This book marks the return from the Mitch Rapp of his 20’s back to his early 40’s. The last two books focused on Mitch’s recruitment and the beginning of his CIA career, but now Vince has returned to modern times with this book. The book follows pretty much the same formula as all the other Vince Flynn books. Something happens things look really bleak. Then someone in Congress gets wind of these happens and threatens to bring a heap of trouble on the CIA, but just in time the plot is foiled and Mitch and his compatriots tie up all the loose ends in a nice neat orderly fashion. It is a formula that has served Mr. Flynn for quite a while and I keep coming back as well as millions of others.
Overall the story is well thought out and well written. My only complaint is that there are a couple of characters that are introduced some time is spent developing them but then they kind of fall off the radar and nothing more than a sentence or two is dedicated to them after that. I am not sure if these characters are going to resurface in future books of if this was just to throw the reader off the trail.
Mr. Guidall delivers yet another amazing performance. And it serves to remind me that Mr. Flynn really should just pony up the money and have George Guidall narrate the two previous books of his that he chose to have other narrators read.
I myself finished the book in about three days. And as always I now find myself in a book hang over not knowing where to go to next. Maybe I will re-listen to a couple of the older Mitch Rapp books……but Mr. Flynn if you are reading this I think you should start a new series with Stan Hurley and explore some of his exploits. Or even some of the corporate espionage that Scott Coleman was involved in. I know I would pay for those books!
I will start off by saying I am a huge fan of this series. This installation of the series delivers the same level of intensity, excitement, an intrigue as the last two. If you are looking for a survival book on “how to” skills this is not your book. The author does not teach how to live off the land while navigating the country side as other books do. Where this book not to mention the whole series really shines is the presentations of the raw ugly situations of a world in chaos. Many times while reading this series I have been forced to ask myself if I could do the hard and sometimes distasteful things that Gordon Van Zandt and the other characters in the story have had to do. This is where this series is unlike any other series I have ever read. In other apocalyptic series characters make long hard treks or fought off countless bands of robbers, zombies, or hungry mobs. But in this book and the series the characters are often put in situations where the good an honorable way of life is not always an option. These are the moments where the book is absolutely riveting an cost me more than couple hours of sleep because I could not put it down. Then again that is why coffee was invented.
The book itself picks up almost directly where The Long Road left off. If you have not read The Long Road I would strongly advise not continuing on as some of the items in this review will touch on key plot line events and will disclose events that happen during the first two books, so in short SPOILER ALERT! The book starts out with Gordon hot on the trail of the cult leader Rahab the man who killed his son Hunter in one of the most gruesome manners possible. This is what we would expect any good protagonist to do. From Achillies avenging Patroclus’s death to Bob Lee Swagger avenging the death an defamation of Carl Hitchcock, Gordon Van Zandt leaves his family and friends alone in a very dangerous and unpredictable world to seek vengeance for his son’s death. This decision comes with unintended consequences. Gordan’s family and friends are taken in by a man named Eric, his wife and a small community of people living in a subdivision. In Gordon’s absence his family and friends are harassed, harmed, some even killed by a local thug named Truman and his cohorts. The book ends just after an explosive confrontation between Truman’s group and Samantha, Hailey, Nelson, and Eric and his group. I hope the author will further expound on the possible rifts between Gordon and his family and friends on what happened while he was gone. Doing the just and noble thing may seem like a good idea but we may not always get the happy ending we think we deserve. The other four plot lines continue on President Connor, General Barone, Pablo, and Sebastian. I don’t feel like they have quite the level of detail that the Gordon plot line has been given but you do not need a crystal ball to see they will all eventually be intertwined. I heard a saying one time “Experience is what we get, when we do not get what we want.” This becomes an all too common theme throughout the book. From President Conor expressing regret about his rash use of nuclear weapons to Sebastian and those around him who pay heavily for some decisions he makes and obviously Gordon leaving to avenge Hunter. Most readers can see the pieces falling into place of how this story will go. But the author has done a great job in the past of surprising the reader with a plot twist. I know more than once all I could say was “Holy CRAP, I did not see that coming.”
My one issue with this book is that it seems awfully short. I felt like just as you are getting immersed in one story line the chapter ends and you are catapulted into another story line. By the end of the book you feel like you have barely spent any time with any of the characters. It is like being the host of a large party and because you have so many guests you really cannot spend any real quality time with any one person. This left me feeling like the book was really short even though when I looked the overall book is fairly comparable in length to other books of its genre. But those books had maybe one to three story lines to follow. Hopefully future books in the series will start to combine a number of these story lines together so that the reader can be deeply immersed in each story line. That said it is still a really good book.
I am not entirely sure why I enjoyed this book as much as I did, but I did. The characters were all very cliché. You have the gruff old Army General, the young idealistic Red Cross worker, an Army private that reminds me allot of Gomer Pile or Beetle Bailey, and others. The situations they find themselves in are very predictable and you can almost always tell what is coming next. But at the end of the day I would stay up an extra hour or two later at night listening to the book, and I am wait for my next credit in order to get book two. I am not sure why but I really did enjoy the book.
Let me explain the title I chose for this review, “The real John Rain returns”. The John Rain series books one through six were basically about a lone assassin. A man who does not have access to all the cool toys that the “James Bonds” and other government agents have. John Rain always used items that were available to the common man, like Google Maps and iPhones to get the job done. Then the book The Detachment came out and all of a sudden John Rain has access to all these cool communication gear and other awesome high tech toys. I felt like this was a sad departure from the Rain series, and was thrilled that the author returned to one of the main aspects of what in my humble opinion made the character John Rain great.
