Top critical review
I’m a Mitch Rapp fan and preconditioned to enjoy learning how it all began, but this wasn’t the best in the series.
Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2017
The Mitch Rapp series first appeared on bookshelves in 1999 with the release of Transfer of Power. Most appropriately, that tale of America’s most skilled terrorist hunter began in media res and continued unabated for ten episodes. But then, based on reader urging, the author decided to go back in time and write two prequels to the original entry. And thus we now have American Assassin as the “new” first episode, and Kill Shot as the “new” second episode, pushing Transfer of Power from #1 to #3 in the Mitch Rapp chronology.
While the beginnings of most super hero stories are often the best part of those stories, this one reveals that Mitch Rapp’s beginnings were not all that different from any other highly qualified soldier’s beginning. Identified, recruited, trained, and then sent out into the world to seek justice for America. Nothing new or unique.
While I enjoyed this story much like any other in the series, it seems the main thing that qualified Mitch Rapp to be the ultimate killer of terrorists was his “uncombed head of black hair and beard, his bronzed olive skin and his eyes, so dark that they were almost black. He could walk among the enemy without attracting so much as a suspicious glance…”
I guess I expected more creativity to Rapp’s beginnings, but also not surprised to see that his beginnings were not those of a super hero.
If you are a Mitch Rapp fan, then you must read this episode, but if you are new to the series, I would strongly suggest you start with Transfer of Power and then follow the published chronology of releases, which means you wouldn’t get to this one until #10. Then, like me, you would feel obligated to read this one, and enjoy it not so much as a great story, but as a needed piece of the picture puzzle called Mitch Rapp.