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The Cyclops Initiative: A Jim Chapel Mission


The Cyclops Initiative: A Jim Chapel Mission

This novel is called THE CYCLOPS INITIATIVE, and the irony of the title is not lost on this reviewer. The one-eyed Cyclops may be referring to the deadly drone attacks seeking to cripple the United States. The irony comes into play when you realize that a one-armed man may be the only thing standing between these attacks and keeping the country from self-destructing.

Our protagonist is Jim Chapel, a former hero of the Afghan war who is now serving and protecting his country from its enemies via several covert missions. He lost his arm in the Afghan conflict and wears a realistic-looking prosthetic. The previous book in the series, THE HYDRA PROTOCOL, left Chapel the worse for wear, thus he is relegated to low-level missions along with his partner and ex-lover, Julia.

"[Wellington] has enjoyed success in the horror genre, as well as the world of espionage, and THE CYCLOPS INITIATIVE is a perfect opportunity for him to show off all of his writing chops."

THE CYCLOPS INITIATIVE opens with a terrorist attack at the port of New Orleans and the description of a drone being used for nefarious purposes against the U.S. Chapel is put on this mission with extreme urgency as the attack is already threatening food supplies throughout the country.

One of the first calls Chapel makes is to his “handler,” an expert computer hacker who goes by the handle “Angel.” For a long time, Angel has been nothing more than a voice on the telephone and an opportunity for Chapel to flirt without guilt. However, he finds himself in immediate distress as he is unable to reach Angel. Her unexpected disappearance is cause for alarm, so he heads to her top-secret location in Queens, NY.

What Chapel finds amidst the computer technology is evidence that Angel may have never existed. She may have been nothing more than a computer-induced personality --- the covert ops version of Surie. He doesn't have much time to contemplate the matter, though, as the Queens location is broken into by a group of armed men led by an assassin named Wilkes. Chapel knows Wilkes, and now must come to grips with the fact that he has been set up and suddenly has been marked for extinction.

As Chapel makes his getaway, he is relieved to find the real, true Angel and now knows that she is not a cyber-personality but a living, breathing woman. With Angel in tow, they hook up with Julia and attempt to get off the grid. It is only through Angel's hacking skills that the trio is able to develop some concept of what they are up against. They determine that they must find out who Wilkes is working for and why they have been targeted for elimination.

The truth, which is delivered in one nail-biting chapter after another, is far more dangerous than our heroes could have ever conceived. Meanwhile, the NSA and Secretary of Defense have their hands full with a series of terrorist drone strikes and precisely targeted attacks that are crippling the country. Food supplies are cut off, power grids in major states are zapped and the President himself is in deadly danger. Is it actual terrorists? The emerging Chinese threat? Or something much deeper and closer to home?

David Wellington's skills as a thriller writer are clearly evident throughout this gripping page-turner. He has enjoyed success in the horror genre, as well as the world of espionage, and THE CYCLOPS INITIATIVE is a perfect opportunity for him to show off all of his writing chops. The result is a highly addictive thriller that begs to be read in one sitting.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on March 3, 2016

The Cyclops Initiative: A Jim Chapel Mission
by David Wellington

  • Publication Date: January 5, 2016
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0062248839
  • ISBN-13: 9780062248831