Grey Wolf (Grey Wolf Series Book 1) by Austen Brennan
Genre: Military Thriller
Rating: **** Four Stars
Estimated word count: 165,000 words
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Austen Brennan is a young man from North Carolina with no military experience, but a deep interest in military affairs. This is his debut novel.
“World War III has begun, and the United States is invaded by an alliance of four countries determined to destroy everything and everyone in it. Three 15-year-old boys are thrust into battle after they meet up with a team of U.S. Army Rangers known as “Grey Wolf.” Soon they learn that in every shadow lurks a traitor, and that every ally might just as easily plant a knife in their backs. While the three young friends are determined to defend their country at all costs, none of them could possibly have imagined the horrors they will experience, the deception they will uncover, or the prices they will pay.”
My Two Cents:
From the description, you might be expecting a Red Dawn knockoff. Which you’ll get, but that’s merely an appetizer. This story has nearly everything to appeal to action junkies. From commando action to large-scale air and naval battles, there’s plenty of high calorie combat. Toss in the GI Joe-esque “Hands of Chaos” mystery people pulling the strings and we have a first rate mystery thriller as well. Roll that all together with the well-polished writing style and deep character development and you’ve got a must read on your hands.
That said, there are some weaknesses that dampen the fun considerably. The endless stream of betrayals get tedious. The surprise factor disappears after the fifth time some friendly turns traitor. More tedious was the constant teenage bickering and angst at the worst possible times. I get the realism that it provides; this is a great touch that kids turned guerrillas would often still act like kids… but the characters don’t seem to grow up throughout the story. They’re still as frustrating at the end as the beginning.
However, none of these issues keep Grey Wolf from being a fantastic read; this is still an addictive page turner. Definitely worth the time. Even though the main plot, WW3, is over, I still want to read the rest of the series. That alone is a strong sign of skilled writing!