June 27, 2008

Why You Should Buy The Last Patriot

Next week Brad Thor's The Last Patriot will finally be officially released. I received an advance copy of the book some time ago, read it, loved it, have said a few things about it from time to time, but have never fully reviewed the book.

Since this book needs to be on every shelf in America, it's about time I got around to giving it a more thorough review. I won't recap the novel, but direct you to watch th short promo vid at the end of this post for a teaser.

There are two kind of people who should have this book:
1) Those who will want to read it.
2) Those who need to read it.

I'm firmly in the first camp. I like the pro-America thriller genre and Brad Thor's Scott Harvath is the kind of hero I can identify with.

If you like fast paced action, a hero who kills the bad guy and gets the girl, then here's a book for you. Formulaic? Not really. The thriller generally gives you all of the above, but for some odd reason authors are almost never content letting the terrorist really be the bad guy. Instead, the final twist tends to be that the bad guy is really being controlled from behind the scenes by an apparent good guy.

In the most formulaic and uninteresting of thrillers some high powered Washington insider (the President, a Senator, or some one in the Pentagon) uses some terrorist organization as a pretext for some other political goal. In the most hacky of these thrillers the true motive all along for some act of terror is for the right-wing to sieze power and trample on your civil liberties. Wow, that's some twist. Didn't see that one coming.

It's why I don't usually read the thriller genre. Because no matter how well the action is written and no matter how fast paced the plot, the twists and intrigue presented in them are wholly and utterly unbelievable.

But I keep coming back to the Scott Harvath novels. At least once a week I get an e-mail from a publicist wishing to send me a freebie. I always decline. If I want to read a book, I'll just go buy the damn thing. In the years I've been blogging I've only made one exception to this rule. I was on vacation when I got an offer to get a copy of Brad Thor's Blowback. I've been a fan ever since.

Why am I a fan? Because Scot Harvath is the kind of alter ego I can relate to. And the twists and intrigue in a Brad Thor book may be unlikely--which is what makes any thriller interesting--but they are also believable. The twist on who was really behind this or that terrorist act? This Saudi playboy prince or that Syrian intelligence officer?

This I can relate to. This I like. Given what I know about The Jawa Report audience, I think you'll enjoy Thor's books too. The Last Patriot will not disappoint.

The second type of person who should buy The Last Patriot are those that need to read it. Why? Because of all of Thor's books, this one most directly and forcefully challenges the reader to examine the deeply rooted traditions of Islam and how those traditions directly relate to modern terrorism.

The plot of the book revolves around the search for a final revelation given to Muhammad rejecting those versus in the Quran which embrace the use of violence in spreading and enforcing Islam. In providing context for the story, Thor explains how the words of the Quran are used to justify violence, terrorism, and oppression.

Short of giving your friends Robert Spencer's A Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, I can think of no better way to get a quick and yet accurate understanding of traditional Islam's connection to modern terror than through reading The Last Patriot.

Thor's book isn't the first to novelize and make accessible concepts which fly in the face of political correctness. I cannot help to draw a comparison between The Last Patriot and Michael Crichton's State of Fear. In the same way that State of Fear made science skeptical of global warming accessible to a wider audience, The Last Patriot will surely open the eyes of many Americans to the threat of political Islam and its apologist enablers in the US.

Islam, as it has been traditionally understood, does use violence to spread its message. Islam, as it has been traditionally understood, does justify terrorizing the nonbelievers. Islam, as it has been traditionally understood, does justify ruthless oppression of dissent.

The predictability of the death fatwa that Brad Thor is sure to get is as close to certainty one can get about future events. Any public figure declaring that violence is part of the mainstream Islamic tradition is sure to receive more than a few death threats. Irony, like math, is apparently not something taught in madrassas.

Now, let me plug the book in one final way. If you like Dan Brown, but find it laughable that militant Catholics would run around killing people in order to keep a secret, you'll love this book.

A monk who murders to keep alive traditional theology? Er, right. Or, even worse, the would-be Pope from Angels and Demons willing to do the same? Laughable, and yet parenthetically we're all still waiting for that encyclical demanding Dan Brown's head be removed from his neck.

Don't get me wrong, I like Dan Brown's novels. In fact, I've made it a point to to visit Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh & the Temple Church in London because of The DaVinci Code. But the underlying intrigue? Complete fantasy.

But the notion that Muslims would kill to keep alive traditional Islam? This isn't fantasy, it's reality. Every day people die around the world because some group of Muslims decide that it is their duty to kill in the name of Allah. And the vast majority of those victims are Muslims themselves.

But the comparison to Dan Brown goes deeper than that. Part of the intrigue of the book has to do with Thomas Jefferson's own fascination with Islamic supremacy. In The Last Patriot, Thomas Jefferson is the key to unlocking the mystery of Muhammad's final revelation just as Leonardo is to unlocking the mystery of the Holy Grail in The DaVinci Code.

In sum, if you are a Dan Brown fan, buy this book. If you are a fan of thrillers, buy this book. If you have a liberal friend who apologetically equivocates Islam with all other religions, buy this book. You'll be glad you read it and your friends may just learn a thing or two about the reason Islamic terrorists do the things they do.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:00 AM | Comments |