I really enjoyed this book. It is based around true events, but is set in 2017. The characters are well done and I didn’t find a single one to be boring. Some are soldiers, with all the loneliness, fear, and disappointment that being away from home can bring. Such as Sgt. John Baker, who is dealing with the reality of his wife’s infidelity. His story highlights the familial hardship of a soldier’s obligation. He finds strength in his team, though, as they provide each other with the camaraderie that prepares and protects them in battle. Their goal as military unit is to destroy terrorism in the Middle East and, consequently, we can expect a large assault.
There are two young Iranian women, Yasmeen and Azita, and I liked them a great deal. They showed a lot of personality and strength for two civilians caught in the middle of the chaos their country has become. Their goal is to escape Iran and throughout their story there is a lot of turmoil and hardship. They are not easily crushed by the strangers that show nothing but dislike or hatred towards them. Their story shows how war has a way of allowing people to forget who they are and instead become a “What are you?” They are forced to do things they would have never imagined, but, eventually, it is shown that they will make a future that is right for them. They are testament that some people make it through bad times no matter what.
The book reveals some soldiers’ inner struggle, in this case Drew, who believes that he isn’t doing his job if he is not in the midst of battle. All the negotiations, all the agreements between nations, all the logistics and much more, are as much a part of war as fighting. So, even though he is assigned as escort for the great and wealthy, it is a difficult position for him to accept. In his eyes, it is a less than fulfilling role. It is hard for him to recognize that his task is still a soldier’s duty and he is just as important as those on the front line. I was drawn to his frustration over an assignment like this, but by the end I found that not all is lost.
Rothschild was a conundrum; a man with a great purpose and the ability to manipulate even the most important of individuals. He is a very strong and intelligent character. While he seems unbending and will do anything to achieve his goal, the end of terrorism once and for all, his humanity does shine through. It was wonderful to see a character that is so strong-willed, yet human. There is more to him than meets the eye.
Overall, this genre is not my usual read. There are some politics, fighting and killing, some pain, both physical and emotional, but there is also strength, joy, and healing. Deciding to give this book a chance, I went into it with some reservation, but it is a very strong story and I am glad that I read it. A lot happens for such a quick read, which I found very impressive. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. As to whether the end is tied up in a nice, little bow, is up to you to decide. People change and they certainly do here. Ultimately, the author has given us a view of how war can cause pain and loss, but also maturity and hope.
- Genre and reading age – I would call this book action and the age at which most readers would be able to understand and appreciate it is definitely over 18.
- Level of sexuality – There is some sex, but none of it is graphic. However, I must warn that there is a rape scene. I have read far worse, but in the end rape is rape and it’s painful to read.
- Was there graphic language? A little. It was more along the lines of offensive name calling.
- Did I cry? I felt sadness for these engaging, well-crafted characters, but I did not cry.
- Is this part of a series? It is not.
- Level of character development – The characters were very well done, especially for a book of its size. It was rather remarkable.
- Did I laugh? Not with this subject matter.
I gladly give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.