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Second Son

(Jack Reacher #15.5)

by
3.97  ·  Rating details ·  33,325 ratings  ·  979 reviews
Okinawa, 1974. Even at thirteen, Jack Reacher knows how to outwit and overpower anyone who stands in his way. And as the new kid in town, that's pretty much everyone. His family has come to the Pacific with his father, who's preparing for a top-secret Marine Corps operation. After receiving a rude welcome from the local military brats, Reacher and his older brother, Joe, i ...more
ebook, 40 pages
Published August 15th 2011 by Delacorte Press
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  33,325 ratings  ·  979 reviews


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Ahmad Sharabiani
Second Son (Jack Reacher, #15.5), Lee Child
Second Son is a short story featuring Jack Reacher, a fictional character created by British author Jim Grant (who writes under the pen name of Lee Child). It is notable in several ways: in being a short story, as Reacher mainly appears in full-length novels, of which sixteen appeared as of 2012; in giving a glimpse of the teen-age Reacher, making the story a prequel set far earlier chronologically than all other appearances of Reacher. "Second Son" and
...more
Harry
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to add the same review for all of the Reacher series, so if you've read this one, you've read 'em all. If you feel a certain affinity for the lone hero, a man of principle, of unwavering knowledge and assent as to his own actions, than Jack Reacher's your kinda guy.

Lee Child has created an unforgettable and unique character in his creation of Jack Reacher. Jack seems to implicitly understand that he is a unique animal/human running around on this planet and that in spite of social con
...more
Tim
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short story with a much better effort of Reacher as a 13-year-old teen inflicting his own brand of schooling. 8 of 10 stars.
Rob
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Jack Reacher short story published 2011

Journey back in time to see what Jack was like as a teenager. There is the size, the self confidence and the ever present never say die attitude.

Jack might be the second son but he is never second when it comes to standing up for the little people in his life.
On display here is, not only, Jack’s physical skills but also his deductive skills.
Jack’s dad is in a lot of trouble, he has lost a top secret document and if it can’t be found, and soon, all hell wi
...more
Derek
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
A very interesting peek at the life of young (13 years old) Jack Reacher.

Reacher admits to a military-base bully that he's probably a psychopath, and he's probably right — but as Elliott Leyton, author of Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer, tells us, the majority of psychopaths aren't Hannibal Lecter. As with any psychological diagnosis, there must be a range of psychopathy, from those who are merely empathically challenged to those who have no empathy at all. Young Jack Re
...more
Jim
More of a 2.5, if you can swallow a 13 year old acting like an adult & being smarter than all of them. If you can't, avoid this.

It's a glimpse at Reacher (Not Jack, even among the rest of his family. Yeah, swallow hard.) when he was younger solving problems. I have to say that I liked the way he handled the bully, although he sure leaps to conclusions & is always right. Too much, but kind of fun.

This was short, took maybe 30 minutes to listen to, competently read. I know my edition for this revi
...more
Sumit RK
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Jack Reacher as a 13 year old. This could worked as introduction of Jack Reacher, his early years, his motivation but story barely offers any insights.
As a standalone story, it is too short to make any major impact and the detective skills (for a 13 yr old) are a bit unbelievable. Overall, you won't really miss anything if you skip this one and move directly to the main series.
Ken
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice quick read that delves into Reachers past.
With 13 year old Jack currently on an army base in the South Pacific. Alongside he’s brother Joe, the pair need to prepare for a test.

It’s an enjoyable little story that could easily be expanded to a full novel, the story was well structured but the skills that Jack already possesses at 13 was slightly unrealistic.
Adrienne
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
I do love the Reacher character in Lee Child's books.
And since this story starts off in his childhood I was hoping to learn how he ended up being called Reacher, no first name. But I did not. It was still a very good story unfailingly keeping my interest.
Kathy Davie
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
First read April 24, 2012.

