No Fail ★★★☆☆

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Title: No Fail
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Dark Operator #3
Author: Doc Spears
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mil-SF
Pages: 281
Words: 100.5K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Failure is a Hateful Word

For Dark Ops Sergeant Kel Turner, it’s unthinkable. Until now. Kill teams are accustomed to achieving the impossible, and Kill Team Three has done the impossible more than any other. Tasked with mission after mission, against a never-ending list of enemies, Kel and Three brace themselves to rise to the occasion yet again.

Kel lived under no doubts about his kill team’s ability to win against any odds, until an enemy thought long defeated reappears. From a dingy city locked in the center of a cold war to a nightmarish alien landscape, the one constant that defines their latest missions is that a kill team is always alone.

Living in the black world of covert operations, there are secrets, then there are secrets. The first might lead to his death. The second might lead to failure.

For this Dark Operator, in a galaxy filled with potentials, death is preferable to failure.

My Thoughts:

Decent Mil-SF but that’s about it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rebellion ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Rebellion
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Dark Operator #2
Author: Doc Spears
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mil-SF
Pages: 283
Words: 104K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com & Me

For Sergeant Kel Turner and Kill Team Three, the wait is never long. Whether it’s on a core world snatching a delusional genius who knows too much, or on the edge forging allies among a complex alien culture, Dark Ops are the foot soldiers of the House of Reason’s galactic game for dominance.

Danger looms over Kel and his teammates like taxes over a Republic citizen. The promise is written in blood. Now they face a crisis that makes their worst firefight tame in comparison. Kel learns that sometimes there are no clear answers, manuals, or templates to follow. Isolated from Republic help, when the lives of thousands hang in the balance, a planet looks for a savior. Fortunately, when there’s a dark operator on hand, the odds favor the Legion.

KT3 kidnap a rich genius and disappear him. Then the entire book switches to them being on an alien planet that the Republic is woo’ing for the rare elements available. The Company has made a deal with the largest tribe, arming them with modern blasters and tanks, etc. Several Kill Teams are training this new army. The army rebels, the supposed leader declares herself the leader of the world and plans to wipe out every single human on the planet.

The Ambassador gets all the surviving humans (many were killed in outposts they were doing research at) into one city and begins evacuating them. But with a brand new army and guns and tanks, the rebel isn’t going to let that happen. So she begins to march on the city, which is pretty much defenseless. Kel figures out a way to send an asteroid onto the army and destroy it without cracking the planets surface.

The book ends with an extremely powerful Senator making note that Kel is too resourceful for a Legionnaire and needs to be cut off.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed my time reading this but have realized that what I really like about the Galaxy’s Edge universe is the original authors writing. Jason Anspach and Nick Cole write what I want to read, military space opera. Everybody else who is playing in this sandbox seems to be writing just military science fiction. I enjoy mil-sf, but not as much as space opera.

The beginning of the book felt like a short story inserted to pad the page/word count. I kept waiting for what happened then to have ramifications when they were on the alien world, but it never did. The beginning chapter/s (I forget if it was longer than a chapter or not) simply had zero integration with the rest of the book. It was very jarring.

Decent read but not mind blowing or anything like that at all. I’m giving this 3 ½ stars but really, I think that half star is just for the name Galaxy’s Edge. If the next book is of the same quality and holds my interest the same, I’ll be knocking things down to a more realistic 3star. Mind you, this isn’t bad. It just isn’t what I got in the original series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Dark Operator ★★★✬☆

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Title: Dark Operator
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Dark Operator #1
Author: Doc Spears
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mil-SF
Pages: 355
Words: 130K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com & Me

Legion Dark Ops has always been a unit shrouded in secrecy.

Tasked with performing covert missions, its kill teams are filled with the best warriors from within the ranks of the Legion.

Kel Turner is one of the youngest legionnaires ever to be selected to its ranks. After many battles and trials, he is faced with the greatest challenge of his life – operating by himself on a remote planet at the galaxy’s edge, a foot soldier for the policies of the duplicitous House of Reason, tasked with solving a crisis that would take ten kill teams to resolve.

