Review by C.J. Bunce

Stirring up international relations on the heels of a pandemic is the theme of the latest Pike Logan novel, End of Days, following up on 2020’s Hunter Killer and 2021’s American Traitor (discussed here at borg). Writer Brad Taylor is back with the sixteenth novel in his series, which follows special ops agents Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill, a duo that keeps getting drawn into foreign lands for missions involving international espionage.  Fans of the series will learn in this entry whether a wedding is in the cards for the lead pair, as they try to thwart a group of militants aiming to bring on a religious war through a string of terrorist acts.  As with prior novels in the series, get ready for that 1980s world-at-war vibe, with Pike Logan as a character you’d have once seen played by Steven Seagal.

Taylor’s style continues with his back-and-forth movement between first person narrator Pike Logan and a third person narration following other members of his team and the bad guys–this time a group borrowing a Da Vinci Code type ancient organization for their extremism.  For this story, it’s interests in the Middle East where all the action lies.  Logan and Cahill team up with colleagues Aaron and Shoshana to take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–actually four operatives using the call signs of the famous turtles, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo, led by their own covert infiltrator Splinter.  Taylor also peppers in other pop culture references, from Planet of the Apes to Star Wars.

As Taylor’s characters come together, readers will sense he’s aiming to build that kind of work-family connection the action movie series Fast & Furious has pulled together over its several installments.  Readers who like any of the characters from the past novels will appreciate seeing them reunite again here.

This book is less Tom Clancy than Taylor’s last novel–he skips the technical details of international relations and warfare for dialogue, so readers won’t find that Clancy trademark technobabble here.

As with American Traitor, Taylor pulls from the more paranoid parts of international relations–the world is always this ticking clock waiting to explode and everyone is out to kill everyone else.  In American Traitor it was a battle between China and Taiwan with artificial intelligence and espionage tactics; here it’s another threat to centuries of Middle East conflicts coming to a head.

Readers of previous Brad Taylor’s audiobooks will appreciate the return of Rich Orlow’s voice to this chapter in the series.  Fans of Pike Logan won’t want to miss End of Daysnow available for pre-order here at Amazon, arriving January 11 from William Morrow/HarperCollins.