A short story prequel, 0.1 (and 15.5 publication-wise), in the Jack Reacher thriller series. This story takes place when Jack is 13 in 1974, and the family has just been posted to Okinawa.

My Take
This sets us up for Jack's math and deductive abilities…even as a kid, that boy was bright!

I do like how Child describes the difference between Joe and Reacher. Joe has no trigger, he's all brains and into theory; he's likely to end up in military intelligence. Reacher, well, Re
...more
Matt
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
My interest piqued by all the HUNT FOR REACHER stories penned by Diane Capri, I thought I would begin a Jack Reacher marathon. What better place to start than where it all began? While not in writing chronology, Second Son deals with a young Jack Reacher, making my choice to begin here self-evident. Please see a previous review of this short story below, as I commence the long and winding life of Reacher, with greatest interest:

Having never read any Lee Child or dabbled into the world of Jack Re
...more
William
Very short and starts slowly, doesn't get going until the last half.

13 year old Reacher talks and thinks just like 40 year old Reacher. Strange sensation.

Really only for die-hard Reacher fans.
Johnny
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Post-Thoughts:
I'm left with this impression.
not

I'm having trouble grasping the realistic aspects in The Second Son of Stan Reacher, Jack Reacher. Are you telling me a 13 year old pubescent child is capable of highly intricate, perplex deductive reasoning that can easily direct 3 trained military officers to find a missing potential catastrophic code book? Having that quality of a character in a story is truly fascinating and just plain awesome. But really, are you serious? That's completely f
...more
Freda Malone
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Jack Reacher at 13, good grief. Like a bunch of my fellow readers and friends have said, Reacher was never a child; born with logic, street smarts, no nonsense attitude and drinking coffee out of a bottle. This story was kind of funny. It is just something you got to chuckle at because you'll wish you'd have thought of it first. Once again, Reacher inserts himself into the logic of the missing test answers for school, and his father's missing (classified) code book. Brilliant, I say, but still i ...more
Alexa ❤️
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novellas
5 Stars

Jack Reacher is 13 years old and has just moved to Okinawa with his family.

Reacher is exactly the same as a teenager as he is as an adult smart, deductive and brilliant at fighting.

Second Son gives us a glimpse into his family life and a shirt mystery to watch Reacher solve whilst kicking ass.
Emily
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Just a short novella between two full-length installments in the Reacher series, this brief backstory returns to Reacher's childhood. Not only does a thirteen year-old Jack kick ass in this book, per the norm, he even solves a couple of cases for the authorities. Completely unbelievable, of course, but does give some insight into his family dynamics and background.
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, action
I'd almost call this, "Lee Child does The Hardy Boys...well if Frank and Joe were a bit more, physical. I mean I don't recall a beat down like the young Jack Reacher gives a guy here in any of those books. that said, Jack manages to solve a couple of mysteries in this short story.
poiboy
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy and well done story. The 13 year old acting like a full adult Reacher solving the mystery at the end was weird and prevented this from being a more realistic tale.
Jeanne
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick listen on audio book, this story gives insight into Jack Reacher as a 13-year-old. A good prelude to starting the Reacher series. 6 out of 10.
Jim
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prospective readers will be interested to know that Second Son is offered as a bonus tacked on to the end of the pocket paper edition of "The Affair" (itself in the top four of Lee Child’s Reacher novels).

At a little over 10,000 words it inhabits the nether world between the short story and novelette.

