I'll start out by saying that when I crack open a Preston & Child novel I don't expect to be blown away by literary genius, but rather to remain entertained with a somewhat outlandish (yet interesting) adventure story, complete with creepy evil villains, unexpected plot twists and a dashing hero that always manages to escape, regardless of how heavily the odds weigh against him.
With stories deeply rooted in scientific theory, history, and the supernatural, I've remained a fan over all of these years, ever since I cracked open "Relic" back in 1996. While my life has changed considerably since then, sadly Preston & Child's Pendergast series has not. As the years pass by I've found myself growing tired of the same old regurgitated plot line, which goes something like this:
- Someone dies in some really bizarre way
- Pengergast mysteriously arrives
- Pendergast quickly realizes that something peculiar has occurred and decides to investigate further
- D'Agosta is pulled in, even though he knows it's a bad idea.
- 300 pages of murders & near death experiences occur.
- D'Agosta loses his job, girlfriend, or both.
- The evil villain is ID'd, only after you're lead to believe a handful of other folks were the bad guy first.
- Evil villain is manhandled by Pendergast
- Setup for next book in series is inserted
- The End
The funny thing is, even though I realize what I'm about to get myself into each and every time, I still come back for me. This is not to say that I have not remained entertained throughout the series, but rather that as the amount of Pendergast novels increases my enjoyment level has continued to decrease...
And then we come to "Fever Dream"...the first Pendergast novel that I can honestly say I did not enjoy. While at first I found the mystery surrounding Pendergast's wife's death and its mysterious links to Audubon intriguing, the allure quickly wore off. I found the story to be rather slow moving in comparison to their previous efforts and by the close of the book I was simply pleased that it was over so that I could move on to something different.
Interestingly enough, before closing the book I noticed a note from the authors indicating that they were moving away from the Pendergast series for a bit to focus on their new project, "Gideon Sword", which apparently introduces a new set of characters. Hmm...perhaps they too have grown tired of writing the same thing over and over and over again?
With all of that said, should you read this book? Yes. Let's face it, if you've read all the other Pendergast novels there's no way you won't crack this one open too. That's just how it works with folks like us. Will you be disappointed if you do? Perhaps, but then again you already know what you're getting yourself into.
Lots of suspense - moved fast. Good read!