Sunday, January 29, 2012

review: hard target by howard gordon

Brothers Gideon and Tillman Davis from Gideon's War are together again in Hard Target by Howard Gordon. This time the brothers are trying to stop a group with bases in Idaho and West Virginia from attacking Washington, DC during the State of the Union address.

Hard Target suffers from too many details. Not only did most of it add nothing to the plot, but some of the extras turned out to be just plain wrong. Consider Nancy flying into the Spokane, WA airport to get to the Wilmot residence in Priest River, ID. She describes the Spokane airport as barely being large enough for four gates. Having flown out of that airport a number of times, I can attest to the fact that it has well over four; a simple Internet search indicates there are 24. Then there's the issue of Priest River versus Pocatello, ID. Sometimes the Wilmot estate scenes are said to be in Priest River while other times Pocatello is used as a reference. It is possible that events happen in both locations, but the timeline wouldn't make sense given the drive between the two is over nine hours. Had Howard Gordon simply looked at a map this would've been evident.

Besides getting bogged down with the details, the constant change in perspective also detracted from my enjoyment of Hard Target. It was difficult to relate to any one character when every short chapter brought different characters in different locales.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Touchstone.

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