From the bestselling author of First Blood comes a spectacular thriller, in which a former Navy SEAL and a Japanese samurai master are bound together in a terrifying past that never happened.
The plot, however, is very interesting and has a lot of potential which is the only reason why I finished the book. I kept on imagining how good the book might have been if a talented writer was to have written it. If a talented screenwriter was to get a hold of this book, it may be a really good film as long as Morrell has no influence on it whatsoever. I give it two stars on the basis that there are some interesting facts on the Japanese - U.S. relationship and the story is a good idea. Other than that, I have nothing good to say about it and I will never read another Morrell book again.
The characterization is so believable that as a reader, I began thinking ahead to figure out the puzzle and way out of the circumstances for the characters, as if I was an actual participant. The story is that immersive and Morrell's craft is that is that skilled. He pulls you in, and once in, you are in for a great ride; like an E-ticket at Disneyland!
If you have any interest in espionage, executive protection, Japanese culture, honor, action or on-the-edge-of-your-seat storytelling, this is the novel for you.
One of the first things I noticed was how affected the dialogue comes across, a problem which prevades throughout. Some authors just can't do it well, and if this is representative of Morrell's other work, then he should go with (even) more action in his stories. Conversations were just plain stilted most of the time, conjuring up a bad soap opera or melodrama. I just didn't find the characters interracted with each other with any sense of the depth he clearly wanted to convey.
The plot did have some interesting turns, but I found the end which tied everything together not at all plausible. Yeah, I understand this is action-oriented fiction, but I've read other such stuff and found it just a whole lot more believeable (or at least required less suspension of disbelief). And that was quite a let down, since the book build you up to this climax for 450 prior pages.
Overall this is the kind of stuff Michael Crichton does a whole lot better.