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I have been a fan of Steve Berry for many years reading all of his novel I eagerly await a new novel each year. Generally his captivating writing style keeps glued to each page and the familiarity of his characters are like old friends. Whilst this was a complex plot and full of historical intrigue I found it hard to get involved and found the characters competing against each other for your attention. I found it a step down from the usual quality of a Berry novel.
I am a true fan of Steve Berry and love Cotton Malones adventures but now I have a new man in my life in the form of Nick Lee. Turned down by the agency Cotton works for he also has an interesting life and I hope to hear more about his challenges in the future.
Earlier this year I wrote to Steve Berry explaining how I am completely hooked on his stories and was delighted when busy as he obviously is, he took the trouble to reply and wrote the next story would be in France!
Never did I expect to receive such a kind reply or to have been last summer to Carcassonne and that area, where Steve has set part of his story.
In my opinion Nick and the omega factor will be a hit because of course it mixes the present and past, with a few drops of intrigue and just the right amount of suspense. Buy it, read it and enjoy it. I did, it's great 👍
Steve Berry’s “The Omega Factor” sets UNESCO investigator Nick Lee on the trail of a priceless work of religious art: a panel of the Ghent Altarpiece. Based on the prologue, which was promising, I’d hoped for an exciting tale of action and adventure. Unfortunately, what followed was so poorly written and so lacking in credibility that I was forced to quit after 60 pages.
Berry’s prose is no pleasure. Convoluted, platitudinous, filled with unnecessary and redundant adjectives and adverbs, burdened by a wholesale reliance on the passive voice, and overwhelmed by modifying clauses that often make little sense, the writing struck me as tortured, painfully amateurish, or just plain sloppy. For example, consider the following passages:
“The curtain of time parted in his mind. It was like nine years ago again, and that familiar connection clicked. But he forced his thoughts to the present. “We have to get out of here.”
“Another corner turned and they were now riverside, paralleling a waist-high stone wall.” and
“More rounds were fired.”
“Nothing would be learned here.”
“Catharism cast a simplicity that many found appealing. Love thy neighbor and the peace that goodness and honesty brought.”
“Louis Tallard lay on his back, sprawled across an oak table, his hands and arms tied to each of the table’s four legs, his head angled downward over the side.” (Does poor Mr. Tallard have four arms and hands? Might Mr. Berry have meant to say arms and legs?)
The storytelling itself is also deficient. It’s filled with digressions. Mr. Berry has a curious habit of interrupting his action scenes with lengthy descriptions of character background and motivation, and/or medieval history. I’m all for character development and history. But not in the middle of a scene that’s supposed to have readers on the edge of their seats. There are also a number of logical inconsistencies that took me out of the story and damaged its credibility.
The characters are stock and are neither charming nor compelling. We’re not given a James Bond (Ian Fleming) or a Jason Bourne (Robert Ludlum) or a Gabriel Allon (Daniel Silva). Instead, we’re treated to an investigator who seems to have no special talent except the ability to carry a torch for a woman he should have gotten over years ago. And his motivations, as well as the motivations of other characters, seem not well thought out and thus lack credibility.
All in all, a two-star performance—and that’s a gift.
Still, my favorite author, Steve Berry, did an outstanding job with The Omega Factor, even though he is making me wait another whole year for a Cotton Malone saga. Berry's usual beautifully crafted descriptions of cities, buildings, and scenery help place you in his tale's locations. And his skill and knack for weaving little-known fascinating and historical references into his storyline make this work well worth your time. I was held spellbound while reading due to the allusions to Jan Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece. I love art history, but I had never heard of this work. So, I read Berry's story with a large image of the art piece next to my Kindle screen so I could follow along. The depth of the historical and artistic references made this work worth five stars to me, bar none. What also held my interest was the story of how church fathers handled the 'creation' of Marian devotion and the weaving of Joan of Arc into this storyline. Because I loved The Omega Factor and could hardly put it down, I forgive Steve for not giving me another adventure with Cotton Malone. Nick Lee is okay, but he's no Cotton. The Omega Factor, however, is Berry at his best.
I have read everything Steve Berry has written and pre-ordered this book months ago so I could read it right away. I was disappointed. There was more background than plot. I think that Mr Berry got so engrossed in the religious history that he overshadowed the development of his new characters. It was a good story but out of balance - in my opinion. That said, I will continue to read Mr Berry’s work.