This review originally appeared on WorldOfJoel.com
When I started to get back into reading around five years ago I fell in love with Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series. It's a pretty straightforward CIA thriller with a great lead character and some passable side characters. Each of the four of five novels I've read in the series has been great fun reads.
The Survivor is the first novel in the series after the passing of Flynn. It's written by Kyle Mills and he doesn't a fantastic job keeping the feel of a Mitch Rapp novel alive and well. My problem with The Survivor is more about how I've fallen out of love with the ideals of this series. Mitch Rapp as a character is too perfect. He's dulled out even more in The Survivor to a point that he's basically Superman with a badge. I never really cared about the plot or the moving pieces in the book, as expertly woven as they were.
I really struggled to get through The Survivor. It felt heavy handed. The inner conflict in the CIA that drives the majority of the plot just wasn't compelling. The other problem I had with the novel was that it felt clumsy with its political leanings. Flynn has always had Republican rhetoric in his novels, but Mills didn't feel as skillful with his approach. That might have been magnified for me because of the election happening while I was reading.
When I finished The Survivor I realized that I'm officially done with this series. As fun as they can be to read, they've completely lost their luster for me. There's never a real sense of stakes with these books and the more I read them the more I struggle with finding them fun or enjoyable. This is a well written Mitch Rapp novel but not enough to keep me going forward.
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