Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Gryphon Heist {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe--a department only known as "Other." When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she'll be back in DC within a few days. But that's before she knows where the designs are stored--and who's after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere.

Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes?

In this Ocean's Eleven-meets-Mission Impossible thriller, former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James R. Hannibal offers you a nonstop thrill ride through the most daring heist ever conceived.

 As a former stealth pilot, James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. He has been shot at, locked up with surface to air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion award-winner for his Section 13 mysteries for kids and a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series for adults. His first Christian thriller, the Grypyhon Heist, releases Fall 2019 from Revell. James is a rare multi-sense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment.

While The Gryphon Heist certainly grabbed my attention right from the start, I must be completely honest and say that it failed to keep me in it's grips throughout as I prefer my thrillers to do. It started out with a great deal of action, but throughout seemed to go back and forth between moments at that faster pace, to moments that were much slower in pace. Now some may enjoy this, but I must admit it kept me from getting into the story as much as I could have. During those moments where it was more engaged in action, I found myself thinking it was a great story, but during the in between I struggled to keep going. In the beginning, it felt like it took awhile to build up to the main story too.

Still, though I can say it wasn't my favorite--- it had many great things going for it that I am sure others will enjoy. First, I enjoyed the idea of Talia being new to the CIA... most of the time when we read of characters in jobs like this they are more seasoned so that added a really interesting element. I cannot say how true to life talk of that career/training/etc was as I'm clueless about it all, but it sounded pretty believable to me at least! There were also some really humorous moments and banter throughout that I really enjoyed... this often coming from the various side characters that we meet throughout. There was certainly a great element of suspense established very early on that kept me guessing who could be trusted.

Overall, it was a good book. This particular story/character might not have connected with me enough to draw me into this one, but the writing was great and I would certainly still try out another book by this author and potentially the series again. Readers who like a Mission Impossible-type story will certainly enjoy this one more!


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