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I’ve been waiting for a new Joe Ledger book for a year now, and finally, it is here under a new series, Rogue Team International, aka RTI. For the most part, here we have the same main characters that also featured in the Joe Ledger series, however, we have a few changes.
First, the team is now rogue, hence the name. They are no longer working for the government. They are independent, working globally, and calling themselves the Havoc Team, lead by Ledger, who still works for Church. Second, the team has two new members, but otherwise, it’s really the same group of people we got to love.
So reading the Jonathan Maberry books in order for his two Joe Ledger series means simply picking up Rage after Deep Silence, as the story continues from before. However, I do recommend you read the series in order, as there are people who come in and out of the story, who appear after years of being basically gone. There are references to the older books, so you do get updated on the outline, but you’ll miss out on a lot of well-crafted juicy details that make the Joe Ledger world as fun as it is to read.
As usual in the Joe Ledger books, there is a madman (or two, or an entire group) who is about to unleash an unspeakable horror upon the world. In this case we have Rage. It’s a strange agent that causes, well, unspeakable rage in people that…you’ll have to read the book to see what exactly happens. However, if you’ve read the previous Joe Ledger books, you’ll pretty much figure it out quite early, as the books all follow the same basic pattern.
When some people on a small island start to act strangely, like really strangely, Church takes notice and sends Joe and Co. to investigate. What they find there takes them on a hunt for some truly evil people across countries and continents all the way to Europe, where the team has to stop the madmen from destabilizing the world that could lead to complete anarchy.
But the end…OMG the end…I didn’t see that coming. That twist at the end took my breath away, and I can’t stop thinking about it. For one, it leads nicely to a new sequel, and we now know just which direction that will take. On the other hand…I did shed a tear… Those last few pages were probably the most emotional ones I’ve read ever since I first picked up Patient Zero.
The book is action-packed from the first page to the last in what is quite a big story at over 400 pages. There are tons of twists and turns, more baddies that you can count on both hands, and a lot of soul searching for Joe as well. Initially, I was a bit confused, as there are two parallel stories jumping between the past and present. After a few chapters, it all became clear, and the glimpses into the past became fun as well because now I knew they would lead somewhere specific…
The writing is, as usual, good. But…for the love of God, please get your geography straight. Cyprus is NOT in Greece. Even though both have Greek as the main language, they are separate countries with separate flags, presidents, and laws. It is like saying Canada is in the U.S., which would anger the Canadians to no end.
Except for this tiny bit of annoyance, I loved the book, and now I’m looking forward to the new Joe Ledger release.
Rage by Jonathan Maberry
Series: Rogue Team International #1
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genres: Military Thriller
Also reviewed: Predator One, Kill Switch, Dogs of War