With 108 ratings
By: Robert Ludlum, Scott Brick, et al.
Purchased At: $9.99
Colorado Congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term of office quietly—when a political mole reveals to the world Kendrick's deepest secret: that Kendrick was the anonymous man in Masqar, the man who courageously freed the hostage held in the American embassy by Arab terrorists; the unknown hero who performed an act of outrageous daring then silently disappeared.
Now, suddenly, Kendrick is a living target pursued by the terrorists he outwitted. Together with the beautiful woman who once saved his life, Kendrick enters a deadly arena where the only currency is blood, where frightened whispers speak of violence yet to come, and where Kendrick's life—and the fate of the free world—may ultimately rest in the powerful hands of a mysterious and deadly figure known only as the Mahdi.
The ending left as many holes as it did answers, especially regarding the computer expert (spoiler if I go into detail).
Nowhere near the level of, say, The Parsifal mosaic.
The story is in the form of two sub-plots. The first, which encompasses the rescue of American hostages being held within the US embassy in Masqat, is the part I found most engaging, although the ending is too clean and easy. Fleshed out and given a better ending, this story could have made a good book by itself.
The second sub-plot finds the hero of the first part back in his remote Colorado home. His cover from the first operation blown, his home is under siege by Arab terrorists seeking revenge. At the same time, he is caught between two domestic political cabals, one seeking to push him into running for national office while the other wants to prevent his candidacy. This plot was a bit too much. One or the other of these storylines could have made another good book. Together, the situation just feels contrived. Moreover, Ludlum's domestic political plot comes off heavy-handed and nieve.
The characters ultimately come across poorly, too, and stereotypes abound. The hero, Congressman Evan Kendrick, spends the entire book professing his desire to be left alone, but always allowing himself to be drawn in. He's just too good to be true. In addition, there's the obligatory gorgeous and extremely available woman, as well as an ally in the first plot who just happens to be a wealthy old Jewish guy whose health is represented as fragile. He becomes an immediate and important character in the second and, despite his age and frailty, he survives all of the madness and mayhem of the second half of the book intact. It's all pretty fluffy stuff and, while there's plenty of action throughout, THE ICARUS AGENDA becomes increasingly difficult to swallow as it progresses.
THE ICARUS AGENDA isn't really a BAD book, but neither is it terribly good. As Ludlum's books go, it's a letdown. If you've read some of his other works, don't take on this one with high expectations. If you haven't read any of Ludlum's other books, find a better one than this.
I would recommend Ludlum to anyone who likes spy/mysteries that will leave you wondering how close to the truth this fiction is.
Robert Ludlum has this habit of writing a novel that moves, moves, surprises you, then moves again, and you almost feel breathless waiting for the next crisis to happen to the protagonist and what on earth will the protaganist do to get out of this mess!
I sure do wish that Robert Ludlum would write a story about a female heroine that is just as wonderful a protagonist as his male characters, though.