No one is more shocked at my rating of The Lion’s Gamethan I am. I’ve had plenty of time to think about John Corey’s second outing, and my final judgment is: I enjoyed the fuck outta this book.
While the issues I had with the previous book in this series,Plum Island, popped up this go around as well, they were well balanced against the second narrative. While Plum Islandwas a strict first person POV inside John Corey’s cock-oriented caveman mind, The Lion’s Game offers many different third-person POVs in addition to Corey’s strict first person. DeMille deftly juggles all these threads to create one tight blanket. Impressive. My favorite addition was the view into the mind of the villain, Asad Khalil, a thoroughly dynamic baddie whose motivations are understandable. Not condonable, but understandable.
The biggest selling point of this novel is that it never lets up. It takes place in several different states, and two different countries. It has branching timelines. It has gun battles and bombing runs and one of the coolest hijacked-plane sequences I’ve read about.
The Lion’s Game brought back memories of watching Die Hard for the first time, only this version of Die Hard is 30 hours long. For me, that aspect is a plus. If you’re a fan of over-the-top machismo-slathered action flicks, I highly recommend this guy’s work. You can start here, too, as the previous book is mentioned only twice and the relationships brought up in the first book have no bearing on this case. The Lion’s Game is far superior when compared to the first book in the series.
My only complaint is a rather big one. Big enough that I removed an entire star. Yes, that’s right, I wanted to rate this one five bigguns, but the ending didn’t sit right with me. It was sufficient as an ending, but I wanted more. I felt the final pages did not live up to the promise of the previous 900.
That being said, I’m not quitting this series anytime soon. So much fun.
In summation: If you dig Bruce Willis action movies, John Corey is his literary doppleganger. Fast talking, quick witted, led around completely by the wrong head, John Corey’s adventures are big fun for those guys who like big books and cannot lie.
Final Judgment: Where’s the next one?