BOOK REVIEW: American Assassin, by Vince Flynn


Tensions in the Middle East are simmering when Central Intelligence Agency Director Irene Kennedy pays a visit to Syracuse University, where she hopes to recruit none other than Mitch Rapp, a student who has quickly climbed up the academic and athletic ranks. At first glance, he appears like any other smart, good-looking American college kid. Under the surface, however, a tempest rages.

Nine months later, after gruelling training, Mitch finds himself in Istanbul on his first assignment. He hits his target but quickly sees, for the first time, what revenge means...


I chose to read this book for a multiple of reasons: a) I saw the movie trailer and liked the look of what I saw (and I wanted to read the book before watching the film, b) the novel, and also series, focuses on a similar theme as my writing - terrorists. Although they are very different in plot; our characters different, and completely different settings. However, I thought it would also help with my writing to see and experience what other authors in the genre were doing and how they were handling such sensitive topics.

Before I continue, I must give my overall opinion: I thought the book was quite disappointing.

Firstly, my edition of American Assassin was riddled with typos, spelling mistakes and missing words. It got so bad to the point that it annoyed me and I even considered letting someone know. It was a little unprofessional.

Secondly, I was disappointed with the ending, and how everything only boiled down to the final two chapters - it all happened so suddenly I was a little underwhelmed.

In terms of writing style, Flynn’s prose is good, well-written (save for the typos), and in some places funny. I’m not sure if the interjection of humour was a conscious decision but it helps bring some of the characters to life.

Which brings me on to the next point: characters.

Mitch Rapp, college student and athlete, is a likable enough character. He’s a badass teenager with an attitude, and he seems to be intelligent, although I didn't think that backstory nor the reasons he was selected for the process were well defined. He went from being a college lacrosse player to become an undercover agent? It was a bit of a jump and seemed far-fetched.

Rapp’s mentor, Stan Hurley, was a special character. He was more believable and I resonated with him a little - probably the overuse of profanity, which is common in my writing. I felt like Stan was more well-rounded and developed than Mitch. But that’s just my opinion.

In terms of reading the series, I’m tentative. While yes, I did enjoy American Assassin, I’m not sure if I would want to read the next one.

#bookreview #mitchrapp #americanassassin #vinceflynn

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