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Patriot Acts Hardcover – August 28, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At the start of Rucka's electrifying sixth thriller featuring bodyguard Atticus Kodiak (after 2001's Critical Space), Atticus is ready to settle down after years of chasing the deadly female assassin known as Drama and finally breaking her away from The Ten—a group of cold-blooded killers operating around the globe. But when he and Drama, now known as Alena, are ambushed and left for dead, Atticus knows his troubles are far from over. Suddenly, the two find themselves the target of a massive manhunt after being mistakenly identified as Ten members. From a tiny village on the Black Sea to the inner sanctum of the Pentagon, Atticus and Alena race to clear their names and punish those responsible for the shocking death of a close friend. Rucka expertly blends intense shoot-'em-up scenes with biting political commentary as Atticus and Alena uncover just how high the conspiracy reaches within the U.S. government. Kodiak fans who've waited a long time for this installment will find it exceeds all expectations. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Atticus Kodiak, the splendidly named professional bodyguard, returns in the novel that Rucka's fans have been anticipating for a while. Picking up moments after the conclusion of 2001's Critical Space, this frenetically paced thriller begins with an act of treachery that leaves Atticus reeling. Suddenly finding himself on the run, Attitcus risks everything to protect the people he loves. Rucka, who took a three-book break from the Kodiak series, seems to have returned to the series and his most famous creation convinced that the line between mercenary and murderer is thin enough that the distinction may be purely imaginary. Either way, fans will be glad to have Kodiak back. Pitt, David

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804737
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The author of four novels about professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak -- Keeper (nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America), Finder, Smoker, and Shooting at Midnight, Greg Rucka has been writing since he was eight years old, and hopefully is improving with age. A longtime comics fan, his first graphic novel series was the suspense thriller Whiteout, published by Oni Press and nominated for three Eisner Awards in 1999. Since that time he has been a contributing writer for DC Comics and an active participant in the Batman series of titles.
Born and raised in California, he earned his undergraduate degree at Vassar College and his MFA at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Rucka has two tattoos, and rides a motorcycle.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Daley on September 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of Greg Rucka, especially the Atticus Kodiak series. It has been several years since Rucka has written a Kodiak thriller. I've been waiting for this book, and wondering how he was going to continue the series, since the last book ended with Kodiak no longer being a bodyguard, and being alienated from his friends.
Well, Rucka has written on hell of a good thriller. I'll give him props for that. But what I loved about the previous Atticus Kodiak books is missing.
The plots were always unique, because the hero was a bodyguard. Not a cop, hitman, or soldier. I enjoyed the interplay between Kodiak and the guys he worked with.
The only major character from all the earlier books, is Natalie Trent and she disappears after the first chapter. What happened to the guys that Kodiak worked with? What about Bridgit Logan. Erica? They are never even mentioned in this book.
The idea that Kodiak would willingly help Drama, reformed or not, is crazy to me. It goes against the way that Rucka has written the character in the past. And the idea that Kodiak would fall in love with a killer??
As a stand alone thriller this is a fantastic book. As an Atticus Kodiak thriller it fails miserably.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karl Elvis on September 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply put - better that Atticus Kodiak had been killed off at the end of Critical Space than brought back as a completely different person.

Now, I am a big fan of Rucka's work; I think his Queen and Country) novels are terrific, and while the Kodiak series is slightly uneven, Kodiak was a strong character, with a strong supporting cast.

But it's clear what Rucka wants is to write more Queen and Country. That would be fine, but turning the Atticus Kodiak series into a second-rate Q&C is *not* the way to go.

Rucka's completely gutted Kodiak's character. The 'clean body clean mind' international assassin thing might work with Drama/Alena. With Kodiak, it just makes him dull.

The thing that made the earlier books work was the highly technical background in security. And while you can't turn out 20 books of that, re-inventing the main character and turning him into *someone completely different* plays like one of those soap opera moments when a new actor walks in as our favorite character, and we're expected to pretend nothing's changed.

Much of this book is taken up with details of Kodiak and Alena's travels in eastern Europe; which does nothing to make Alena character interesting (the trouble with inventing a character who's a cypher is that said character needs to stay a cypher to be consistent, or be developed. Rucka does neither, dropping the thing that made her interesting and not replacing it with anything), and doesn't play Kodiak like the character we've gotten to know. It also doesn't move the plot at all, it's just filler.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As Greg Rucka's "Patriot Acts" opens, former bodyguard Atticus Kodiak is involved in a shootout with his archenemy, Oxford. Assisted by his partner, Natalie Trent, and a former assassin for hire, Alena Cizkova, Atticus survives the encounter and then briefly retreats to a safe house, where he plans to leave Alena and Natalie under the protection of a security detail. Kodiak takes off, but before long he is surrounded by two teams of sharpshooters who intend to finish him off. It takes all of his skill and a bit of luck to emerge from the ambush severely injured but alive, but he knows that the carnage is not yet over. Atticus is convinced that more gunmen will replace those he has neutralized.

Throughout most of the story, Atticus and Alena, who have become lovers, move from place to place, trying to stay one step ahead of their pursuers. The problem is that they have no idea who wants them dead and why. Alena, who values physical fitness, puts Kodiak through a strenuous training regimen. They want to be battle ready for the inevitable confrontation with their adversaries. "We lived with the knowledge that we were hunted, and that the hunter might find us at any time."

"Patriot Acts" is a bloody action-adventure novel that emphasizes combat skills, weaponry, and scenes of sadism and torture over logic and character development. The dialogue is clipped and terse and the heroes are stoic, savvy, and tough. No softies here. Alena and Atticus use brains as well as brawn to get out of some very tricky situations. The author's explanation about the high-powered, immoral, and greedy government official who has targeted the protagonists is a bit far-fetched.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alison Toon on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I miss Atticus as he was when Bridgett was around. I don't like Alena, her emptiness. Maybe it's a woman thing. But the characters seemed more gritty back then. Not so long ago, either.

While I give "Shooting at Midnight" and most of Greg Rucka's other novels five stars, this one only gets three.

Bring back the old Atticus...
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