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The 14th Colony by Steve Berry

The 14th Colony

by Steve Berry

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This book was well done, and very enjoyable. ... one of those with lots of apparent loose ends, that all come together. But the title was wrong. Yes, I know that sounds silly, yes the concept of the 14th colony did come into play... but by making this the title, it had me waiting for things - throughout the book - that never happened. The wrong title was a distraction, throughout. ( )
  LaurieGienapp | Dec 8, 2017 |
I had previously read a novel by Steve Berry and I was hardly impressed. But with the combination of the cool cover and the concept behind the story, I was intrigued. What I found was that the execution matched the concept. Berry had a strong writing style that enhanced the tenor of the story. It was very reminiscent of Brad Meltzer when he is on his game.

There are several things going on in this novel, and it wasn’t always clear where it was heading. One part involved historical references to the United States invading Canada, the 14th colony. I found that this portion of it, although intriguing, was really subterfuge. There was also much discussion about the presidential succession and what would occur if the president and vice-president were killed on inauguration. I don’t think this part was factually accurate, but I thought most of the rest of the novel was factually accurate. I really liked the whole conspiracy angle between President Reagan and Pope John Paul 2 to bring down the Soviet Union. That might have been my favorite part of the novel.

Mixed in with all of this historical background and intrigue was an exciting storyline involving a plot to detonate nuclear bombs at the White House during the inauguration by former KGB members. There were multiple threads to this story line that were going at the same time, and it was woven well together by the author, kind of like a tapestry. The climax of the story was exciting if not a bit predictable. All in all, I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes history, politics, and action.

Carl Alves – author of Reconquest: Mother Earth ( )
  Carl_Alves | Jul 30, 2017 |
The inauguration of a new President and Vice-President is only two days away when the Russian government asks Stephanie Nelle, Director of the Magellan Billet, to send an agent to investigate the meeting of Vadim Belchenko, A Russian archivist, with Aleksandr Zorin, a former top level KGB agent. Former Magellan Billet agent Cotton Malone is dispatched but despite the official invitation the Russian military attempts to murder him. Nelle is forced to call upon Cassiopeia Vitt, Mallone’s former lover, to come to his aid.

Meanwhile Luke Daniels, the President’s nephew and a Magellan Billet agent, is called upon to shadow Russian agent Anya Petrova. She is in the DC/Maryland area searching for something that may be related in some manner to the meeting of Belchenko AND Zorin.

Thus begins a plot to assassinate President Danny Daniels, his Vice-President and all the members of his Cabinet with the exception of the designated survivor. Also targeted are the President-elect and Vice-President-elect. Unfortunately, the President-elect has just disbanded the Magellan Billet and all of its personnel including Luke Daniels and Director Nelle have been terminated.

Eventually Zorin joins forces with Jamie Kelly, a Russian mole who has been resident in the U. S. his entire life. Sue Begyn, a riverine who is the daughter of the Keeper of Secrets of the Society of Cincinnati, aids Luke. The Russian government sends paramilitary personnel to intercept Zorin and co-opt his plot for their own purposes. The oligarchs who control Russian organized crime join the fray in opposition to the Russian government.

“The 14th Colony” is a solid adventure with strong elements of mystery and intrigue that maintains suspense from beginning to end despite numerous shortcomings in the writing. Examples include murky exposition as in the description of the initial fight between Luke Daniels and Anya Petrova and the use of cliché’s like, “nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.” The initial meeting of former lovers Cotton and Cassiopeia reads like a romance melodrama straight out of pulp fiction. The motives for the protagonist’s actions are sometimes unclear or counterintuitive, further contributing to the sense of “lack of polish” that characterizes the text.

The book could have been a sappier read if Berry had shortened it by some 50 pages. The final, post-climax narrative in particular is rather cliché and boring. Berry apparently felt the need to “tell” us how clever the President had been in resolving all the remaining issues. He also used those pages to create the structure for his next novel. Nevertheless,

Despite Berry’s less than stellar writing, “The 14th Colony” is a worthwhile offering. The ambiguity created by Berry’s lack of clarity adds an additional layer to the mystery and intrigue and the action keeps the plot moving forward at an acceptable pace. ( )
  Tatoosh | Jun 4, 2017 |
Good, but disappointing in relation to other volumes in the series. It feels overly long at 400 pages, the title is only tangentially related to the main plot, and the story itself is oddly un-compelling. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
This novel is questioning what happens when the President-elect and Vice President-elect die before taking office. The answer is questionable and would leave our government in total chaos. Cotton must come out of retirement again to stop what could be catastrophic. ( )
  creighley | Jun 28, 2016 |
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"What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office? The answer is far from certain--in fact, what follows would be nothing short of total political chaos. Shot down over Siberia, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, a man whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States. Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin and another ex-KGB officer, this one a sleeper still embedded in the West, are headed overseas to Washington D.C. Inauguration Day--noon on January 20th--is only hours away. A flaw in the Constitution, and an even more flawed presidential succession act, have opened the door to disaster and Zorin intends to exploit both weaknesses to their fullest. Armed with a weapon leftover from the Cold War, one long thought to be just a myth, Zorin plans to attack. He's aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America's oldest fraternal organization--the Society of Cincinnati--a group that once lent out its military savvy to presidents, including helping to formulate three invasion plans of what was intended to be America's 14th colony--Canada. In a race against the clock that starts in the frozen extremes of Russia and ultimately ends at the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront a crippling fear that he's long denied, but which now jeopardizes everything. Steve Berry's trademark mix of history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller"--… (more)

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