Enemy Within

Enemy Within - Tal Bauer My five stars encompass not just this book, but the entirety of this series which in essence is just one long story.

I’m not sure how many people I drove crazy while reading this book between my emails and mumbling and exclamations of shock. For those who were affected, sorry but holy cow this book!! It built on the momentum of everything in the first two books and hit the ground running. There was barely a moment where things let up, but when those moments came they were absolutely worth it.

If you haven’t read the prior books, you must before jumping in here. Madigan’s plan to remake the world to his liking is coming closer to fruition, we still don’t know who has been turned within the White House and Cooper’s team, the country still doesn’t know that Jack is alive and I don’t know how much more my heart could take but Tal Bauer certainly pushed me to my limits.

As our heroes, Jack and Ethan, Sasha and Sergey, Adam Cooper, his on again/off again lover Faisal and Cooper’s team of marines scramble to hunt down Madigan, the reader is treated to heart-stopping action over the frozen wastelands of Siberia, beneath the frozen sea and into Arctic, where Madigan is set to take the final steps in his plan for world destruction. Meanwhile, the US under President Wall is in crisis mode and seemingly on the brink of war while the Secret Service and the White House staff try to ferret out a mole. Tensions are high, trust is low and everyone has reached their breaking point.

Enemy Within is epic in its length and the story it undertakes. It rivals any action film with tense scenes of combat, nervous anticipation, heart-stopping action and all sorts of mayhem. Like any good action film you will also have to suspend disbelief with regard to just how much our heroes can take without breaking. The amount of detail Tal Bauer has put into this book, especially the scenes onboard the Honolulu will have you right there with the characters, adrenaline spiking and nerves on edge.

While the action and war games drive the story there is still time for the various couples to share some personal moments. Jack and Ethan have an unbreakable bond and become an even stronger as the story progresses. They are like two halves of a whole and every time they are together they just light up the pages. Sergey and Sasha have a lot to work out. Their story took some surprising turns and they really struggle to decide if they can have a future together. Both men are stubborn and neither is all that good at talking, but they always look out for each other. The third couple, Adam and Faisal, have had the longest, most turbulent history together. These are the two men who, on more than one occasion, broke my heart, sharing one of the most emotional, gut-wrenchingly beautiful scenes in the book. The story doesn't end with the saving of the world though. Each couple has to face reality once the action ends and their lives resume.

Not for the faint of heart, Enemy Within is an action packed, emotionally draining ending to this series. While the series may be over, I have to hope that with the way it ended we haven’t seen the last of these guys. I’d be happy to continue reading about any or all of them. (And if you love them as much as I do and haven’t done so yet, check out Tal Bauer’s blog at http://talbauerwrites.com/blog/bauers-bytes/ for Bauer’s Bytes which has some great extras.)

ARC graciously provided by the author for review.