By WEB Griffin/Andrews & Wilson
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!
2.5 Stars - I don't think I ever truly got immersed in this reimagining of the Presidential Agent series. It's definitely a reimaging not a sequel. This dynamic writing duo certainly knows their stuff. And here we've got an entertaining military rescue mission with decent dialouge a likable hero. But his name is McCoy not Castillo. This one is a solid series start but bound to disappoint some Griffin fans.
Griffin (and son) left off the Presidential Agent series in less than fantastic fashion nearly a decade ago. The ending of book eight was so abrupt, I called a bookstore to make sure I wasn't missing final pages. Charley's life was heading for retirement and family life, well-deserved and all. But the last mission was a bit hectic and rushed. Andrews & Wilson have a great reputation for their military authenticity in the action thriller genre. They definitely bring that aspect here, but they didn't do much with Charley. McCoy appears to be a fun and capable lead. And I'll say I love the concept of Charley mentoring him and showing him the ropes. More long-running series need to perfect this idea to keep things going!
So what we have here is a great set-up that's not sharply executed. This writing team is efficient with their word count and can write some solid dialouge, but I always feel like they struggle to really advance the plot. Even with their other series I've tried, they pace it like a movie, not a novel. But it does seem to be popular with many readers so it can work! Here though, we're just missing the fundamentals of Griffin's brillance. The stories were always long and dry, but characters were the fuel. Charley's friends are nowhere to be seen. And their antics and badass moves were a blast. His wife Svetlana was a great addition at the peak of the series and she isn't mentioned, to say nothing of their kid(s)? His grandmother shows up for a minute at an impossible age. Why even bother? The setting details used to appear frequently and there were several scenes per chapter, ending on cliffhangers. This doesn't flow that way at all. I think Putnam & Sons would have been smarter to write Charley into McCoy's new series and not the other way around. But if you're just looking for a military style story with smooth operator
authors doing their own thing, give it a try.