In my quest for ever more thrilling novels, I came across The Last Patriot by Brad Thor. I had previously read another of his novels (The State of the Union), and I did not find it particularly blog-worthy.
However, The Last Patriot is definitely good material for my blog. In this story, former Navy SEAL Scot Harvarth races against Islamic fundamentalists in his search to find one of the lost revelations of the Prophet Mohammed. This revelation apparently urges Muslims to live in peace and brotherhood amongst people of all religions. The United States hopes that this find will destroy Islamic terrorism once and for all.
The premise of the story is very, very similar to Dan Brown’s novels – Angels and Demons, and The Da Vinci Code. The only difference is, Dan Brown targeted Christianity and Brad is targeting Islam. There is one more major difference. Dan Brown’s novels were pretty fast moving, and conceptually they were very fresh (at least to me). However, The Last Patriot just comes out sounding very wanna-beish and copycat-ish.
In addition, reading the novel you can make out a very strong anti-Islamic tone, and a very strong pro-Bush administration tone. I bet the author voted Republican in the recent elections. I somehow could not appreciate the tone of it. Some of the words used are extremely harsh and xenophobic.
The novel is also not as fast-paced as I would like it to be. It starts off very briskly, but then really sags in places. The more interesting portions dealt with the history of the Islamic-American clashes that date back to the time of Thomas Jefferson. After reading this novel, I looked up Thomas Jefferson on the web, and I was totally impressed (apart from being one of the most revered Presidents of the United States, he was a reknowned horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, and inventor). In addition, the references to Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote were extremely interesting, and made me want to go and read that long-delayed book.
However, apart from those sections, this book was mediocre, and badly written. It’s a downright shame this seems to be topping bestseller lists around the world !