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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Primal Unleashed by Jack Silkstone

After months of frantic juggling, I finally found time on Memorial Day to sit down and dig into this primo piece of paramilitary fiction. And I can see why it's so popular.

PRIMAL is a Private Military Company that is, uniquely, privately funded. They don't fight for profit and they owe no allegiance to any particular government. If Bruce (Batman) Wayne's parents had been killed by terrorists instead of street criminals, and he wasn't comfortable wearing tights, he would run an organization like PRIMAL, righting wrongs around the world.

In the prequel, PRIMAL: Origins we learned how this organization came to be. American ex-CIA man Vance and his IT wizard, Chua, are the brains of the organization; but the real stars of this story are newcomers Bishop and Mirza.

It seems the Russians developed a nerve agent deadlier than any other biological/chemical warfare asset, and now a Ukrainian arms dealer is about to sell it into the wrong hands. There are 3 different interests struggling for possession of this weapon; PRIMAL wants control so neither of the others have the opportunity to use it.

During the course of the mission Bishop crosses paths with beautiful Iranian spy Saneh. She's a great character and brings sexual tension into the mix...and neither the good guys nor the reader are sure to what extent she can be trusted.

The novel really hits its stride about halfway through. The plotting is nicely done and the action is suspenseful. By the end, the main characters are beginning to shine. Primal: Unleashed isn't just set up for a's set up to be a whole series.

Author Jack Silkstone takes advantage of the digital nature of the book by including links, for those who want to know more, to webpages about some of the specialty weapons, equipment, etc. his characters use. (Why didn't I think of that?) He also includes images of aircraft and such to better help the reader visualize. Some of his dialog is a little too on-the-nose in places, but the overall quality of the book is much higher than a lot of the men's adventure from yesteryear, and far above most of the indie-published e-fiction available today.

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