Friday, 9 November 2012

The Queen And Country Novels Are Good Books

Or why you should read A Gentleman's Game, Private Wars, and The Last Run by Greg Rucka

Queen and Country originated as a series of comics about modern day British spies. The agents of the British foreign intelligence service (SIS) Special Section, called Minders, are the elite operatives sent to carry out operations in the most dangerous and sensitive places around the world. The comics follow Tara Chace, an extremely talented spy and Minder, and Paul Crocker, the Deputy Director of Operations, as they alternately carry out dangerous missions conducted against enemies of the crown and battle against the political realities of the bureaucracy. Queen and Country is good comics.

The Queen and Country novels are more of what's great about the comics. They feature our beloved members of the SIS on additional suspenseful missions in service to their country. The stories are as smart, well crafted, and exciting as any of the comics and chock full of the character drama and bureaucratic maneuvering that are staples of the comic series. If you enjoyed the comics, you'll likely enjoy the books too.

Actually, the books make for an interestingly different reading experience. Prose writing lends itself to exposition, which exponentially increases the amount of information and detail in the novels. Similarly, instead of watching characters and events we get to live inside them, experiencing inner lives and the events from an inside perspective. As a result, we learn a great deal more about the characters of Queen and Country and the way in which modern intelligence services operate. The Queen and Country novels are as exciting and suspenseful as the comics, but much more detailed and interesting. For suspense/thriller/action novels they are very smart and meaty.

I'd recommend these novels to any fan of the Queen and Country comics. In fact, every fan of the comics should read the novels, preferably in the correct order (A Gentleman's Game fits between Omnibus 2 and 3) to get the most out of the series. I'd also suggest that anyone looking for smart, exciting, and vaguely progressive action/suspense fair check these books out too. Just, you know, also read the comics.

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