Diplomats, spies, shadowy terrorist groups, and an enigmatic general work with and against Kel as he fights to save a society from itself. What can one operator do alone, separated from his kill team, fighting a war that has no name?

Once Kel has turned around the various police forces of the planet and done a lot of good work, he’s asked to leave. Immediately. By the very man he thought was his friend on the planet, the titular head of security for the Families.

Once he reaches Republic Space, he finds out that that same man used the skills Kel gave him and his men to overthrow the Families and establish himself as Dictator. And all of this was known about and used by the politicians of the Republic.

My Thoughts:

This was MUCH better than the Order of the Centurion sub-series (which I dnf’d partway through). While still not engaging in a tone of space opera that the original series does, this managed to be a thoroughly enjoyable military SF romp. Part of my enjoyment, and focused me on what I didn’t enjoy about Order, was that Kel is a pretty well rounded guy. I guess my problem with Order was that I was reading about guys who were breaking apart in some way or other, and the testing that Tyrus Rechs set up for even getting into the Legion should have weeded out fellows like that. Here, Kel is everything I expect to read about when reading about the Dark Operators, the top of the top of the Legion.

He’s young, not stupid, but naive in terms of just how the galaxy works in certain ways. It takes him by surprise when the Security Chief takes over using a coup. He’s really surprised when his best friend is killed by the Zhee and he finds out that the head of the Dark Operators helped train Zhee back in the day. He’s a great mix of deadly, competent and naive.

The story was good too. Kell is on a world that is experiencing some civil unrest and is helping the security forces get a handle on things. As such there is a lot of military action but it is liberally leavened with social things like going out to eat or going to a party. For me, it was perfectly balanced between straight up Mil-SF and good old fashioned adventure.

I’m looking forward to the next one. And once I’m done with this 5book sub-series, I’ll have to see what kind of back catalog Doc Spears has of his own original stuff.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Stryker’s War ★★✬☆☆

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Title: Stryker’s War
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Order of the Centurion #3
Author: Josh Hayes
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mil-SF
Pages: 197
Words: 63.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

Feel the thunder!

Stryker Company always brings the fight, but when they relieve embittered and embattled Republic marines, they find an enemy unwilling to stand up and face them. Tasked with protecting the Republic’s interests on a mining world, the legionnaires face roadside ambushes, double-dealing locals, and constant sabotage.

And the mission isn’t as straightforward as they thought it would be.

As skirmishes escalate into coordinated ambushes and assaults, two squad leaders, Talon and Lankin, are forced to chase after the sparks threatening to ignite the entire populace into a full-blown insurgency. Denied the legionnaires and resources they need to contain the situation, a single platoon fights to complete a mission requiring all of Stryker Company. The outnumbered platoon must work their way from glittering coastal ports, through steamy jungles and dust-covered mines, to find an enemy hidden seamlessly among the indigenous populace.

The cost is high; the sacrifice great…but nothing short of death itself will stop the legionnaires of Stryker Company from completing its objective. In this stand-alone tale of combat, brotherhood, and sacrifice, these legionnaires will learn what it truly means to make the ultimate sacrifices for their friends.

My Thoughts:

This Order of the Centurion sub-series is straightup Military Science Fiction without a hint of the Space Opera that I enjoy so much from Anspach and Cole.

I had the exact same issues with this book that I did with Iron Wolves. The main character/s are a bunch of worry warts with possible mental issues all the while operating in a hostile environment with idiots for bosses. I’m sure this would appeal to military vets, as it seems to be aimed at that crowd but as someone who came in on the Star Wars’ish space opera vibe for the Galaxy’s Edge, this is not for me.

