Much Given

Much Given

A Cold War Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - Political
394 Pages
Reviewed on 05/21/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Much Given: A Cold War Thriller by Dylan Patrick Grant is an intense, action packed thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat and biting your nails until the very end. The novel is told from the perspective of three different men all from three different sides of the fight. The first one is a KGB covert operative named Vladimir Koransky; he is leading the mission that will win the Soviet Union a shocking advantage over the USA. However, things are not going as he hoped and the best thing for him is to accept his defeat, but he won’t and he can’t.

He rejects the abort order by Moscow and engages in an intense game of life and death with Marine Intelligence Officer Major Michael Alexzinski. Both of these men will not back off and none of the two will accept defeat. But there is a third man that neither of them knows about; an FBI agent named Blake Hazelton is in the race for his own agenda and he is not willing to stop as well. He will get what he wants, even if he has to steal and kill for it. What will happen when these three men collide? Who will win?

Much Given is a fascinating action thriller that you will enjoy a lot. This is a fast paced novel that you will appreciate for the action and the close-to-reality theme. I loved all three major characters, but Blake was my favorite. I loved to hate him and I enjoyed his tenacity and pigheadedness. This is an intense novel that literally had me catching my breath and biting my nails. Brilliant, simply brilliant.

Arya Fomonyuy

Much Given by Dylan Patrick Grant is aptly sub-titled A Cold War Thriller, a story with powerful political undertones and a huge conflict, superbly developed. Put on your seat belts because this is going to be a roller coaster ride, with the KGB, the FBI, and Marine Intelligence all entangled in a deadly intelligence game. Get set to read about political maneuvering and crime at its best. Russia has just launched its Project Red Saber; it’s an intelligence mission aimed at setting Russia above the US for decades to come. But things do not go as planned. But the shrewd KGB Operative Vladimir Koransky refuses to give up when called by Moscow. Now he is in a deadly game with Marine Intelligence Officer Major Michael Alexzinski. But the stakes are raised because there is a third party in the game, one not known to the other two — FBI Agent Blake Hazelton.

I am officially a fan of Dylan Patrick Grant, and I say without any hesitation that he has got a gift — a unique gift — for plot and character. There are great moments in this story and the reader will love the author’s mastery of how intelligence works. The characters are wonderful, beautifully imagined, and each comes with a powerful flaw that adds to the existing conflict. For instance, the FBI agent is obsessed with the wife of the Marine intelligence Officer; the KGB agent is headstrong and unpredictable. The plot is designed to give the reader great thrills, with unexpected turns and twists. The writing is exceptional, loaded with excellent passages that explore the psychology of the characters. I enjoyed the international setting and how the Cold War theme comes through. Much Given is nothing short of a masterpiece, a story by a writer who knows how to hold readers’ hearts captive.

Sefina Hawke

Much Given (A Cold War Thriller) by Dylan Patrick Grant is a fictional political thriller that would appeal most to a mixed audience of adults and mature young adults who enjoy fast paced political thrillers and do not mind explicit language, sexual situations, and graphic violence. The Soviet Union launches a project called Red Saber which tasks KGB operative Vladimir Koransky with obtaining an intelligence advantage over the United States, but Vladimir Koransky becomes obsessed with the mission and refuses to back down when he is ordered to abort. His refusal to abort leads to an collision with Marine Intelligence Officer Major Michael Alexzinski where a fatality is imminent. Yet, neither of them is aware of wild card FBI Agent Blake Hazelton, who has become enthralled by Major Michael Alexzinski’s wife, Ann.

Much Given (A Cold War Thriller) by Dylan Patrick Grant was an interesting book with a subtle cover that hints at the possible plot without giving anything away. This is the first fictional book on the Cold War that I have read and enjoyed as many that focus on this time period lack thrills, action, and violence. This book was not like that at all as it had a fast moving plot that was filled with action scenes. Dylan Patrick Grant did a spectacular job in not only writing these scenes, but in keeping the entire book realistic to the historical time period. The way that the author switches between three different perspectives allowed me to see the plot through the eyes of all of the main characters; this made it difficult for me to choose a favorite character as I felt like I truly got to know them all. However, if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be Major Michael Alexzinski.

Viga Boland

As the book synopsis for Much Given by Dylan Patrick Grant suggests, Much Given offers an intricate, but riveting plot wherein the wit, training and innate talents of a US Marine Intelligence officer, Alex, are pitted against and tested by enemies both seen and unseen, known and unknown. Readers are held in suspense throughout the entire story, never sure whether Alex will come out victorious, but aching with him for the loss, pain and heartache he suffers along the way.

Graphic depictions of Alex’s battles in Vietnam’s TET offensive in 1968 open the story…and unfamiliar reader’s eyes…to what that ugly period in American history was like, and prepare us for the Alex who rises through the ranks before and after returning home to his wife, Anne, and his young son, Michael. One always associates coming home with the feeling of finally being safe again. But Alex, Anne, and their son are far from safe. Sinister KGB killers plot the deaths of all three; an obsessed and rather weird FBI agent is an unseen, unknown predator. And when Alex’s wife and son are brutally murdered, Alex reels with the pain, wishing for his own death, before a “wise man”, Larry, gives him new orders to use his talents as he was born to do. And use them, along with his military training, Alex does to bring resolution and some peace to his tortured soul.

Much Given, while complicated by lots of characters (many with second names), the intricacies of intelligence agency operations, and events that come at us with breakneck speed is surprisingly not a difficult read. That is because of the author’s style: Dylan Patrick Grant likes short sentences that come at you, staccato fashion. No long, convoluted, heavy phrasing or rambling descriptions. Dialogue is tight, realistic. Emotions are many and felt deeply. Brief chapters sometimes cover several years. In short, the reader’s time isn’t wasted waiting for something to happen. And lots does happen. A most engaging read for those who like political thrillers without too much heavy detail. A great read. Excellent writing.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Everything about Alex’s life is perfect, from his beautiful, smart wife and their wonderful little boy to the promotion looming on the horizon for him, but everything is about to change. The murders change Alex’s life and lead him on a journey toward redemption and retribution by turn. But there’s more to the situation than Alex even knows and Koransky is seeking to keep him from finding out. What could one Marine have to do with the future of the KGB and their plans? No one knows for sure, but you just might find out in Much Given by Dylan Patrick Grant.

This book is full of adventure and action. Could you expect anything else when your main character is a Marine? Especially one who has a former CIA operative as one of his biggest supporters. The great thing with this book too is you find a whole lot of flaws in the main character, which makes him seem a whole lot more realistic and relatable. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and definitely wanted to know if he would succeed in his mission. There’s more to come with this story and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen and just who is going to be successful. And of course, I can’t wait to find out just what the big plan really is and why Alex is so important to more than just the military that he served in Much Given.