I started reading Vince Flynn books back when there were only about fourteen of them, upon the recommendation of someone that I trust for this kind of thing. Didn’t regret it. My first book was from the middle of the series, so I didn’t start in sequention order, but that was okay. That makes the previous books more like prequels.
Unfortunately, Vince Flynn passed away in 2013. Although the series was pretty substancial by that point, there was no reason to not continue it, so they found Kyle Mills, who had written twelve of his own books, to continue ala the Tom Clancy books, which are also now written by someone else.
I have only read one of Kyle Mills’ books, but it was good and I have no worries about the Vince Flynn books he’s written (these came out after my first reading of the series). I still have two of Mills’ books to aquire, but they are the most rare and expensive in hardback. I like paperbacks, but hardbacks are my preference if the option exists.
So, enough time has passed that I’ve decided to dive in and read the series again, but this time, in sequential order. What additionally spurred me on was that with the twelve volumes that have been released as Collectors Editions, for all these years, the first three/set has been elusive as it has been unreasonably expensive to purchase. I came in on the tail-end of that era, so they had been out for some time and apparently they are difficult to come by. So for the past ten years or so, I’ve occasionally been checking eBay and Amazon for this set, as I had the other three sets which were not expensive or difficult to find. This first set (the red books above) has been eluding me for so long!
Finally, after all this time, I was able to aquire the set for under a hundred dollars. I don’t know why they didn’t price it as high as everybody else, maybe the rough corners on the box, but at least for them, it’ll actually sell. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the $250-$1,000 copies are the orignal postings I’ve been viewing for the past ten years.
So, upon these books arriving, this was the perfect time to begin re-reading the series. I’ve already completed the first book, and it was at least as good if not better than the first time I read it!
However, it’s not just Vince Flynn. In reading Flynn’s books, I came across another recommendation… Brad Thor. Apparently, he writes the same kind of books, published by the same publisher. I bought the entire Collector’s Editions set before reading any of his books based on how well the Vince Flynn recommendation had gone. And it was just as good as I’d hoped!
So much of the same thing, that these two authors have had the same number of books published, so in my first run of reading them, I read twenty-eight books! And since then, they’ve published about five more each, so when my re-reading is done, I’ll be going straight into the new volumes.
I did contact the publisher of the Collector’s Editions, inquiring if the books after #12 would be sold as Collector’s Editions as well, but I was told that the main publisher hasn’t indicated whether that would happen. Since they did the first twelve at one time, maybe the financial side of this works out to be profitable if they do twelve books at a time, in which case it’ll be a while.
These books are great to break up my usual non-fiction reading. It kind of keeps me on a more consistant reading schedule.
I would get into more series, for instance, for a while, I did collect the Jack Reacher books, but I ended up letting those go because the Flynn/Thor books were so re-readable, and I still have the Kyle Mills books to get to. I have a serious lack of shelf space, so I couldn’t branch out into another series, although in the future at some point, I will. Beyond that, there are the Will Jordan books, which are more obscure, but I follow him (Critical Drinker) on YouTube and based on those videos, I feel confident his books are going to be good. Unfortunately, they are paperback only.
Beyond that, there are a few authors that come recommended from here or there when I’m looking at the Flynn/Thor books, so there is no shortage. And this is before the very idea of getting into Tom Clancy books!
Something I really like about these is that when the author writes about, say, Afghanistan, it’s because he actually went on a trip out there to research what he would be writing about. Kyle Mills grew up in this world as his father was an FBI agent and very much a part of the world of these books. Vince Flynn was actually investigated by the FBI (Or was it CIA?) because one of his books was so detailed. So there is some learning about how politics, people, terrorist groups, weapons, etc. work that isn’t found in other books or movies. Plus, these are very, very non-politically correct. When the bad guys in real life are Islamic, from the Middle East, than they are in the books, too. Nowdays, if the real bad guys are from the Middle East or China, it’s either softened up or changed to Russians.
Unfortunately, 24 (which Flynn was a technical advisor for in season five) had an episode in the middle of it’s run which was specifically to appease the politically correct on this, focusing on how not everyone from that part of the world is a terrorist. Which to me, is pandering. We all know this. Every society has bad people in it, we don’t need story lines to point this out. By the final season of 24, it had become so bad that they had this Muslim character who was being falsely accused of aiding terrorists, and it was always extremely sympathetic to this character. That’s okay to do, but what made 24 so good is that sometimes this character would actually turn out to be the bad guy, which is realistic. Now, it would be unthinkable to do that because it is “offensive”. We’re not babies, we know that some are good, and some are bad, we don’t need our entertainment to be washing away the reality of these things for whatever feels good. 24’s final season started off extremely well, but ended up in a mess of politically correct story lines that never would have been done in the first eight seasons. Hence, it didn’t do well and wasn’t renewed.
Anyway. I’m going to be attempting to get through these books faster than last time, from what I can tell, I read the original twenty-six books from 2011-2015 or so. I’d like to get through these, including the additional books that have been released since my last reading, within two years at the latest. We’ll see how that goes!
Also. I’ve been picking up the additional, newer volumes at thrift stores over the past five years… the newer books take a while to show up there, but at the moment, I’m currently caught-up except for the Kyle Mills books. He’s an extreme rarity in the used book stores and thrifts, only one or two of his can ever be found there. I might just buy the new Flynn/Thor books brand new as this journey is such a long one, it wouldn’t be right to end it a book early because of the price. It isn’t like the books aren’t worth full, or used price.