The Terminal List ~ Jack Carr


James Reece – a Navy SEAL Commander – is left to hang after his crew and several others are killed in a mission gone bad. As a leader, he attempted to accept that his mistake got his men killed, but something doesn’t feel right. As he begins to try and sort through what happened, details emerge, lies unravel, and James Reece is thrust back into the spotlight. But the pieces are beginning to fall into place, and Reece vows to avenge the ones he’s lost by crossing off the names of the guilty who’ve made it to his list.


The Terminal List is action packed from the get go! I liked Jack Carr’s ability to weave a story with so much action and military components without losing the audience in the jargon. Jack Carr used a part of our world that is often fictionalized – the military and especially the SEAL teams – and was able to capture the intensity of the man without degrading him of his humanity. James Reece is a character that still loved his family and his friends, where I often see fictional soldiers that have become so hardened that they can’t or won’t love anyone. For me, this is a major win in this book because without his emotions and love for those around him, the entire story would have fallen flat. His actions would have been unjustified and unnecessary.

Another major component of this book is that nothing felt too outlandish. Reece is a highly trained military machine with lots of friends and connections, but his actions still had consequences. Carr was able to create intensity and intrigue, and still tie up all the loose ends. He built enough support and connections within the story line so that nothing felt like deus ex machina – which can often be entertaining but also frustrating. 

In the beginning of the book, Jack Carr had an author’s note where he stated that he was not James Reece and instead how James Reece represents what could or might happen if a man has only revenge left to fight for and the training to exact it. I think this is an important distinction because as I read it, it was easier to detach the author’s experiences from the character’s. Reece was his own person with his own struggles. And knowing how Carr approached the character’s revenge and need for answers, started my reading with a lot of intrigue as to what would happen.

The Terminal List is an action packed military thriller that keeps you on edge from start to finish.

P.S. I hope the Amazon TV Series isn’t overdone, but instead carries the same intensity and heart-wrenching emotion that the book did. 

Teacher Recommendation: 

As an adult this was an enjoyable read, but I would not recommend it to kids under eighteen nor put it on my classroom shelves. Several of the scenes were graphic and very violent and I would not want to be put in a situation where I have to explain to a parent why their kid is reading such a book. If parents provide it, great! Adults – definitely read! But not suitable for my classroom library.

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