As such, I’m abandoning this sub-series and will start another one. Sigh, my first letdown in this series :-/

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Iron Wolves (Galaxy’s Edge: Order of the Centurion #2) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Iron Wolves
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Order of the Centurion #2
Author: Jonathan Yanez
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mil-SF
Pages: 212
Words: 62K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com/Publisher’s Summary

The Iron Wolves are a company of legionnaires whose legendary exploits date back to the Savage Wars. When they are invited to be guests of honor at a ceremony on a small, backwater planet, they look forward to some precious time away from the constant conflicts of galaxy’s edge.

But when a neighboring country invades, disrupting the ceremony and killing innocents, the Wolves are forced to make an impossible decision. Aid a people pleading for their protection… or obey the cynical orders of their Senate to stand down and see how the dust settles.

Taking their careers and lives into their hands, the Iron Wolves and local militia form a brotherhood determined to fight for what they believe in. War is on the wind, the battle is at hand, and the Legion is on the move once more.

My Thoughts:

This is the first GE book truly written by another author. While Anspach and Cole’s names are on the cover, this is all Yanez. As such, it is a very different book from what I’ve read before. In many ways, it was almost straight up Mil-SF, just like the first book that kicked this whole series off, Legionnaire (by the by, can you believe it has been over 2 years since I started in on the Galaxy’s Edge series? And man, it is still going wicked strong!). There was no space opera about this novel, only the grim side of a war for a Republic that was downright dirty.

The main character, Sam, is a real basketcase. He suffers from flashbacks & nightmares and has bad enough anger issues that he’s constantly being busted back in rank. His life is the Legion though and there is nothing he won’t do for his brothers, including disobey direct orders from their Point Major, who is safely ensconced in a spaceship high above the world.

I understood what Yanez was writing here and why he wrote Sam as he did but I did not enjoy it nearly as much as some of the other GE books. Without that space opera element, that “fantastical other”, Mil-SF has to be really interesting to keep me engaged.

I’ll definitely be adjusting my expectations for the rest of this sub-series. Hopefully that will be enough to keep me motivated.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Hundred (Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #3) ★★★★☆

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Title: The Hundred
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #3
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 251
Words: 109.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

THE LEGION HAS LANDED.

One hundred men met the brutal standards of General Tyrus Rechs and became legionnaires.

One hundred men embarked on a suicide mission to retake New Vega from the Savages.

One hundred men stood up… for the galaxy.

Galaxy’s Edge: The Hundred is the exciting conclusion to the Savage Wars trilogy as the Legion launches a desperate, brutal assault against the overwhelming forces of the Savage Alliance.

My Thoughts:

Out of the 250 pages, the battle was about 200 of them. So if ultra-tough space marines on steriods, ie, the Legionnaires, don’t get your motor running, this book definitely isn’t for you. In all honesty, this sub-series of the Galaxy’s Edge series isn’t for you and I’d even question if the entire GE series was for you or not. This is Mil-SF with enough Space Opera to keep it from becoming Tom Clancy Presents: Jack Ryan the 15th, In Space!

Where the previous book, Gods and Legionnaires, was divided into 2 books, one about the Savages and one about the Legionnaires, this was 90% about the 100 Legionnaires taking back the planet New Vega. The book actually starts 50-100 years after the events take place with the few surviving Legionnaires from that battle being honored. Coupled with the vague references from previous GE books, we knew that the 100 were whittled down to almost nothing before kicking the Savages off New Vega.

Even Tyrus Rechs dies. Of course, because of the magic scyenze mojo the Savages did on him when he was their prisoner, he comes back to life, but he takes a new call sign so that as far as the Legion is concerned, Rechs is dead. He set out to do what he needed to and now it is time to recover.

We’re also introduced to Aeson Ford, the guy from the first season of Galaxy’s Edge. Considering this took place 1500-2000 years before those books, I was wondering if it was the same guy. But right at the end of the book he gets drafted into some sort of Super Magic Scyenze Cryogenics program, so yep, it’s him. That was fun to see.

This was the final book in the Savage Wars sub-series and I thought that Anspach and Cole did an admirable job of relating a story that took place 2000 years before. They didn’t go overboard and try to describe every nut and bolt or color of every bird’s feather but neither were they Idea Only people like some of the old masters like Asimov or even Clarke. The blood, the grit and the determination were here in spades and I loved every second of it.

