Book Title: Tier One
Author: Brian Andrews, Jeffrey Wilson
Series: Tier One #1
Genres: Thriller, War/Military, Fiction
Published: September 1st 2016 by Brilliance Audio
In a world violated by terror, the old lines have blurred. Meet the next generation of covert ops.
John Dempsey’s life—as an elite Tier One Navy SEAL named Jack Kemper—is over. A devastating terrorist action catapults him from a world of moral certainty and decisive orders into the shadowy realm of espionage, where ambiguity is the only rule. His new mission: hunt down those responsible for the greatest tragedy in the history of the US Special Ops and bring them to justice.
But how does a man torn between duty and revenge walk the line and preserve his soul?
As Dempsey struggles with the games of spies, the case propels him across the globe in a desperate effort to prevent a new, horrifying attack on American soil.
Once, John Dempsey followed orders blindly. Now he sees behind the curtain, and the security of the civilized world rests on one question: Can a Tier One Navy SEAL adapt and become the world’s most lethal spy
It’s not often I click all 5 stars, and this being the first edition to a series in which I have yet to attach to any characters or Brian Andrews writing, I think it’s even more of a rarity. I do think a partial credit for this goes to Ray Porter, who’s voice immediately put me into “SEAL mode.” Porter was the narrator of Howard Wasdin’s “Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper,” and I was profoundly surprised when I later discovered the voice had not been Wasdin himself. Between his voice and the way he seems to so flawlessly express audible emotional rage, pride and others, I was actually shocked to discover Ray himself was not a former SEAL, nor any combat operator for that matter. So I feel it appropriate to credit him with at least a partial portion of my 5 star.
Tier One tells the story of an elite operator within an elite group comprised of the top operators from (arguably) the most elite level of military operations. Thats a lot of “elite’s” right? Well I think most would agree our Navy SEAL’s are top tier for military operation, unless you ask a fellow from Delta. Well Tier One is comprised of the SEAL’s best operators, and within this super group is senior chief Kemper, so that’s the elite of the elite of the elite if you follow. The story kicks into gear immediately, putting Kemper and his Tier One team into action within the first chapters. While i’m sure this first sequence served as opportunity to set pace for the novel, it does a great job on introducing the reader to how much “SEAL slang” we’ll be reading, how detailed the weapons chatter will get, and Andrews writing style for action. If you’re a fan of military/spy shooters you know this stuff is important to a story, as some authors push the slang/weapons info well beyond civilian understanding and it can spoil the read. In this case I felt it was a perfect blend for someone as myself with no military backround but a heavy reading history in this realm. I was able to follow the slang, the weapons chatter, the operational communication etc, a perfect blend. I was hooked after the first shoot out.
As the story progresses, Kemper suffers a massive emotional and physical loss of his Tier One crew. At the time I thought we were heading towards another “solo gunner on a rampage” story, but was pleasantly surprised. Kemper is recruited into a para military group with unpresidented autonomy, no congressional oversight and essentially a license to kill bad guys as they see fit. He gets a new (and well qualified) team, a new identity and a new boss. Kelso Jarvis leads the new team dubbed “Ember” and is a former Tier One SEAL, and former CO of Kemper himself, this served a nice seamless entry into his new team without any getting to know you stage.
The bulk of the story is the set up of the new team and back story. While the Ember team does take on a mission, I think the point of the book was to establish “Ember” for a future series, one that I am 100% committed to reading. I honestly don’t have any negative thoughts on the book, it may be that this particular series serves the perfect arena for me personally, the non-military avid reader of military/spy shooters. Blending the perfect mix of action/emotion/plot and that “F#ck yeah” reaction to justice via jacketed lead…