#Review: White Fire, by Preston & Child

Title: White First (Pendergast series #13) 
Authors: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who–with brutal precision–begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort’s very existence.

Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story–one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well.

Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack–and Corrie’s life suddenly in grave danger–Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.” (description from Goodreads)

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I think I have to start by saying that I’m a huge fan of Preston & Child’s writing. It’s no surprise that I enjoyed White Fire, as much as I did, because of that. I had some books in the Pendergast series to read first, in order to be able to read this one (though they stand alone in ways, I enjoy the series much more by reading them in order), so my anticipation built with each closing of one of those books. That anticipation paid off.

I feel that White Fire is one of the best Pendergast novels to date. With the recent life-changing events of the Helen Trilogy, to Pendergast’s life, I thought it was great that the authors were able to make him an even more complex, mysterious, but all the more imperfect and human than has been portrayed in the past. The reader gets to see a somewhat new side of Pendergast that I have no doubt will be expanded on even further in future books.

The story itself was filled with everything that’s great with the books of this series. The mystery, combined with scenes of action and suspense, didn’t fail to keep me engrossed in the pages. I also think it was great that Corrie Swanson, only a minor and (in my opinion) almost unnecessary recurring character, was finally given the time to show her worth. I understand now the reason she was only given minor roles in the past. This book is largely about her finding her way and who she wants to become. I almost feel like she’s a little Pendergast at this point. She is picking up many of his skills even if she is not always as good in execution as he is.

It’s hard to go into review of the storyline itself when dealing with a mystery and to avoid spoiling things. Yet, I do want to make mention of one of my favorite aspects of the plot (since it’s not much of a secret due to the description). The inclusion of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde into this book added a new dimension to the series. Fans will agree that Pendergast is a somewhat modern-day Sherlock Holmes type character. While I haven’t read Holmes myself, yet, I know enough about him to assert that quality on our dear Special Agent Pendergast. I think the way Preston & Child worked these two authors and Holmes into their story was unexpected and well executed. It helped in keeping the series fresh and is one of the reasons it hasn’t become dull or repetitive to me.

These two authors have invented such an intriguing, complex, and exciting series/character, that I have no doubt that whatever they write next, after White Fire will be just as explosive as this book. I think there are some big things in store for readers soon as Pendergast becomes more and more exposed to the readers. I can only hope the fourteenth book comes sooner rather than later.

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You can grab a copy of this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Authors:

Douglas Preston, who worked for several years in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction works Dinosaurs in the Attic and Cities of Gold, and the novel, Jennie. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Lincoln Child is the co-author, with Douglas Preston, of a number of bestselling thrillers including Relic, Riptide and The Ice Limit. Utopia is Lincoln Child’s first solo novel: he is currently at work on his second. He lives with his wife and daughter in Morristown, New Jersey.

Find out more:

8 responses to “#Review: White Fire, by Preston & Child

  1. Loved loved loved this book, esp. the part at the end where (and the reason why) Pendergast…um…shows he has real emotions, if you get my drift. ::cough::

      • I know. And yet they’ve kept him the samein so many ways. I just keep hoping somehow Diogenes could come back. I loved him as a foil to Pendergast.

        • Remember a few books back when that was possibly…then the even bigger shocker happened. I was like “WHAT THE FUCK????” Though, that whole secret society wrapped up way too nicely for me. If it was that in depth and organized, it would have taken more than just taking out the leader and fortress, to destroy the entire organization. There’s going to be something HUGE with Alban and Tristram soon. I can see another trilogy in the works. Just not sure what it’ll really be about.

          • Yeah. I absolutely thought it was Diogenes and was soooooo excited. But there’s clearly something in the works with those kids. Can’t wait to see what it is.

            • I can almost see them killing off Pendergast through Alban, though at the same time I know they’d never do that. I only say that because of the mention that he’s his father PLUS so much more (and lacking morals). So it’s like Diogenes times 2, almost. And that Pendergast is noticeably older and not as effective. His injuries might be healed at this point though. We’ll see.

              I think they’d going to have Corrie start taking over for Pendergast. This book might have been the real start of that. As long as they let D’agosta get some more action. I really like him and Pendergast together.

              • I definitely approve of Corrie as she’s matured over the course of the series. As to D’Agosta, I’m not sure how they could work him back in. New York has had its fair share of weird murders already.

                • (haha, seems like WP doesn’t want to display this long thread nicely. It’s all smushed now).

                  Good point on D’Agosta and New York. Though he has been dragged all over Europe before. You never know, maybe they’ll have to travel to London and track down Jack the Ripper 😉 (Would be fun, but kind of cheesy at this point in the series. Especially with Holmes in this one.)

                  I wish I didn’t have to wait however long for another novel. But luckily, I have the non-series books to read now, and their solo work. I’m planning on reading “Gone Fishing” soon. The short story that deals with D’Agosta only. Have you read that one?

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