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Life is short and justice a rare commodity in the harsh wastelands of Afghanistan. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Rafe Stoner is about to encounter this cruel truth the hard way. An operation goes tragically wrong, and a Taliban sniper team ambushes a UNHCR ambulance. One of the dead is the woman with whom he intended to start a new life. Stoner turns his back on civilization, and begins a new career as a gun-for-hire in the bitter land ruled by the bomb and the bullet. With a growing reputation as a man who gets results, the former SEAL agrees to locate the murderer of a young boy's father. This time, he is up against overwhelming odds, so he recruits a former friend, Greg Blum, as an extra gun. Blum, the son of a Russian who fought in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, is a talented shooter. He is also the man Stoner once threatened to kill. The operation becomes a desperate fight for survival. Battling drug-traffickers, murderers and warlords, Stoner has to employ all of his SEAL skills just to stay alive. The two men fight their way through ambush and the bitter snows of winter to reach their target. Standing in their way is a vicious warlord, Massoud, who counts among his ranks a psychopathic American sniper. The battle becomes a bloody and ferocious duel to the death. This is a spectacular story of a fight for justice in a ruined and war-torn land. Black-Ops: Heroes of Afghanistan is by the best-selling author of many Spec Ops war stories. These include the popular SEAL Team Bravo titles, the Raider series, as well as the Echo Six and Devil's Guard series.
When I decided to read this, I expected a testosterone laden, weapons heavy, nonstop action book about spies, special forces types, with lots of gunshots, car chases and various forms of daring do. They were all in this book, too, but I got blindsided because what I *got* was a very good, and very disturbing book.
This is the story of a country: a land that has been devastated from without and brutalized from within in ways that anyone who has never lived there can barely comprehend. There are no societal rules, because there is no society, not as we know it. Everything is for sale, and human life is the cheapest commodity of all.
This is the story of people: Many of the people we meet are what should be the dregs of society, instead, because they have money, influence and very big guns, they rule. We also, however, meet decent people, who have come to terms with having virtually only 2 choices; to become corrupt or to become dead.
This is the story of a man: It is, when it comes right down to it, the story of the saving of a man by some truly admirable people and one incredible former member of the Marine canine corps. It is a story of love, loss, bitterness, and, of a soul that fights through the darkness, and almost in spite of itself, finds life, love, friendship and humanity.
The writing pulls absolutely no punches. The author shows life as it is in this destroyed ancient land, and his descriptions are hard edged and vivid. This is a violent story about a violent place, and we are shown that violence in all its gory detail. Action scenes (3/4 of the book) are handled with style and attention to detail, yet read with the swiftness and force of a pounding heartbeat.
There is even humor in this book, which I won’t share, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I never realized all the uses to which farm equipment can be put.
The author does an excellent job with this narration, and has the kind of voice that is excellent for this type of book. In addition, his phrasing, speech rate and character differentiation were more than appropriate, and he could handle accents and foreign words easily and naturally.
Sometimes, being blindsided by a book, and having my expectations flung into the wind can be a very good thing, as with this book. It reminded me how fragile our human societies can be, and how indomitable the human heart and spirit can be …and *that* is something, I think, of which we need to be reminded regularly.
I give both book and author 5 out of 5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I'm SO Torn - A Great Book But Didn't Hold My Interest In The Middle
I really wanted to like this book. It is right up my alley for the occasional espionage thriller. I'm a huge Vince Flynn and Dalton Fury fan.
The opening chapters were amazing, but the middle got away from me-I kept backing the book up and finally just let it play through. However the ending was fantastic.
I'm not sure if that is a very helpful review, but the publisher summary gives a thorough overview and because of my listening experience, I don't think that I can add anything to it.
The narration was by Charles Lawrence. There are some narrators for this type of book who are just the right fit, George Guidall comes to mind. It is really hard for me to accept a new narrator but Charles Lawrence is up to the task. In fact, it was his performance that kept me listening.
Notes: violence, sometimes very graphic
*I was given this book in exchange for my opinion and this review. If you have found it helpful in deciding whether or not to purchase it, would you take a moment and select yes directly following this text. Thank you.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
This is an okay book, follows a good format but hard to believe Stoner is the go to guy, as he makes lots of mistakes!! Good support characters.
If you’ve listened to books by Eric Meyer before, how does this one compare?
Not read/listened to any other Eric Meyer books.
What does Charles Lawrence bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Lawrence delivers a good performance and keeps the story moving.