Eric Steele is the best of the best—an Alpha—an elite clandestine operative assigned to a US intelligence unit known simply as the "Program." A superbly trained Special Forces soldier who served several tours fighting radical Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Steele now operates under the radar, using a deadly combination of espionage and brute strength to root out his enemies and neutralize them.
But when a man from Steele’s past attacks a military convoy and steals a nuclear weapon, Steele and his superiors at the White House are blindsided. Moving from Washington, DC, to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, Steele must use his considerable skills to hunt this rogue agent, a former brother-in-arms who might have been a friend, and find the WMD before it can reach the United States—and the world is forever changed.
Sean Parnell is the author of the bestselling memoir Outlaw Platoon. He is a retired Army Infantry captain who served in some of the heaviest combat of the Afghan War. He recounts those battles in vivid detail during his leadership presentations for the nation's most successful teams and corporations. He is also the Co-Founder of the American Warrior Initiative, a charity that honors and empowers our nation's veterans. Sean lives with his three children near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
An excellent debut! A new action thriller hero Eric Steele is part of the POTUS shadow group "The Program". His task is to retrieve a stolen portable nuclear weapon in the hands of the wrong guy. Meanwhile, in DC, CIA Director is on a mission to expose the President's Program and remove him from office. What a ride!
I hope to see Eric Steele as another long and successful action thriller series. You'd want to check out Man of War if you're a fan of covert world ie: Mitch Rapp, Scot Harvath, Pike Logan, Dewey Andreas, or Court Gentry.
Okay, I really liked this book. I know I’ve said that about too many of the last books I’ve read but this one is different. The last two that I loved, Savage Country and One Foot in Eden, are both worlds apart from Man of War. Country and Eden are like savory entrees from an expensive restaurant, flavor that stays with you for days. Man of War is more like chocolate and popcorn, tasty and light. Man of War is an action adventure with a little romance for spice. This genre is overcrowded to say the least but the author pulls it off. This one stands head and shoulders above the others. I am a big Gray Man and Jack Reacher fan (was a Reacher fan) but this one blows both of them out of the water (Reacher hasn’t been good for a while, the last five books by my estimation. Reacher isn’t flawed. When a car cuts him off on a lonely highway and six thugs step out there isn’t any question of the outcome there is just five long drawn out pages in how he is going to do it). Man of War has a tired and worn out premise, a nuke has gone missing and our hero has to find it to avert a world war. However, the author writes from a boots on the ground history that gives the read a real sense of authenticity. The prose does not carry it by any means but it’s not supposed to when you’re talking about chocolate and popcorn. I have to say I really loved this book and highly recommend it. Great book. I’m excited to see the author’s next one. The sophomore effort in a new series is always a tough pull, so we’ll see.
David Putnam the author of The Bruno Johnson series.
Decorated combat veteran and New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon Sean Parnell makes his highly-anticipated fiction debut.
After several tours fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, Eric Steele now serves as part of an elite, top-secret unit known simply as the Program.
Originally, after carrying his commander to safety following an attack on his Special Forces team, Steele was nominated for the prestigious Medal of Honor. But instead of a high-profile ceremony and photo-op, the request was halted and Steele was given something else instead. . . The chance to kill bad guys without the abundance of government oversight and bureaucratic red tape that slowed him down in the Army.
Spoken about only in whispers, the Alpha Program is comprised of nine of the most hardened and seasoned badasses the United States military has to offer. Each Alpha answers directly to the president, and each operator is responsible for covering a specifically assigned geographical territory, thus giving the commander-in-chief a third option when diplomacy won’t work and starting a lengthy war is out of the question. When all else fails, it’s up to the Program’s operators to get the job done, and Eric Steele, codenamed Stalker 7, is the unit’s most lethal member — the alpha of the Alphas.
The story starts 100 miles outside of Tunis, where a man named Nate West leads an assault on an armed convoy — kicking off a chilling sequence that puts readers firmly behind the scope of West’s Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle.
It turns out that the convoy had been carrying a small nuclear weapon to a secret location, and the weapon is now in the possession of West — who plans to use it to attack America, the country he feels betrayed him four years prior. Complicating matters even more is the revelation that the convoy was actually part of a CIA operation, suggesting that West and his men had intimate details of the spy agency’s whereabouts. It also raises questions about Director Robin Styles, who is all too quick to try and erase any record of the agency’s presence in Tunisia.
