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Book Review: The Terminal List

Table of Contents

“A Navy SEAL has nothing left to live for and everything to kill for after he discovers that the American government is behind the deaths of his team in this ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller.

On his last combat deployment, Lieutenant Commander James Reece’s entire team was killed in a catastrophic ambush that also claimed the lives of the aircrew sent in to rescue them. But when those dearest to him are murdered on the day of his homecoming, Reece discovers that this was not an act of war by a foreign enemy but a conspiracy that runs to the highest levels of government.

Now, with no family and free from the military’s command structure, Reece applies the lessons that he’s learned in over a decade of constant warfare toward avenging the deaths of his family and teammates. With breathless pacing and relentless suspense, Reece ruthlessly targets his enemies in the upper echelons of power without regard for the laws of combat or the rule of law.

An intoxicating thriller that cautions against the seduction of absolute power and those who would do anything to achieve it, The Terminal List is perfect for fans of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Stephen Hunter, and Nelson DeMille.”

Title: The Terminal List

Series: Terminal List #1

Author: Jack Carr

Page Count: 432

Genre: Thriller, Military Fiction, Mystery Thriller

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: June 30th, 2023

The Terminal List was another recommendation from a coworker last year. He had recommended this series along with another standalone from a new author also inspired by Jack Carr. I hesitated to start this one because I knew it was going to add another open series to my ever growing list. The time just seemed right to give this a go here in June. I’m still relatively new to the Thriller genre in general. However, this one nailed it for me. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ray Porter and it really seemed like I was listening/watching a suspenseful action film.
The pacing worked well for me. Granted I feel listening to audiobooks can be hit or miss for me at times. At times the narrators just don’t click for me and I get distracted and lost. Ray Porter and this story kept my attention throughout this one. About the only time we didn’t have some time of non-stop action or suspense was simply when we were either building up the story and characters or when we were coming down from the action high moving into the next scene.
The world building is difficult for me to score in modern themed books. I think the focus here is how well Jack Carr builds the foundation of the story with our operators initially and what they went through on active duty. Then how the rest of the story unfolds once James Reece return’s stateside. As the story progresses the author is constantly peeling back the layers of this conspiracy onion and I was all for it!
The character development was spot on as well. The author of course does an amazing job in laying out and developing our protagonist which is to be expected. However, what he does with the supporting cast of characters and their relationship with James Reece is where I think he nailed this one in my opinion. In the position our protagonist finds himself back in the states eventually isolated without much support or many friends is rough to say the least. But those friends he does have evolve into a solid structure of support to help him along this final journey. This goes with our cast of antagonists as well. Some begin just as pompous narcissist on a power trip. As the story goes you find out who really has the power and who is just along for the ride looking to cash in.
I’ll wrap things up first saying, I am ashamed how long I’ve put this series off and looking to continue it throughout the rest of this year where I can slip them in. Without giving too much away I’ll state I was wondering how this became a series with the premise of the first book. Until the very end. Now I’m anxious to see where James Reece goes from here.
I’ve heard a ton of praise for Jack Carr and The Terminal List series leading up to this read. I don’t believe it was overhyped. So I’d recommend this to just about any reading fans of the Thriller genre, especially if you lean more toward either military or law enforcement type of reads.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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  1. I didnt know there was a book for this series but I started watching it on TV, however, now you have me feeling to check out the books also. Great review.

    1. My coworker told me they made it into a series. He said he was kind of torn because he likes some aspects more from the video series and others more from the book series. I could understand that even without seeing the video series yet.

      1. Yes, I thought the video series was okay hence I did not finish it. Usually I find books are better than the video series or movie.

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