Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cassandra Compact - A review

The story begins with a mafia-style scene. A man visits his beloved’s grave on a rainy day. While he stands there feeling her absence, there is a short flashback that would have made a great movie scene.

The plot : A Small-pox sample stored in a Russian Research Laboratory is smuggled out of the country by a terrorist with a literature-filled rap sheet. He enters (... where else…) the US with the intention of a bio-war. His partner in crime – NASA, NSA and some big guns identified by endless 3-lettered or 4-lettered acronyms. How the Vijaykanth/Arjun-of-the-US – Jon Smith, a secret agent working for a secret agency reporting directly to the President, finds this missing bio-weapon and prevents a global crisis is depicted in the 396 pages.

To hell with the helio-centric theory. It’s time people realized the (micro) gravity of the DC-NY-Centric theory. Be it King Kong or a Comet, they all want to visit New York and DC. This story is no different, only … the passenger’s name this time around is : Variola Major.

This story revolves around the power-centers of DC.

Despite being a run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory (geez! Conspiracy theories are now so cliche!), this book kept me riveted till the end. The storytelling was easy on the ears. The web of secrecy has been well thought of. Characters come in to do their jobs and promptly die soon after (a soap-opera script-writer’s dream come true). Now thatz what I call a DO-AND-DIE attitude :)

What I liked most about this book was the subtleness of narration at many places.

That the stereotypical romance for the hero has been saved for another day is a reason to smile. There are just references to his relationships in the past.

The effects of micro-gravity on the virus seems to be well-researched. Nice info.

No long flashbacks, even in the most compelling situations. Just references to the previous book ‘The Hades Factor’ here and there. Looks like the intelligence team was the same for both Hades Project and Cassandra Compact. So, you wont miss much if you haven’t read The Hades Factor.

Once the mystery is solved, they bring out the name of the evil project – Cassandra Compact. Again, there is no unnecessary raving about this project once introduced to

the reader. It is implicitly conveyed that the reader should put 2 and 2 together.

All in all, it is a thumbs-up from me. Definite movie material. I’d love to see how they make this into a flick.

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Blogger Nirek said...

nice review dude! good to see you having patience to read thro the whole novel!

Wed Jun 27, 01:09:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Jayan said...

@Nirek : Thanks da

Mon Jul 30, 11:58:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Gayatri said...

long time no blog! too busy?

Mon Oct 08, 08:10:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Jayan said...

@Gayatri: Your prayers have been answered :)

Tue Oct 30, 08:58:00 PM 2007  

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