The Sentinel

The Sentinel

Book - 2020
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h
hopalex
Apr 30, 2021

The last Jack Reacher book I will ever read. It was so bad I could hardly finish. Lee Child should never have let his brother take over writing the books. This is just about greed and seeing how much more money could be made.

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normwatt
Apr 13, 2021

Well, I finished "The Sentinel" last night, and must admit I was quite disappointed in it (as I see from other comments, many other Reacher fans were as well). Over the last 2-3 years I've read Lee Child's other 24 Reacher books, and this one would rank at or near the bottom of the list.
The writing style is noticeably different (not that there's anything wrong with that; I guess it's to be expected when there are two authors). For example this book makes common use of short, choppy 2-3 word sentences, but for what effect? Also, the plot, characters and action just don't reach the level of those in earlier Reacher novels. I doubt that I would want to read any future Reacher books from now on.

j
johnintx
Apr 12, 2021

Ok, Easy read

j
jag7
Mar 28, 2021

Easily the worst Reacher book ever. You can tell it was not written by Lee Child. I hope this author never writes another Reacher book.

n
nancylynn1948
Mar 17, 2021

So, Lee Child is handing over the reins of his Jack Reacher series, to his brother Andrew. This book is a disappointing start. My only hope for this beloved character is that Andrew is still teachable, willing to do some hard work, and incorporate the essence of our beloved Jack. Maybe the editors & publishers will step up to protect Jack and do the heavy guiding that Andrew needs. Otherwise, they've lost Jack Reacher and we readers have lost an important relationship. They even named the book after a computer--not at all an aspect of Reacher.

f
FirstAmendment
Mar 12, 2021

I’ve read all of the 20+ Reacher books. This one continues the decline evident in the past several books, with increasing attention to political correctness, but now diving deeper into the swamp.

It continues with the basic Reacher formula: Reacher + accidental encounter + weak innocent person needing help + powerful villains + lots of fights + location picked randomly from atlas = novel. But this one falls apart due to its thin plot and villain stereotypes.

Supposedly this was co-authored with the brother of author Lee Child. It appears more likely that Adam Schiff, known for his fictional conspiracy fantasies, helped Mr. Child.
The basic story line: Russian spies want to manipulate future election counts. A cyber-dweeb and secure voting software are in their way. The dweeb and America need the help of Reacher, but bad cops and neo-Nazis get in the way. Fortunately, Reacher and the always trustworthy-FBI are on the job.

Perhaps the manuscript was completed before the historical events of 2019-21, when that plot might have seemed more believable, and it was too late to re-write it? I charitably gave this book one star.

However, using a little word substitution exercise, you can make the book more enjoyable and the plot much more credible. When you read it, just make these mental word substitutions (but DON’T mark a library book):
Substitute the word Republicans for the word Antifa, when it’s found in the novel.
Substitute the word Antifa for Nazi
Substitute Marx for Hitler
Substitute Silicon Valley for Moscow
Substitute Big Tech for Russia
Substitute the anarchist A symbol for the swastika
Substitute FBI agent for cop/police and vice-versa.

I was disappointed with this book as this did not convey the persona of Jack Reacher that I looked forward to reading about. I find that when the regular author retires it is difficult to re- capture and depict the main character properly. Sadly, this is the last Jack Reacher novel that I will read.

i
Incorrct64
Feb 08, 2021

Well not the jack I know and loved. I am ok with the this jack. However, will not be my first choice read, if this becomes the jack reacher now.

n
NedSu
Feb 06, 2021

It's a Reacher novel, which means page after page of action. It's also back in small town USA, where the town itself sets the mood. The characters are never forgotten- everything ties up in the end. It isn't literature but it is entertaining. Reacher is a land shark, forever moving across the landscape. As long as he moves, I'll be following him.

d
dopdav
Feb 03, 2021

One week ago had you told me that I would have zero interest in finishing the final one hundred pages of a jack Reacher novel I would have said you were crazy. But that is just what happened and I will never regret that I will never know the ending, BTW I will not be reading any more of Lee Child's.

h
hthomas49
Jan 27, 2021

Quick and to the point action. No unnecessary words and no deep thoughts, just entertainment. A good change from a Clancy read.

