4 out of 4 stars
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Colonel John Daniels finished out his last six weeks of duty protecting the family of Prince Tomas in their palace in Afghanistan. Now retired, Daniels is content to live out his days in the serenity of the rolling acres surrounding his family cabin. But with news of an attack on the Prince’s family and two Americans being held captive by terrorists, John must recall all the palace's intimate details to rescue them.
Final Mission, by John Sullivan, is a high-stakes military fiction story that captures the emotions and the tension that surrounds American involvement in the fight against acts of evil and terror. I particularly enjoyed how this novel focused more on relationships than elaborate battle descriptions and strategy. Through his smooth and easy-to-read writing style, Sullivan realistically depicted the reactions and tension of the family left behind as well as the camaraderie of the men and women who carry out dangerous missions. My favorite part of the story was watching each character lean on each other for strength and comfort through the special bonds found during trying times.
I also enjoyed how easy it was to get caught up in the story and the surprises that popped up once the mission began. The author did an excellent job of laying out the rescue mission and making it easy for the reader to follow the story’s events. I appreciated that I didn’t have to have a degree in military terminology to enjoy the novel. The beginning of the story connects readers so well to Colonel Daniels’ team and friends that when the tensions rise in the second half of the book, you get to experience a suspenseful ride until the final chapters. The book’s ending was also a real treat and left me feeling satisfied with the conclusion.
I didn’t find anything that I strongly disliked about the book, but my least favorite part was the handful of errors and a few minor redundancies that I noticed. These issues were not too distracting, and I attributed them to this being the author’s debut novel. I still believe that the book was skillfully written and felt no need to take a star off the rating. It would not surprise me to see this author’s writing continue to improve should he choose to write more books in the future. Therefore, I gladly give Final Mission a rating of four out of four.
I would highly recommend this book to those looking for a unique military fiction novel with a happy ending. The book does contain frequent uses of heavy language but remains free of erotic content. I also appreciated that the innuendoes and crude jokes were relatively mild, and there was only one semi-graphic scene. Readers may also value the knowledge that the author plans to donate 22% of any profit made from the sale of the book to veterans causes in an effort to reduce the statistic that, on average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
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