At the center of everything is Eric Steele, who in another life was once close to West. Steele was there when Nate was thought to have been killed, and he grieved the loss of his friend. Now, he’s faced with the shocking and devastating reality that his former teammate has gone rogue and is knee-deep in a plan to strike a blow to America.
From brothers-in-arms to warriors on opposite sides of a raging conflict, Steele is tasked with his most personal mission yet. . . stopping Nate West at all costs in order to save millions of innocent lives.
As Steele blazes a trail from Washington D.C. across the Middle East, Europe, and Africa in search of West, Parnell does a solid job developing other characters (Demo, Steele’s buddy and fellow operator, is sure to be a fan-favorite) as the story unfolds. One of the book’s more memorable scenes involves Steele performing a HALO jump using an MK11 Advance Jumper’s Helmet that was developed by DARPA, which is fitted with a holographic display that functions like something right out of the Marvel universe.
Obviously, Parnell knows his stuff when it comes to the military and how special forces operators walk, talk, and handle themselves on and off the battlefield. At twenty-four years old, he was named the commander of a forty-man infantry platoon tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan’s eastern frontier. Later, they became known as the Outlaws, and Parnell’s captivating nonfiction story (Outlaw Platoon) touches on everything from brotherhood to what war is really like, all told through his riveting first-hand account.
Here, with Man of War, Parnell brings that same raw honesty to his story. Steele and the other characters speak and move with the kind of realism that only someone who’s been there and done that can re-create on the page. Some readers may struggle, at least initially, with all the military terminology and acronyms, but veteran readers of the genre will be just fine. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a straight-up military thriller, as Parnell mixes in political elements as well, expanding his target audience in the process. While some aspects aren’t altogether new (readers are used to seeing top-secret programs designed to circumvent laws and regulations in order to dispatch threats as they pop up) Parnell does offer a fresh take on things that allow his characters to stand out in a crowded genre.
Basically, if you like action, conspiracies, and bold, larger-than-life characters. . . this book is for you.
Falling somewhere between Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath and Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan, Eric Steel is a formidable new protagonist whom readers will love following around and watching as he leaves a trail of dead bad guys in his wake. Man of War hits fast, hard, and never lets up for a second. . . Sean Parnell really knows his stuff, and this thriller is not to be missed.
Author: Sean Parnell Series: Eric Steele #1 Pages: 368 (Hardcover) ISBN: 0062668781 Publisher: William Morrow Release Date: September 11, 2018 Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10 Order Now: https://amzn.to/2HmmkCA
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.
This is Sean Parnell’s first fiction book. I am impressed with his authentic action story. The book is well written and the characters are realistic. Our protagonist, Eric Steele, is a member of a small elite top-secret unit. The story is filled with non-stop action. The action is a combination of military, espionage and political. The story moves around from the USA, Middle East, Northern Africa to Europe. The author provides some good descriptions of the various areas of action. The suspense builds throughout the story. This is definitely a cannot-put-this-down type of story.
I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is nine hours and nineteen minutes. R. C. Bray does an excellent job narrating the book. Bray is a well-known narrator. He has won many Earphone Awards as well as the Audie Award. He also has won the Voice Arts Award. He is an actor, voice artist and audiobook narrator.
Really well-written, authentic operations, some cool technology that I hope exists or will someday. Eric Steele takes his place next to the Gray Man, Orphan X, Jack Reacher, James Reece, etc. Easy to follow and non-stop action to the end. 4 Stars
I hate to say it, but this ended up being exceedingly average. The fast-paced, incredibly detailed action scenes are balanced out by the most tropey battlefield romance I’ve ever read. Shockingly, I thought the political intrigue was the best part of the book and there wasn’t nearly enough of it!
Man of War, by author Sean Parnell, is the first installment in the authors Eric Steele series. Man of War introduces a new hero for our troubled age. Eric Steele, code named Stalker 7, is a badass with the brains and brawn that readers love, but also a man with deep compassion and a commitment to his mission and his country. Eric is what's called an Alpha. An elite clandestine operator who works for the Program to go where ever he is asked to be quickly. He's also a former US Special Forces solder who did time in Afghanistan before being scooped up by the Program.
Eric Steele stood at six foot two, was to get Medal of Honor but they then erased all records that Steele had ever been born as he began his Alpha training as youngest Alpha trainee in history at The Program’s facility in Fort Bragg North Carolina, in a place they called the Salt Pit.
