Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received an ARC from the author for an honest review. As the author indicated that a week or so after I downloaded this book there might be an update, I saved the spot in the book and downloaded a newer version and this review is based on this newer version.
Short version: too long, chapters too long, too many details. Not enough action, the real mission starts way too late in the book for me.
There is a short encounter with pirates that serves as a demonstration of the capabilities of the tech and the crew - that could have served as a free short-story / novella, and teaser.
Given the length of the book I thought it would be two missions, but it was only one, and that was well done, but could have been shorter and more suspenseful.
As it was, it is very detailed, with no logic errors or wrong technological details as far as I can tell (as a former IT-Helpdesk-slave, I do not know much about weapons, explosives and languages), there went a lot of work in these details, it is like the author tried too hard to got that right and while that is certainly important, there is just too much and too many details explained. So it also took me long to get into the book and I read several shorter books in between to keep me entertained.
This also reminds why I stopped reading Brad Thor, there where just the wrong kinds of decisions (torture, vigilantism). In this book this develops and is well explained, so you might feel sympathetic when the good guys/gals try to kill the bad guys - there are no women on the really bad side, if you do not count the US-president (a woman, but not based on Clinton, imho) or the female CIA-Agent.
So the actions with the MC basically promising to the US-President to kill the Top-10-FBI's-most-wanted are questionable and shortly discussed in the book, but basically the President just wants plausible deniability, nothing more. But if there are more books with this characters, there should be serious repercussions looming or at least someone voicing real discontent.
While a lot of characters are well developed and most (all, I think) have a little well done background, again there are too many, not all need background and also they are sometimes too simple black-white / good-bad.
Actions have consequences, but the actions in this book end just too neat, solved, explained and then business as usual, maybe. In a next book (if there is a next book) I would like to see repercussions and some failure in a mission. This one went a little too smooth.
Added later: just saw that this is the first in a series, so that was correctly guessed and I will probably read the next one to see how the people change and the series progresses.
Solid 3 stars. Recommended. Tech is up-to-date with a little slipping into near future, entirely believable.
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