothing in here that demanded such time or explanation that it couldn't have been a completed story.

I had hoped with Gideon's Sword getting their apparent penchant for action adventure/conspiracy thrillers out of their systems, that the two authors would return Pendergast to his New York City or New Orleans history settings and deal with the urban monsters that thrilled me so much in the beginning. Apparently, that isn't going to happen anytime soon. I'm ready for this particular trilogy to be over.
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02/07 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Andrew I agree. While I love the books and the character and will continue to read them, I liked Pendergast because he was more cerebral than the characters in Cussler or Rollins (I like those too, though).


Miranda It's funny, b/c Cussler is who I thought of while reading this one. And I enjoy Cussler for what he writes. I just enjoyed Pendergast doing this thing.


Kristin Lundgren I have to agree in part - I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. But, while I loved the old feel of Pendergast, and part of me wanted to keep him that way, like Holmes, with only tiny glimpses into his inner self, part of me wanted to know what drove him, what made him tick, and they are doing that masterfully. So I think it's a choice - You either like the path they went down, or you don't. I can't decide as usual. ;-) Thanks for the great comments though.


message 4: by Joy (new)

Joy It's a trilogy, so there will be just one more book and then maybe we can get back to the other kind of adventures. FYI - name of the third book is/will be "Two Graves", as in old Chinese proverb: "Before setting out for revenge, dig two graves" or words to that effect. Have to smile -- those two graves have already been dug -- Helen's old, original grave, and the new one Pendergast had to have dug in order to exhume - well who he exhumed was the big mystery, right?


Faith Northmen Agree very much with Kristin. It looks like they're taking Mr. P very Count of Monte Cristo, which is really intriguing, but I miss the monsters and the museum.


Miranda Thanks everyone!


message 7: by Lea (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lea My thoughts exactly.


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