Next up for me and Galaxy’s Edge is the Order of the Centurion series. I’ll talk about exactly what they entail when I review the first book, Order of the Centurion, but it will be something a bit different as each of the 5 books in the series is mainly written by some other author while Anspach and Cole stamp their name on the book and keep control of their universe. I hope it turns out ok. Sometimes letting other authors play in your sandbox doesn’t turn out well. But for the first time in my entire life, I’m going to think positively and believe that I’m going to love Order of the Centurion as much as all the previous GE series 😀

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Consent to Kill (Mitch Rapp #6) ★☆☆☆☆

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Title: Consent to Kill
Series: Mitch Rapp #6
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 514
Words: 174.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

In Flynn’s previous novel, Memorial Day, CIA counter-terror operative and assassin Mitch Rapp uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot to use a nuclear weapon obtained from abandoned Russian nuclear storage bunkers. The ultimate goal was the destruction of Washington, D.C., and Rapp was forced to torture the only man who knew the details of the plan: Waheed Abdullah. Rapp then faked Waheed’s death to prevent the Saudi Government from learning of it and rescuing him, while preserving a useful source for himself. To keep Waheed from being discovered, Rapp puts him in an Afghan prison.

However, this plan backfires: Waheed’s father, Saeed Ahmed Abdullah, a billionaire Saudi businessman and a jihadist himself, learns that Rapp has “killed” his son. Saeed beseeches Saudi Prince Muhammed bin Rashid for help. Rashid puts Saeed in contact with a former East German Stasi officer, Erich Abel, and Saeed puts a $20 million contract on Rapp’s head.

Abel, through his contacts, approaches two assassins, a husband and wife team, Louis Gould and Claudia Morrell. For $10 million, they agree to kill Rapp. Claudia, who is pregnant, specifically asks Louis not to kill Rapp’s wife, Anna, as she is also pregnant. Louis agrees, and both leave for America.

In Washington, Rapp is angered by the new Director of National Intelligence, Mark Ross, who authorized surveillance of Rapp’s co-worker and friend, former Navy SEAL Scott Coleman. Ross sends the IRS to investigate Coleman, and requests Coleman’s personnel file from the Navy. Ross has ambitions to the presidency and views his current position as a stepping stone to the White House. He has no respect for Rapp because of Rapp’s reckless actions and, despite his contributions, wants to fire him.

Rapp decides to visit Ross to stop his investigation of Coleman, but he loses his famous temper when he finds a satellite photo of Coleman and discovers his friend was an active topic of interest. He physically holds the National Security adviser by the collar and slaps him with a folder holding Coleman’s files. Rapp warns Ross not to interfere with the War on Terror. His words fall on deaf ears, though, and Ross decides that he must fire Rapp. Since Rapp has the president’s full support, Ross decides he has to do it carefully.

Later, Rapp injures his left knee during a morning jog, and encounters the assassins Gould and Claudia, both dressed as bicyclists, examining his house. Rapp doesn’t suspect anything and continues limping back towards his house. The next day, Rapp undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery. He and his wife Anna come home and as they settle down in their house, Louis detonates a bomb that kills Anna and throws a severely wounded Rapp into Chesapeake Bay where he is saved by a nearby boater. The CIA fakes Rapp’s death and takes him to a safehouse to recuperate.

In a secret meeting with Irene Kennedy, Director of the CIA, President Hayes tells Kennedy that Rapp has his consent to kill any and all people involved in the murder of his wife.

Saudi Prince Rashid, who is visiting U.S., finds out from Director Ross that Rapp is in fact not dead. Ross carelessly informs Rashid of Rapp’s safehouse location. Rashid orders his assistant, Saudi intelligence agent Nawaf Tayyib, to kill Rapp and Abel. Tayyib hires Latino gang leader Anibal Castillo to kill Rapp at the safehouse. Tayyib then goes hunting for the go-between Abel with two of his men, to sever the chain of contacts leading back to the prince.

