Filled with action, conspiracy, mystery, and twists, The Last Recruit has a great premise and a good plotline. I definitely could see it being a really interesting film someday. The author did a good job, overall, of maintaining the main character’s perspective and showing things logically how he would react in a variety of situations, including learning at various points in the story that everything he believes to be true is different.
For people that enjoy a military-related read with lots of mystery and high-tech info, this book might be for you. For me personally, I enjoyed discovering the truth behind all the mystery and where everything was going, but I just couldn’t dive in as deeply as I wanted to.
Jim, as a soldier, and not just any regular soldier but an elite leader, is highly trained and knows how to control himself and his emotions. As a result, he handles the various things he learns throughout the book that contradict what he’s been told relatively well, considering how others might react. However, for me, as much as I could understand the reasons behind the character’s reactions, it made the read both frustrating and a little dull.
There were several points in the story where we jump from Jim’s perspective to another character’s for a brief sentence, and then back to Jim’s. This felt jarring and while I definitely recognized understanding the other character’s perspective now and then, I felt it could’ve been expressed instead through Jim’s perspective. If the other character is feeling nervous, maybe Jim notices the other person is not making eye contact, fidgeting, or an occasional twitch.
The story is structured for the reader to learn things only as Jim does, which creates intrigue and mystery and definitely is a plus. However, even though there was plenty of action and reason to keep reading, I kept wondering when Jim was going to do something or think something or feel something other than confusion and fatigue. Even when Jim becomes angry and frustrated, he doesn’t really show it other than shutting out the world (although I guess this is again a logical reaction given his control over himself). It was just frustrating for me as the reader.
As another small point, I felt the story focused more on describing some of the small details to the point where it distracted from the action. At the same time, the editing overall was fairly solid and each of the characters believable given their circumstances, knowledge, training, etc.
In conclusion, to me, this is definitely a story made for readers that enjoy a high-tech, military book, and the characters were believable and developed, but it just wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea. If you’re one of the aforementioned readers, definitely take a look and see what you think. I give it 3.5* out of 5.
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