Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Cassandra Compact – Robert Ludlum & Philip Shelby

Ludlum, Robert and Philip Shelby. 2004. The Cassandra Compact. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

The Cassandra Compact (Covert-One, #2)
Why I read it in the first place?

I simply read this book because it’s the work of Robert Ludlum (and Philip Shelby, his co-author for this book). And I really feel ridiculous because I read it just now when this book had actually been there in the shelf since I was in junior high school, and that’s a long time ago. It belongs to my Papa actually, but let’s considers it mine. It’s mine. My first encounter with Ludlum’s books is when I was in senior high school, I read The Jason Bourne series that are TOTALLY SUPER AWESOME! For a long time, I thought The Cassandra Compact is by Tom Clancy. Because my Papa accidentally put this book in between two books of Clancy, that I haven’t read either. I know Tom Clancy just passed away recently, and there’s this uproar because everybody felt the same feeling, they lost a very great thriller master. Unfortunately I haven’t read any Clancy’s book, perhaps next month.... Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, I read this book just because I finally acknowledged this as the work of Robert Ludlum (and Philip Shelby). I need to hunt other Robert Ludlum’s soon.

My Review.

Before anything, I need to mention that this book is a part of a series, called Covert-One series that consists of ten books, so far. The Cassandra Compact is book number two in the series. In the beginning, as always, I felt disappointed for not reading from book one, which is The Hades Project. I also didn’t find any signs that The Hades Project have ever been translated and published in Indonesia. So, my wish to collect all books in Covert-One series is kind of wiped away. Because, for now, I don’t feel like I’m capable in reading Robert Ludlum’s book and enjoying it in the same time if it is in English. Mother tongue rules! Despite I didn’t read the first book, I’m still able to enjoy and understand The Cassandra Compact because the writers serve basic information and explanation about what happened in the book one. So, it’s cool.

The Cassandra Compact tells story of Jon Smith, a secret agent of a highly exclusive organization named Covert-One that is run by Nathaniel Fredrick Klein who takes orders straight from the president (of America) himself. The members of Covert-One don’t know each other and do everything by themselves. These people in Covert-One is made of men and women who are very skilled in their fields but they somehow socially rejected or just hard to mingle, that kind of thing. In The Cassandra Compact, agent Jon Smith is facing a rare-almost-extinct deadly virus threat that has been stolen from its save deposit and the risk is the spreading of it. THE. PLOT. IS. DOWNRIGHT. AWESOME.

Personally, after reading The Cassandra Compact, what caught my attention the most was not how dreadful the use of biology weapon or whatnot, but the way the writers brilliantly created suspense in almost every pages! Like, come on. I like to take notes on interesting quotes from the book I reviewed, but I even didn’t get the time for that. I was too engaged with the story.

The third person point of view that is omniscient becomes the key of the suspense in this book. Reader is able to know the thought and act of every person. There’s no mystery here. Reader is able to see when Mr. A turns his back around from Mr. B, going home after a friendly visit, then at that time Mr. B’s friendly smile fades into a sly one. And that builds inevitable suspense! As reading this book, there are parts that made me kind of freak out like, “No!!! Do not go in there! The bad man is waiting there! DO NOT GO IN THERE!” or something like, “He’s evil. Look, that’s the proof. That, look at that! He’s evil! Open your eyes!” or maybe something like, “Hurry hurry hurry! He’s behind you already, my goodness.” Yeaaah, something like that I guess. Suspenseful and sometimes irritating.

Ah, this book is simply amazing. I’m definitely going to hunt other Ludlum’s books. Robert Ludlum, I’m your fan until forever. Period.

For your information, Ludlum is passed away in 2001. But his last will is for the characters he created all this long aren’t just die along with him. He wished his characters stay alive on paper. I know, it’s so touching, tsk. That means, if you find any new books on The Jason Bourne and Covert-One series still come out up until this day, it’s not written by Robert Ludlum. It’s written by authors that Ludlum had tutored in his lifetime or by selected authors that are familiar with Ludlum’s writing style. For The Jason Bourne series, Ludlum wrote the first three books and for Covert-One series Ludlum wrote the six first books. Further information about this, you may visit Robert Ludlum’s official page here, or here if you want to see the list of Ludlum’s books.

For you whose into thriller and suspense novel but never read Robert Ludlum’s works, just give him a go, you’ll not regret it. Even for you whose not really that into this kind of genre, I suggest you to try this book. It’s. Hands-down. Brilliant. Get your own copy soon.

Me, when I read some irritating parts in the book...
"Move your ass! He's right behind you!!!"


  1. About Ludlum now.At least three of his books should be graphic novels, or cartoon an G I Joe style show-remember the 80's?-by Sunbow.

  2. Book talks you said?Here's one: "G.I. Joe: Tales From The Cobra Wars",see
    And this very nice poster "G.I. Joe: Declassified" on


Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I ALWAYS love book talks! So, do leave your comment about this post, it's free ;)

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