Jason Bourne #11: The Bourne Retribution by Eric Van Lustbader (Orion)

Still reeling from Rebeka’s death, Bourne is drawn back into the fight between the Mexican cartels when he learns that his nemesis Ouyang Jidan is involved. Determined to discover the connection between the Chinese official Ouyang and a deceased drug lord, Bourne sets off for Shanghai. . . where he’ll face his greatest threat to date.

With a new Jason Bourne movie on the horizon I thought it would be probably a good idea to read as many of the novels in the character’s series as possible in order to prepare. I’ve read four so far including The Bourne Retribution and I’ve yet to find anything in the series that matches up to the quality of Robert Ludlum’s original novel which shouldn’t really come as any surprise. But it’s becoming clear that Lustbader is gradually getting better in his role, and it was interesting to see where he took Bourne given by book eleven, he’s done pretty much everything short of going into space at this point.

Here, Bourne is mourning Rebeka when he’s pulled back into a mission that could lead him to the man who was responsible for her death. It’s a revenge driven narrative that takes him to various locations along with Mexico’s newly appointed Chief of the anti-drug enforcement agency, Carlos Danda Carlos and their anti-terrorist specialist Eden Mazar. But Bourne can trust nobody, and as twists and turns are pulled throughout the novel, you’ll be left on the edge of your seat as you race to find out what happens next.

The book moves along like a video game with bad guys who seemingly get harder to fight each time the novel goes on, and manages to remain accessible to anyone who’s at least seen the movies regardless of what may have happened before, and it’s fairly obvious to figure out where everybody stands. It’s easy to see who’s out for the titled Retribution, and while you know that Bourne will eventually emerge on top because well, he’s Jason Bourne, The Bourne Retribution is still a solid, escapist thriller that fans of the series will enjoy.

There isn’t anything new that goes on in The Bourne Retribution that hasn’t already been covered before, with plenty of clichéd action sequences throughout. But it is a solid entertaining Summer read that Bourne fans will enjoy, even if you probably should go back and read Ludlum’s novels before reading this one from Lustbader.

Fans of the genre will get the most out of this but if you don’t like thrillers then obviously, stay clear of The Bourne Retribution. For those who do like it prepare for a fairly formulaic, but well-paced and entertaining read that further expands the adventures of the well-traveled character.

VERDICT: 7/10

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