Book Review – Target America by Scott McEwen with Thomas Koloniar

Target America: A Sniper Elite Novel
by Scott McEwen & Thomas Koloniar
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Touchstone

target america

Snipers are truly amazing people. Not only are they skilled in precision shooting at long distances, but they are masters of patience and self-control. I would daresay they are some of the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to military personnel. The main character in TARGET AMERICA, Gil Shannon, is a Navy SEAL sniper who exemplifies these traits, although he is a bit on the wilder side. But when faced with certain defeat, Shannon always finds a way to pull through. Yet, will he this time?

If you are not familiar with TARGET AMERICA, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Touchstone:

From the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper comes a heart-pounding military thriller in which the fabled domestic Special Ops Black unit is activated in order to stop a group of Chechen terrorists from launching a pair of “suitcase” nukes somewhere in America.

When Chechen terrorists manage to smuggle a Cold War era Russian nuke across the Mexican-American border, the President is forced to reactivate the only unit capable of stopping them: Navy SEAL sniper Gil Shannon and his brash team of SEALs and Delta Force fighters. First introduced in Sniper Elite: One Way Trip, hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “meaty thriller” with “snappy dialogue and well-timed humor,” Shannon and his team were run out of the military after defying direct orders and instead choosing to save the life of one of their own.

In Target America, Gil and his team, many of whom had gone rogue, are reunited as an off-the-books Special Ops unit that must race against the clock to save the country from nuclear destruction. #1 New York Times bestselling author Scott McEwen once again delivers a gripping and fast-paced adventure that illuminates the shadow world of clandestine military operations.

This is the second book in this series, however you do not have to read the first one to know who the characters are and what happened previously. The authors do a great job of subtly inserting previous mission data with what is currently going on in the story. I really like this aspect, as I have not read the previous book…however, after reading this one, I am definitely going back to do so.

TARGET AMERICA is written well and flows at a nice, smooth pace. The tone is semi-serious, yet there’s enough darkly humorous banter between the team to help offset some of the tension. I would imagine this is exactly the way real Spec Ops teams interact both on and off the battlefield. This realism is a huge draw for the book, and it’s a big part of what makes it so entertaining.

Speaking of the characters, they are rich and well-defined. Hardened, veteran military men who still have an edge…but who also have wit and wisdom. These guys are not one-dimensional grunts who just salute and march off; each character has personality and individual traits that make them memorable in the mind of the reader.

The storyline in TARGET AMERICA is rife with tension and thrills, not to mention a few nice, hardcore battles. The scenario that plays out is one that could very well happen in the future; the authors do a superb job of fleshing out this chilling concept, almost to the point of frightening realism. This is another major aspect of what makes the book so good.

If I were forced to find a flaw with TARGET AMERICA, I could not; it is simply that good of a book. Needless to say, I highly recommend this title. Give it a look for sure.

MSB

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