Although we are still in our 2021 Fantasy Novel binge, I snatched up an easy-to-read techno-thriller as a sort of break. Lincoln Child has written an exciting unordered series of thrillers featuring Dr. Jeremy Logan, enigmalogist.
In general, I have enjoyed this series, and I enjoy most of Child’s books (also the books that he co-wrote with Douglas Preston). Full Wolf Moon might be one of the weaker novels in this series, but it had some exciting moments and great writing anyway.
Read on to see the final verdict, and also for more information on these two authors who focus on the techno-thriller genre.
Jeremy Logan, Enigmalogist
Ever since I first read Michael Crichton’s books, I’ve been on a relentless search for comparable techno-thrillers. Dan Brown was good for a few books, but soon they became formulaic and predictable. I found Preston & Child next, and while they certainly aren’t on Crichton’s level, they have a number of books that I really enjoyed.
The problem was, I didn’t like their recurring protagonist, Agent Pendergast. He’s something of a Gary Stu (a protagonist with limitless capabilities) and he’s always described as speaking with a mellifluous voice. I Googled ‘mellifluous’ and that’s when I decided that I didn’t want to read any more of his dialogue.
So when I heard about Lincoln Child’s new protagonist, Jeremy Logan, I was intrigued. Especially because he coined a new term for his career: enigmalogist. It’s just a fancy word for someone who studies mysteries, but that applies to all of us readers also, right?
Logan is much more grounded than Pendergast, despite having some kind of supernatural empathic powers. This super power rarely moves the plot forward, and instead is more of an interesting character quirk
If this character sounds intriguing to you, you can read the Jeremy Logan books in order:
If there was one outstanding quality to this book, it’s that it didn’t feature any ex-Special Forces Green Beret Delta Force ninjas.
The characters are all down-to-earth, and mostly realistic. Park rangers, artists, researchers; the only one who isn’t entirely realistic is the main character, who is like a human lie detector. But since he doesn’t abuse this power, and it doesn’t move the plot forward, it’s forgivable.
Childs also makes the interpersonal relationships believable, without rushing them, or artificially explaining them away. The characters relate to each other and care for each other.
Well, this is where the book fell short. I mean, it’s a book about werewolves; I don’t know what legitimacy I was expecting.
Usually a techno-thriller includes some form of legitimate technology or science. This book was about moon dust. I don’t know if that is a metaphor for how specious the research was in this book, but it fits.
We don’t often expect too much realism in the novels we read, but some genres deserve more realism than others. Leave the werewolves in the Harry Potter or Dresden books.
Aside From The Empathic Hero And The Werewolf
This book was surprisingly realistic. There weren’t any plot elements or casual mentions that were immediately and obviously disprovable.
A lot of the recent techno-thrillers that I’ve read have inserted elements that proved the author’s lack of research. I hate to read books that mention ‘military-grade’ anything, as if the military has advanced alien technology or something. Or when an author makes a scientific or commercial claim that is obviously untrue.
The Recommendation: A High 4 / 5 Stars.
I can’t give it a five-star rating, because it certainly isn’t a Michael Crichton thriller. But it’s significantly better than some of the other thrillers that we’ve recently awarded four stars to.
If you like werewolf stories, or even if you are simply a hiking/camping fan and want something to fuel your imagination during your next expedition, check out Full Wolf Moon.
And if you have read other Preston & Child books, please comment below with your recommendations! Or, if you are looking for a well-researched thriller with realistic and fun characters, go get Carried Away!