All the other books John Rain is a cold calculating killer. He is the master chess player that can see ten moves ahead of everyone else. His use of well honed tactics and skills allows him to eliminate targets with the precision of a laser beam. In this book Rain is young and not the calm and cool killer, but a bit of a hot head and very impetuous who relies on luck as much as sound tactics. At times I was asking myself “how lucky is this guy”? But with each stroke of luck you see the clumsy killer begin to take the form of the smooth killer of the future. The old proverb of “The only difference between a wise man and a fool, is the fools mistakes teach him nothing.” Is a recurring theme throughout the book, many times Rain makes mental notes never to do something in the future and if you have read the other books in the series you know these were lessons learned. Even this early in Rain’s career he is a master at “Grey Man” tactics, being able to melt into a crowd do something unpleasant and just disappear. These things are part of what make the book so interesting to read. I am not really sure about the love story aspect of the story and what I think of it. Part of me understands and sees how it is an iatrical part of the book. But sometimes it seems like it lasts so long I had to check to see if my iPod had accidentally jumped over to 50 Shades of Grey.
The plot twists are done masterfully and Mr. Eisler really did an amazing job with this story. The book had me going thinking “Holy Crap” and then ten minutes later laughing until I almost pissed my pants. As always I am looking forward to his next book…..although this time I am looking forward to it with anticipation, not with the prayers of redemption.
If you like the basic formula of the hero who is always two steps ahead of everyone else and always seems to beat the odds and win the day then this book is for you. I will say that I did not go through these books in order and since Audible had this book on Sale for $6.95 and the movie was coming out soon I figured why not. And I have to say I am not disappointed in the least bit. The book has an interesting story line and characters that you find yourself easily relating to. Child has an interesting habit of picking up a small details or his characters have random thoughts that I as a reader could easily have seen myself doing. In this book there is a barber with a sign “All styles $7.00” and Reacher seems to repeat that line to himself several times. I could see myself doing the same thing, so it really helped me embrace the character.
I dinged the performance one star because of a personal preference. Whenever there were characters in the book talking on the radio on a phone the narrator’s voice gets put through some sort of effect to make it sound similar to talking in a tunnel or the small crackle of white noise. I find this annoying and a bit distracting. If I wanted special affects I would go see a movie. But that is just my personal feelings. The Narrator himself Dick Hill I think turned in another great performance (I have listened to several other books he narrated and have yet to find where he does a bad job).
Getting away from the book itself and looking at the transition to the big screen really makes me wonder how they are going to do it. First off allot of the book and allot of the Jack Reacher character is based on his large size. The guy is supposed to be six foot five inches tall and weighs two hundred and fifty pounds. And somehow the actor Tom Cruise is supposed to pull this off at his five feet seven inches height, and he probably does not weight much over one hundred and seventy pounds. There are many times in the book where Reacher is identified by his build and in one of the fight scenes he uses his size specifically as a weapon. In humble opinion the actor that plays Opie on Son’s of Anarchy would be a much better Jack Reacher the Tom Cruise. But please do not let any of my comments about the adaptation to the movie deter you from buying the book. What does everyone always say “Oh yeah read the book! It was much better than the movie.”
No matter what you think about his TV show or the channel it is on, put that aside. This book does not deal with the politics of today. This is one of the best books about the Lincoln assassination you will ever read. It starts out with a few chapter about the battles and historical figures of the American Civil War. But after that you delve into the lives of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln and a host of other figures that shaped this terrible event in American history. It is a fascinated book that actually cost me about two good nights sleep as I could not stop listening. I highly recommend it.
I was blown away by this book. The story starts out kind of slow and in the first hour or two I almost went on to something else several times. But if you stick with it you will be pleased. By the time I hit hour seven and eight I was staying up late at night listening to it, and paying for it the next morning.
I now need to go back through the book and start reviewing the information that is provided and see if the data is correct. There is allot of scientific data presented and I am not sure if it is true or just sentences in a fiction novel but I will be looking up the data for myself. But it does seem to make sense and it does seem to connect allot of the dots on these environmental groups.
But that aside the book is well worth the investment of time and money and I will be recommending it to all my friends.
A number of previous people reviewing the book noted strange sounds the narrator makes and after reading those reviews I did begin to notice it. I am not sure how all these strange stomach and lip smacking noises got through the edit process but it would be really nice if the Audible team or someone took the time to clean them up and upload new copies of the audio to the site. But honestly these do not detract from the story and other then that I thought the narrator did a great job.
OK, I have to say that the book was good. But I have a few complaints some big some small.
First one of the reason I have always like the John Rain books is that he is just an average citizen. He does not have access to high tech toys, or massive amounts of classified data. In past books he has used Google maps to plot his movements and escape routes. One time he hooked up an iPhone and a bank of D batteries to setup a make shift tracking device. This sort of thing made the books interesting and different from other action adventure characters from other authors. In the Detachment he hooks up with some upper government guy and he provides them with tons of government tech. So to me that is a big let down. To a smaller degree having Rain work as part of a team is kind different and it in of itself has its pro's and con's.
In this book the author really lets his political views come shining through. Some of the past books there were hints and slight nuances. But in this book it is right in your face! If you agree with the author's view it probably will not be a big hang up for you. If you disagree with the author's views it can make for some long boring reading in those sections.
Over all it is a good book, but it really does an almost 180 degree from the normal John Rain book you have come to expect.
There were so many moments where this book almost brought me to tears. It is such a compelling story of the sacrifices that so many Americans made so that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today. It talks about the contributions made by so many different Americans that it warms the heart.
In these trying times it helps put into perspective that the challenges we face today are not nearly what our fore fathers faced.
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