Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Gritty Military Suspense by Mel Odom

Renegade 
by Mel Odom
Called to Serve series, Book 2
Christian Fiction / Military Suspense
Available June 2013
Tyndale House
400 pages

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About the Book
Having grown up in the foster system, Private Pike Morgan’s rough exterior and problem with authority earn him few friends among his fellow Marines. When he’s not on missions for the Marine Reserve, Pike’s rebellious attitude and eagerness for vigilante justice have the local police regularly at his doorstep. Struggling to set down roots, and nervous of his desire to, Pike’s eager to answer the military’s call for another deployment.

On a peacekeeping mission to Afghanistan, Pike and his squad soon find themselves entrenched in a heated war zone. After an American journalist is kidnapped by known terrorist Zalmai Yaqub, the whereabouts of this al Qaeda leader become a top priority for the American military. But when Yaqub flees to Pakistan, will anyone aid Pike in his hunt, or will this strong Marine find himself without an ally?

My Thoughts
When I first began reading Renegade, I'll admit, I didn't love it. I set it aside and came back to it a couple of weeks later, and I'm so glad I did! While Pike isn't a main character that you immediately fall in love with, the more I got to know him, the better I liked him. (Isn't that true with so many things?!) The author did a fabulous job of unpacking Pike's life story and giving reasons behind his behavior. When he was finally sent off to Afghanistan, I felt like a friend was being sent off to war.

The story alternates between two main stories—Pike's and a terrorist plot in Afghanistan. The terrorist plot wasn't the highlight of the book for me, but it did add another layer and things actually tied up quite nicely in the end (which I was unsure of in the beginning).

Mel Odom is a new-to-me author, and I'm looking forward to reading more by him! Fans of suspense fiction or readers who are looking for a story with some depth to it will enjoy reading Renegade! [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Mel Odom is a full-time writer with many published works to his credit. Mel has been inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame and received the Alex Award for his fantasy novel The Rover. Mel has published the Apocalypse series and the NCIS series with Tyndale House. Mel resides in Oklahoma with his wife and five children.

Mel Odom Online
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