Official Review: The Expansion by Christoph Martin

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Official Review: The Expansion by Christoph Martin

Post by Jax14 » 28 Jul 2017, 07:30

[Following is an official review of "The Expansion" by Christoph Martin.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Expansion is a standalone thriller filled with espionage, revenge, betrayal and family feuds.

All his life Max has lived with the betrayal of his parents. Faced with arrest after conning people into a scheme, Edward and Helen Burns end their lives when they intentionally crash their getaway helicopter, leaving Max to be brought up by his uncle on a housing estate; a far cry from his expensive boarding school in Zuoz. Fast forward and Max has been invited by Godfredo, a childhood friend, to work with his father on a massive bid for a project on the expansion of the Panama Canal. Little does Max know that the countries and people bidding behind the scenes for the project have hidden agendas and that he is soon going to be caught up in a web of lies that might be more than he can handle. After all, if a government wants you gone, what chance do you really have?

A number of relationships are concentrated on in the book. The bond between Max and Godfredo is threatened when Godfredo’s father Paco is found to be making deals behind deals. Godfredo and Paco’s relationship is extremely dysfunctional and I began to understand a little of why Godfredo behaved like he did. A bit more of a back story, however, would have been helpful as there is a scene where Godfredo wants to resort to violence to express his anger and I really wondered what pushed him to get there. Max meets Karis who works for the Smithsonian Institute and their relationship is renewed a few years later when Max learns that Karis is hiding quite a secret. Other peripheral characters don’t play huge parts but add to the dimensions of the story.

I was very ambivalent about the book as I didn’t hate it but it didn’t really make an impact on me. In fact I read it twice as I was wondering why I couldn’t remember anything outstanding and I actually picked up quite a bit the second time round which made me question as to why it didn’t stand out in the first read. The book hops between corporate corruption and spy thriller and I felt this detracted somewhat from what I expected to read. The story starts with a bang and I thought I was in for a wild ride but then it plods along at a slow pace until just before the end then jumps into warp speed again. This races to the finish and then the book is over. Just like that. I was left wanting more. I found Max’s character very gullible and the “secret” that Karis holds of a “world changing balance of power” which is promised in the blurb is hardly of epic proportions. The scene that starts the book is alluded to later but I thought for such a revelation it could have been woven into the narrative a bit more.

What I did appreciate about the book was the good editing; only a few mistakes popped out which made the flow of reading very comfortable. The idea for the story was a good one, but too many tangents or even character stories felt unfulfilled.

The Expansion is a good afternoon read but not the high octane one I expected so I rate it 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it for mature YA and up, especially those who enjoy a quick thriller.

The Expansion
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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Aug 2017, 09:13

It's nice when the book has good editing. I started this one, but it was a little slow for my taste. Thanks for the review, though.
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Post by Kalin Adi » 02 Aug 2017, 10:38

It´s interesting you mentioned the excitement of the story comes and goes, maybe that´s why you had to read the book twice. Thanks for providing that information!

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Post by Dafys » 02 Aug 2017, 12:29

You have to read the book over again to understand. Though, its a nice editing that number of relationships are concentrated on in the book.

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Post by Gadwill » 02 Aug 2017, 13:24

Needs depth and understanding..that may only be achieved by reading the book more than once thank you

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Post by Jaime Lync » 02 Aug 2017, 21:48

I just read the sample on Amazon and I see what you mean that the story starts awesome but then it goes meh.

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Post by godfrey msonde » 02 Aug 2017, 23:00

Good review. Interesting to read max story

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Post by The Researcher » 03 Aug 2017, 00:05

Nice review! The books sure promises a nice read. Too bad about the weak stronghold of the storyline in the latter phase.
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Post by eileen warui » 03 Aug 2017, 03:07

The expansion is quite interesting especially because it has a simple language that one can easily understand however I found Max's character very soft and gullible which was quite the contrary to what I expected it's thrilling aspect at some point was also quite interesting thumbs up to the author generally this is a book I would read a second time which is quite good

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Post by kislany » 03 Aug 2017, 13:45

The topic of the book is really right up my alley, however I'm not so sure if I want to read it now that you mentioned that it became sort of forgettable towards the middle till the end. I did enjoy reading your review though, so who knows. Kudos to you for reading the book twice!

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Post by aussiebooklover » 03 Aug 2017, 14:28

I don't agree with your review at all! I loved every chapter, as I found each had a meaning and its importance for the final - and very unexpected - showdown. I especially liked the female characters (Karis, Fisher, Sofia) and the very likable Alan ... I agree that the story does not fit the typical thriller genre where killings happen on every page ... and exactly this I found very appealing!

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Post by David Blinks » 03 Aug 2017, 17:58

The golden kingdom

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Post by Julios » 03 Aug 2017, 23:26

Its really good that there were books like this
., u need a better understandinge as the story goes on

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Post by mumoscar » 04 Aug 2017, 13:00

A nice review! Thanks for pointing to us what to expect. I will be keen if will read it because I would hate to do it twice.

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Post by Titus Michael » 05 Aug 2017, 01:57

The book is nice and really interesting, after going through the book, I felt like going over and over just for fun. :D

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