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Sunday, October 13, 2013

SNIPER ELITE: ONE WAY TRIP (audiobook) by Scott McEwen with Thomas Kolonair

Published by Simon and Schuster Audio in 2013.
Read by Brian Hutchinson.
Duration: 10 hours, 8 minutes.

Author Scott McEwen co-wrote American Sniper, the auto-biography of famed SEAL Chris Kyle and from those contacts and the stories he heard he was inspired to write this fictional story of American special forces in Iran and Afghanistan.

The insignia of the Navy SEALs
This is really three separate operations deftly told as three separate stories with overlapping characters and a little overlap when they get back to base. The first operation is the insertion of a lone operative into Iran to kill a weapons designer. McEwen uses this fairly straightforward story to introduce the weapons and other equipment that will be used throughout the book.

The second and third operations deal with a captured American female helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. She is part of a unit that inserts and extracts special forces all of the time so the men feel a real connection to her. When a video is released showing her being raped by one of her captors the men of multiple special forces units decided to act, even when their orders tell them to stand down and let the diplomats try to free her.

The action is first rate, although I can honestly say that I have no idea how realistic it was at all. Nonetheless, it was very entertaining. There were interesting questions raised but not dealt with very well, such as the uniquely weird position of the Afghani translators - they are forever between their own people and a foreign military - part of both at the same time.

If you are easily offended by curse words I suggest skipping this book because men in combat tend to curse and F$@% is used at least one hundred times in the first couple of hours. After that, it was just part of the story.

Brian Hutchinson read this story and did a great job with different accents and depicting the men in different situations. This book was not read, it was performed as he whispered, shouted, threatened and made smart-aleck comments as the characters died in the middle of a firefight - all without making it seem hokey (this book had that potential if read incorrectly).

Very enjoyable.

NOTE: This book was provided to me at no charge by the publisher in exchange for an honest review as a part of Audiobook Jukebox's Solid Gold Reviewer Program.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5 and it can be found on Amazon.com here: SNIPER ELITE: ONE WAY TRIP.

Reviewed on October 13, 2013.

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