A book that I described as a “stunning debut novel” on my Goodreads, The Terminal List still sticks in my mind as one of the best first books I’ve ever read by an author. Jack Carr pulled didn’t hold any punches here.
Jack Carr is a former Navy SEAL who led special operations teams as a Team Leader, Platoon Commander, Troop Commander and Task Unit Commander and in 2018 he wrote his first fictional book about a character allied James Reece who experiences the dark side of the government and becomes an enemy of the state.
Plot – 5/5
The plot of The Terminal List sees the main character, James Reece, with nothing left to live for after he finds out the American government are responsible for the death of his whole team sending him on a pursuit to find out the truth, along the way taking some hard blows and finding out some dark secrets that really grab you throughout.
I don’t think I remember a point in this book where I wasn’t utterly fascinated by what was going on. I feel like Jack Carr had jotted down some great plot moments and decided to throw many of them into this first book. It’s fast-paced, high-intensity and utterly raw at times. There are a couple of moments in the book that Carr is very brave to include and I salute him (no pun intended) for including them in the debut novel rather than saving them for sequels.
Characters – 4/5
James Reece himself isn’t an overtly outgoing character and doesn’t quite instil a vast amount of confidence in me of his personality. But his internal dialogue and his passion really make you root for him throughout the book. He makes a few questionable decisions on his journey but all of which you can understand and back him in.
There aren’t a vast number of supporting characters who join James Reece on his journey as he’s more of a one-man wrecking machine – however, those who do come in have enough dialogue and enough reason to be there that none of them feels expendable.
Summary – 5/5
One of the favourite debut books of 2018. I was very impressed with The Terminal List and would wholly recommend this not only to those who love action and gunfights but to pretty much anyone. There’s a lot of heart in this book.
As I’ve mentioned – one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read and even one of the best thrillers I’ve read.
I really struggled to find flaws when reading through and even in hindsight I remember how much I enjoyed it. It feels like Carr went all out on his debut novel with some powerful plot moments backed by some extensive knowledge of the action and the settings he’s discussing.