Thursday, May 30, 2013

ARC Review: The Spanish Revenge by Allan Topol

The Spanish Revenge
Author: Allan Topol
Publication: Vantage Point (September 1, 2012)

Description: Craig Page, the bold and daring EU Director of Counterterrorism, becomes the focal point of an effort to stop the feared terrorist Ahmed Sadi, whose goal is to provoke a Muslim uprising in Western Europe.  Ahmed, a Muslim fanatic born in Paris to parents who emigrated from Algeria, calls himself Musa Ben Abdil, after a Muslim hero from the Fifteenth Century War with Spain.  Page teams up once again the resourceful Elizabeth Crowder, a newspaper reporter who has also become his lover.  Ahmed’s plans become far more menacing when he is joined by Chinese General Zhou, who had been exiled to France for his devious actions inThe China Gambit.  With Zhou’s assistance, Ahmed’s plan is to launch a horrific attack on the heart of Christianity.  At the same time, Ahmed wants to retake militarily for Islam a portion of Southern Spain.  He relies upon a medieval parchment he claims to have uncovered, in which Queen Isabella on her death bed in 1504 ceded a portion of Southern Spain to the Muslims in perpetuity.  His one main obstacle: Page himself is hot on his trail, determined as ever to save the world from a master criminal.  From Spain to Morocco, and beyond to Italy, Page and General Zhou renew their battle, even as Ahmed plots his deadly revenge.

My Thoughts: In THE SPANISH REVENGE, Craig Page and his girlfriend Elizabeth have to thwart a plot to ignite violent conflict between Muslims and Christians in Europe. Our villain is Ahmed Sadi who has taken the name of an early Muslim hero/martyr named Musa Ben Abdil. However, the villain from THE CHINA GAMBIT—General Zhou—also makes an appearance combining forces with this book's villain.

While the text was readable, it could have used some editing because on more than one occasion different characters repeat the same sentiments using almost the same words. I was also dismayed when Craig's lover Elizabeth tells him something that he surely knew as though it were new information. 

I also had some issues with character development. I felt that most of the characters were two dimensional and generally unlikable. Many of the politicians, including the US President, were shown to be self-serving and/or corrupt. As a matter of fact, it was often difficult to tell the bad guys from the good guys. Of course that does free Craig to be the one who "saves the day" however illogical that would be. 

The story was action-packed with kidnappings, murders, bombs, attempted murder of the Pope, and armed invasion of Southern Spain by Muslims who want to retake the Alhambra. It was exciting—until you stopped to think about how unrealistic it all was. 

People who want a thriller for a beach read might enjoy this one. 

Favorite Quote:
"Perhaps I didn't make it clear." Giuseppe continued, "The man calling himself Musa Ben Abdil is determined to renew actively the war between Christians and Muslims in Europe. If he succeeds tomorrow in killing the Pope and damaging the Vatican, he will have achieved his goal. The Christina response against Muslim communities will be violent and severe. The will then respond in kind. Bloodshed and death among both religions will be horrendous. Surely, you don't want that to occur?"

"Of course not," the Cardinal said. "But canceling the Pope's appearance would mean surrendering to a terrorist. For that's what Ahmed Sadi is. To reward him with victory is unthinkable. The armies of the lord will not prostate themselves before this infidel."
I received this ARC from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!