While I like getting more Bond adventures in the original timeline, it’s jarring as Bond’s personality seems to change from book to book. I generally think that Carte Blanche is one of the finer literary outings for 007. Personally, I’d like to see a sequel that continues the modern day storyline. I think the 50s and 60s have been played out for Bond (especially after the incredibly weak Solo).
I agree. There’s too much of 007 in the past right now. I feel that if the Dynamite comics would have been original novels, wouldn’t have this problem of 007 being stuck in the past. I would still like to see Carte Blanche be made into a movie however…
It’s all rather strange-- I had been under the impression that Carte Blanche was supposed to initiate a new timeline, paving the way for future entries in a rebooted literary Bond series. But that never materialized.
IFP simply went back to Fleming’s timeline with Solo, Trigger Mortis, and now Forever and a Day.
So we’re left with Carte Blanche occupying a rather odd place by itself, the sole installment in its continuity.
I actually really liked the novel (although I seem to be one of the few) and would have welcomed further installments by Deaver or others in the timeline that novel started. A very big missed opportunity.
On a related note: I find IFP’s insistence on returning time and time again to Fleming’s timeline (it all started with Young Bond and Devil May Care) to be rather uninspired, demonstrating essential lack of confidence in the ability to produce a modern Bond novel. And this is aside from all the gimmicky “writing as Ian Fleming” or “with never-before-published material from Ian Fleming” nonsense.
I mean, I don’t really mind getting all these I guess vintage Bond stories. It’s just that, with Carte Blanche, I felt we were in for modern books more in line with the Craig films. Personally, I think CB is the strongest of the current run of novels. I really liked Trigger Mortis, but something about Bond’s characterization felt off. DMC was okay, despite the rather useless finale and dont get me started on the crap that was solo.
As I’ve said before, it’s way more than time for Bond to return to a modern timeline.
The Carte Blanche universe definitely had potential with its concept, and I really feel like giving it another read after all these years. I think it’s something I’ve neglected and perhaps unfairly lumped in with DMC and Solo, two novels which I didn’t particularly enjoy.
I really enjoyed Carte Blanche and the world Deaver set up. The characters themselves across the board are very legit, and I love the relatable authenticity of the MI6 office dynamics. My only issue with the book is that it gets a bit frustrating near the end. By that point you already know that if Deaver is teeing up a tragic twist, he’s going to pull the rug out a few paragraphs later to reveal that everyone you care about was fine all along. That writing methodology ultimately obliterated any potential for suspense by the final chapters. Some true subversion of that expectation would have gone a long way. In fact, having a sequel that begins with you expecting Bond to always be a step ahead like he is throughout Carte Blanche, only to learn that he’s being horribly outplayed with tragic consequences would have been a great place to start and an appropriate course correction to up the stakes a bit. Reading a modern Bond thriller was a real treat, though, and the tech aspect of it as well as the characterizations have aged incredibly well. I’d still rank it at the top of the continuations for me, just above Forever and a Day.
I’ve nearly finished reading Carte Blanche. I still find Deaver’s Bond too nice with a certain edge missing as I like Bond being more of a bastard. But that’s not enough to slide things down into the bad category. I’m all aboard the concept of updating things for the modern day. I also like the emphasis on detective work, and I think it’s written well. Happy to report I like it more than I did a decade previously.
I really enjoy Horowitz’s books and in many ways they read like Fleming but with the fat trimmed off and the hard-to-read stuff side-stepped entirely (Horowitz writes women far better than Fleming did in my opinion), without the books feeling like an apology for the character.
I do think it would be great to get a proper reboot of the literary character set in modern times though - Gardern and Benson both tried this with mixed results but there’s nothing to say a better writer couldn’t make it work - they could touch on all the themes of obsolescence of the Craig films and explore how modern intelligence works. God knows, real life Bond villains dominate the headlines all the time now - how fantastic is it going to seem that some billionaire is secretly plotting to blow up London or what have you?