4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2012.25 REVIEW – Takedown by Brad Thor

Takedown
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 433
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 25-Oct. 3, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly count: 25
Format: Print
Source: Personal copy

Blurb: July 4th weekend, New York City: As thousands of holiday travelers make their way out of Manhattan, a flawlessly executed terrorist attack plunges the city into a maelstrom of panic and death. Amidst the chaos, an elite team of foreign soldiers is systematically searching for one of their own, a man so powerful that the U.S. government refuses to admit he even exists and will do anything to keep him hidden. Now, with the world’s deadliest enemy upon America’s doorstep, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath must fight his way through the burning city streets to take down an invisible terrorist mastermind with the means to unleash hell on a global scale.


Review: What a great installment in this series! I would definitely consider it the best one thus far. And the ending – wow, what a cliffhanger! I suppose it was surprising because Mr. Thor hadn’t done a cliffhanging ending in the previous four books of this series, so it was definitely unexpected. It for sure made me very eager to get to the next book (which I would have done immediately if I didn’t have review books that have to get read. )

Unlike the previous books, this one was set in the United States. I definitely preferred that simply because I could understand the setting a little bit better. These books are a little bit out of my comfort zone with the terrorist aspects to them, but I thoroughly enjoy them.

The writing in Mr. Thor’s books is alway exceptional; he definitely has a great editor because there never seem to be any grammatical errors (sometimes I feel like I’m the grammar police, but bad grammar is a big pet peeve of mine).

We met a slew of new characters in this installment that I hope will make some appearances in later books. Character development (another biggie for me) was done quite well and definitely left me wanting to learn more and more about these new characters!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

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4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2012.20 REVIEW – Blowback by Brad Thor

Blowback
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 568
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 30 – Aug. 11, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly Count: 20
Format: Print
Source: Personal copy

Blurb: Scott Harvath’s counterterrorism career has just crashed and burned – thanks in part to a ruthless senator with her sights set on the White House. But when the war on terror takes a chilling turn, the president has no choice but to secretly bring Harvath back inside. Deep beneath an Alpine glacier, an ancient weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has been unearthed – and a shadowy organization intends to use it for America’s downfall. Racing across Europe, Harvath must secure the ultimate instrument of destruction before it brings the United States and the rest of the world to its knees.


Review: This is the fourth in the Scot Harvath series. I read the first three last year and then took a big break. These books are not easy reading. But I have enjoyed all four books in this series.

I’m still trying to figure out what to say about this book. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But as I stated above, Mr. Thor’s books are not easy to read. They definitely take a lot more concentration to get through. So with everything going on in my life, I am pleasantly surprised that I was able to get through this book as quickly as I did. I say this because I actually tried to read this book earlier this year and actually had to set it aside because I simply didn’t have the concentration for it (pregnancy brain at it’s finest!) However, I am very glad that I decided to pick this book back up when I did. Because I found it to be a very exciting read.

I sometimes struggle with books that have terrorist aspects. There’s no particular reason for this, other than it’s outside my comfort zone. But in this book, it didn’t phase me at all. There were a few times throughout the book that I struggled to understand what was going on, but that was always when they were discussing the weapon that is at the heart of the plot.

As I stated earlier, this is the fourth book in the series. While I always prefer to read books in order, I do not think that it would be a requirement for this book. I felt as if it could have read as a stand-alone just as well.

I like Scot’s character. Mr. Thor has managed to make him quite appealing in my opinion. First he’s married to his job. But he’s also not a womanizer. And it was in this particular installment that the reader really gets to see that Scot may be regretting not being settled down. I am definitely anxious to see where Scot’s romantic life takes him in subsequent books. There’s just something about his character that fits perfectly in my opinion. It’s hard for me to put into words what I feel about this.

