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Phantom (Alexander Hawke #7)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,557 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Ted Bell's remarkable literary creation, counterspy Alex Hawke, has been called, "strong, shrewd, and savvy, with an aplomb not seen since James Bond" (NPR). He's back in the explosive blockbuster Phantom, on a breathtaking hunt for a madman about to unleash a terrifying new Artificial Intelligence-powered super weapon on the world. Another superb espionage thriller by a t ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by HarperCollins
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Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I keep reading this series because I am a bit ocd and can't *not* read a series I have started. That being said, this is not one I would recommend to my friends. Plot holes and inconsistencies from page to page make it a bit annoying as far as stories go. I can forgive the over the top characters for literary licence, but when things are (literally) inconsistent from one page to another, I can't really let it go. I'm not sure what Mr. Bell's editor does, but it's apparently a job that requires n ...more
Adam Erickson
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There are many things that I'm thankful my father has shared with me. An interest in politics, my love of sailing, and my love of the Hawke series, just to name a few. Ted Bell's newest book in the Hawke series, Phantom, is a fine addition that includes all of these things.

The difficult balance in any "spy thriller" is to create a story that walks the fine line of believability and outlandish. The story must be just slightly beyond what is something you would expect to hear in the news, but not
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
After reading a couple of spy books that I had hoped to be intelligent works but ended up being stupidly plotted and unbelievable, I opted for one that wasn't trying to be anything other than what it was - entertaining. This was my first Alex Hawke book (No. 7 in the series) and it read like a combination of James Bond meets Tom Clancy. Alex Hawke is a British Lord and "secret" agent who has unlimited wealth and access to world leaders (Queen Elizabeth, Vladimir Putin). He works with both MI6 an ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a ride!

I receive a copy of Phantom as a giveaway through Goodreads as a 'first read'. Sadly, it took me a long time to read, but it was NOT because the book was not good! On the contrary, I GREATLY enjoyed it.

The main plot of the story surrounds strange goings on around the world. It starts in an amusement park where rides seemingly develop minds of their own and go out of control. Then, everyone on board a Russian submarine loses control of all systems while doing training runs, and the bo
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Downloaded from
Narrated by John Shea

Seventh in the Alex Hawke series, Phantom, like its predecessors, is a fast-paced, action/adventure novel. To understand the main character, the previous novels should be read (in order) so that when this book starts out, previous events will have been covered and no explanation is necessary. Previous books also explain the roles that the other mentioned characters play and their importance to Alex.

Because I am a technology, engineering and compute
Sherri Huntley
Mar 12, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
So excited to have won this book from Goodreads!
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like action, spy novels, and have an interest in ships.
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy through the Goodreads Giveaways. Just as a background, I was one that has not heard of or read any previous Ted Bell books (this being part of the Alex Hawke series). I was very curious to see if I would be lost or not since this is the seventh book in that series. I am glad to announce that this is a book that stands alone quite nicely. I'm not sure how the other books are written, but if they are similar to this book, I would say that you could pick u ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, fiction, action
Can AI hardware in ultra intelligent machines be capable of horrific machine warfare and cyber attacks? If we could assemble a thousand scientists, each with a mind operation at a millions times faster than our own, they could achieve an entire century's worth of scientific breakthroughs in under one hour! That could be, in the right hands, so exciting!
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Shirley Schwartz
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alex Hawke salis again! Ted Bell's Alex Hawke series is nothing if not a study in how to write an excellent and believable thriller. Yes, Hawke is a larger than life, English billionaire who loves nothing better than going into battle under catastrophic odds. He's a statesman, a lover, a warrior, a black ops guru, and in this book a newly discovered son adds father to Hawke's list of personas. And he does everything else very well, but he finds the father role a much harder role to assume. This ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the seventh book of the Alexander Hawke series, Ted Bell ventures into the world of science fiction to create a new villain to drive the plot forward. I thought that Bell did a good job explaining the science behind the plot in the Author's note at the end of the book. It reminded me of the late Michael Crichton's affinity for starting a book with non-fiction and leading the reader into a journey of fiction based on science taken to a plausible extreme. I ended the book far more interested in ...more
Michael Iten
Aug 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
I listen to many books on CD because, as a high school English teacher, I spend too much time reading essays, grading homework, etc. Perhaps the recording I listened to of Ted Bell's 'Phantom' was the problem, but I think I figured out why I STOPPED listening to the book on CD after disc 9 of, I believe, 14, which I never do: Alexander Hawke is just too damned good.

Hawke cannot lose. He's an omnipotent superhero. Add to that his friendships with Vladmir Putin, the U.S. President, and seemingly
Dougald Blue
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

Bell is an elegant writer, and I've followed his Alex Hawke series of thrillers from the start. Always solid, realistic plots. But I have to admit my first impression of this one was "he's run out of credible plots." I felt like I was getting into the unreality of sci-fi, which I do not read, because Bell was leading us into something called The Singularity.
But I finished the book just because it's Ted Bell, and I love his useage of the King's English (literally).
The I read hi
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won Phantom through the Goodreads First Read Giveaway on 03/13/2012 and received it on 05/30/2012.


Ted Bell put out another awesome book in the Alexander Hawke series. Bell's books are so well written that I really don't have any complaints. Usually. I do have one this time ... and it's about a very small part of the book.