Castillo and thirteen of his men attack the safehouse. Rapp kills all of Castillo’s men, then wounds Castillo and brings him in to be questioned. Through different leads Rapp discovers Saeed was the one who put a bounty on his head.

Rapp goes to Afghanistan and gets Waheed out of prison, giving Waheed the impression that it is a hostage exchange. Rapp has Waheed unknowingly wear a vest full of explosives. As the released Waheed embraces his father in the street, Rapp pulls out a detonator and blows Saeed and Waheed and twelve of Saeed’s bodyguards to pieces.

The CIA in the meantime has found out about Erich Abel’s role in hiring the assassins and sends Rapp to Abel’s office. There Rapp finds Tayyib torturing Abel’s secretary for information on Abel’s whereabouts. Rapp kills Tayyib’s men, and he and Coleman capture Tayyib. A conscience-stricken Claudia is revealed to be the one who gave the CIA information on Abel.

Abel’s secretary reveals to Rapp and Coleman that Abel is in Austria. Rapp flies there and captures Abel at his mountain retreat and tortures him for information. Abel reveals that Rashid was the mastermind behind the plot. He also gives information on the assassins. After hearing this, Rapp, who has become much more violent and vengeful after the killing of his wife, burns Abel alive inside the house.

Rapp travels to Spain where Rashid is staying. Coleman bribes Rashid’s guards, who are British SAS sympathetic to Rapp, to let them in. Rapp completely covers Tayyib’s body with explosives and drops him off in front of the mosque where Rashid is staying. Once Rashid’s personal guards have Tayyib in custody, Rapp detonates the explosives, killing Tayyib and all the guards. Rapp finds Rashid and beats him severely before he puts a thermal grenade in his mouth and pulls the pin, melting Rashid’s head.

In the epilogue, set nine months later, Rapp trails Louis and Claudia to Tahiti. Claudia has had her baby and Louis has retired. Rapp aims a gun at Louis’s head, but once he hears that the baby was named after his deceased wife, he realizes she would not want her death avenged like this. He turns and leaves Louis, Claudia, and Anna unharmed. He then throws the gun into the ocean and continues walking down the boardwalk outside.

My Thoughts:

The reason this gets a 1star from me, and the reason for my “Oh no!” Currently Reading post a couple of weeks ago is because Rapp’s wife is killed in this story. And she was pregnant.

I knew this event was going to happen at some point. The kind of character that Rapp is and his public outing of his job in earlier books made this even inevitable. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it, or to like the fact that the author bowed to the inevitable instead of fighting against fate. I almost dnf’d the book right then and there when it happened. As it is, I’m pulling this series from my reading rotation and going to think about if I want to continue with it.

Flynn has really disappointed me with this. I was hoping he was going to take the harder writing road and make things work with Mitch as a married man since he’d chosen to make him a married man. It just felt like he threw up his hands and said “Oh, this is too hard. I’m going to do the easy thing”. Have her wounded, have her divorce Rapp, but don’t kill her and their baby. It just felt wrong.

The rest of the story didn’t really matter to me. I didn’t really notice it. I was just seething. And that is why I’m going to wait until next year to make a decision about continuing the series. Emotional reactions are a fact of my life but I refuse to be controlled by them.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Memorial Day (Mitch Rapp #5) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Memorial Day
Series: Mitch Rapp #5
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 450
Words: 137.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

Intelligence gathering has indicated unusual activity in financial markets, and Rapp, back in the field after a long stint on desk duty for insubordination, unearths a bomb plot during a daring commando raid on an al-Qaeda stronghold in Afghanistan. A decision is made for the President and his cabinet to leave Washington, D.C. in early morning hours based on the bomb threat. However a United States strike force manages to intercept and disarm the nuclear weapon moments after it arrives by freighter in Charleston, South Carolina. Everyone, including series stalwart President Robert Hayes, congratulates themselves on a job well done, but Rapp is not convinced; he believes al-Qaeda leader Mustafa al-Yamani has smuggled a second nuclear weapon into the country and plans to detonate it in Washington, D.C., during Memorial Day celebrations.

