Tag Archives: Army

#BookReview STREET SOLDIER by Andy McNab (@The_Real_McNab) Action packed, with an engaging protagonist and a hopeful and inspiring message

Street Soldier by Andy McNab
Street Soldier by Andy McNab

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

Title:   Street Soldier
Author:   Andy McNab

ISBN13:  978-0857534705
ASIN:  B019CGXV08
Published:  August 11th 2016
Pages:  348
Genre:  YA, Survival, Action & Adventure

Description:

Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.

A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean . . . as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.

Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British Army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.

Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war. 

Body of review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Penguin Random House UK Children’s for providing with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Andy McNab and I was intrigued by his foray into young adult writing and particularly by the main character. Sean Harker is a young boy (sixteen at the beginning of the novel) who loves cars and speed, whose life has been quite difficult, with no male role figure, a mother who has struggled through difficult and often violent relationships and he find his identity and his sense of self through his belonging to a gang. He ends up in prison and is given the opportunity to join the army and make good. Although at first it sounds to him as if he’d be betraying his friends, when one of those comes to a bad end, he rethinks his priorities. But not everything is plain sailing and old acquaintances and new temptations come his way.

The story is set in the UK (and it uses its location, and particularly London at the end, in a very effective and spectacular way), told in the third person, from the point of view of the young protagonist, Sean, who is street wise but not always good at fully appraising his circumstances or seeing the whole picture. He has his heart in the right place (he feels for his friends, is loyal and wants to protect his mother, and dislikes the racist and sexist comments of some of the other members of his unit) but he can be manipulated and influenced by those more experienced than him. Although the story does not go into psychological depths regarding Sean’s personality and thoughts, and it does not dwell in detail on his past, there is enough to make him sympathetic, and his reactions, doubts, mistakes and fears are all too recognisable and real. He is the small guy everybody tries to take advantage of, who doesn’t know whom he can trust, but he eventually finds his way.

There is plenty of action, including violence (and traumatic and sad events) and use of swearwords (although this is not extreme considering the genre), and the novel deals with difficult subjects throughout, including: suicide, extreme maiming and death of a teammate by bombing, terrorism, ultra-right politics, gang warfare, domestic violence, imprisonment… The pace is fast, fluid, and there’s not let down of tension and intrigue. It is a true page-turner, and although at times it seems about to go on a dangerous direction, it pulls it all together beautifully at the end. The protagonist is put to the test emotionally, physically and psychologically and although his reasons might be good (or so he thinks) he makes many mistakes. Thankfully he is given a second chance and he proves himself worthy of it.

At the end of the book the author identifies himself with the main character and explains that his life circumstances were quite similar to those of Sean Harker and how he was also given a chance and now he spends part of his time going to schools to spread the word.  The character and McNab’s own story made me think of many young men I’d met in prison (when I worked as a forensic psychiatrist) whose lives and circumstances were not that different to those of the character depicted in this novel. I just hope they all have the chance, the opportunity and the will to make good too.

Street Soldier is a great read for young adults (and adults) who like action, a well-plotted book, full of tension and emotions. It also delivers a positive and wholesome message and I can see it turned into a successful TV series or an action film. I’m sure this won’t be the last of Andy McNab’s books I’ll read.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $7.78
Kindle: $ 14.09

Hardback: $ 7.93

Audiobook: $25.06

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

  • Author: Oliver F. ChaseLevant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
  • Title: Levant Mirage
  • File Size: 3416 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pearl River Publishing Group; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015G7TWYQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Formats: Paperback & Kindle
  • Pricing: $13.99 & $3.99
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Suspense, War

I received a copy of this book for an honest review and I’m glad I did.

Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.

35 year old U.S. Army Major Adam Michaels is no James Bond, nor did he ever set out to be. What is he? He’s a man who rejects the easy path that being the heir to a shipping empire gives him in order to join the military, serve his country, and be a father. Right, no money other than what he makes as a Major in the Army. You don’t see jet flying, limousine riding, womanizing and all of that. I would trade in the 10 year old Corolla for something a little better though. Tap into the trust fund already.

Finding himself used as a scapegoat for a foreign relations nightmare, Michaels works out his days in the Pentagon pushing papers, and paying alimony, child support and the mortgage on his rising political star ex-wife’s house. You see the everyday life to some extent leading up to the changes in life the military can throw at you. You don’t control you in the Army. And there are times when that twists the guts out of Michaels.

Michaels is of a dubious parentage, with his father not being who he thought he was, but upon finding out explains a great deal. This in part leads to his choice of path in life. He wants to be his own man. He doesn’t want to be identified with a past that isn’t really what he thought it was.

But part of that past comes back in one night and changes a quiet world into a search to find the defense against a missile guidance system he created that is now in the hands of terrorists. Which terrorists? Who is the enemy? You won’t believe it. Or you will believe it but be surprised.

The believability of Levant Mirage is what makes it so freakin’ scary at times. Perhaps the guidance system isn’t real, or I hope it’s not. But I’m sure there is something like it out there. The enemy Michaels must fight against is out of this world. If he fails, billions die. If he succeeds?

Chase writes with detail and a knowledge base that gives the story realism. You are able to submerse yourself into Levant Mirage and you don’t get pulled out by oddities and unbelievable scenes. Some scenes are high energy and amped up, but still possible.

Being honest, the amount of detail is incredible at times and I could have done with a little less of the technological speak, but it doesn’t take away from the story. In truth, it adds the believability—you don’t have these leaps from action to intellect in the span of a few seconds. Okay, maybe you do but for a whole different reason, but I’m not giving those parts away. Ah, that does remind me of one scene that did cause me pause and have to reread in order to get it clear. In part, that was due to the surprise of those involved.

I enjoyed the handling of the terrorists. As you read you’ll develop ideas but never get to comfortable, you never know what is going to happen next, who is going to happen, or what the truth is until it’s almost too late. But there are clues along the way.

Recommendation

I would recommend Levant Mirage to those who like believable action thrillers. Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt and other NUMA series books come to mind, but not that fantastical or off the charts. Where Cussler takes you over the edge of believability at times, Chase keeps you here on earth and scares the life out of you with reality you can find in your neighbors living room.

Character Believability: 4Levant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

 

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About the Author

olvier-chaseOliver spent five years in a police department working narcotics and SWAT, and the next 22 in the FBI. Now he’s the author of Marsh Island, Blind Marsh, the first two installments of the Hirebomber Series. And now Levant Mirage, releasing Oct. 15, 2015.

oliverchase.net

https://oliverchase.wordpress.com

facebook.com/oilverchase

https://twitter.com/OliverFChase



About the Reviewer

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

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