When a marine with mangled fingers has a chance to return to the scene of his injuries and take revenge on the enemy that maimed him – and at the same time can take revenge for the killing of the woman he loved – the story is bound to be compelling. Add in a new love interest (the first since Jane) who is similarly in peril, and our protagonist (Carson Colt) has all the makings of a true hero. Author M.C. Thomas has created a fictional enemy with a twisted motivation and a hero worth rooting for in this thrilling romantic story of a man seeking both revenge and redemption.
The story revolves around Karina, a young pop singer who has become an overnight star. She has a history on a fictional island nation in the Caribbean, where a maniacal dictator controls the island’s riches, while a shadowy terrorist organization called Mentis lurks behind the scenes. The dictator wants to lure Karina to the island for a concert, while Carson (and his trusty sidekick, Shoji) along with Karina’s existing security team, try to keep her safe. The 007-style intrigue and the pseudo-sci-fi subplot about a mind-control drug add zing to the story, but also give it a bit of a cartoonish feeling. What’s genuine, however, is the chemistry between Carson and Karina. Fans of romantic adventure as well as traditional thriller fans will be immersed in this story from the start.
There are a few plot points that will make some readers scratch their heads, even allowing for the suspension of reality necessary to be reading a book like this in the first place. There are times when the Point-of-View shifts within chapters and times when the dialogue reads like a Bond film, but perhaps that’s the point. It’s that kind of story. The villains are caricatures of evil or bastions of virtue. Carson himself is flawed and agonizes over his lost love as he comes to grips with his love for Karina. He’s the most complex character, but he’s still a version of Rambo.
If you’re a fan of romantic adventure and larger-than-life stories and characters, then this is your book.
Full disclosure, I was a beta reader for this book at an early stage, and the story needed a lot of work. To his credit, Mr. Thomas did the work, re-wrote significant elements of the story, and tightened up the writing to make A Warrior Still significantly better than the earlier draft. The author provided me with a pre-publication copy and I am providing here my honest review.