Fully loaded with all the necessary ingredients, the great cast of characters men and women of war, delivered potent and solid rapid fire successions, with an author’s great craft in evoking a vivid sense of place and scene, along with the technical know-how of battle, it all unravelling, encompassing the reader, and pulling the reader along, hostage to the page with a sense of clear and present danger in saving the masses amongst conspiratorial maneuverings.
“In combat there is no prizes for second place,” the author writes in this narrative, but in the fiction world there is, and he may take first place for great thriller. Great anticipation left for next episode in Eric Steele’s myriad of movements.
Man of War is a spectacular action thriller that grips the reader with an iron fist and does not let go till the last page. The narrative is an interesting one, with delightful twists and turns and characters that come right out of the pages. The main protagonist, Eric Steele is a hardened warrior with a dangerous set of skills which he employs efficiently throughout the fast paced thriller. The author, Mr Parnell, does an excellent job at capturing the emotions of the characters and using them to fuel the motivations of said characters. While it is a contemporary thriller, there is a classic vibe to it, such as the good old battle between a mentor gone rogue and his mentee who has to face the harsh choice of going against the man who taught him all he knows. I was thoroughly entertained with the technical accuracy of the battles infused with hard hitting emotions experienced by the warriors. It is definitely a must read.
Overall, 3.5 stars. It's a thrilling story that reminded me of the Bourne novels for complexity and elite levels of corruption. The author is definitely talented and can spin a good thriller. I also enjoyed how there is an expectation of stopping bad guys and that there are consequences for actions, since many of the books in this genre currently feature a lot of frustrating moral relativism.
I really appreciated that the breath-taking violence is kept matter-of-fact and that the gory scenes were described in brief, succinct terms that didn't make me want to faint. There is no graphic sex, though there is a scene between two women that almost gets there. However, the language is quite a bit worse than Bourne, and the pages are littered with heavy profanities and four-letter vulgarities.
Overall, I may read more of the series if I'm in the right mood. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes current thrillers and doesn't mind sorting through some language and a boatload of characters. 18+
It was good but not great. Cliches all over the place, I am probably reading too many thrillers. Way too much technology, too many acronyms, too many devices that I dislike such as ëyes that twinkled. Ie stopped reading books that did that. And ¨A story,tale, book of redemption." There were also unusual choices of names of characters such as Rockford(see James Garner), Nathaniel West, Charlie Daniels ...I think Parnell was looking at his bookshelves when he was writing this. It wasn´t a terrible book, I will give him another shot.
Sean Parnell's first book, Outlaw Platoon, was a nonfiction account of his time fighting in Afghanistan and was well-received for its deep dive into the lives and minds of the men with whom he fought for his country. But, as he says in his acknowledgments section, he also had an idea for a novel, and the success of Outlaw Platoon got him in the door of an agent and publisher for Man of War.
Eric Steele is one of the Alphas, a clandestine set of operatives who handle particularly rough jobs to achieve US intelligence and military objectives. They often operate outside established guidelines and are answerable only to the highest levels of the administration. After finishing a mission, Eric learns that one of his own former contacts and friends has gone missing -- along with the portable nuclear device he created. He's tasked with finding out what happened and recovering the nuke. But he learns that his opponent is Nate West, his own mentor and trainer believed to have died in an explosion set by the allies of one of the many men West had killed or captured. Only Nate didn't die, he wants revenge on the administration officials who he believes set him up, killed his family and almost killed him and he has a nuclear device to do it. With the initially unwilling and unwelcome assistance of CIA agent Meg Harden, Steele and his handler Demo have to figure out Nate's next move and stop him before he can get hold of a way to detonate his deadly new prize.
Parnell has a great wealth of technical knowledge and the way that technology has shifted some parts of modern warfare. He writes a great action scene, injecting a sort of swashbuckling attitude into his combat that a lot of other espionage thriller writers either won't or can't do. Both hero and villain have the proper swagger one expects of the well-trained badass, and Meg is no slouch in that department herself.
The story surrounding those scenes is a lot weaker, and the characters other than those on the sharp end a lot shallower and cartoonish. Nate's backstory may have been meant to lend him some sympathy and pathos, but he's basically a too much of a one-note evil sadist for it to work. One of the key behind-the-scenes villains is a woman in a high position of authority whose ambition to succeed a weak president led to disaster for some of those serving under her -- and who's a predatory lesbian to boot. A plotline regarding the health of the president and the way the vice-president is being forced to carry more and more of the weight of guiding Steele's mission has some nice personal touches but adds more fog than focus.
