Monday, August 29, 2022

[Review]—'Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Sacrifice' by Brian Freeman

Jason Bourne is back! It's not another Matt Damon film. Everyone's favorite spy is back in print, right where he belongs. Bestselling author Brian Freeman returns for a fourth time, this time with The Bourne Sacrifice

The Bourne Identity, written by Robert Ludlum and published in 1980, is widely regarded as one of the best spy thrillers ever written. The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum were both bestselling sequels written by Ludlum. In 1988, The Bourne Identity was adapted into a television film. All three novels were adapted for the big screen, beginning in 2002 with Matt Damon, who would return for a fourth time in 2016 in the self-titled Jason Bourne. Following his death in 2001, Ludlum's estate allowed other authors to carry on his legacy. Eric Van Lustbader was the first to be hired to write new Jason Bourne stories, beginning with The Bourne Legacy in 2004, which was adapted into a spinoff film starring Jeremy Renner. Aside from the title, the film bore no resemblance to the novel. Before being replaced by Brian Freeman, Lustbader wrote a total of 11 Bourne novels. Joshua Hood also wrote a spin-off book series called Treadstone.

In "The Bourne Sacrifice," Jason Bourne is looking for the assassin known as Lennon. After losing track of Lennon in Iceland, Bourne departs for New York and Washington in an effort to learn the truth about the Pyramid, Lennon's new employer. To do this, Bourne must get back in touch with journalist and ex-lover Abbey Laurent, who is already looking into the Pyramid-related death of a German woman in Washington. 

I haven't visited Jason Bourne's world in a long time. I read Robert Ludlum's original Bourne trilogy soon after seeing The Bourne Identity in 2002, and I read two or three of Eric Van Lustbader's Bourne books, the titles of which I can't remember. Jason Bourne is my favorite fictional spy, right up there with James Bond.

After a few pages, I had to put The Bourne Sacrifice down to look up Brian Freeman's earlier Bourne novels (which I hadn't read) to fill in some details about Bourne's relationship with Abbey and his search for Lennon. Don't worry, you can still read it as a standalone, but keep in mind that it's a sequel that continues threads from previous stories. Freeman's writing style is straightforward and easy to read.

The plot dabbles in fake news and government conspiracies, which seem a little too genuine, especially in this day and age, but it works well in the Bourne universe. 

Overall, I had a good time reading The Bourne Sacrifice. It's not a perfect story, but it has enough action, thrills, and twists to keep me reading.╌★★★★☆


  1. Just finished reading and there are some big holes in the plot especially chapters 40/41 the ending. I would give it 5 out of 10 in a categaory of nothing better to do.

  2. Being old I read the Bourne corpus when it was still new and really enjoyed them. I hadn't yet read any of the " 's " Bournes but started on this last night as a Random House audio (horrible narration btw). It's enjoyable enough but Freeman seems to have turned something that required some mental agility to read into the sort of book you'd leave on the Beach...and the plot seems no existent. So I agree with Anon about that 5 I'm afraid.


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