Pike Morgan's childhood in the foster care system has made him rebellious, cynical and hard. His rough exterior and disregard for the judicial system has the police department on his doorstep more often than he would like. With his faith in vigilante justice and himself, Pike is part of the Marine Reservists and it gives him a sense of purpose he wouldn't otherwise have. Eager for another deployment, he is anxious for another tour.
When his deployment finally comes, he and his team find themselves in a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. What they find is a war zone in a country reaching it's breaking point. When an American journalist is kidnapped, finding the al Qaeda terrorist responsible becomes their top priority. When the terrorist makes a break for neighboring Pakistan, will Pike find himself alone in completing his mission? Or is it too late to save the hapless journalist and convince his team that completing the mission is vital?
This was a great second installment in the Called to Serve series by Odom. I was very excited to read a book with Pike being the primary character, and Odom delivers all the fast paced action and adrenaline rush I've come to anticipate. I love how we get a look into the "bad guys" perspective and point of view. Everyone has their own reasons for doing things and you almost sympathize with both sides of the story; and at the very least understand what drives and motivates them to action. This is the kind of book you don't want to end because it just was that good.
This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
In Renegade, Pike is a tough guy with a past that he keeps hidden. Because of crimes that he and his friend committed, his friend was murdered causing Pike to be in the witness protection program. Pike has been assigned to a neighborhood in Tulsa and though he is a loner, he has become close to a few people: Monty, who is his mechanic boss, Monty's family, and a young boy named Hector. Pike is also a Marine and he has been assigned to work in Afghanistan to battle the terrorists that have been causing trouble there. While serving on duty there, Pike helps train new Marines, faces combat that tests his mettle, and gets himself in serious trouble when he kills a crooked Afghan Police Officer. Pike is arrested and is thrown into the Brig while the situation is investigated. When it is discovered that the officer was in cahoots with the Russian Mafia, Pike is released to continue to serve the rest of his duty. As Pike and his fellow Marines get closer to finding the terrorist leader, Pike is thrown into combat that cause him to face the affects of his troubled childhood, best friend's death, and his life in Tulsa. What will Pike do, however? Will he run away from his responsibilities and leave his fellow Marines in the midst of combat? Will Pike deny that he belongs in Tulsa with Monty, Monty's family, and Hector? Or will Pike find a way to overcome his inner demons and return to Tulsa a changed man? These are just some of the answers that will be answered when you read Renegade.
Having read a few other books by Mel Odom, I was excited to read this one. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the action, the motivations, the character development, and the skill and realism of his writing style. The story stands on its own, but reiterates some scenes and deepens some characters from the previous book, Deployed. Both the men and the women are strong characters. It is a lot about what is happening inside the heads of the characters, but also masterfully describes dangerous military missions, with heart-stopping action. I always appreciate a clean story, with no prurient scenes and no foul language even in the combat scenarios, and I am happy I discovered Mel Odom's books.
"Renegade" by Mel Odom is book two of the Called to Serve series. I haven't read book 1, and though it sounds good, it isn't necessary to read before this one. In "Renegade", Pike, a low level criminal is in the witness protection program to testify against the killers of his best friend, Pete. He has been there for three years. Strangely, the witness protection has given him the most stability he has ever known and Pike isn't sure how he feels about that. Pike is also in the Marine reserves. In book 1 of the series, the main character is Bekah, who is Pike's partner while deployed in Afghanistan in book 2. The book takes turns in focus chapter by chapter with Pike being the main character, but the reader is also introduced to Bekah and Yaqub, an al Qaeda leader. Yaqub has kidnapped US CIA agents. The three characters become entangled in the war in Afghanistan.
I really liked this book. It is well written, the characters are clear. Pike, though a criminal is still a likable character that the reader becomes invested in. Macho is his middle name. Yaqub is even humanized and clear. I will be reading Book One to catch up and if there is a book 3, I'll read that one too. B+. I received this book from Tyndale Publishing.