Man of War offers some hints that Parnell might be able to create an intriguing series with Steele and serves up some potentially interesting characters. With one novel under his belt he may have learned some things he wants to do differently in order to rely less on stereotypes and pet peeves and more on more realistically drawn non-protagonists. If he doesn't, there's no shortage of better series and better characters to occupy a reader's time. But if he does he might place a solid new set of reads into the pipeline.
My gosh! I am absolutely intrigued by Eric Steele, and I want to know more and see more about him! Steele is an absolute badass, and he is put to the test when a mentor from his past pops up and wrecks havoc. I like Steele’s absolute dedication to help and protect others. He can often times get himself into trouble, and I can’t wait to see more of that side of him! Also, I love Meg Harding! I really hope she sticks around with Steele in his future escapades!
A good first novel by Mr. Parnell. A thriller in the same theme as Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan. A little slow at first but gets better. I will continue with the series and I just want to tell Mr. Parnell “Welcome Home”. He’ll know what I mean.
I've been reading and been a serious fan of military action thrillers for years. I've read every book in the Mitch Rapp series, and I own and have read all of Brad Thor's Scot Harvath thrillers. I've enjoyed others as well, but those are the two big boys on the block if the genre. I'm always looking for new authors and new series to enjoy. Some are great (Jack Carr's The Terminal List), but most are good to servicable at best. After reading Sean Parnell's non-fiction account of his war time service in Afghanistan called Outlaw Platoon I knew I had to get my hands on his first work of fiction. It did not disappoint I would put Man of War among my favorite in the genre. It has something that not many of these thrillers have, worldbuilding. The way Parnell cleverly makes the secret Alpha program have a long history is going to give him amazing latitude to tell all kinds of stories in his universe going forward. Also the technology of the Alphas is unique and set the story apart. Add to that great action and enjoyable charcters gets you 5 stars.
It took me about 100 pages to really figure out what was going on in the book. I wasn't sure who were the good folks and who were the bad. But once I figured it out I couldn't stop reading. Lots of action.
Really liked, Man of War a lot, will make me eventually re-read the 3rd book One True Patriot. Since realized that starting with the 3rd, it's not a standalone and needs to be read in order.
Definitely my style of book, it's action packed, liked the fast pace, full of twists and turns, overloaded with tension, has a story line that's ripped right out of the headlines, it's gripping, builds to a epic conclusion, good and nasty characters and like the good verse evil theme.
The LBGT tie-in with the Director of the CIA Robin Styles and the President's nurse didn't bother me, easy to realize that would be her downfall, how they'd realize she was dirty and needed to be removed.
The only tweak I would make is to have Meg's team be able to recover the portable nuclear bomb, beat Nate to it, he gets a glimpse of them, once he discovers the bombs gone, realize that they probably took it and then have Steele with Demo trailing behind Nate's group.
Also Meg know's something is off with Styles, so her teams goes into defensive mode, staying ahead of both Nate and Steele and easily could have add into the storyline a team of trusted associates from Styles trying to find them and bring it to her.
Since no way when would Nate, with all the killing he does to get the bomb, he'd never let Meg live or not kill Steele. Kinda the lame point was that Nate knew Steele would save Meg, enabling him to get away and knew in the end the two would meet again for a final battle.
If you’re a fan of the action/thriller genre I can promise you thrills (and chills) from Sean Parnell’s debut into fiction, “Man of War”. It’s the first in what I hope is a long-running series of Eric Steele’s exploits. Parnell writes with obvious authority on tactical combat maneuvers, weapons, etc but he’s also an accomplished writer. Parnell’s protagonist is an all-American type, ala Brad Thor’s Scott Harvath, which is high on my list of favorite fictional characters. The introduction of Meg Harden is a definite plus in my opinion. She’s intelligent, talented, confident in her own expertise and is no slouch in a tough situation. Plus, I loved her sass. This gem delves into political chicanery, a wicked power struggle, and throws in a treasonous act that will keep you flipping pages well into the night. There’s a lot going on but it’s tightly woven with no throwaway verbiage. I’m definitely looking forward to more Eric Steele adventures. Four and a half stars!
