Tag: The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader

#BestsellerCode100: Writer’s Review of The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader

It’s time to take a look at The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader from a writer’s perspective.

This post may contain spoilers.

The Bourne Betrayal* by Eric Van Lustbader

 


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Jason Bourne is a spy who has lost his memory. Now he fights to stay alive while he figures out his real identity and pieces together his past.

Robert Ludlum wrote the first three novels in the Jason Bourne series: The Bourne Identity (1980), The Bourne Supremacy (1986), and The Bourne Ultimatum (1990). After Ludlum passed away, Eric Van Lustbader continued the series, starting with The Bourne Legacy (2004). The Bourne Betrayal is the second novel written by Van Lustbader.  The novels have also been made into a popular movie series starring Matt Damon.

Summary:  In this novel Jason Bourne goes to rescue his friend, a CI deputy director, who has been kidnapped. The chase takes him to Africa where he discovers he might be a pawn in a plot to destroy America.

Genre:

Van Lustbader’s novel is the epitome of a thriller. The pacing is incredibly fast. The action starts strong and just keeps coming. Plus there’s plenty of twists and turns as nothing is what is seems and nobody is who he or she appears to be.

As a thriller we learn about the antagonists early in the book. Now the mystery is whether Jason Bourne will be able to defeat them.

Characters

Jason Bourne is the quintessential thriller main character. He has a mostly flat character arc. Instead of the world changing him, he’s out there changing the world with his daring rescues and superior cunning.

In addition, there’s an extensive cast of supporting characters. Some of the characters are part of Bourne’s back story, such as his wife Marie and his mentor Alex Conklin, who have both died. In fact, it seems like anyone who gets close to Bourne ends up dead.

Jason Bourne’s friend Martin Lindros serves as the impact character. His disappearance while out “in the field” sets the events of the story into motion.

Most of the characters are clear cut, but a few have incredibly similar names, which is confusing for the reader. When Martin Lindros goes missing, Matthew Lerner steps into his position as deputy director.  Jason’s wife was Marie, and Martin’s girlfriend is Moira. The bad guy is Fadi, but Bourne gets help from Feyd. It is a kindness to readers to vary the length and letters in names so the brain can discern them based on only a glance.

Jargon

In this novel the characters often speak in acronyms, which adds a bit of realism because that’s what people in the intelligence field do. The organization Lindros works for is CI, or Central Intelligence. As deputy director he is DDCI. His boss is the DCI (director of Central Intelligence). Another character is an AIC (agent in charge). They are chasing the purchase of TSGs (triggered spark gaps).

“Of freelancers, former NSA operatives now in the private sector.” The DCI shook his head. “That idea is DOA…”

You get the idea.

Extensive use of acronyms can be difficult to carry out. The author must not assume the acronyms are well known, so must define them or give the full name at their first usage. Even then, readers may be jettisoned from the story when an acronym is used later on and they’ve forgotten what it means.

Discussion

The first question we have is why might the computer algorithm have picked this particular book out of all of the series. Although Bourne is mourning his wife and looking for his friend, I don’t think human closeness is really a central theme here. One factor it does have in common with the other novels we’ve read so far is the up and down beats and the fact it is narrated by multiple characters. Perhaps those factors override some of the others.

Eric Van Lustbader has taken on the difficult task of continuing the Jason Bourne series. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to satisfy the expectations of super fans of the original trilogy by staying within the boundaries set by Robert Ludlum, yet move the story along with your own vision. In The Bourne Betrayal Van Lustbader has done a good job with both.

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What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 70. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (2007) – Discussion begins December 26, 2017. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008.

#BestsellerCode100: A Reader’s Review of The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader

The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader is next up on our 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge.  The Bourne Betrayal is Book #5 in the famous Bourne series first written by Robert Ludlum (Books 1-3) and then continued (with approval from the Ludlum estate) by Van Lustbader (Books 4-14).  Van Lustbader is also the author of many thriller and fantasy novels outside of the Bourne series.

Since this is book 5 in a series, there is some back story the author assumes the reader already knows.  If you’ve seen the movies, you have most of that back story.  I was a bit aggravated, though, that I had not read Book 4 in the series, which adds some to Bourne’s back story – I really wanted that tiny wee bit of knowledge, knowledge which this book gave clues to, but didn’t elaborate on.  Otherwise, though, this book does stand alone (if you’ve seen the movies or read the first three Ludlum books).

