Review: PRIMAL Unleashed

PRIMAL Unleashed


PRIMAL Origins was good. PRIMAL Unleashed is better. Here Jack Silkstone hits his stride with the super-agent supermercs as they fight warlords and arms dealers in a struggle from Afghanistan to Eastern Europe and beyond. To be honest, it felt a little like X-COM, only against terrorists instead of aliens.

It’s just a really good example of a cheap thriller that hit all the right notes. The plotting and pacing are well done. The action manages to be well done with just a touch of grounding even as spectacular feats are performed. The enemy is credible (from a challenge standpoint) and Silkstone isn’t afraid to have them do damage to the heroes.

There’s also, completing the puzzle, a diversity of action that fits very well. It isn’t just a classic Gold Eagle-style “a few guys with rifles”. There’s scenes in APCs, shootouts, and aircraft attacks. This feels closer to the ideal of “a more serious Mack Maloney” I’ve always sought than any other book I’ve read in quite some time.

It’s also an example of the post-2000 technothriller. Which is to say, it’s a story of super-technology and special forces as they fight to stop the villains from taking the MacGuffin. But here, it’s done right. I highly recommend this book.

Review: PRIMAL Origin


Jack Silkstone’s PRIMAL series kicks off with a bang in PRIMAL Origin. This tale of supermercs features solid action, humor that makes the characters more than just the automatons found in the worst action books, and, most importantly, a car chase in a Toyota Prius (it’s a bit of a long story).

This is the kind of book that’s tough to review, not because it’s bad, but because I find it a lot easier to explain how I didn’t like something than how I did. Well, I liked this book. I liked it a lot. As a cheap thriller, it’s excellent and hit all the right notes.