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I'm so conflicted on Mightier Than the Sword. After loving the first two novels in the Clifton Chronicles I felt there was a major drop off in books three and four. To keep things as simple as possible I didn't understand why this was such a long series. Harry and Emma have always been the draw for me into these novels and as the cast expanded and contracted I just began to lose interest. However since I'm already four books invested I felt like I had to continue my trek into this series.
The good news is, Mightier Than the Sword is a much better novel then books three and four and yet it still isn't anywhere near the drama of the first two. The big issue I have had with this book and the last two are the conflicts. They feel forced. Characters in The Clifton Chronicles are far either good or evil. There's no room for nuance. No grey areas. You have characters you're told to like and others that are the epitome of evil. This makes the story feel a little too clean.
I've also gotten to the point where I wonder if Harry and Emma are just too good for their own good? There's a scene where Harry follows his conscious to help another and I kept wondering what person would ever do this? And yet for all of its faults, and there are many, I still really enjoyed Mightier Than the Sword. The pacing was much better in this one then the previous two. More happens and what happens seems at least slightly more plausible then the last two books.
I will continue down the windy road that is The Clifton Chronicles. Although I think reading all this Jeffrey Archer makes me excited for what he writes after this series as its starting to get long in the tooth.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
The Clinton Chronicles are addictive and as formula driven as a PBS/BBC costume-drama epic. They sprawl over decades of the Clinton family’s astonishing ability to survive the wiles of bad… bad… bad… villains who are unspeakably evil.. evil… EVIL…
Each volume carefully (some might quibble and say.. “tediously”) creates a new peril sure to destroy this loving, plucky, and noble tribe only to end in… in… a cliff hanger that demands the next book in the series to reveal. &^&%#!!
Yep, Jeffery Archer’s shameless. His characters have the depth and complexity of a Marvel Comic Book, and his plots seem driven by Snidely Whiplash menacing poor Nell who he’s lashed to the tracks.
And yet, I’ve listened to five of them now… Only Time Will Tell, The Sins of the Fathers, Best Kept Secret, Be Careful What You Wish For, and Mightier than the Sword. Each of these were already available on Audible so they could be purchased and enjoyed as one long tale. I recall giggling smugly when I understood his cliff hanger stunts, realizing that I’d not have to wait a year until the next one arrived: Unlike the poor addicted fools who discovered them one at a time as they were originally published.
And then I cursed at the end of Mightier than the Sword to realize that now I was in the cue of addled Archer addicts waiting to see how the family’d escape this latest threat. I HATE IT!
My advice, don’t start this series until you are sure Archer’s written the end to it. BEWARE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE! Archer will shamelessly diddle with you.
BTW, Alex Jennings creates the ensemble with a wily power that compliments Archer's.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful