John's Reviews > Tsar

Tsar by Ted Bell
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M 50x66
's review
Nov 18, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

** spoiler alert ** 4 stars might be a bit strong, 3.5 would be better but it's more than 3. As with Bell's other books, there is a lot going on. Characters from "Hawke" are back here as they are in all of the Alexander Hawke books.

In this book, Hawke is recovering from his previous battles in Bermuda when he falls in love with a Russian heiress (Anastasia). Her father is a Nobel-prize winning physicist who is descended from the Korsakov tsars of Russia past. He also turns out to be a psychotic megalomaniac who takes over Russia and tries to ignite World War III.

In the end, Hawke makes a huge sacrifice and saves the day. I found the whole Zeta plotline a bit far-fetched (Korsakov invented a cheap computer and sold millions of them with plastic explosives packed into each one, apparently unnoticed) but somehow it worked.

Ted Bell's use of real characters in his fictional works always seems a bit strange to me. I guess I grew up reading Tom Clancy who never did that. In "Hawke," Fidel Castro interacts with Hawke and other characters, and in this book Vladimir Putin does the same. It's not necessarily wrong, just weird to me.

Also, to steal a line from another review I read, the vivid descriptions of Bermuda definitely made me want to move there!

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