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I waited to start this book until it was released last week on Audible. I finished it last night while driving around my neighborhood because I simply couldn't stop listening.
There are so many things that are right with this book that it is difficult to find a place to start. Here are a few that really stood out for me.
- I've read very few authors of fiction that can so accurately involve the reader/listener into the experience of war. Not just describe the experience. But, truly bring you INTO the experience. The emotions, the thoughts, the smell, the taste of acid in your mouth, the resolve to push forward in spite of fear, understanding the real fear - letting your teammates down, and the war inside of a man of faith who is also a warrior
- In the same way the experience of battle is developed in such understandable detail, the character development of the primary character in this novel is DEEP. You really get to know this guy. He is surrounded by a series of characters that are believable and interesting, each in their own way. I can put a name on each one of these people from someone I know in the Teams, SOG/SAD, or CAG. It reminds me of the best of Vince Flynn and John Gilstrap in how he captures the interactions within the warrior brotherhood.
- I mentioned this previously, but it deserves its own point. The author's willingness to explore the internal conflict of someone who holds himself to the standard of being a man of God, yet has a past, and a talent, that leads him back to the very dark world of men that hold themselves to a different standard of evil. I kept trying to find a comparable author, book, or character to what I experienced while listening to this story and there simply isn't one. It is that good. It is kind of like The Last Jihad series by Joel Rosenberg in that it deals directly and fearlessly with the challenges a man faces if he is to lead a life in accordance with his faith. At the same time, it is not a book about biblical prophecy. It is, however, a story of good versus evil, and of men and women who are willing to step up to face down that evil, up close and personally.
I join others in hoping this starts a long series around this character, Chris Paladin, and his cohorts Hannah and the irascible Sonny.
Great job, Stephen! Thanks for the great ride and for using your talent and experience to spin a tale that was unpredictable and that moved me at the heart level as I read it.
I highly recommend this book!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I will absolutely recommend this audiobook to all my friends. Narrator, Brian Troxell, is a perfect choice - he has an amazingly smooth, yet gruff timbre to his voice. The storytelling is suspenseful and Brian quickly engaged me with an incredibly deep and conflicted main character. There is awesome attention to detail and the author, Stephen Templin, doesn't just write a story, he brings you into the experience.
What did you like best about this story?
The pace was a fast, action-packed, thrill-ride! The attention to detail and the narration of this book had me feeling as if I could touch, taste, smell, and experience the fear and conflict of the main characters. It's a story about warriors who are battling to remain true to a profession and a faith.
Which scene was your favorite?
I loved the ear-chewing scene wherein Mordet jumps Chris and gnaws his ear half-off, but I was also captivated by the mountain scene, as the trio climbed, crouched, and crawled through a gully towards Syria. It's hard to pick a favorite scene because the book is filled with so many complex adventures throughout.
Any additional comments?
This is a stimulating audiobook that engages your imagination and should definitely be on your "to listen to" list! Fantastic sound and pacing on this audiobook and a wonderful choice to have Brian Troxell narrate! I'd love to see this on the big screen one day!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful