Tuesday 11 July 2017

Clare Reviews: The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

The Ultimatum (The Guardian #1)Title: The Ultimatum
Author: Karen Robards
Series: The Guardian #1
Source: Received from publisher for honest review
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5

Blurb: Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls' hair, she studied martial arts with sensei masters and dismantled explosives with special-ops retirees. Her father prepped her well to carry on the family business. Now a striking beauty with fierce skills, the prodigy has surpassed the master.
She's known as the Guardian. Running a multinational firm with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stole—and she's damn good at it. She does things on her own terms. But her latest gig had a little hiccup—if you count two hundred million dollars and top secret government documents going missing as little. Her father also died on the mission. The thing is, the US government doesn't believe he's really dead. They'll stop at nothing to capture Richard St. Ives, a high-value target and someone who has been on most-wanted lists all over the world for over two decades, and they mean to use Bianca as bait. With only a fellow criminal for backup and her life on the line, it's up to Bianca to uncover the terrifying truth behind what really happened...and set it right, before it's too late. 

I love anti-heroes and Bianca St. Ives may just be my new favourite. She was badass and cool and talented and totally unflappable and I adore her. The other characters are a little less developed. Bianca's father, especially felt like more of a mythical figure than a real human being to me. But there was a lot of development over the course of the book which I loved.

Plot wise I absolutely loved this. We start right in with the action in the middle of a heist-gone-wrong and everything about how Bianca handled it was so well written and so compelling. Like I said, totally unflappable. I get the feeling there is not a single situation she wouldn't wiggle her way out of - but it's believable. There are no miraculous escapes or last minute deus ex machina's - this is all Bianca. Her ingenuity and skills get her out of anything. 

I did feel like there was a little bit of a lull, after the first heist and before the real plot got started. It wasn't dull, necessarily but it was definitely a distinct change in pace from the rest of the book. I understand it - this is the first book in the series and we obviously need to get to know all of the characters and the back stories a little, but I was very relieved when the action started up again. Especially because the action in this is so exhilarating to read.

This is the novel equivalent of watching Mission Impossible and it essentially played like a movie in my head. Because it's a relatively short book and the action is (almost) non-stop it's a very gripping and exciting book to read and I think I only put it down once (and that was unavoidable, a girl's got to eat). The action didn't detract from my getting to know Bianca either, I am so emotionally attached to her character even after .... pages and I just know that I am going to get even more attached to her in the second book. 

The Ultimatum needs to be a movie because I would watch the hell out of it and I definitely recommend picking this up. Whether you are new to Robards' books or not this is a great one, with a strong main character and an exciting plot and I just can't wait to see both character and plot develop in book 2. I just wish I didn't have to wait a whole year for it!!

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  1. This sounds like a blast! I love the Mission Impossible movies, and if this is the book equivalent, than I'm all in! Adding this to my goodreads now. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! :)

    1. If you love Mission Impossible then you'd almost certainly enjoy this!! Hope you do like it!! :)

  2. What a fun sounding book and great review! Thanks for hosting this fun link-up each week.