David Baldacci Month #2: The Camel Club, The Collectors, Stone Cold, Divine Justice

THE CAMEL CLUB

Studying conspiracy theories, current events, and the way the government works so that they could discover the “truth” behind the governments actions, the four eccentric beings that formed The Camel Club were stunned when they witnessed a murder. Now a Secret Service Agent and The Club must join together to unravel one of the biggest conspiracies yet that could even trigger an apocalyptic war between two worlds.

I was hesitant to first read this book. I’ll be the first to admit that. Conspiracy theories are interesting but I notice that when they are written about in books they tend to take a whole new life. After reading the first page of this book though, I was hooked. I’m not even sure where to begin this review because it’s so good. Let’s start with what everyone wants to know about.

How good is the plot? Well, if you are like me you may have a strict standard as to what you hold a plot up to. For me, for a plot to be good it needs to be flowing, makes sense, engaging and can take you into the story (figuratively obviously). The introduction and conclusion also have to end strong for me to give it a solid rating. So how does this book hold up to those standards? The Camel Club meets all of these requirements. From start to finish, David Baldacci is able to create a fluid motion between the characters that allows you to almost feel what they are feeling. While it’s a conspiracy thriller, I could actually follow the plot without having to give myself a headache trying to keep up. Each of the characters that are involved have a specific role that is absolutely necessary for the progression of the plot so I never wondered why the character was created. I could connect with each of them. While I found that the conspiracy theory to be out there, it was still relevant to what happens here in America today.

Now of course there are flaws in the work and I wouldn’t say that the Camel Club is his greatest work ever. Without giving anything away, the one flaw that bothered me the most was a romance angle that Baldacci took with one of the characters. It threw off the vibe for me. However, it is a very good read.

Would I recommend this book? Without hesitation, I would say yes. I would especially recommend it to those who enjoy conspiracy theories. My personal rating for the books is a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

THE COLLECTORS

After the assassination of the Speaker of the House and the chilling death of the director of the Library of Congress’s Rare Books and Special Collections Division, the Camel Club’s unofficial lead Oliver Stone finds that someone has been selling America’s secrets to the enemy. He’ll need the help of the Annabelle Conroy who happens to be the greatest con artist of her generation since the Camel Club has now been thrust into a world of espionage and secrecy that is bringing America to it’s knees.

Notice I didn’t give any of the characters names in the last review that I did. I don’t like to do that since I feel it takes away from the adventure of discovering everything a book has to offer. Well, in this case I figured I would need to mention these two character’s names. After reading The Camel Club, I figured that the next book would be good if not better. It was about the same as The Camel Club.

Plot wise, it has everything that a good book needs. It does hiccup a few times in my opinion when it goes back and forth between the subplots, but otherwise it tends to keep a smooth flow that makes the book an easy read. It’s a fun read too. With the new character, Annabelle Conroy, I found myself developing a connection with her. That’s hard for me to do when it comes to a con artist. She was given a very specific role that was absolutely necessary in the case that The Camel Club got involved in. If she hadn’t been there, they wouldn’t have been able to solve the case. However, at the same time it felt like some of the other characters weren’t as involved as they could have been, which was a bit saddening since I had that connection with them from the other book. There were a few questions that popped into my brain (I won’t give them on here because it would reveal too much of the plot) that were never answered in the book.

The main flaw to the book is that it got a little slow at one point. It seemed like David Baldacci was trying to add some filler at one point so he could meet his page requirements it seems, which is disappointing since the book is already a great read.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would. The twists and turns in the book make it well worth the read. Even after I finished it, I picked it up to read it again. My personal rating for the book was a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

STONE COLD

Annabelle Conroy had swindled millions of dollars out of casino king Jerry Bagger and Oliver Stone has a threat by the name of Harry Finn who is taking out figures from Stone’s shadowy past. With Annabelle being targeted by Jerry Bagger and Oliver being targeted by Harry Finn, the Camel Club is in a fight for their lives with hidden secrets waiting to change them forever.

Out of all the books in this series so far, I have to admit that this one is probably my least favorite. While it starts off a bit slower than the other ones, it picks up the pace quickly and that pace stays the same. You don’t want to stop turning the pages. The intensity stays the same. There are a few characters that, even though they add to the character, make the plot feel a bit loose at some points.

While the plot is good, the one thing that bothers me a bit about the book is how much drama and action was involved in it. Some would argue that these themes are what made the novel so good. I tend to disagree. The Camel Club was more about their friendships and conspiracies. While I consider the secrets that come spilling out a conspiracy, it just doesn’t have the same vibe as the other two books. Also, what Baldacci is asking us to believe in the fictional book is a bit too much for my taste. While I agree that in fiction there needs to be fictional things, I also believe that it should also follow the lines of reality. I don’t think that anybody was assassinated for serving in the military by our own government, for example. Also, there were a lot of coincidences that were based off the characters instincts. They’d have to be psychic for that to happen.

Would I recommend this book? I would say maybe. There are some good things to the book such as it keeping you engaged and being able to thoroughly enjoy it. However there are quite a few things that I personally don’t like about the book. Everyone should make their own judgement call on the book though. My personal rating is a 3 out of 5 stars.

Divine Justice

Once the unofficial leader of the Camel Club, John Carr (Oliver Stone) is now the target of a massive manhunt and a master spy by the named Macklin Hayes after he killed two prominent men. While The Camel Club risk everything to save him, Stone finds that his flight for freedom has led him into a world that is even more bloody and lethal than the one he left behind.

This was not one of Baldacci’s best works. However, it was very good. Oliver Stone is on the run in this one which I think makes it more unique from the other three. He ends up in a town in Virginia and that’s where things really start picking up in another mystery. It’s a quick start to the book before it gradually tapers off for a couple of chapters. Then it picks back up to the pace it was at, engaging the readers in a thrilling read. There are some new characters that are in the story that I feel were placed there just to be there. There were also some characters that were in the plot that I felt like didn’t have a huge impact on the plot. If they left, the story wouldn’t have changed much.

The thing that I noticed with The Camel Club series is that it started off on a light tone before it gradually became darker and darker. This is the darkest book in the series (I haven’t read the new installment yet). The main characters that have broken laws admit that they have troubled pasts.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, as long as you have read the rest of the series or at least one of the books. Oliver Stone is a mysterious character who is also very sympathetic. If you start with the last book though, you might get the wrong impression. My personal rating is a 4 out of 5 stars.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s