I haven't read a book that moved with a sense of urgency like this one does in a long time. I got sucked in on the very first page and couldn't put it down until my heart slowed and I reached the conclusion. I'm not much of a gun person but after this I think I've heard of every type used in the military. This story is so well written that you're right there in the middle of the action and watching it play out in front of you. I love when I can get lost in the book and not think about actually reading it. It's obvious that the author has first hand knowledge of the subject matter and I thank him for his service. I've read plenty of military themed books and this one just felt different and fresh. Though very detail oriented you never get bogged down with them as again they put you right there in the middle. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and can't wait for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this story to those of you who like your thrillers very fast paced, action packed and believable.
A great new action character from an author who knows combat from first hand knowledge. The character Eric Steele is a resourceful soldier working in an off the books program for the President. Also the support characters are well fleshed out without slowing down the action. Throw in a great villain who has a shared pass with our lead and a small nuke to put this into the realm of great thrillers. This is a first in a series looking forward to more from this character and this author.
A friend referred this book, was hoping for a better book. Had some good moments and good storyline but was real corny and contradicting at times. Of course he cannot be original, the best looking strongest male and the best looking strongest female get together and save the world. There was a lot of over the top moments but The ending was way too much. In saying that I will try the next one and see if it gets more realistic. That is what I assumed being the authors background.
Ugh. I lost my review and it was sooo good! I’ll try once more.
I bought this book for a buck at the Dollar Tree and before you say.. well, what do you expect I will have you know that they do sell some good books there! Go check it out. This was not one of them. I was hoping to find a newish author similar to Mark Greany or Brad Thor who I could maybe follow and didn’t have a long backlist. This author wrote a supposedly pretty good memoir about his time in Afghanistan which I have not read.
A big problem with the book is the multiple points of view and I found it very hard to follow the story arcs. Most of the book is taken up by the usual fighting and violence and such and the character development gets short shrift. Half the time I couldn’t tell the difference between Steele and West. Add that to the constantly changing locations and you can see why it would be hard to have a coherent detailed plot. Yes it can get wordy to write a good espionage novel but I appreciate when the author tries to make the book appealing to all readers, including us girls. I don’t mind military lingo and weapons descriptions but in this case the author uses too many acronyms for one thing. There is also a female CIA agent who acts as though she just joined the agency yesterday and really had no significant reason to be in the story and the main character treats her like a tagalong call girl! Shame on you Parnell! This book probably would appeal to intellectually challenged grunts of the male persuasion. Parnell has some work to do. Oh, before I forget, the gratuitous killing of a four legged friend was totally unnecessary.
Authenticity oozes through the print from an author who is an American hero. Eric Steele is another version of an American hero, somehow surviving some amazing battles without being sidelined. I will continue to follow Eric Steele for sure. At the end of the day though, I still seek Jack Jr., Dingo and the rest as the #1 team that I have followed thanks to Mr. Clancy.
DNF- too cliche. it seemed like the writer was using it to show off his extensive research/knowledge of military, training & weapons. multiple alternating POV chapters with too many characters in different locations which had events occurring concurrently. (ie. too much going on all at once)
In Parnell's debut novel we have Eric Steele, a covert operative in a group called the Alpha Program which only reports to the President and is not under the purview of the CIA. A good initial novel which keeps the ball rolling
What a great "debut" novel! This was Sean Parnell's first fiction novel, and he slammed through the thriller door. Coming off of the New York Times bestseller Outlaw Platoon, which was an absolutely riveting non-fiction book, this thriller was reminiscent of Jack Carr's relatively recent debut thriller The Terminal List. If you liked it, you'll enjoy this novel. I know it gets said too often, but like Jack Carr, this has a Vince Flynn/Brad Thor feel to it.
The action is non-stop, and this novel twists and turns all of the way until the last chapter. One thing that I thoroughly enjoyed were Parnell's similes that he used. They were funny, timely, and extremely accurate. For example, one of my favorites, "Meg's senses came to slowly, like a computer after a hard-reset." This just shows you how good of a writer Sean Parnell is.
I thought this book was gripping, and (I listened to the audiobook) I thought narrator R.C. Bray did a fantastic job. His low, gravelly voice was perfect, and I hope to hear more books narrated by him throughout the thriller genre.
I highly recommend this thriller. It was a great listen, and I enjoyed it so much, I finished it in one day. Don't hesitate! Also, if you haven't checked out Parnell's non-fiction Outlaw Platoon, do yourself a favor and give that a listen too.