Barely starting into the second week of the year seems too early to declare something as a ‘book of the year’, but I have really enjoyed this book.
Free on Kindle UK, I didn’t think to expect too much despite the high star rating for it and the other books in the series, but I was hooked within the first two pages. In fact, I could have finished this book days ago, but instead chose to read it in small batches to drag it out until finally succumbing to it earlier and reading 65% in one go! Spoilers follow.
This book would be perfect for a mini-series or a film – if the political climate wasn’t what it is currently. Having Muslim terrorists – even if revealed to be paid by US sources and interests – doesn’t seem wise. The book doesn’t redefine nor reinvent a genre, but it does a fantastic job within the existing genres. It’s like 24, Homeland, Jack Reacher, a Baldacci, it borrows from them but doesn’t feel boring. It has more shocking revelations than I saw coming from actually killing the President to blowing up the White House to casually dropping the fact that the informant is the main character’s father!
Above all, the writing is solid and it’s funny! In between the moments of terror, such as killing almost all of the civilian government, I couldn’t help laughing out loud at some of the quips or descriptions or the sarcasm dripping through the dialogue. It also shies away from infodumps and there is only one instance regarding Presidential succession where it felt over the top, but it’s essential for a reader with no existing knowledge to know.
Some of my favourite quotes:
About the Vice President:
Her issues were breast cancer awareness (as if somehow people were not already aware of breast cancer).
About monitoring a foreign embassy:
“CIA has managed to plant more than two hundred listening devices in that building over the years. Eleven of them are still active.”
A scary image of technological capabilities:
It was a holdover from the days when drones could use the satellite uplink signal to lock on ground targets. In those days, a man with a satellite phone was holding a big red bull’s-eye. But now, it hardly mattered. The newest drones could lock on to cell phones, laptops, GPS units, almost anything.
During a helicopter chase/ambush:
“What are you going to do?” Luke smiled. “I’m the head cheerleader. Keep the intercom wide open and listen for my screams.”
“Hey, Luke,” Rachel shouted. “When I was leaving SOAR, my C.O. asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my life. You know what I said? I told him I was gonna go work for the SRT. You know why? Because Luke Stone was there. All these years of flying choppers, and I never got the chance to die in one. I’m hoping Luke can fix that for me.”
“You’re my kind of girl,” Luke said.
The only issue I have with the book is its ending. I don’t mind the cliffhanger quite so much as I’m sure it’ll be resolved in the next one, but for a plan so meticulously planned for what I’m assuming to be years if not decades, I’m disappointed just how easily the Speaker was dispatched at the end. I was expecting there to be much more resistance though perhaps this is also something explored in the rest of the series.
5/5 – I can’t wait to read the other books in the series though will need to slow down in order to savour them. I like the new reality created here and am curious what will happen with the world being at brink of war.