Rapp, a ruthless terrorist pursuer by temperament and training, turns it up several notches this time around, following al-Yamani’s scent with feverish abandon. When a missing Pakistani nuclear scientist is found to have passed through LAX on his way to Atlanta, and a truck driver turns up dead due to radiation sickness, the chase is on again. Ultimately the terrorists approach Washington D.C. by water, are spotted from the air, and killed by Rapp. The second bomb, however, has been activated and is in its countdown, unable to be deactivated. After an assessment of options, Rapp transports the bomb to a secure underground facility where it explodes with minimal human or environmental affect.

My Thoughts:

Oh man, I love a good “nuke loose in the United States” thriller story. It sends a frisson down my spine to even contemplate such a thing in reality, but in a book, I can handle it and it really amps up a story, that’s for sure.

I found that Flynn’s way of handling Rapp, now stuck between being a desk jockey and wanting to be a Field Operative, was handled well. For the most part Rapp doesn’t go cowboy’ing it and laying the smackdown on the terrorists. That job is mostly left to the other Special Forces. Rapp does get into the thick of things near the end when they are chasing down the remaining nuke and have to find a safe place to let it go off.

Mrs Mitch Rapp is out of the story, as she’s at her family’s cabin on the lake for the Memorial Day Weekend. Kind of sneaky of Flynn to get around the issue that way but it works for this book and I know Flynn isn’t ignoring the overall situation of the Rapp’s as a couple. I’m sure the nitty-gritty of their relationship will pop up once again.

On an aesthetic note, the cover I chose was the only one that was even half-way “actiony”. Every single other one was boring, political logo branding. I have no idea why the covers are made that way. While not The Executioner, they should have an appropriately cool military/assassin/spy cover. Give me goodguys with guns or badguys with bombs. Or planes, trains and automobiles. Just something besides the generic “looks like a folder on the desk of a bureaucrat” that I’ve seen.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Executive Power (Mitch Rapp #4) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Executive Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #4
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 412
Words: 134K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

CIA field agent Mitch Rapp’s cover has been blown following his last assignment, preventing Saddam Hussein from obtaining nuclear weapons. Rapp receives public acknowledgment by the president in response to the latest Congressional leak to the media. Though the praise is of the highest quality, the President might as well have placed a bulls-eye on Rapp’s chest and that of his loved ones by singling him out as the most important person in the fight against terrorism. The spotlight makes the former covert operator an ideal international target for eradication by terrorists as the symbol he has become.

Rapp moves from CIA operative duties to that of a counter-terrorism bureaucrat. As special advisor on counter-terrorism to CIA director Dr. Irene Kennedy, Rapp uncomfortably sits in an office. However, everything changes when radical Islamic terrorists ambush Navy SEALs on a top-secret rescue mission in the Philippines. The leak had to be in either the State Department or the Philippine diplomatic corps, but nobody knows for sure. However, worse yet is that someone is trying to cause a Jihad on a scale never before seen and that unknown invisible individual is close to achieving the goal with only a too visible Rapp in the way.

Rapp leads a team to avenge that loss by defeating the Philippine terrorist network that killed two SEAL team members and rescuing the American hostages. In order to successfully accomplish this mission he must keep its existence from the turncoats who betrayed those who went before him. The coincidental plot-line has forces plotting to upset the tenuous balance in the Middle East’s geopolitical situation. A flamboyant Saudi Prince, who is banished from the Kingdom, elicits the help of a Palestinian assassin to murder the leaders of terrorist cells as well as Saudi and Palestinian Ambassadors in the hopes of dissolving US support for Israel and the eventual establishment of an official Palestinian state.