Another thing that I like about these books is that Mr. Thor always seems to have a very strong female secondary character. This complements Scot quite well. And it also fits my tastes perfectly. I hate the whole damsel in distress thing, so I enjoy seeing Scot interact with women who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

Overall, while these books may not be for everyone, I enjoy them quite a lot and would definitely recommend them.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2011.58 REVIEW – State of the Union by Brad Thor

State of the Union
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2004
Pages: 523
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 25– Oct. 2, 2011
Challenge: Take a Chance 3 Challenge
Yearly Count: 58
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: With the fragile peace between the world’s nations shattered, Harvath must unravel a brilliantly orchestrated, fiendishly timed conspiracy intent upon bringing the United States to its knees. Teamed with beautiful Russian Intelligence agent Alexandra Ivanova and a highly trained CIA paramilitary detachment, Harvath races from the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., to the streets of Berlin, the coast of Finland, and into the heart of Mother Russia herself before returning home for a final showdown with an enemy from America’s past more sinister and deadly than has even been seen before…

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! Having liked the previous book (Path of the Assassin), but not really enjoying the whole Middle Eastern theme involved, I was really excited to read about Cold War-era Russian spies. For me, that’s more up my alley than the what the previous book dealt with. This book was definitely action packed. Scot Harvath manages to find himself in all kinds of trouble, no matter where he goes, it seems! And his sense of loyalty to those closest to him is amazing, he definitely puts himself in harm’s way for his friend, mentor  and boss, Gary Lawlor. I am definitely enjoying this series. We didn’t get to see a lot of Meg in this installment, but hopefully in the next book we will get to learn more about her and Scot and where they go to.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2011.57 REVIEW – Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor

Path of the Assassin
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2003
Pages: 503
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 19– Sept. 25, 2011
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly Count: 57
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: After rescuing the President from kidnappers, Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath shifts his attentions to rooting out, capturing, or killing all those responsible for the plot. As he prepares to close out his list, a bloody and twisted trail of clues points toward one man – the world’s most feared, most ruthless terrorist, Hashim Nidal. Having assembled an international league of Islamic terrorist networks in an ingenious plot to topple both Israel and America, Harvath and his CIA-led team must reach Nidal before it’s too late. One problem remains – they have no idea what the man looks like. With no alternative, Harvath is forced to recruit a civilian – a woman who has survived a brutal hijacking and is now the only person who can positively identify their quarry.

Review: This was a very good book. It was fast paced and exciting. It definitely makes me look forward to the next book and seeing what happens with Meg and Scot. I enjoyed that Meg is such a strong female character. She is able to keep up with Scot so easily, it’s definitely refreshing to see such a strong female character. The only thing that I had trouble with was the Israel terrorist plot line. I’m not all that up-to-date or interested in Israeli terrorists and the like and so I find it difficult for me to read about. Other than that I found this to be a highly enjoyable book and am definitely looking forward to continuing this series with the third book.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2011.52 REVIEW – The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor

The Lions of Lucerne
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2002
Pages: 507
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 7– Sept. 10, 2011
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly Count: 52
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: On the snow-covered slopes of Utah, the unthinkable has happened: the President of the United States has been kidnapped, and his Secret Service detail massacred. Only one agent has survived – ex-Navy SEAL Scot Harvath. He doesn’t buy the official line that Middle Eastern terrorists are responsible, and begins his own campaign to find the truth – and exact revenge. But his search makes him a marked man by the sinister cabal behind the attack. Framed for murder by the conspirators, Harvath goes on the run, taking the fight to the towering mountains of Switzerland. There, he finds an unlikely ally: the beautiful Claudia Mueller of the Swiss Federal Attorney’s Office. Together they must brave the subzero temperatures and sheer heights of treacherous Mount Pilatus – and their only chance for survival is to enter the den of the most lethal team of professional killers the world has ever known…

Review: First of all, I must state that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was exciting from page one until the end. The suspense never let up. The hoops that Scot’s character had to jump through … most men wouldn’t have made it as far as he did. And Claudia’s character, she was an amazingly strong female character. I liked that Mr. Thor imagined such a tough lady (fiction novels need more characters like Claudia!). This is the first in the Scot Harvath series, I have most of the others already on my shelf waiting patiently for me. I can honestly say that I hope to be getting to the other books quickly. If they’re as good as this book was then I will have found a new favorite series. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this book. It was fun and easy to read. The characters are interesting. The storyline and the conspiracy were incredibly believable. The writing was very clear and precise. This was just an all-around great book that I would highly recommend.