Cracking good read A lost patrol behind enemy line during the German invasion of Norway teams up with other stragglers to protect a scientist During the debacle of the British Norwegian holding action retreat they try to make it to ever shifting friendly lines Full of realistic action Well written with a believable hero Looking forward to reading the next in this series. This is the first Second World War book I have ever read, my preference usually being ancient history, especially Roman, but in all honesty I saw this book for 50p in a charity shop and intrigued by the cover title, decided I had nothing to lose but time by trying it.I think at least one of the other reviewer s said in their review that it felt like reading one of the old Commando type comic books as opposed to something by Leo Kessler or Sven Hassle, and I wouldn t disagree.I think I m right in saying this was the author s first attempt at fiction writing and that is evident by some of the all too wooden supporting characters in the book Some of the language used and I don t mean foul language as there s very little in this book, doesn t sit as quite right either, but the lack of swearing means that the book can appeal to a wider audience and that s no bad thing.That said, I quite enjoyed the book which moved along at a fair pace and the basic story wasn t too bad sort of a 20th century Richard Sharpe is what it felt like.In conclusion, not a book I would jump up and down with excitement about but if I happen to stumble across the sequel, which I m sure there must be, I will certainly give it a try The the author writes the realistic and rounded his characters will become I m sure. Fans Of Sharpe Will Love The First Novel In The Jack Tanner Series Set In Norway, April Sergeant Jack Tanner And His Yorks Rangers, Separated From The Main Battalion, Are Drawn Into A Desperate Mission To Smuggle Norway S King Haakon S Treasures To Safety James Holland is well worth our attention either on screen or on the printed page His non fiction books are worthwhile ways of exploring often complex subjects without the sometimes stodgy plod you can encounter despite the cover blurb.This is his first novel I think, certainly it was my first go at this Tanner series and summing up I would say that it was your proverbial mixed bag An author doing his best to bring his research into human focus via his own hero a British Army NCO with some experience out in India applying it to the warzones of WW2 Along the way we shall no doubt see him caught up in derring doings on key fronts and what better place to start than to see him meet those fiendish Bosche in Norway.In picture postcard scenes, danger lurks around every pine tree as a well equipped Wehrmacht meets the Brits for the first time, badly equipped and in smaller numbers Not least completely lacking in air cover or tanks or heavy weapons etc They do their best to safeguard some locals all the time knowing the game is up because some real nasties are out to get themYou feel safe in Jim s hands thanks to his thorough knowledge, as far as I could tell, of the machinery of war You even get stuff on bullets and obscure Jerry tanks Panzer Six Yep, it was there a dead end of course but a little cameo was fun.But I found myself wishing I could get to the end faster It really was a tortuous trail for our little band of good guys, some not so good, etc But suffice to say the end is the closing of just the first chapter of Tanner s saga And good thing too.Others have inevitably compared Tanner to the beloved other fictional heroes of war, Battle comic had several, 2000AD even, Commando certainly At times he also reminded me of a grounded Biggles What he is not is a Sergeant Steiner of Iron Cross fame, nor Porta, Revell and co I have enjoyed in Hassell, Rouch and Kessler books So don t expect whoring, profanity, drinking etc in Tanner s life tho there is a token romance thrown in to make sure we know he aint a robot.Altogether a nice read for the hols but maybe 80 pages too long and yet I shall read in this series Darkest Hour awaits Well, that was fun.This is a breezy, action packed, page turning, ripper of a yarn, featuring Sergeant Jack Tanner as he crosses Norway during the disastrous British military campaign of 1940 I ve read some of Holland s non fiction historical work in the past and enjoyed it Italy s Sorrow and Battle of Britain Holland brings the historical detail and knowledge of the campaign brilliantly to bear, as the historical back drop to what is essentially a Commando story.I just hope the rest of the series is as enjoyable as this was. I grew up in the 1970s reading the Warlord comic, and I must admit that Jack Tanner was reminiscent of characters like Union Jack Jackson and Spider Wells It really did feel like a war comic misnomer in novel form Nevertheless, it was a pacy read, and the descriptions of the Norwegian campaign and military equipment and practices of the time were very accurate, as far as my knowledge goes I sense that the author has genuine respect for his subject, and the ordinary British soldier caught up in the events he describes I shall continue with the series, and hope to see further character development as it progresses. Awful Seemingly an attempt to capture the vibe of the old Warlord Commando comics with a touch of various WW2 movies thrown into the mix, it fails due to its paper thin plot, underdeveloped supporting characters and totally unbelievable action man hero the plastic doll is somewhat charasmatic than Jack Tanner What could have been a thrill a minute boys own adventure is a soulless bore sorely lacking in excitement. A solid 4 1 2 stars Gritty down in the dirt WW2 quasi historical fiction read Have had the Jack Tanner books on my to read radar for some time They are seemingly hard to find but managed to snag this one from Thrift Books Hopefully I can stumble upon the others as this looks to be a good series for anyone interested in World War 2 reading. My father was a Vietnam Vet and my Grandfather served in one of the world wars, so I was raised with respect for the sacrifices our soldiers had made All the soldiers I met as a boy were old.In the Second World War, Jack Tanner is leading his men back to the Allies out of Norway but on the way they come across a man they must help because his survival is essential to a victory for the Allies Tanner and his men selflessly put aside their own desires and do their duty.Despite my family history, I m not a lover of war books, or anything to do with war really But this novel worked for me on so many levels The soldiers are young men who bumble along, going in pursuit of their objectives but making a lot of dumb mistakes along the way They are heroes, but not in a Hollywood over the top dramatic way the heroism is understated.You don t have to be into war books to enjoy this If you like a good adventure, you should read it But if you do like war stories, then you ll have a lot of fun with it. This historical novel is a must have for anyone who likes history about the second world war While Jack Tanner is the main person, the story is a lot about some Germans and other people too I like how much detail this book has, the comical parts such as the French officer who gets mad about a thrown shovel, the historical setting and how the characters act It is very exciting as the characters get into trouble a lot, and the feelings of them are described very well I haven t read that one other book by James Holland Darkest Hour and I really enjoy the series By no doubt, I will get all books in the series and probably even by the author I read the Swedish version Operation Oden by the way, if that matters.
Librarian note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this nameJames Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University He has worked for several London publishing houses and has also written for a number of national newspapers and magazines Married with a son, he lives near Salisbury.
- 352 pages
- The Odin Mission
- James Holland
- 21 July 2018 James Holland