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Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Published by ListenUp Audiobooks in September of 2014.
Read by Brian Troxell.
Duration: 9 hours, 14 minutes.

In many ways Trident's First Gleaming is a pretty typical special forces book. You've got a terrorist threat from somewhere in the Middle East, you have an elite group of American operatives who are scrambled to eliminate it, they discover it is worse than anyone has imagined and only they can somehow overcome these newer incredibly long odds and save America and the world.

But, in other ways it is different. The main character, Chris Paladin, is more than just a really talented (but retired) operative - he is also an associate pastor of a church in Dallas, Texas. But, when a former colleague reaches out to him and requests his help. She has been assigned to recover a downed Switchblade Whisper, a new type of military drone that can be launched from a submarine. Its wings swing out and lock open when fired out of the submarine, like a switchblade's blade locks open.

Unfortunately, it has crashed in Syria and by all indications it was taken down by a genius with an astounding grasp of technology. Also, he is a madman with real issues about his sister and a taste for eating people.

Photo by Niels Nordhoek
Stephen Templin has a talent for writing military thrillers. This book could have been over-the-top in so many ways. The pastor angle could have been overdone with preachy sermons and the like, but it was not. The weapons angle could have been overdone with discussions of guns to the level of a fetish. The bad guy was certainly creepy but he was not the focus because this is not a Hannibal Lechter novel. 

Instead, once this book gets going it becomes part thriller, part "buddy" book, part romance and injected with a real sense of humanity and, from time-to-time, a great gag to relieve the tension.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a "change-your-life" novel and it's not perfect, but for a military thriller this is about as good as it gets.

Narrator Brian Troxell has a great voice for reading these types of books. He makes everything he reads seem very dramatic, very edgy and very macho. I look forward to hearing more of his work.

Note: I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on November 25, 2014.

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