Like all of Child’s Reacher stories Second Son is a quick read. Its style is representative of the rest and Reacher’s character is fully-formed. Essentially the adult character is fully present in
...more
Simon Lee
There's nothing in here to indicate a certain event shaped him the way he was. What this 'chapter' does (only a few pages long is this book) is merely to confirm that Reacher from a very early age was tall, big, fights well, loves his coffee strong, eats a lot, clearly has a healthy appetite for the opposite sex, and could have made a good Sherlock Holmes if he was brought up in London instead of various army bases around the world. The events in this book are what we know of him already... it's ...more
Bookish
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After watching the Jack Reacher movie I was curious about this series & just yesterday planned to read the first book. I like to read books in order so I picked up this novella first to know the background of the hero. I'm slightly disappointed with it. I know its a novella & seeing its based on Jake Reacher's childhood I shouldn't expect more. & I didn't really. what had me disappointed is I didn't get the deduction explained by Jack about the two mysteries he solved in this book. I get that he ...more
gert
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok. i absolutely adore jack reacher. and by extension, lee child. but i have to say - calling this short story a peek into reacher's childhood is totally misleading. this story takes place within a very short time frame - a couple of days - when jack was 13. sure, we meet his parents and his brother, but what we're seeing of jack is pretty much what we've seen of him in all the previous books. just shorter.

his role in this book is as per the others - enforcer slash detective. but please. the ki
...more
Andrew
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As part of a series of short stories I read up on Lee Childs Jack Reacher - This was the first and ironically the most intriguing. It is set in the early years of Jack Reacher - yes the books do not make a secret of his history or influences but this was something slightly different it takes a tale from his childhood - and rather than giving one of those little life lessons where you can see an influence being made - you get to see in fact a hint of what there is to come.
as such even though I am
...more
Monty
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I must say I was disappointed in this ebook short story download. The story and setting and other details were just fine, but I must say that Lee Child depicted the 13 year old Jack Reacher thinking, talking and acting just like the adult Reacher, I had trouble believing that this 13 year old young man could reason and think as methodically as his yet to be older self. I still recommend reading it because it is about Jack Reacher after all.
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
I miss Jack Reacher when there's no new book so I'm diving into the 5 novellas Lee Child has written. I really enjoyed this one, it shows Reacher's strength and mental prowess even at age 13.
Tony
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Child- Second Son (Dell Books 2012) 3.75 Stars

Jack Reacher is thirteen and his family has just been moved to a military base near Okinawa, Japan. Now he and his brother Joe must adjust and fit in with the kids in the neighbourhood. Jack Reacher will handle them in the only way he knows, with his fists.

The introduction was kind of boring, but it does provide some insight into the background of Reacher’s family. The whole book is great for adding depth to this character and showing where he l
...more
Cherisse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Pyle
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what the word count on this one is, but I'd guess it falls into novelette territory, which is probably the perfect length for the story.

If you're hoping for some kind of formative, coming-of-age event in Reacher's past, you might be disappointed. What readers get here is a young Reacher who is already about as calculating and decisive as he'll ever be. Still, if they take it for what it is (a new Reacher story that just happens to take place 37 years ago), I think fans of the series
...more
S.L. Pierce
You won't find a bigger Lee Child/Jack Reacher fan out there - anywhere. He's the only author whose books I've always bought. Always. No matter the price. The problem with this short is it is supposed to be Reacher as a 13 year old but he's not. He's the same Reacher as the adult. Exactly the same. If you are a big fan like me you will like the story but don't get your hopes up too high. If not, skip this short and save the money for the books.
My rating is just ok.
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Play Book Tag: Second Son by Lee Childs - 3 stars 1 8 Mar 04, 2016 08:59PM  

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22,912 followers
Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a pr ...more

Other books in the series

Jack Reacher (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
  • Tripwire  (Jack Reacher, #3)
  • Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4)
  • Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5)
  • Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
  • Persuader (Jack Reacher, #7)
  • The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8)
  • One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
  • The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, #10)

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“The smart money brings a gun to a knife fight. Reacher brought a hydrogen bomb.” 3 likes
“But the kid could think, too. He wasn’t academic like Joe, but he was practical. His IQ was probably about the same, but it was a get-the-job-done type of street smart IQ, not any kind of for-the-sake-of-it cerebral indulgence. Reacher liked facts, for sure, and information too, but not theory. He was a real-world character. Stan had no idea what the future held for the guy. No idea at all, except he was going to be too big to fit inside a tank or an airplane cockpit. So it was going to have to be something else.” 3 likes
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