Book Review: SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon by Don Mann (with Ralph Pezzullo)

SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon tells the story of a group of SEAL operatives on the hunt for the Falcon, an Iranian terrorist who had kidnapped the main character's wife several months prior.

The Short Review: I really wanted to like this novel. It reminded me of an interesting blend of Mitch Rapp and Jack Ryan, but at the end, I couldn't help but feel that in the effort to hit two different styles of thriller at the same time, the novel missed its mark. It was enjoyable, but I didn't find it quite as engaging as other thrillers in the same ballpark.

I'd give this novel 3.5* to 4*; Crocker is an interesting character, but I felt that there was just something missing from the tension in the story. Still, it wasn't a bad book, it just didn't grab me nearly as much as I was hoping it would.

One thing I will shout out for this book: It has a very real, gritty feel to it, which I really appreciated.

The Long Review: SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon opens with the deaths of the parents of a child by the Iranian terrorist ‘the Falcon.' Crocker goes on the hunt, with his team of SEALs, in order to bring the Falcon to justice.

This story shines when the focus is on what the team is doing. During those phases of the novel, I really enjoyed the book. During those parts, it's a solid 4*, occasionally 5* book for me. It's when the story loses focus on the Falcon and shifts to other things, including the relationships with Crocker's family.

The transitions between these two parts of the story were really rough for me. It often felt like there was a lot of jumping. One minute, I'm in a different country on the hunt for the Falcon, and the next, Crocker is home dealing with family life. There's very little transition, which would leave me floundering to get back into the story.

Once Crocker went back on the hunt for the Falcon, I was enjoying the story again. I think part of it boils down to the fact that Crocker lacks the charismatic charm of Jack Ryan and Mitch Rapp, which didn't let me really get into his character when he wasn't being a SEAL. His actions as a SEAL were what held me to the story, not the characterizations with his family, which just didn't work well for me.

That's personal taste. In terms of writing quality, which is what I'm basing the star value of this review on, it's a pretty solid 4*. It's gritty, down-to-Earth, and works well for the genre of book.

I just couldn't get into Crocker's character in this book, outside of when he was being a SEAL doing what he does best. If the focus had been less on his family, I probably would have enjoyed this book even more.

I want to take a moment to talk about one of the strengths of this book: The technicalities.  If you're looking for a realistic thriller, this is probably right up your alley. It reads accurate, feels accurate, and is accurate, at least so far as I can tell from what I do know about operations of this type. That is one of the strengths that kept me reading right up to the end of the book.

So, if you like thrillers of the military type with a focus on anti-terrorism, this novel is definitely worth the read. If you're going in and expecting the charismatic charm of Mitch Rapp or Jack Ryan, however, I'd be wary. Crocker is a lot more down-t0-Earth, and I feel he isn't quite as likable because of it. Still, I rooted for him, although he just wasn't the type of character I was really hoping for.

I received this book as an ARC from the publisher.

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