Crux – Classics Retold Review and Giveaway

3523188Title: Crux
Author: Richard Aellen
Source: bought on Amazon
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: By far my favorite Count of Monte Cristo re-telling, this book kept all the most important things about the original and in doing so became a great thriller with a lot of depth.

Keith Johnson is happily married and pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot when he’s sent to Vietnam. When evidence suggests his sergeant has killed one of his own men, Keith is unable to keep silent. Unfortunately, one of his friends is willing to betray him for a chance at a safer posting and his sergeant is desperate to get rid of him. Sent on a mission meaning almost certain death, Keith is reported as missing in action but actually survives only to be thrown into a prison camp for 20 years. When he eventually escapes, his only thought is of revenge.

I loved Crux, in large part because it felt to me like almost exactly what Dumas would have written had he set his novel during the Vietnam war. The author included all of the things I loved about the first book, including the sense of adventure; the mystery surrounding Keith when he reappears a wealthy man; and the mentoring relationship he has with a fellow prisoner. He also keeps the focus on revenge and the question of what betrayal can do to an otherwise good person. Although some of the things he changed might bother other people, I loved the Keith was less arrogant than the original hero and also less willing to sacrifice innocent lives.

At first, I didn’t find Crux that suspenseful as it followed the path marked out by the original story. Fortunately, while the premise and the feel of the original were preserved, the details of the ending were all new. By the last hundred pages I was desperately wanting to stay up much later than I should just to find out what happened next. Lately I’ve read a number of thrillers that just read like every other action-packed thriller to me and this book was different. Although it did enjoyably amp up the action at the end, there was also the deeper focus of the original on Keith/Edmond’s character development and the themes of betrayal and revenge. That added depth made this both an exceptional thriller and a great homage to the original Count of Monte Cristo.

If this sounds like a good read to you, I’d love for my gently used copy to go to someone who’s excited about reading it, so hop on over to the rafflecopter giveaway! Open internationally, closes Friday 10/6.




Filed under Fiction, Re-telling, Thriller

7 responses to “Crux – Classics Retold Review and Giveaway

  1. wow, a retelling of this favorite classic! thanks for the giveaway

  2. Am I to take this to mean that you have read several Count of Monte Cristo retellings? Because that’s impressive. I am not even familiar with the original story, to be honest! I know, bad me. I should probably read the original first before reading any retellings, but it’s nice that this one was so well done!

    • I actually hadn’t read the original yet either, until I decided to do this September Classics Retold event and my classic was The Count of Monte Cristo. I read the original and three re-tellings and this one was by far the best 🙂

  3. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I haven’t heard of this book, but it’s great that you enjoyed it so much! And that it deviated enough from the original to be really suspenseful! Great review!

    • Thanks Charlene 🙂 Someone who liked different things about the classic might not enjoy it as much as I did, but I was a huge fan of what the author chose to keep and what they chose to change.

  4. Pingback: My Bitchin’ Rundown (September 29 to 5 October) | Bitches With Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s