k
kiml00
Jan 16, 2021

I was in a reading slump and this book got me out of it. It was fast paced. Some of the reviews didn’t like the writing but for me, it was pure entertainment and it did its job. No complaints here.

h
harrybosch
Jan 14, 2021

This is a very poor effort indeed , from Lee Child, if he even wrote this. I suspect that it was mostly written by his brother Andrew, and what a poor writer he is. This is NOT Jack Reacher. The book is full of badly written chapters, poor English, incomplete sentences , or sentences without verbs, or even one-word as a sentence. Stuff that would cause you be flunked from any high-school English course. I had a struggle to finish it.
I have read all of the JR series , most of them more than once. If this is what Lee Child (or his brother) intends to offer up in future, then I likely won't be reading too many more. Child must be getting paid just to lend his name to this. Shame on Lee Child for putting his name on this travesty.

a
andersdaughter
Jan 11, 2021

I've loved all the other Jack Reacher books, but this one was terrible. It was supposed to have been co-authored by Lee and his brother, Andrew, but it was clearly written by Andrew Child (aka Andrew Grant. Grant has written other "thrillers" but they are also terrible.) This book was so poorly written and without the same "feel" and tension as other Reacher books that I quit reading after just a few pages. A very stifled, unpleasant read. If Lee really is handing the reins of Jack Reacher over to his brother, I'm sorry to say I will never read another Jack Reacher book because the brother can't write worth a darn.

s
silyrabbt
Jan 07, 2021

This was a different feeling novel, as Lee noticeably turned over writing and research duties to son, Andrew. Andrew doesn't have the same care of Reacher as Dad, Lee. Lee is Reacher's creator, Reacher's father. Andrew is the competitive sibling -- and it showed as he threw Jack into far more fights than any previous book that Lee has written, and killed more people outright, no hesitation.

This wasn't any Jack Reacher I'd want to meet or ever read again.

p
Perdidowood
Jan 07, 2021

Within a few pages it was clear that Lee Child had REALLY retired. Doubt he was even involved in this book. SO then the question becomes, "It's not as good as previous books in series, but is it good enough to stay with the series?"

The answer is "no". I'm going back to start over with Killing Floor instead.

7
7592ns
Jan 03, 2021

Interesting to start: Reacher in a small town recognizes a kidnapping is about to happen to an
unsuspecting man, so Reacher saves the day. Story devolves into too many characters, plots, and blah, blah. Please bring back the old Reacher and dump your brother as co-author. Had to force myself to finish book.

f
firewindwater
Dec 29, 2020

I think it was 353 pages and could have been done in 200 or less. Blah blah blah. Definitely not like any other Reacher books I've read.

If Lee Child is retired, then retire him. James Patterson's books are bad now. Robert Parkers (legal author that took over) books aren't any good.

The original authors could write. These co-written books aren't very good. I am truly glad I'm able to read them on the public library loan program instead of having to purchase them.

1 reviewer said too many loose ends at the end. And that's right. What happened to the good cop? What happened to the bad one? Did anyone survive? (Ok, just to add suspense).

Read the book if you can borrow it - don't spend any money on it.

m
manassau
Dec 21, 2020

Bring ReAcher back. Just another formula book. Lee put together the outline and then Andy did the blah blah blah. I have read all the others and this is the only one I wished would get interesting. No more
D Andy books for me.

l
lobyrne
Dec 13, 2020

first reacher book i didn't like ,plot was confusing and too many references to political groups ,it was a far cry from the usual jack reacher stories that i have enjoyed over the years

m
MB_kcls
Dec 07, 2020

It is abundantly clear 'The Sentinel' has been written by two different people.

Jack is so unbelievably smart a$$ glib in the first part of 'The Sentinel'. Unfortunately it seems as it was written by someone who thinks Jack Reacher is based on the Tom Cruise version of him, rather than Cruise being a sorry, laughable version of Jack. For those of us who know him well it is extremely off-putting.

The story settled down a bit after that, but the duel writing is far from seamless. This Jack appeared to look forward to and enjoy the violence he perpetrated on others. Again, not Jack.