The assassin completes his tasks and has Israel, the US and the UN exactly where he wants them. Unfortunately for him, Rapp finds out who he is, what he has done and leaks some of the assassins talks with Israel to the Saudi Prince, who kills the assassin. Rapp then in turn kills the prince as an object lesson to other Saudi Royals to stay out of the “terrorism as a hobby” business.

My Thoughts:

This was another enjoyable read but the dual storylines never connected and so it almost felt like two different books mashed into one. I have to admit, I wish the author had simply concentrated on one or the other and expanded it to fill the book.

The palestinian assassin storyline could have been fantastic and I was waiting for him and Rapp to duke it out assassino a assassino style. So it was a letdown the way things went. The biggest thing is that Rapp’s cover is permanently blown and so his days of secret assassinations are pretty much done. And yet there are a lot more books to go so I’m left wondering how the author is going to keep the interest going. I guess I’ll just have to keep reading and find out, hahahahaa.

The author handles Rapp being recently married very well. I was wondering how he was going to deal with the relational side of things and he doesn’t shy away from it. Rapp and his wife Anna have a huge blowout about him going back into the field, against orders no less and the fact that he’d been wounded made it even worse. Thankfully, Rapp isn’t a pigheaded jerk and he cares about his wife and her feelings and realizes that he is going to have to change some things if he wants their marriage to work. It was so refreshing and encouraging to see a character in a book place the needs of their marriage before their own personal desires or using “work” as an excuse. We will have to see how this part of the overall storyline works out in future books because it can not turn into a cycle of Mitch Rapp doing what he wants, his wife blowing up at him, making up and then promising to do better.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this series is progressing. It is book 4 and I have no real complaints. The author hasn’t pulled any boneheaded moves but simply tells a good action/adventure story. Keeping my fingers crossed he can keep that track record.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Separation of Power (Mitch Rapp #3) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Separation of Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #3
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 378
Words: 133.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

About a month after the events in the previous book, CIA Director Thomas Stansfield has succumbed to cancer and has chosen Dr. Irene Kennedy, The director of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, to take his place as director. Meanwhile, Henry “Hank” Clark, a corrupt Republican senator and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is making plans to prevent Kennedy from becoming the director of the CIA. His plan involves embarrassing her before she can be confirmed for the position, and handpick a new director and have them open up “ECHELON”, a global surveillance program, and give its secrets to his investors in Silicon Valley, who will then help him get elected to become president. His original plan to kill Rapp and embarrass the CIA failed, so he begins the process of his new plan.

Mitch Rapp is called in to visit Kennedy to talk about Peter Cameron, the CIA officer who attempted to have him killed in Germany, but was killed by an assassin before Rapp could capture him. He and Kennedy watch surveillance footage that captured the face of the assassin. Rapp realizes that the assassin is Donatella Rahn, an Israeli assassin and Rapp’s ex-girlfriend. Kennedy instructs him to take his girlfriend, Anna Rielley, to Milan and propose to her, and then go visit Donatella to learn who hired her to kill Peter Cameron. Meanwhile, Clark visits his accomplice, Mossad director Ben Freidman at the Israeli Embassy, who has been helping him become president in exchange for more aid to Israel. At the meeting, Clark orders Ben to assassinate Donatella, who he hired to kill Peter.

Later that day, Ben visits President Xavier Hayes, Kennedy, and General Flood, the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of staff, at the White House. It is there he informs them that Saddam Hussein, with the help of North Korea, is only a few weeks away from acquiring three functioning nuclear weapons. He also informs them that the facility for making these weapons is hidden under a massive hospital in Baghdad, and that if the Americans won’t take action, than they will do it themselves. Seeing as how an Israeli response could lead to nuclear war, The President and his team start to come up with ways to destroy the facility and the nukes.

At the same time, Mitch and Anna arrive in Milan, and after a day of touring the city, Rapp goes to visit Donatella. In Washington, Clark persuades his accomplice, Albert Rudin, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to investigate Kennedy for corruption and promises him evidence before her confirmation ceremony. In Milan, Rapp can’t get Donatella to tell him who hired her, but realizes they are being followed. When they arrive at her apartment, Donatella is ambushed by awaiting Mossad operatives, but manages to kill them thanks to Rapp’s warning. After Rapp promises her protection in America, Donatella confesses that Ben had hired her to kill Peter. Rapp brings Donatella to he and Anna’s hotel room, where she accuses Rapp of having an affair,and she storms off before he can explain.

