Gideon’s Sword, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child – Book Review

Gideon's Sword, by Douglas Preston and 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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Gideon’s Sword is available in hardcover at Amazon & Powells and as an audiobook on Audible.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Out of Twenty – Diana Spechler, Author of Skinny, Answers Nine Questions

Review Copy.

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9 Comments

  1. Oh jeez. Well I can see where you are coming from based on your synopsis. I think I’ll stick with Pendergast. I’ve only listened to one of those on audio, but I liked it (even though it did require a little suspension of belief). This one, I think I’ll pass…

  2. I have a friend who simply loves Preston & Child and I’ve thought I should give them a try. But, from you review I think I’ll start with something else. I guess I’ll wait till you read and review the next in the series (yes, I’m letting you take that bullet) before I decide about this new series.

  3. I’m convinced that they have ghostwriters writing for them. A few of their books are outstanding and some are just plain ridiculous. The last one (Fever Dream) was pretty good but a few before that (Cemetary Dance for example) was a complete joke!

    What is going on with them? They used to be so solid.

    1. You know Ti, I hadn’t even though about ghostwriters since their are two of them, but I guess it is a possibility. I think the next book is out soonish (Jan?), so we’ll have to figure it out.

  4. I’ve never read anything from either of these two but I have heard that Preston’s earlier works like Relic are really good.

  5. The Prendergast novels are well developed so each new one falls seamlessly into the series. Gideon Crew is new so I find it no surprise that the authors haven’t quite found his niche yet. That said I found the ‘Sword’ well paced, good detail and characters. The background is as you would expect well researched (said without having the knowledge the authors have of course) and the story was well paced for a scene setter. I look forward to the next instalment.