Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Camel Club by David Baldacci

The Camel Club (Camel Club, #1)The Camel Club by David Baldacci
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a new genre for me, but I was recommended this author by a coworker who claimed to not like fantasy. He said fantasy books were boring. Naturally, I found this unbelievable, but was curious to understand this perspective, so asked for a recommendation, and David Baldacci was the immediate response. I randomly searched for Baldacci in my library app, and The Camel Club was one of the first options that showed up, so I grabbed it.

It was a slow start. The author had the unfortunate habit of introducing a character, then stopping the story to give that character's backstory. This happened often enough that it took the first half of the book to get anything started. It did pick up though, and the suspense started to build. And then the magic happened.

I thought this wasn't supposed to be a fantasy, but what else can you call it when really important facts just happen to fall into the protagonist's lap? When huge leaps in logic, bordering on a random guess, happen to be exactly right. Really, I don't think any one main character had a false assumption in the entire book. If these were real people, I'd want to meet all of them. I mean, heck, Harry Potter Potter was a fictional wizard, but even with the benefit of magic he was often wrong in his assumptions, and he certainly made mistakes. He would not have been invited to join the Camel Club. Their intuition is 100%.

And can anyone tell me why these grown men formed a club with meetings and stuff in the first place? They were like a bunch of 10-year-olds who have a tree house and paper hats. Only these guys have cars and an occasional gun here and there. "I used to be a government assassin, but now I am calling this meeting in the woods to order. Billy's mom said he has to be home for dinner by 5 so we have to hurry." It just seems silly.

So to wrap it up, it was gripping at the end. When it came to the final confrontation, he really had me. But overall the book was just ok. Fantasy or no fantasy, the writing quality wasn't there. I was sharing this opinion with another well-read friend who told me that this was one of Baldacci's early books, and that he got a lot better, so I'm not writing him off, but this one was just ok for me.