Monday, May 4, 2015

Ronie Kendig: Falcon

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence.

My Thoughts:

I have read a good chunk of Ronie Kendig’s military fiction, so I couldn’t wait to read Falcon. I enjoy how Kendig mixes her life with the military into a romantic suspense book that grips me from the first page. After finishing Falcon, I still believe Kendig’s writing is at the top of her game and pray for God to keep blessing her writing talents for him.

One of my favorite things about Kendig’s writing is her ability to create the military world in Afghanistan to come to life for me. I have never been in that country, but she describes the sandy, desolate place in such great detail that the falling apart buildings and the hurting people who live there come to life in my imagination. Kendig does a great job with knowing the terminology and the inner-workings of a military soldier that I believe everything she states about the characters populating the book. Kendig’s love and respect for our military shine in every aspect of the book.

In the Quiet Professionals, Kendig has introduced all three heroes and brought them back in each book, begging me to feel that connection with them again. In the first two books, Raptor and Hawk, I met Falcon but really didn’t know how he ticked, but Kendig dwelled deep into the inner pain and struggles of Falcon. I liked learning and empathizing with Falcon as I watched him struggle with his pain and guilt from the past. As for the heroine, Lieutenant Cassandra Walker, Kendig made me care about the dilemmas from the past that haunt her as she tore her way through the book. The transformation through forgiveness and allowing God to change the individual characters struck a chord with me. The mention of God is not heavy handed or preaching. I believe a secular reader could enjoy the book and not be smacked upside the head with a Sunday School lesson.

Another area of Kendig’s work that I truly enjoy is her ability to dig deep into the character’s emotions and body languages through her writing. With every thought and dialogue, Kendig truly shows how observant she is of the human race. In my humble opinion, I believe her characters have some of the deepest emotions in book form today. Speaking of her writing, the story starts off with an incident, which throws all the characters into action and keeps piling higher and deeper as the story progresses. When I thought Kendig would give a break, she doesn’t, another horrible moment occurs to the characters, keeping me glued to the plot.

To go along with her writing is Kendig’s ability to create external and internal tension in the story. First, the external conflict affecting the Raptors is high-paced and surprising. As the external devices squeeze tighter so does the internal romantic tension between Falcon and Cassie. I like how Kendig made Falcon and Cassie have a past that appears impossible to get passed. It rang true to me like a real relationship with pains and sorrows.

Just as a warning, there are some moments of torture and beatings, which is evident from America’s enemies. I would take caution in allowing even my teenager to read the book. Kendig does a good job at describing the pain and torture, so it might be hard for younger readers to embrace those moments.

Falcon is formulaic and typical of Kendig’s writing style but that is why I return to her books over and over. I know what to expect and look forward to returning to the inner workings of the military without feeling like I have to be a soldier to understand what is happening. Being original and completely unpredictable, I got swept up in the story and couldn’t wait to finish the book. Who needs sleep, anyways? Fans of Don Brown, Lynette Eason, and Janice Cantore would love this book. I truly enjoyed it and will be sharing the book with many of my suspense-loving friends.

Overall, Ronie Kendig’s Falcon  invited me in for a inside look into the world of the military and kept me spellbound with her depth of the character’s emotions and the horrific tension between the opposing sides, but Kendig redeems herself with the realistic, sweet romance between Falcon and Cassie.

I received a complimentary copy of Falcon from Shiloh Run Press and the opinions stated are all my own.  

My Rating5 out of 5 stars

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