Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone (Sequel in progress)
Release Date: March 2, 2009
Publisher: Glass House Press
My Rating: 4.75/5
Synopsis [from richardaaron.com]:
A terrorist threat is looming; an attack that would dwarf any other. This time, the government knows it's coming, but doesn't know where… or how.
From a stunning new voice in international intrigue comes a dramatic story of high-stakes missions, treachery, honor, an unlikely hero, and the ultimate terrorist attack…
Six hundred sixty tons of Semtex is detonated in a massive explosion in Libya – the last of a deadly stockpile. The operation seems to have gone smoothly, but within minutes of the explosion, CIA agent Richard Lawrence discovers that one shipment of the explosive was hijacked en route to the destruction point. Days later, a glory-seeking “Emir” broadcasts to the world that he is planning a massive terrorist strike against a major U.S. landmark. And he gives a timeline of one month.
Now a desperate chase covers four continents, as the men bent on attacking the United States use every weapon at their disposal to evade the American authorities. Time and again they prove willing to destroy anything – and anyone – standing in their way. But Hamilton Turbee, an autistic computer mastermind at the secretive and newly created TTIC agency, discovers a way to follow their tracks. His flawed genius gives the nation its only chance at stopping the attack… if the American leadership will listen. As the enemies near their destination, and an attack becomes imminent, it is up to the TTIC team, still without a true leader, to stop the massive explosion that could destroy the lives of millions.
As the world watches in horror, the President asks TTIC two questions…
Where will the attack be?
And can it be stopped…
4.5 tons of Semtex has gone missing! The highly explosive plastic material has somehow gotten into the hands of terrorists bent on striking the United States in a terrible way. Authorities have no idea where the attack will take place and they only have about a month to find out or else a lot of innocent people die. With every clue they get the clock ticks closer to the detonation. But no matter what authorities do, the terrorists seem to always be one step ahead.
At the heart of the action is a group known as TTIC, or the Terrorist Threat Integration Center And among them is a vital employee who just happens to be an autistic math genius named Hamilton Turbee. Turbee is good at cracking codes and doing quick calculations in his head and may just have what it takes to crack the case!
There's too many unique and distinguished characters in the book to name them all. But as the reader is bounced across the globe through this fast-paced thriller, it's easy to see how devastatingly widespread and serious the situation is.
I have to admit, when I was first approached to do a blog tour I was given the choice between a couple of books. I decided to go with this one because it sounded somewhat decent, granted not really my style but I thought "What the hey - maybe you'll like it Mishel..." I received it a little late, which was no big deal. But when I opened the package I became a little intimidated. The book is pretty hefty. But when I told myself to get over it and started to read, I became so totally engrossed in the story it was scary.
Richard Aaron is a great story teller! The fact that this kind of thing can actually happen adds some thrilling, if not totally frightening, excitement to the reading experience. The amount of detail and research that was put into the book is amazing. I never once thought that it was too much. I did however, get a headache thinking how crazy it must have been putting a book like this together.
One thing I absolutely loved about Gauntlet was it's characters. I've read some reviews that frowned upon the background layout of some of the characters. I personally loved it. Characters are one of the most important things for me in a story. The fact that Aaron gave readers detailed backgrounds on the them made them seem more human - well for me anyway. Even the "bad guys" in the story seemed totally human and I somewhat sympathized with them. And yes, I know they were planning a terrorist attack on the US. So shoot me! Lol.
I did feel the ending was a little rushed, or just a little off kilter. It just wasn't as enjoyable for me. Although I gotta admit, the action in the end really had me on the edge of my seat. I'm so totally ready for the sequel to come out! The story isn't over - I need to know what happens lol. A definite read for anyone that enjoys books like this! But even if you aren't into terrorist books or military thrillers of this kind (I don't even know what genre the book is because I just don't usually read anything like this) I still think you should give it a try. The characters, story, action may just pull you in!