So here it is ... Alexi ... is three years old ... and talks like he's an old man. That kinda threw things off for me. I'm a mother o
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a Ted Bell book for awhile so it has been nice to read another adventure of Alex Hawke. This is a great book. Bell is one of my favorite authors and Alex Hawke a great hero. Some surprises in this book, but a great story line. The information in this book about a "super computer" that is becoming an "intelligent" as man is pretty scary. The authors explanation at the end of the book about the development of AI (artificial intelligence) is also pretty interesting and revealing. If ...more
Chris Bauer
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've been a longtime fan Ted Bell's "Hawke" series. The most simple way to describe the series is a somewhat odd hybrid of John LeCarre ghostwriting for Clive Cussler. The protag, Lord Alex Hawke, is an English action hero. Requisite sidekicks, globe-threatening perils, nifty martial technology and other meticulously researched details make this a very entertaining series.

At times his work does take on a sort Wodehouse kinda feel, but I personally think it is very entertaining. This entire seri
May 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: series
"silly and cartoon-like" would pretty much sum up this story ... this is more of a descriptive version of a comic book adventure rather than an actual adventure / thriller novel.

This episode is linked to the storyline in "Tsar". The beginning chapters setting up the main plot were interesting but never really developed. The most interesting part of the book was the depiction of Putin, especially in light of recent world events. I checked, and this book was copyrighted in 2012. hmmm ...
Jul 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
Seems every new book is a NY Times best seller. Doesn't say much for the readers that buy/borrow those books. I quit after pages of prose containing the likes of "...waiting for him, her cheeks aglow in the frosted air, golden ringlets peeking from beneath the white mink cowl that framed her lovely face.." golden ringlets? Well, I went a bit farther and came across this "...his friend Ambrose Congreave, the famous Scotland Yard criminalist, had..." After a few more of those, I quit. Bleah.
Tom Tischler
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the 7th book by Ted Bell in the Alexander Hawke series. It's a page
turner and equally as good as the rest of the series. The books may be
read individually but I think that to understand the characters as they
come up it's better to start at the beginning. I don't think that you
will be dissapointed in any of the books.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This could really happen....scary.....exhilerating read. Alex Hawke and his side kicks are still
heroes: warriors that aren't entirely cold-blooded and calculating. There's a plausible sci-fi element, as well. When I think of people's car GPS suddenly going somewhere else, well - it's probably just a baby beta test for the big kahuna in this book...
Ed Robinson
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As the book jackets state, Ted Bell can really really write. This is not dime-store novel stuff. A new James Bond for modern times, with a pirate twist. High quality prose used to tell a daring tale.
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait for this book!
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
loving it so far...
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read from Ted Bell, Phantom reached out into the science-fiction realm while making you think it could actually be a possibility. I wonder where Alex Hawke will take us next?
Pat Long
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it

Great book as always by Ted Bell.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I jumped into this series at this book because my library had it on cd. I've never read any of the previous books before and this may have lessened my enjoyment of this installment. It is a very action packed book. I would recommend it for those who like international spy tales with plenty of shooting and explosions. It was well written it just isn't my cup of tea.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I would actually give this 3.5 stars.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another over the top adventure with Alexander Hawke as he saves the world with his own privately financed black ops commando team!
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spec-ops
A different type of spec-ops books. Pretty good.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Is man capable of creating a computer “a billion times more powerful than human intelligence of the highest order?” Novelist Ted Bell thinks the world is within a decade of doing just that. That’s the premise of this latest Alex Hawke adventure. We find out what happens “when artificial, or machine, intelligence first matches and then exceeds human intelligence by an incalculable factor.” In Hawke’s story, the machine wears a black hat and wants to rule the world.

Is a machine buried underwater o
Darren Vincent
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
(IN PROGRESS and very RANDOM...I may not come back and complete this review)

Disappointing and a little bit irritating. The elements on the book jacket probably are worth 3 stars, as the story on the jacket is right up my alley. The actual story, plot and characters get the two that I actually graded it. Maybe it is because I didn't start this series at the beginning, but I had made up my mind to read them all in order if I liked this book. I won't be reading any more of this series.

I don't know
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Twists & Turns 2 15 Oct 08, 2013 09:47AM  
Twists & Turns 1 4 Feb 22, 2012 03:49AM  
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Ted Bell, formerly Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University and Writer-In-Residence at Sidney-Sussex College, is a full-time writer. He is the author of 9 consecutive New York Times Bestsellers. His novels include the Alex Hawke series of spy thrillers published by Harper & Collins. And the Nick McIver Time Travel Adventures published by St. Martins. His books are international bestsellers, pu ...more
More about Ted Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Alexander Hawke (10 books)
  • Hawke (Alexander Hawke, #1)
  • Assassin (Alexander Hawke, #2)
  • Pirate (Alexander Hawke, #3)
  • Spy (Alexander Hawke, #4)
  • Tsar (Alexander Hawke, #5)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • Warriors (Alexander Hawke, #8)
  • Patriot (Alexander Hawke, #9)
  • Overkill (Alexander Hawke #10)
“To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell. —BUDDHIST PROVERB” 0 likes
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