Kayla and her best friend Olivia are about to graduate when their university is attacked by terrorists, and their lives are turned upside down. Their ingenuity and courage at stopping the attack garners the interest of a top secret military program, the Azrael Initiative.
The Azrael Initiative is a rapid thriller that pits two highly capable grad students, turned highly trained operatives, against the threat of ISIS.
Hanson does a good job of quickly defining these two young women and setting up all the necessary back story elements that will fuel their revenge mission, against those responsible for the terrorist attacks.
The book is extremely fast paced, which at times means that character development is minimal but I believe Hanson squeezes in just enough substance to give his characters realism and vibrancy.
Don’t expect rhetoric and elegant prose, but the simplicity of the writing serves to propel the story forward.
The dry air rushed past her face as she plummeted toward the ground. After a few seconds of freefall, Kayla pulled the ripcord for her parachute, and her fall lurched to a slow easy drift downward.
The plot doesn’t diverge much from a typical terrorist thriller and, unfortunately for Hanson, this means it’ll struggle to stand out in such a saturated market. To the author’s credit, he chucks in a few proverbial grenades to stir things up and, he even delivers a couple of swift final plot twists.
Personally, I found the death of a key character came so suddenly, simply to support an arguably unnecessary plot twist, that the reader would struggle to absorb the tragedy or connect to it. And, all the mystery elements were revealed, to the main character, in a neatly wrapped little bundle as the antagonist conveniently outlined his every move in his journal.
Overall, this meets all the requirements of an enjoyable thriller. Worth a read? Certainly. Will it blow your mind? Probably not.