The second novel in the Splinter Cell series, hits the ground running as Sam begins to clean up the loose ends from the last book. Along the way, he finds that the line between enemy and ally is a lot thinner than it appears. Right from the first page your thrust into the midst of the action once again.
The difference this time around, is that Sam shows some signs of having a normal life again. The term “all work and no play” would apply if the author didn’t take the time to explore Sam’s human side. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that he’s in some ways, an ordinary man. As this book explores his life both personally and professionally, you gain an insider’s perspective that the games can never quite achieve. Couple that with the excellent first person perspective it’s told from, you become more immersed in the story itself.
The biggest thing about this series that continues to amaze me, is how well cultured and researched it is. I swear I’ve learned more about history and politics in one of these novels than from any textbook I picked up in high school! The fact that Sam makes it a point to know these things and that he’s so well-travelled make him a more complex character who is better equipped to work on a worldwide scale and has a keener awareness of his environment. The fact that the author takes the time to do such extensive research while keeping everything realistic raises his esteem as a professional writer.
A gritty, meaner, James Bond who leaves the jet-setting to diplomats. These stories are a welcome and somewhat unique approach to spy novels in that they strive for realism and scale, succeeding in both. Highly recommended to Splinter Cell fans for how true they stay to the established characters.