Saturday, 16 June 2012
Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel - Joe Crubaugh
Title: Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel
Author: Joe Crubaugh
The best way that I can find to describe "Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel" is quite simply insane! It was one of the fasted paced novels I have read recently and it included elements from many different genres such as thriller, sci-fi and conspiracy. Then for an added bit of fun, Joe Crubaugh infuses the entire thing with enough humour to make even the grumpiest reader smile the odd time.
The plot basically follows Cleo Matts, a sort of secret agent that is trying to take on an international cabal who have infiltrated the United States government. The story follows him on a mad-cap journey from a bomb threatened plane, to being abducted by aliens and then onto trying to deal with a bio-weapon that could threaten all of humanity. Along the way he teams up with a Hollywood actress known Julia who he seems drawn to protect for reasons that neither of them really understand.
The whole thing is quite simply a quirky and original story that takes some of the standard situations most of us will recognise and turns them into something more unique. Crubaugh's tight plotting and witty use of language also serves to enhance what is already quite an enjoyable and entertaining novel. In regards to the characters, I found that whilst they all seemed to fall into standard archetypes, they still had their own unique eccentric personalities which kept me smiling.
There were a couple of issues however that I did have with the novel, the first of which was in regards to the action scenes. Due to the nature of the story there are quite a few of them spread throughout the novel but some of them just felt a little bit choppy which affected the flow. It wasn't a major issue as most authors have some form of weakness and I was able to read through it, but it was just noticeable as the rest of the writing and story flowed so well.
The final issue was in regards to the actual balance and detail of the story itself. Whilst it was fun and entertaining to follow, I felt that there was a little bit missing from the overall plot. In particular I found that the aliens came across as being a major element in the first half of the novel and then they seemed to pretty much vanish altogether and have no impact on the later portions of the story. I also found that the entire secret cabal in control of the government seemed a little bit under developed and even now I am not sure I understand what each side in this secret conflict are really trying to achieve. I can only assume that both these elements will be picked up in the sequel that I am sure will follow.
Overall, I am impressed that Crubaugh has managed to mix conspiracy thriller and science fiction in such an amusing and entertaining manner. In addition there really are enough laughs spread throughout the book to keep most readers happy. Personally, I am looking forward to reading the continuation of Cleo Matts' adventures in the future.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge