A Book Spy Review: ‘War Shadows’ By Andrews & Wilson

51AF7EKLosL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgFor their latest Tier One thriller, the co-writing team of Brian Andrews and Jeff Wilson pull readers inside the world of black ops for their most explosive story yet.

John Dempsey is a former Navy SEAL who traded in his old life and identity to become part of Ember, an elite counterterrorism unit funded through the Department of Defense. His family and friends all believe he was killed during a mission years ago, freeing him up to operate in the shadows–where the bad guys live. 

While giving up his old life was a costly personal decision for Dempsey, who left behind a loving family, it’s a sacrifice he was willing to make to keep America safe.

A decade ago, when he was still known as Jack Kemper (and a Navy SEAL), Dempsey led a team of commandos into a remote Iraqi compound. Their target was a mid-level Al-Qaeda member named Mahmood Bin Jabbar, and they nearly nabbed him. But things took a wrong turn and went south in a hurry. One of Dempsey’s men got killed, and Bin Jabbar slipped away into the darkness. 

Now, ten years later, Mahmood Bin Jabbar just stepped back into the light–and Dempsey is chomping at the bit to take another run at him. However, like last time, getting close to the terrorist mastermind will be easier said than done.

Ember intelligence reports indicate Mahmood Bin Jabbar is surfacing long enough to meet with another terrorist organization near Al-Qa’im. While not much is known about his whereabouts from the last ten years, Bin Jabbar now holds a leadership position in ISIS, and it’s believed the meeting is to coordinate on an attack plan already in the works. 

While Dempsey is out for blood, hellbent on settling the score from the last time he went after Bin Jabbar, his number-one objective is to learn more about what the terrorists are planning so they can be stopped. But like last time, Mahmood Bin Jabbar isn’t about to go quietly or without a fight. 

After things once again take a shocking turn, Dempsey finds himself on a new globetrotting mission, racing against the clock to stop a series of carefully plotted attacks before it’s too late. 

Partners and teams are the new ‘it thing’ right now. Lots of thriller authors are pairing up characters, and even longtime series protagonists who are known for working alone are getting sidekicks. While Dempsey is the star here, all the individual operators shine as a unit. The banter and side joking during missions will make readers feel like they’re shadowing the unit on a ride-along, 

The banter and side joking during missions will make readers feel like they’re shadowing the special ops units on a ride-along. Not only does this style work well, it’s a real strength of the authors’ storytelling ability and will help readers get lost in the adventure.

What Andrews and Wilson are doing with this series is unlike anything else currently in print right now. While each book stands on its own, as far as having an authentic plot that readers can jump into, their series is built around one central story arc. Not everything is neatly tidied up in four hundred pages, and the good guys don’t always pitch a perfect game. Instead, each novel shows a different battle within the overall war–a concept that has so far been brilliantly choreographed.

Andrews and Wilson continue to fire on all cylinders, impressing once again with War Shadows, the latest high-voltage entry in their gritty military thriller franchise. 

Book Details

Authors: Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson 
Series: Tier One #2
Pages: 398 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1503942031
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: February 21, 2017 (Order Now!)

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  • Tyler Donoghue

    Ryan, I loved the first book but it left unfinished and leading into a direct sequel. This War Shadows appears to start nine years afterwards… do you know if they will finish the initial story? Or are they simply moving on into the future so to speak? I’m a little disappointed at this…

    • It’s not necessarily nine years later… The story flashes back in time briefly, before coming back to the current day. What I can tell you is that the over arc from the last book does continue!