Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:26 PM
OK first with the bad--
1. The dialogue is terrible. Bond should never say, "Is she gonna make it, doc?" Not a Bondian thing to say. The double-entendres, too, are here at their most juvenile.
2. Yes, we've seen these crosses and double crosses before. Some of the plot could use a little work.
3. And, Children of the Last Days (COLD), a cult bent on world domination, has been used before in Gardner--with Scorpius, etc.
Now on to the good--
1. COLD ranks high (strangely so in my estimation) on referring back to other Bond stories. There's a relatively high amount of Fleming references and it makes Bond more human and, dare I say it (?), more Fleming than we've had from Gardner in a long time.
2. The action sequences are excellent. The jet-ski chase is quite exciting. So is the helicopter sequence.
3. The structure of the novel is pretty cool--the first half takes place about five years before the second half. Both parts fit together well.
4. I am very fond of the women Gardner revisits here--Beatrice and Sukie are two of his better creations and it is nice to see them again.
5. It's a pretty fast read and a lot of fun.
So, to sum up, I would say that COLD is a fitting end to the tenure of the standard bearer of the literary Bond of the 80's and early 90's. Find the book, if you can, find a good armchair, and enjoy yourself!