Thursday, July 26, 2007

'Ishmael's Wrath' by Steven Shane Pate II

ISBN-10: 0805989757
Publisher: RoseDog Books
Paperback: $18.00

Ishmael’s Wrath is an action-packed debut from native Oklahoma author Steven Shane Pate II. You are kept on the edge of your seat as terrorists, secret societies, and Navy Seals battle for control of a weapon that could change the course of history.

Randy Madduck is a United States Navy Seal fallen on emotional hard times. When we are first introduced to the character he is blocking a painful past with alcohol and a desk job. Angry with himself, he seems to lack direction until he receives a phone call from a mysterious man in the middle of the night.

Randy is informed that the recent suicide of a high-profile senator was not suicide but an act of terrorist Abd al-Raham. When Hermes Sinclair, the senator’s son and Randy’s friend, disappears Randy worries that there might be a connection. Armed with this information and a warning of impending disaster Randy contacts an old military friend at the Pentagon. But when the line goes dead in the middle of Randy’s warning he realizes that things have taken a turn for the worst.

From there the story just explodes off the page as Randy must fight to stop Abd al-Raham from changing not only the world but history, too. With a team of seven battle-hardened Seals Randy travels to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where al-Raham is hiding the weapon. Along the way Randy must come to terms with his life up to this point and what it will be like after, and if, he is successful in this life or death mission.

Part political thriller, part inner quest, and just a plain good time, Ishmael’s Wrath is peopled with very real characters. Randy Madduck is practically jumping off the page; as each chapter unfolds and layers of his personality are reveled you can’t help but like the slightly damaged but ultimately good guy that he is. While the terrorist Abd al-Raham’s devotion to jihad is chilling he is also a character that you come to understand if not necessarily like.

There are a few flaws in the editing, but not in the writing, and those few mistakes are easily overlooked. The story flows quickly and naturally. Available from Rosedog Books, Ishmael’s Wrath is a must for any action fan who enjoys something a little more thoughtful. Long after you have turned the final page, this is a story that sticks with you.

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