Review of ‘State of the Union’ by Brad Thor
He was about to ask himself how Stavropol could kill his comrades and then realized how stupid he was being. He saw it on the streets of Moscow everyday. That was simply how the world worked.
‘State of the Union’ is written by Brad Thor. It is the third book in the ‘Scot Harvath’ series. It is an action thriller and it stars the eponymous ‘Scot Harvath’.
The overall synopsis of the book is as follows. The collapse of the USSR was fake. Soviet Generals have been waiting for 15 years to enact their master plan to destroy the US once and for all. Scot Harvath’s mentor, Gary Lawlor is somehow tied up to all this and it is up to Scot Harvath to save the day.
You can read the reviews of the others books in the series below.
‘State of the Union’ is a return to form for Brad Thor. It is enjoyable, fast paced and has the age-old enemy — the Soviets — as the villain. While Scot Harvath continues his fall into the stereotypical alpha male stereotype, the plot and pacing more than make up for it.
Brad Thor’s treatment of women characters continues to be great. But his tendency to write off old female characters while writing new ones in is beginning to get on my nerves. It looks like he wants the Bond babe-like characters in his novels on the one hand — pretty and disposable. On the other hand, he writes them so well, it is a waste of genuinely good characters. The fact Scot Harvath is one-dimensional adds insult to the injury.
Having the Soviets as the villains makes for a nice change of pace. They are smart opponents and being white, the author cannot throw in his usual casual racism in the dialogues. The sense of paranoia from the spy thrillers in the 70s and 80s is also present in decent quantities.
Overall, ‘State of the Union’ is a decent read. Go for it.
Other Thoughts (Spoilers warning)
Spoilers below. Continue reading at your peril.
The plot has overlaps with Frederick Forsyth’s The Fourth Protocol except like any “good” (sarcasm) sequel, instead of one suitcase nuke there are many. Also shades of ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ abound.
Meg is on her way out. We now have a new female badass who is a Russian SVR operative. I am not going to put her name in since I know Brad Thor will write her out in the next book.
Also, props to the book for including the song ‘I have been living next door to Alice’ as a plot point. I had a good chuckle about it.
Originally published at Digital Amrit.