Redemption: (Ryan Drake: book 1): a compelling, action-packed and high-octane thriller that will have you gripped from page one

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Redemption: (Ryan Drake: book 1): a compelling, action-packed and high-octane thriller that will have you gripped from page one

Redemption: (Ryan Drake: book 1): a compelling, action-packed and high-octane thriller that will have you gripped from page one

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Along with his team, Ryan succeeds in the prison break, only to learn his sister has been taken hostage, and he now needs to free Maras from the clutches of the CIA, and bring her to the terrorist head, a man called Munro, who once worked with Maras for the CIA. In a tense and action-filled novella, Ryan Drake and his team must go to Ukraine to find a compromised CIA source – but is new unit member Keira Frost up to the job? Thrown together in a race to survive, their differing outlooks and experiences allowed me almost endless scope for creating tension and interesting exchanges. As the title suggests, this books is about the pursuit of redemption. Both Drake and Maras have done bad things in their pasts, and are each searching for a way to make that right. However by the end they each realise that redemption can’t be given by someone else – it has to be earned. Pursued by his former comrades and thrown together with a dangerous woman he doesn’t trust, his journey for answers takes him from Russia to America, Saudi Arabia and finally Iraq.

Redemption: Ryan Drake, Book 1 (Audio Download): Will Jordan

I'm the author of the Ryan Drake series, currently at six books and counting, which I've been working on for the past five years. The series centres around Ryan Drake, a former soldier now working for the CIA as a 'Shepherd' - a highly classified operative sent into some of the most dangerous places on earth to find and retrieve lost or captured agents. Needless to say, all doesn't exactly go according to plan, especially when Drake gets entangled with a mysterious former operative by the name of Anya. Following his trail of destruction, the team must fight to save Drake not only from a list of ruthless enemies, but even more urgently, from himself. The Scottish thriller author Will Jordan has been writing for some time now, creating his unique brand of high-octane suspense filled narratives that manage to constantly keep the reader glued to the edges of their seats, right up until the very end. Chiefly known for his character Ryan Drake who he’s kept running for over five books so far and counting, he’s already turning heads within the industry due to his ability in combining both suspense and intrigue. Living in Fife he has a strong interest in military history and modern warfare techniques, something which is clearly reflected through the accuracy displayed in his stories. For me the story is all about the changing relationship between Drake and Maras. To begin with he’s deeply distrustful of her, which soon gives way to anger and resentment as things begin to unravel for him. Gradually however he begins to see the humanity in her, and the two of them form a bond of sorts through their shared experiences. It’s not exactly a cosy friendship, as the end of the novel proves, but it’s definitely intense. Conversely, some of the twists - the introduction of the antagonist, then the later revelation of the shadowy figure pulling the strings - are clearly telegraphed ahead of time, and so lose all their impact.

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During one particular film shoot he was required to undertake military boot camp training, as he was to play the part of a World War Two soldier, and it was this training that led to his keen interest in military history and the many conflicts that have occurred. It was this interest that led him to research historical conflicts and, with his love of writing having already been ingrained from an early age, he then went onto write his first novel that was to see the introduction of Ryan Drake as a lead character. Other research included visiting Eastern Europe and America, spending time on the weapon ranges there, a journey which also took him to Washington D.C.

Redemption: (Ryan Drake: book 1): a compelling, action-packed

Immediately scoped out the second book and will be buying it when I've finished typing this review. Will Jordan is the bestselling, internationally published author of the Ryan Drake series. He was born in Scotland in 1983. His works to date include: The latest book in the Lincoln Lawyer series comes out this month. This will be the 7th book in that series, and the 41st book in the Bosch Universe. Harry Bosch also plays a big part in this book. Russia, 1959. Nine members of a Soviet mountaineering team on an ambitious expedition into the Ural Mountains are found dead, victims of massive and bizarre injuries. The Dyatlov Pass incident, as this grisly event came to be known, remains unexplained to this day.What broke my suspension of disbelief was the character of Maras, the woman Ryan and his team are sent to rescue in the beginning of the story. I'm all for strong and interesting female characters, but Maras seems like a superhero in an otherwise grounded story. She's way too strong and fast, unbelievably perceptive, skillful in everything she does, and established as pretty much the toughest fighter there is. Distrustful of this uneasy alliance and with no outside support to call on, Drake gathers his small group of trusted team mates and embarks on his most difficult and dangerous mission yet. However, his plans soon unravel, forcing him into a deadly game of cat and mouse against a vengeful British intelligence officer with an unknown agenda.

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Towards the end, when Drake's pursuers suddenly switched to being his rescuers without any obvious prompt, and in spite of the clear contradiction offered at the very start of the novel, I was half expecting the sort of happy ending whereby the mastermind is brought to justice and all his victims (direct and indirect, those who survive, at least) get the second chance they're after. Thankfully, Redemption didn't disappoint on that score, with the implication of a longer game to be played through later books. Weirdly, it reminded me a lot of Dumas' morally grey ending to The Three Musketeers, which has never once been faithfully adapted to the movie/TV screen. Ryan Drake, the main character, works for the CIA as a Shepherd – a special operative who finds and brings home lost agents. In Redemption he’s handed the task of breaking into a seemingly impenetrable Siberian prison and rescuing an inmate identified only as Maras. Things seem to go well, until a phone call from a disgraced CIA agent and former student of Maras forces Drake to go on the run with her.This is an interesting contrast to the author's own recent critiques on how female action heroes are often depicted in modern movies (Drinker Fixes Maras, anyone?). And of course, in addition to being able to punch her way through any man, she's very beautiful and sensual (with so much emphasis on descriptions of her body that it almost feels uncomfortable at times), in a great physical condition, and doesn't shy away from sexuality at all - all this regardless of just having been released from a prison where for years she had been abused in all ways possible. I also love playing with the notion of who the ‘bad guy’ really is. No character should be 100% good or bad in my opinion, and I think that holds particularly true for the antagonists. In Redemption, characters may do bad things but in their own minds (and perhaps even in the real world) they’re serving a greater good. I think that makes them far more interesting because it gives the reader a different perspective. For Ryan Drake, this is just the beginning as the sniper is revealed to be Anya – the rogue former CIA agent he helped rescue from prison nearly two years earlier. Now she has allied herself with an elusive but deadly new terrorist group bent on the utter destruction of the Russian government. Don't you just hate it when it's obvious that the author doesn't have a clue what they are writing about?

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