Jack also conveniently took the people in authority at their word that they were who they said they were. That was weird, especially with his background.

I really laughed when I got to the bottom of page 189: "Only the geeks call it that. Everyone else calls it The Sentinel."
"What does it do?"
"It protects the integrity of the election system software in forty-eight states. It's the only thing that does."
"Why not all fifty?"
"Politics. I haven't got time to get into it."
"And the Russians are trying to steal a copy. So what? If they succeed, what could they do with it? Change the result of an election? Aren't there fail safes? Paper back-ups?"
"In some places. But changing the result is not their goal. That's too direct. This is the Russian's we're talking about. You've got to understand just how long a game these people play. Their philosophy is if you hit a man with a fire hose, he goes down but can get back up again. If you gather enough raindrops and use them in the right way, you wind up with a Grand Canyon. They're trying to carve gaps in society that are too big to bridge. It's all part of a bigger campaign. To sow discord and division. It's been running for years. On social media. Conspiracy theories. Attempts to undermine the mainstream media."
"Fake news? I've heard about that."

Snort. Russia, Russia, Russia! Further along in the book I'm left to wonder if either brother is aware of Godwin's law.

Almost everything that we love about Reacher is watered down and 'woke'. Jack is not, never was and never will be. His fans will be disappointed with this weak, feckless version of him: new Jack of 2020 is oh, so chatty as compared to stoic Jack. New Jack looks for trouble when stoic Jack reacted to it.

New Jack might as well grow a pony tail, a beard and invest in $300 hipster plaid shirts. 'Hipsters' won't know whether to cheer this new-found Jack or abhor him.

I hope the guy who knows Jack best, Lee Child, comes back with the Jack we know. If not, then it's time for him to say good-bye to a favorite character and let us remember him when he was admirable. It won't be the first time we've said goodbye to long favorite characters (Kinsey Millhone and Alan Gregory come to mind, as does Matthew Scudder).

2 small, sad Stars

s
swannydave
Dec 07, 2020

A very lazy and poor attempt to give Andrew Child a break. Clearly not the level of Lee's usual interesting plot and character development. I will never understand why Lee Child would allow such a feeble attempt at a Reacher novel?

w
writermala
Nov 30, 2020

I hate violence; but at the risk of contradicting myself let me confess that I'm a huge Jack Reacher fan! Reacher books start with violence, end with violence with a lot of violence thrown in between. I guess the reason one pardon's Reacher for being violent is that he is always the champion of the underdog. "The Sentinel," which Lee Child has written with his brother Andrew, is no exception. It has all the drama of usual Jack Reacher books with a cyber plot being the main theme. I really enjoyed it and I love Reacher's sense of humor. It is no wonder that I read it cover to cover.

c
Catlady10
Nov 29, 2020

Good book... not as great as Lee Child’s earlier works, but Lee Child’s brother is doing a decent job in carrying on Jack Reacher. Some parts got muddy and I started to glaze over some paragraphs, but overall, I finished the book and enjoyed the story.

g
gloryb
Nov 28, 2020

An enjoyable read with lots of action (fisticuffs), guns, and vehicles set in a small town in Tennessee. The formula is the same as in all the other Reacher novels. This novel centers around a current problem in the news - the locking of companies' computers for a ransom. Included in that plot is the mention of software - The Sentinel - needed to block foreign players from manipulating the US mail-in voting system and the mention of "stealing the vote" and "fake news" - all such very current news items that I was amazed these possibilities could be in a novel so recently published. I have read another book by Andrew Grant and liked his style of writing. I can see his influence, as a past CEO of an IT company, in the plot - the computer scenarios - and Child's influence in the description of hand to hand fighting. Also Child's preference for short sentences, often incomplete sentences, and sentence fragments seem to suggest those sections could have been written by Child. I was glad to see that Child's boring descriptions of Reacher's casing of a site - down, sometimes to the number of footsteps - was excluded. Also, Reacher stays in the same town with no need to describe his travels from point to point. I liked that Reacher in this novel is not a skirt chaser, as those descriptions in Child's novels seemed so forced. All in all - a thumbs up for this writing combination.


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