Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Dominion by Eric Van Lustbader (Orion)

Bourne’s enemies are gathering force. Severus Domna, a secret and ancient cabal, has called forth its members from around the globe, with one objective: to vanquish the last person capable of destroying their bid to de-stabilize the world economy – Jason Bourne.

The Jason Bourne novels are something that I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time now. The Bourne Dominion may be the ninth book in the series, but it was the only one that the store on the Ferry back from France had, and none of the other books that were on offer really grabbed my attention. So I picked it up (Along with a Star Wars tie-in, Christie Golden’s Ascension, but more on that later), and devoured it quickly on the overnight journey home, and despite having only read the first novel (which I really enjoyed) and seen the films (which are probably my favourite set of spy movies, aside from The Bourne Legacy of course, which I wasn’t too keen on), it was accessible, fast paced and entertaining, even if it wasn’t the strongest written book in the world, and was perfect for a good, light slice of holiday reading and a way to return to one of my favourite fictional characters, even if for Bourne, a long time has passed since the conclusion of the novels that the film trilogies were adapted from.

The Bourne Dominion is Eric Van Lustbader’s sixth entry into the Bourne series and he delivers a fast paced, high adrenaline read. The book pits Bourne against a mysterious secret cabal known as Severus Domna, who only have to kill one person if they want to wreak havoc to the world’s economy, essentially destroying it. However, the bad news for them is that the one person happens to be Bourne, who, as fans of the series will know, is pretty hard to take down. However, Severus Domna have come up with a plan, to turn one of Bourne’s most trusted friends, Boris Karpov, who will be promoted to the top of the FSB-2, Russia’s most powerful spy agency, but only if he can kill Bourne first.

So naturally, he’s pitted against the odds as we embark on a global thrillride that features as many as three different continents visited in this novel alone. The stakes are naturally incredibly high and the espionage and intruige is pulled off well, pitted against a fascinating web of conspiracy that keeps unfolding as the plot develops. If you’re looking for a complicated and unpredictable thriller that isn’t afraid to pull twists and turns, then this novel is your best bet, even if it’s likely that veteran fans of the Bourne series will have probably long since passed their judgement on this book. Something that I was annoyed at however was the fact that even in the ninth book, Bourne’s loss of memory still haunts him, and prevents him from remembering key information which can be frustrating at times. However, that I found, was only one minor niggle, and although the writing may not quite match Ludlum’s original quality, it is still a decent efford from Lustbader who has had plenty of practice with the popular thriller character.

The book may take a while to get going, throwing in too many characters too early, but if you can put that aside, The Bourne Dominion will be worth the effort as the payoff in the third act is a lot stronger than what come before. There’s some good character development and the story moves at a quick pace, and there’s enough there to keep you coming back for the follow up, The Bourne Imperative, which is high on my to-read list and I’ll be checking out when I get the chance, as well as going back to read the older novels that I haven’t yet read. With everything taken into account, it comes with a cautious recommendation for thriller fans.

VERDICT: 7/10

The Jason Bourne Series: The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Legacy by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Sanction by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Deception by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Objective by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Dominion by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Imperative by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Retribution by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Ascendancy by Erick Van Lustbader

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