The ISIS Gambit

Fiction - Military
392 Pages
Reviewed on 02/19/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In The ISIS Gambit by Brad Carlson, Hezbollah launches an attack on Washington, Boston, and New York from Russian-owned cargo ships. The US President finds himself drawn into another conflict and sends out Special Forces to deal with what they believe to be a minor threat. When the US attacks ISIS-held territory, they begin their own form of retaliation, capturing Israeli pilots and promising to make an example of them. The White House believes ISIS just intends to claim more territory in the Middle East, but they could not be more mistaken. ISIS is growing in strength and capability and has a much bigger ambition. The events that follow uncover a sinister and deadly plan that threatens thousands of lives and will make 9/11 look like a minor terrorist attack. The story will take you deep inside the White House, Kremlin and ISIS camps as US Special Forces use every skill they have to bring ISIS to its knees.

The ISIS Gambit by Brad Carlson is a fast-moving and thought-provoking read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are really well developed and each has a unique, realistic personality. There is so much detail, especially in the battle scenes, and the research is clearly evident in the narrative and authentic dialogue. The author definitely knows how to create great tension and suspense to engage the reader. I loved how the author included perspectives from the White House, Special Forces, and ISIS as well as the Kremlin. It really gave the story more depth and interest. The conflicts in the plot were brilliant and just made you even more appreciative of the risks the armed forces take. The ending was good too and I feel there is more to come in this series of novels.

Darryl Greer

The Isis Gambit is the second book in author Brad Carlson’s Gambit series. The story opens with a terrorist attack on four major sporting events in the U.S. in which thousands of Americans are killed. The government is swift to react and soon discovers that Lebanese-based Hezbollah is behind it but because of the size and scope of the operation, it is considered they had to have assistance. Could it have been Iran? Russia? Any other country or group that looks upon the U.S. as The Great Satan? Two of the lead characters, U.S. Colonel Tom “Stonewall” Jackson and Israeli Major Dani Yaniv, find themselves at the heart of the military response. It becomes clear that the attacks go much wider than a Hezbollah raid. Just as the dust is settling on the U.S. mainland raid, a renewed and emboldened ISIS makes its presence known. As ISIS wreaks havoc in the Middle East, leaving Turkey smarting in the process and its air force planes hijacked, it dawns on the Americans what the terrorists’ end game is. And the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The Isis Gambit is set in a parallel universe where the Islamic government of Iran has been overpowered, Iranian Quds Force Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani is still alive, as is ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and ISIS itself is still a major military force in the Middle East. Once the reader accepts that premise, the story is action-packed from the get-go and does not let up until the exciting dénouement. Author Brad Carlson has carried out a considerable amount of research to get the dialogue realistic with a broad and seemingly accurate description of military terms and materiel. He also describes, in a credible way, how a major security blow to America might be treated in the White House as well as within the clandestine halls of Israel’s Mossad. Dialogue is used heavily throughout this novel which is fine, but at times it is difficult to differentiate between English speakers and those conversing in a foreign language. Those peccadillos aside, The Isis Gambit is a heroic effort at unraveling the complexities of Middle East politics and modern global warfare and is a thoroughly credible, page-turning thriller.

K.C. Finn

The ISIS Gambit is a work of fiction written in the military thriller genre which is aimed at adult readers and was penned by author Brad Carlson. The book tells the tale of a Middle Eastern conflict in which the United States is dangerously ensnared, a serious situation made even more deadly by a surprise attack on the eastern United States. In the midst of this terrifying scenario in which the whole world is threatened by the rise of extremism, ISIS chooses their moment to launch a daring attack which could have severe ramifications for world peace. The book follows on from The Gambit as the tapestry of intrigue for international relations continues.

Author Brad Carlson mixes together a technical intelligence of modern warfare with a profound insight into human nature and international relations, which makes for a devastatingly realistic read that is quite frighteningly close to how life could pan out in the future of planet earth. This realism and insight amp up the tension of the plot, which follows worldwide affairs from a top-down perspective rather than honing in on any single angle. The characters that we meet carry the story along as they go about their daily business, desperately trying to maintain control and keep the peace amid the surprises and (literal and figurative) bombshells dropping everywhere. The result is a tense thriller that keeps its distance from the action until it's too late, and The ISIS Gambit suddenly becomes an unputdownable action and military read.