For many people, reading a political thriller by bestselling novelist Brad Thor is pleasurable and exciting. However, after reading Act of War, I realized Thor's political thrillers hold absolutely no appeal for me.

Brad Thor
John Reilly

Thor has a wonderful way of weaving facts within his novel, which is why he calls his work "faction." Still, he doesn’t take the time to develop his characters in such a way that this reader desired to turn the page.

Does it matter which book you read first, I wonder. Am I expecting a page turner such as those written by Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy or Lee Child? I don’t know. What I do know is this: I am drawn to books that are character driven rather than plot driven.

If I can relate to the flawed character in some way, I will stay up late into the night to finish their story. The character could remind me of a friend, relative, neighbor or a client. It really does not matter to me because I enjoy understanding human nature, including the varied, flawed personality traits they possess. This is what makes a character believable and human.

Brad Thor's Act of War
Atria Books

In Act of War, I found the character development to be lacking. Therefore, it was a struggle for me to continue reading because I did not have a "buy-in," so to speak. I just didn't care, even though the plot was very believable and realistic.

Once introduced, the characters that did interest me, such as CIA operative Ken Harmon and an asset named Migxia, simply fall into oblivion. The main character, Scot Harvath, was one dimensional and just didn't carry the story for me the way that he should have.

If you are a die-hard fan of political thrillers, Act of War might be a book you should read. You will not be disappointed with the plot. However, if you don't enjoy them, I suggest you skip this novel and find something else to occupy your time.


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