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Robert Ludlum's(TM) The Ares Decision Mass Market Paperback – Aug 28 2012
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"Fast-paced and action-filled, with iconic characters and contemporary themes, the story is a stand-alone-worthy entry in the Covert-One series....Fans of Ludlum and Mills thrillers will find The Ares Decision right on target." (The Free-Lance Star )
"Filled with action, intrigue, and a plot that places the team in a spot they may never survive." (The Oklahoman )
"Don't ever begin a Ludlum novel if you have to go to work the next day." (Chicago Sun-Times )
"The fun...[is] finding out how [our heroes] will manage to overcome a new batch of seemingly insurmountable odds. Fast paced, exciting, and boasting prose that's easier on the eyes than much of Ludlum's own appoint." (Booklist )
"Packed with all the classic Ludlum elements...the intricately engineered plot thunders forward at breakneck pace. Bottom Line: Perfectly executed." (PEOPLE on The Altman Code )
"Welcome to Robert Ludlum's world...fast pacing, tight plotting, international intrigue." (Cleveland Plain Dealer ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
ROBERT LUDLUM was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March 2001. To learn more, visit www.Robert-Ludlum.com.
KYLE MILLS is a New York Times bestselling author of over 10 novels including Rising Phoenix and Lords of Corruption. He lives with his wife in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where they spend their off-hours skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hate to say it but it didn't look so good early on. I found the opening chapters a bit of slow going but fortunately it was only the opening chapters. Sticking it out I was able to get to the good parts, the rest of the book. In fact I really liked what was done with this one. In the previous two books Covert One had started to stray from its roots which were about a highly secret black ops agency that used mainly specialists in other areas as agents when trouble cropped up in areas of their expertise. The main protagonist, Col Jon Smith is an army doctor by day, secret agent by night when the world is threatened by biological super weapons in the wrong hands. In the previous two books, especially The Arctic Affair, Covert One had become extremely visible, at least in the intelligence community, and Col Smith was becoming more agent than doctor. Of course for the purpose of the books he is mainly agent but the plots basically have him playing doctor in the times between cases. In Arctic he was spending his off time training to become a better agent, the doctor bit seemingly becoming an after thought. In this book Covert One goes back to being highly secretive though for reasons of continuity it's mentioned that a dept as big as it was couldn't help but start to leave traces that other agencies in the intelligence community would start to pick up. That is a far cry from the fact that they were actually making demands of other agencies in the US government in the previous books however.
Another nice surprise was the return of Peter Howell and Marty Zellerbach, two characters from the earlier books. Marty, a computer genius with Asperger's Syndrome, plays a big part in the early novels. He really soars when he goes off his meds but they make him a handful to keep on track. In the Ares Decision he only plays a small role but even then he has a propensity to do his own thing no matter what he is asked by Col. Smith or even what he promises. Peter Howell is a retired British intelligence agent, at least officially and from the British. He's not above keeping his hand in for certain groups and Jon calls on him when he feels the situation calls for more expertise in the field than he has. His role in the Ares Decision is a major one. Both characters were absent from recent books.
One character that was present in the most recent book but was absent here was Prof. Valentina Metrace. As she was a recent addition, introduced only in the previous book, one wonders if she will make a return appearance or whether she will disappear if the books go back towards their origins. I enjoyed the character of Prof Metrace, a professor of warfare and a totally amoral woman who happened to be an expert in special weapons not to mention a designer of some of her personal ones. It will be a shame if she totally disappears though her character might be a bit difficult for some authors to write. The amoral attitude towards death and killing can be a hard one to pull off.
The Ares Decision is based mainly in the Horn of Africa with a later side trip in to
Iran. A terrorist leader gets his hand on a weapon that turns ordinary people in to rampaging savages capable of ripping apart the best the world has to offer in special ops squads. On the presumption that it is biological in nature Col Smith is called in to check out the situation and put a stop to it if he can. He decides he needs Peter Howell as part of his support team and the two are soon off to Africa, picking up a South African professor who is an expert in parasites as Jon feels that if there is indeed something biological to this a parasite is the likeliest vector. In the meantime the dictator whose reign is being threatened by the terrorist feels the US has failed him and decides to take up the Iranians on an offer to help him solve his problem. The Iranians are being so generous because they feel that while helping the dictator they can get their hands on a weapon that will help them against the West, particularly the US. The Iranian scenario plays out against a background of current affairs in Iran with their economic troubles, youth chafing under hard line Islamic rule and the US taking a hands off attitude for the most part. It all leads to an interesting storyline with plenty of action and a lot of ambiguity over the Iranian situation, such as exists in actuality. Not everything is sweetness and light between allies or even departments within the same government. A number of times the question of the ends justifying the means arise. It's not all the good guys are riding in on a white charger to triumph over the despicable baddies.
All in all a good book and one I enjoyed. Once I got past the first couple chapters it was tough to put down when I had other things to do. I mean after all, how much sleep you really need. I have no problems with Kyle Mills addition to the Covert One stable of writers and although I can't say it was worth waiting two years, very few books are, I'll give this one 4 stars out of 5.
Cover One Director Fred Klein sends Dr. Jon Smith and his team to Africa to learn what is going on and to abate the threat to Africa and subsequently the world. The Covert-One operatives quickly learn Bahame has deployed a deadly parasite on the Ugandan farmers as a beta test that affirms this evil person cares nothing about killing the innocent. Namibian biologist Sarie van Keure joins Smith and his team to prevent further spreading of the lethal parasite especially with an Iranian delegation wanting it released in the West.
The latest Covert-One thriller (see The Moscow Vector and The Arctic Event) is an excellent action-packed tale starring a strong cast in which the team members, the biologist, and the terrorist are fully developed while the local Ugandans and their country enhance the plot. Fast-paced, Robert Ludlum fans will appreciate Kyle Mills take on Covert One.
This entire series has been marked by above average writing and engaging plots and the latest is no exception. For lovers of the biothriller, this is a another tasty treat.
I am a huge fan of the Covert-One series. I have all the audiobooks and have listened to each of them, other than "The Ares Decision", more than once. That being said, I found The Ares Decision to be the least enjoyable of the series.
Overall, I thought Jeff Woodman did an excellent job of reading. It is easy to imagine that are multiple actors performing. I am on the lookout for more books that he has read. One thing that bothered me was the voice that he used for Sarie van Keure. It sounded a lot like--OK, exactly alike--the voice he used for Valentina Metrace in "The Arctic Event". I found that to be a little distracting.
I was disappointed with the writing. The characters seemed to be different, especially Peter Howell, and less well developed, more one-dimensional than in previous Covert-One novels. I also feel there are gaps in the story that should have been explained. I wondered more than once if I had the unabridged version. (I do.) The Covert-One series has always required a degree of `suspension of disbelief'. For `The Ares Decision' you will have to work at it.
While I have listened to the previous Covert-One novels more than once, "the Ares Decision' may be one and done. Maybe they can get James Cobb to write the next one.