Sunday, May 12, 2019

Drone Strike by Joe Giordano: A Review


BOOK TITLE: Drone Strike: An Anthony Provati Thriller

AUTHOR: Joe Giordano

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1624204296

GENRE: Fiction / Thriller

NUMBER OF PAGES: 290 pages

FORMAT: Digital

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank iRead Book Tours for this review copy

SUMMARY:

Karim's family is killed as 'collateral damage' by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The Islamic State in the Levant exploits his rage, recruiting him for a terrorist attack on the U.S., and only Anthony Provati can stop him. Drone Strike takes you on a fast-paced adventure across the Mediterranean, into Mexico, finally arriving in the States. Drone Strike explores the psychological realities that seduce Karim to commit an act of terror, includes a love story between Moslem Karim and Miriam, a Christian woman he defends in Turkey, and highlights the plight of Middle Eastern and Central American refugees.

FIRST IMPRESSION:

I had already read the previous book of this author and therefore had a slight idea of what to expect from this book in terms of writing and the character. The writing impressed me enough to take up the next book as well, when chance presented it for review. The summary is simple, straightforward and promises a different kind of read. We are used to war stories that show off the gory effects and after effects of war but this one deals with a different angle of wars - the vicious cycle of being affected by it and then participating in it driven by spite and pain. The psychological effects of war would make any book that deals about it in the right way sound interesting and make for a great read.

REVIEW:

I began reading Drone Strike with a notion set in my mind, and it did not disappoint. The book kept me engrossed with the pages turning quickly. Reading this feels like I had revisited a familiar universe, and that is a credit to the author for having crafted a memorable character, and having a unique style that feels familiar for repeat/sequel readers.

This is one of those books based in Middle East that does not repetitively focus on the worst situation in the Middle East and just gives the reader an overview while focusing more on the other aspects of war, of mixing ideologies and the corresponding clashes as the characters come to terms with what they were born into, what they believed to be right and what eventually happened to change their perspectives. The religious issues and beliefs that form the core of one's actions are dealt with in a philosophical way making this book a reflective read.

As I had already once observed, Anthony Provati is a falteringly human hero, making him an interesting character to follow. He is not the epitome of perfection but he is a great protagonist. But in this book, the author has also made the reader like and follow Karim, whose mind's working has been brought to light by wonderful narration. It is hard enough to maintain a single point narration but this book follows a dual POV linear narration - the parts of Anthony being in first person and the remaining in third person PoVs.

This line struck a chord with me. This sums up Anthony's observation of how the relationship panned out with respect to the other main character, Karim. This line explains how the softer emotion and its effect on whatever events are going to unfold in the book.

"Miriam's love for Karim complicated matters. I saw how she felt, even if he didn't. Too clouded by his hate, perhaps. She'd been set adrift by the Syrian civil war. Another tragic refugee among the millions. Unlike the others, not a distant, impersonal statistic."

As one of the characters says, love is a stronger emotion than hate, and the ultimate chase to the climax (which has a brilliant twist) made this book a wonderfully reflective read. I had read through the whole book thinking of it as a journey and when it ended, I was left looking for more pages to follow. The story was engaging, the narrative adding to the book's beauty. The characters were well fleshed-out. The book needed a round of edits to check for typos and adjust pace but the overall effect was good enough.

WHAT I LIKED:
  • The author has done due research and written a realistic story
  • The characters are multi-dimensional and stand for long in our mind.
  • The narration and the story development arc
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
  • The book is not for those who are easily upset by the descriptions of the effects of war, even the psychological ones - seeing as that is the core concept in this book, it has been used in excess.
  • There is a constant change in pace, and sometimes it noticeably slackens.
  • The climax (though it was a good twist) did not sit well with me. (reasons withheld due to spoilers)
VERDICT:

An interesting read if you look for different perspectives on war thrillers. Makes better impact if you have read the previous books.

RATING: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



As a former International Executive Vice President of 3M, Joe Giordano’s experience included running a business in the Middle East out of Athens, Greece. Born in New York, he’s had first-hand experience with the cultures and most of the locations in Drone Strike.

Joe's stories have appeared in more than one hundred magazines including The Saturday Evening Post and Shenandoah. His novels, Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story (2015) and Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller (2017) were published by Harvard Square Editions. Read the first chapters and sign up for his blog at http://joe-giordano.com/ ​

Joe was among one hundred Italian-American authors honored by Barnes & Noble Chairman Len Riggio to march in the 2017 Manhattan, Columbus Day Parade.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Kindle, Paperback

PRICE $5.01 for Kindle, $12.99 for Paperback

BOOK LINKS: Amazon






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