This is going to be my least favorite blog post to date. As you all know, I not only really enjoyed Brad Taylor's first book, I also really enjoyed getting to know Brad via email. I even called him a mensch, which is no small compliment. I fear that after this blog, he may not be so anxious to exchange emails with me.
Brad's second Pike Logan book, All Necessary Force, is not as good as the first one. Ouch, there I've said it. Let me begin by telling you what I liked about it.
1. Jennifer Cahill is now a part of Pike's team. She is a good addition as a regular character. She brings some emotional tension to the relationship with Pike, and she also brings a humanism to certain situations that typically don't allow for such sentiment. She's constantly questioning right and wrong.
2. The action scenes are rough and tumble, like they were in book #1. As a former member of Special Forces and Delta Force, his battle scenes definitely have a realistic feel to them.
3. The characters, from the president to the Oversight Council to the other on-the-ground members of Pike's team, are well-formed and feel authentic. You care about many of them.
4. The plot is solid. The story centers on terrorism using a combination of foreign-born and American-born plotters.
Now, what is it about the book that I didn't like? It's a little harder to pinpoint the negatives than the positives. But here goes.
1. The story didn't always flow well from one scene to the next.
2. Even though the action sequences felt authentic, some of the description of what was happening was confusing.
3. Even many of the non-battle chapters did not read clearly.
I guess what I'm saying is that I just didn't think it was as well-written as the first one. Did I enjoy it? Yes, for the most part (2 stars out of 4). Will I read #3? Most definitely. Will I read #4 if #3 is not better than #2? Probably not. This is obviously only one blogger's opinion, but I'm seriously hoping that the next one will return to the quality of the first one. If it does, then I'm in. If it doesn't, then I could be gone.