Thursday, May 31, 2018
REVIEW: 'Forever and a Day' is both great and okay
But I have to be honest in saying that while I thoroughly enjoyed Forever and a Day, I preferred Horowitz's Trigger Mortis. Every beat of that first book felt original to me, while every beat of this book felt familiar. It has familiar locations (South of France), familiar situations (a casino, a party, warehouses), familiar allies (CIA agent), and a familiar villain's plot (I'll keep this review spoiler free, but this one comes right out of a movie). Also, the original Fleming material, a story about a mad Russian who threatens to shell the casino at Monte Carlo, is related as a past event. It's a great story (or scene), and I'm surprised it wasn't integrated into the plot, as Horowitz did with the race car action in Trigger Mortis. And the idea that Bond "saved the casino" a year earlier undermines the whole idea of this being 007s first mission. Bond walks into the casino and he's greeted like Roger Moore!
The action also takes an unusually long time to kick in, but this is because Horowitz takes time to develop a strong Bond Girl in Sixteen. And once the action finally does kick in (around page 200), it is a relentless rush with a spectacular extended climax aboard the villain's luxury cruise ship. Again, no spoilers, but what Bond has to endure physically -- always a highlight of any Bond book -- is something we've never seen in any Bond adventure, and it's harrowing! This chapter alone makes Forever and a Day unforgettable and a classic among continuation novels.
So apart from my quibbles, I'm thrilled to have another beautifully written James Bond novel from the pen of Anthony Horowitz. I hope we get some more.
Purchase Forever and a Day from Amazon.co.uk.