This post does contain spoilers.

The Bourne Betrayal* by Eric Van Lustbader

 


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Thrillers

I’m glad bestselling novels come in a variety of genres.  Our last book was a fun, sexy romance and here we jumped right into a non-stop action thriller.  And thrilling it is! By now almost everyone is familiar with the Jason Bourne character, thanks to the blockbuster movie series.  Before the movies, though, there were the Robert Ludlum novels, which I loved – all of his novels, not just the Bourne trilogy.  I was unaware that the Bourne series had been continued, though.  I guess I stopped looking for them when I heard that Ludlum had passed away.  So when I saw that this was a continuation authorized by the Ludlum estate, I was hopeful that The Bourne Betrayal would be worth reading – and it was!

In true thriller form, the chapters are short, the action is intense, the characters hop around the globe, the hero is almost superhuman, and sometimes the lines blur between the good guys and bad guys.  While Bourne is chasing the bad guys in Africa and Afghanistan, he gains a useful ally, Soraya, (female, of course) back at the CI in Washington, D.C, a necessity when he is deemed expendable by the Old Man (the head of the CI).  I like the introduction of Soraya – I’m sure she makes further appearances in the subsequent Bourne books, possibly even as a future love interest for Bourne and/or head of the CI.

The short chapters keep the reader bouncing between multiple characters, and each chapter reveals just ever so slightly more bits of the twisting and turning plot that the reader is compelled to read “just one more chapter” and then one more, and then one more.  I spent a couple of very long nights reading way past my bedtime because I simply could not put the book down.

Downsides

Many of the characters in The Bourne Betrayal have Arabic names and I always have difficulties keeping straight characters with unfamiliar names, be it Arabic or Russian or any of the other usual bad guys in spy adventure / thriller novels.  It’s a personal issue, but I was a good halfway through the book before I was able to keep straight the two sets of terrorist brothers.

There were a couple of times while reading where I almost laughed aloud, because so much happens to Bourne physically that he must be superhuman.  There’s no other way to explain how he can just keep going through knife wounds, accidents, attempted strangulations, and explosions.  But then again, this is Jason Bourne we’re talking about.  His superior training and past experiences – many of which he cannot remember – all make him into the ultimate secret agent, the one guy you need to save the world!

The Continuing Bourne Series

I can’t say that Van Lustbader’s writing is as exceptional as I remember Robert Ludlum’s writing.  It’s been far too long since I’ve read any Ludlum novels to be able to make an accurate comparison.  But I did enjoy The Bourne Betrayal and feet that Eric Van Lustbader carries on the intensity and plot twists that were key to the original Bourne trilogy.  I’ve already acquired Book 4, The Bourne Legacy, and queued up Book 6, The Bourne Sanction, to read, if that tells you anything.  If you like non-stop action, exotic locations, and a puzzle to solve, then you’ll enjoy reading The Bourne Betrayal.

 

Related posts:

  1. Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
  2. Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
  3. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective

You can also join us on social media:

__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 70. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (2007) – Discussion begins December 26, 2017. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008.

#BestsellerCode100: Number 71. The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader

Time to start the discussion of our next novel from The Bestseller Code 100 list, The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader.

This post does not contain spoilers.

The Bourne Betrayal* by Eric Van Lustbader

 


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Jason Bourne is a spy who has lost his memory. Now he fights to stay alive while he figures out his real identity and pieces together his past.

Robert Ludlum wrote the first three novels in the Jason Bourne series:

  1. The Bourne Identity (1980)
  2. The Bourne Supremacy (1986)
  3. The Bourne Ultimatum (1990)

After Ludlum passed away, Eric Van Lustbader continued the series, starting with The Bourne Legacy (2004). The Bourne Betrayal is the second novel written by Van Lustbader.  The novels have also been made into a popular movie series starring Matt Damon.

Summary:  In this novel Jason Bourne goes to rescue his friend, a CIA deputy director, who has been kidnapped. The chase takes him to Africa where he discovers he might be a pawn in a plot to destroy America.

Have you read The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Related posts:

  1. Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
  2. Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
  3. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective

You can also join us on social media:

Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this reading challenge? We’d love to hear them.

Have you written about The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader? Feel free to add a link to your review in the comments.
__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 70. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (2007) – Discussion begins December 26, 2017. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008.

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