FeaturedAction & Adventure

Arctic Ambush: The Flint Stryker Thriller Series - Book 2

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Loved it! 😍

This second novella in the Flint Stryker series sees our bigmouth hero trapped in the frozen wilderness with a paid killer out to get him!

Synopsis

Injured, freezing to death in a collapsed cabin in the Canadian Northwest territories, and talking to a moose head – another day in the life of Flint Stryker, right?

Poised to begin his career as an undercover operative for the secret Organization Linchpin, Flint Stryker embarks on training designed to equip him to deal with the challenges of being an undercover operative – if it doesn’t kill him first. Flint undertakes the transformation from perennial underachiever while trying to understand and further develop a special skill which makes him a highly valuable asset.

Tested at every turn by challenges designed to push him to his breaking point, Flint's first mission threatens to end his career before it even begins.

Arctic Ambush is the second book in the Flint Stryker series about an underachieving college student with special abilities who is recruited to a secretive black ops agency. I do recommend reading the first one, Lessons Learned, before starting this, as while you do get a bit of recap, it will all make a lot more sense if you know the background to how he got to Linchpin.


Flint finds himself alone, injured and hallucinating in the freezing Arctic wilderness on his first training mission with Linchpin, reflecting back on his months of brutal education at their hidden compound to a talking moose head. Despite his slacker party-boy history, Flint’s newfound motivation and superior fighting skills mean he was ready to take the next step in becoming an agent. It’s supposed to be an exercise, but things have gone wrong and a hired killer is out there waiting to strike...


As with the first book, this is very short (224 pages) and the bulk of it is flashbacks to Flint’s recent experiences, and also his childhood - we learn why he got his ridiculous name, and how his parents shaped his unconventional personality. This means there is very little actual action. I enjoyed it regardless, but I hope the later books will spend more time on mission and that we see more plot development and a full-length adventure. The writing was good although I picked up a few mistakes that must’ve slipped past the editor.


I was pleased to see that a couple of tough new female characters have been introduced - at least Flint only sleeps with one of them! I liked him a lot more in this one as he’s shed his self-pity and is discovering his strengths, including a kind heart - although he keeps letting his big mouth get him into trouble - especially with his fearsome instructor Eccles. Overall this was a fun addition to a series which doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I look forward to the next one. 


I received a free copy through the Reedsy Discovery programme in order to provide a review.

Reviewed by

I’m English but have lived in NZ for 19 years.
I’ve always been a serious reader, and have been reviewing on GoodReads for years, but in the past few years have developed my reviewing through NetGalley and now Reedsy. I mostly read mysteries and thrillers, although enjoy other genres in between.

Synopsis

Injured, freezing to death in a collapsed cabin in the Canadian Northwest territories, and talking to a moose head – another day in the life of Flint Stryker, right?

Poised to begin his career as an undercover operative for the secret Organization Linchpin, Flint Stryker embarks on training designed to equip him to deal with the challenges of being an undercover operative – if it doesn’t kill him first. Flint undertakes the transformation from perennial underachiever while trying to understand and further develop a special skill which makes him a highly valuable asset.

Tested at every turn by challenges designed to push him to his breaking point, Flint's first mission threatens to end his career before it even begins.

Chapter 1

Flint Stryker was miserably cold. Actually, he was beyond miserably cold, hovering somewhere in that shadowy world between frozen stiff and dying of hypothermia. It was all he could do to keep his eyes open. He knew he shouldn’t, but it would be so much easier to drift off to sleep. Even death had to be warmer than this.

Lying on his back, he could see the vapors of his breath hanging in the air. It was so damned cold, he wouldn’t have been surprised if his breath didn’t freeze in midair and fall on his face.

But it didn’t, and with each new breath, he took another lungful of the frigid arctic air into his lungs. He looked around him in the destroyed shelter he was in. “Shelter” was a very subjective term in this case. There was very little of what remained of the structure that offered protection from the harsh elements.  

“Yeah,” he spoke aloud, “it’s not exactly balmy in here.” The frozen stillness amplified his voice and it startled him at how loudly he had spoken. “That’s it,” he muttered, “now I know I’m going nuts.” He shifted himself under the silver mylar space blanket that covered most of his body. Even with the premier cold-weather gear he was wearing, it didn’t seem to have much effect against the bitter cold. The pain in his head only amplified his utter misery.

“Why did I ever agree to this?” he wondered aloud. “I must have been crazy.” 

“Or stupid,” the stuffed moose head lying amid the other rubble said. Flint shuddered underneath his covering and mumbled, “I’m hallucinating, too. That can’t be a good sign.”

“You think you’re hallucinating?” the moose added. “You really should give me a little more credit than that.”

Flint shook his head, attempting to clear his thoughts. “I’ve got to get a grip. I need to think about something else.”

“Atta boy,” said the moose, giving Flint a sly wink.

Trying to force his brain to tune out the moose, Flint thought back to how he came to be in this place, in this situation in which he found himself. How long since he was in the hospital? Months? Years? He felt sure it was at least many months ago, but in his current addled state, he couldn’t be sure.

“That hospital stay was the pits, right, Flint? It took a while to recover from your gunshot wounds, remember?”  

Flint shivered and replied, “What do you expect? At least I recovered from mine. You were less lucky.”

“Touché, Mr. Stryker, touché.” The moose fell silent.

Flint was rather proud of himself for that little comeback. He gave the moose a smug look.  

His teeth chattered loudly as he tried to recall that pivotal day in the hospital.

About the author

A former NASA rocket scientist, private detective, government security operative, and Chris Pine look-alike, Allen Gregory comes by the adventurous lifestyle quite naturally. Both parents were assassins-for-hire and Gregory spent most of his childhood on the run from the CIA, MI6, and Interpol. JK view profile

Published on August 31, 2020

30000 words

Genre: Action & Adventure

Reviewed by

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