Review published on August 30, 2017.
Sean Harker and his platoon are flying back from Lagos on a civilian aircraft after a gruelling mission. Whilst they attempt to blend in, they are rather pent up and there is a scene on the aircraft. This is not how soldiers should be conducting themselves. However, what they did not expect was to form part of a hostage situation in the airport. Although far from a completely controlled situation, the soldiers quickly act to bring the terrorists down. This is achieved with some success, but not without any casualties. What transpires is a high terrorist alert, so leave is cancelled and Sean and his squaddies form part of an undercover op.
As the account is from Sean’s perspective, there is a great insight into his thoughts and rationale both from a military and personal perspective. The soldiers are credible and their youthful, arrogant flaws bountiful, keeping it very much realistic. The pace of the book as you would expect is incredibly fast. There is action from the off and it continues through to the end. It has a very modern and realistic theme, essentially fighting against an invisible enemy. I chuckled at McNab managing to write in Pokeman hunting into the script, exemplifying how he manages to pepper light yet relevant humour throughout the story. Whilst designated as a YA read, it definitely has good crossover appeal and delivers a packed and twisted plot. There’s also the added benefit of more explanation of military services terminology and operations rationale than in the designated adult books, so it gives a chance for readers to fully understand things. It is this element of the book that makes it easy reading and be more young adult applicable. Probably also a really good book to promote to a reluctant reader. So a good all-rounder really.
Sara Garland 5/3
Silent Weapon by Andy McNab
Doubleday Childrens 9780857534675 hbk Aug 2017
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