In Washington, D.C., General Flood concocts a plan to insert a Delta Force team into Baghdad, disguised as a presidential motorcade, and infiltrate the facility under the cover of a U.S bombing campaign across Iraq in order to steal the nukes. But Kennedy strongly recommends Rapp to lead the operation. Elsewhere in Washington, Jonathan Brown, deputy director of the CIA, meets with Norb Steveken, the head of an investigative firm hired by hank and Rudin to investigate Kennedy. Brown hands off classified information on Orion Team, a secret counterterrorism team led by Kennedy, who Rapp is a member of. Rapp returns to America and is read in on the plan to infiltrate Baghdad. He agrees to the mission and comes up with the idea of impersonating Uday Hussein, Saddam’s favorite son, in order to gain access to the facility. As they prepare for the mission, Rudin reveals the existence of Mitch Rapp and the Orion Team on Meet The press and implicates Kennedy of violating international law, throwing the confirmation process into chaos.

President Hayes orders the bombing campaign against Iraq, which helps Rapp and the Delta team to successfully enters Baghdad. Rapp and the Delta team, disguised as SRG soldiers, are able to enter the facility and steal the nukes. As they fend off enemy fire, they destroy the facility, kidnap the head North Korean scientist, and escape Iraq with the nukes. After they return to the U.S safely, President Hayes reveals the success of the operation and confirms Rapp’s existence by explaining Rapp’s action in Iraq. Rapp returns to his home and apologizes to Anna, and after he does this, he retires from his role as an assassin and proposes to her. His plan having failed due to the fact Kennedy is looked at as a hero, Clark kills Rudin by pushing him off his balcony, making it look like a suicide.

When the Israeli prime minister comes to Washington with Ben Freidman and Yasser Arafat, Rapp and the president interrogate Ben and threaten to kill him. As a result of this, Ben reveals Clarks role in the week’s events. Several weeks after this, Clark is killed by Rapp and Donatella at a bar in D.C, making it look like an apparent heart attack.

My Thoughts:

This was a good wrapup to the initial Mitch Rapp trilogy. Senator Clark (what’s with bad senators? They make horrible presidents and should know better than to try to be president. A senator is a pack group animal, while a president is a lone wolf with the decisions resting squarely on his shoulders) and his plans to discredit the current administration no matter the cost fails and in the end Rapp takes care of him. Permanently. It was satisfying to read.

The thing that I enjoyed that I didn’t think I would was the relational drama between Rapp and his girlfriend. She’s a big time reporter and has to stick her nose into everything and Rapp is beyond secretive about everything on general principle. It comes to a head here and they have a stormy stomp off the stage I’m not going to marry you scene. I really liked how the author brought these conflicting personality types and responsibilities against each other. They are real issues these 2 are going to have to deal with if they want their marriage to last. What I didn’t like was how feelingz and wuv, true wuv overcame all in the end as they get engaged. What these 2 characters need is some serious marriage counseling, as their life paths are going to continue to clash if they can’t figure out how to make it work. I wanted to shake both of them by the scruff of their necks and tell them to go to Pastor Peckham. Here’s to hoping the author uses this dustup to make them examine the issues in their lives and not just as fodder. * fingers crossed *

If the series had ended right here, I would have been satisfied. However, I am very glad that the adventures continue. I need some macho man reading without asshattery arrogance and Mitch Rapp fits the bill perfectly.

There is a movie called American Assassin but it appears to be based on book 10 or 11 of the series, so I’m not even tempted to watch it yet. Who know what kind of spoilers, and probably WRONG spoilers to boot, it contains? I’ll wait til I’ve read the book and then see if my library or Prime has it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.