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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
Having read and reread all of Jon Land's novels with rogue agent Blaine McCracken I was thrilled when after 15 years Blaine is back with a vengeance! This eBook did not disappoint and am looking forward to more reads with Blaine, Johnny Wareagle and Sal. Hopefully; they are back to stay!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Pandora's Temple By Jon Land

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

Jon Land keeps the heat up with the best thriller writing you can find today. He has taken a break from the best series out there, featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, to go all the way back to his roots by bringing back the legendary Blaine McCracken and Johnny Wareagle who'd appeared in nine previous tales that ended with 1998's Dead Simple. The McCracken series was the first Jon wrote, featuring the rogue agent the government goes to with impossible missions no one else would even think about taking on. Just another day at the office for McCracken who makes great use of the skills that made him an icon in his return to the page in Pandora's Temple.

I'm not sure if I've ever read a book with so many twists and turns and classic action sequences. Make no mistake about it, this is a huge-scale thriller with nothing less than the fate of the world at stake and nothing less than the most powerful force in the universe posing the threat. This as the ever-vigilant McCracken faces turning sixty and beginning to question his skills, not so much because they've eroded as the phone has stopped ringing. It's been two years since the government came calling, when all of a sudden Homeland Security approaches him with a mission to rescue four Brown University fraternity brothers from the clutches of a drug lord with hundreds of well-armed man guarding his compound in Mexico. The impossible rescue Blaine and Johnny undertake opens the book and sets the stage for all the equally redoubtable action to come. But all is not well, because one of the hostages dies in the process leading McCracken to further wonder if he's lost his edge.

That question is swiftly answered when McCraken, and Wareagle, learn that the lone other surviving member of their Special Forces Vietnam A-Team is missing from an offshore oilrig; the whole crew is missing thanks to some inexplicable phenomenon the same Homeland Security that sent Blaine to Mexico dispatches him to investigate. What he and Johnny find on the remnants of that rig lead to a global chase for the most powerful force in the universe somehow connected to the mythical Pandora's box (a jar actually, we learn). It lies in the equally mythic Pandora's Temple, the search for which McCracken and his team undertake in order to save the world while battling two groups of adversaries with limitless resources hell bent on getting their hands on the "dark matter" first. One is led by a billionaire energy magnate and the other the leader of a Japanese doomsday cult. Both are hiding terrible secrets that have long scarred them. Both will stop at nothing to gain the ultimate prize. But neither will McCracken who sees in a young female eco-terrorist an oddly kindred spirit. She too harbors scars and secrets, clearly a dominant theme here in a tale that's as much about healing as anything else.

Pandora's Temple takes off like a rocket and keeps speeding along at a breakneck pace right up to the climactic mountaintop battle that comes in the wake of confronting killer robots and even a giant squid that pops up to take a bite out of a mini-submarine McCracken has commandeered for the cause. The result is as close to a perfect thriller as you will ever read, immensely satisfying in pace as well as scale, as Jon Land proves beyond any doubt that he is one of the greatest authors of our time and the best action writer in the world today. Less than a year after penning a non-fiction book on Mob kingpin Whitey Bulger (Betrayal) and his best entry yet in the Caitlin Strong series (Strong Vengeance), he's back with the long-awaited return of Blaine McCracken in a relentlessly entertaining tale that's everything a thriller is supposed to be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2012
Pandora's Temple marks the return of Blaine McCracken in a nonstop action thriller that will hook you on the first page and
won't let go until the very last page. Blaine may now be 60 years old but he still has the action moves of a young man as he
takes on the bad guys whenever he has to, even taking on a giant squid. Even if you have never read Jon before take from some-
one who has read him from the start you will not be disappointed and will be hooked for good. Read him and be prepared for the
ride of your life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
I've been a fan of Jon Land's since the 1980's, and Blaine McCracken has always been one of my favorite characters, (Jared Kimberlain, for various reasons, will always be my favorite) and Jon always delivered adventures on a grand scale. He does no less in McCracken's return in PANDORA'S TEMPLE.

It is now present day. Post 9-11, soldiers like Blaine have been replaced by drones and SEAL teams and DHS B-rats. (Read the book to find out what that stands for!) Blaine is feeling his age, too, but aren't we all? When the book proper opens, Blaine is turning 60 that very day.

Jon being Jon, and McCracken being McCracken, Blaine cannot have a nice quiet birthday dinner with his friend Johnny Wareagle. While sitting in a New Orleans bistro, minding their own business, a woman rushes in being pursued by assassins. Blaine does what he does best, with Johnny's assistance, and we're off to the races.

Today's high tech mixed with actual legends combine for a rockin' good time of the Old School Thriller. Jon has moved "Captain Seven" from the Kimberlain books into McCracken's universe, and there's a special shout-out to Jared Kimberlain (hopefully, a hint of his return as well, possibly even a crossover?), and Sal Belamo is back as well, continuing to take out the bad guys and make the reader laugh at some of his antics.

Blaine McCracken may be older and hopefully wiser, but he hasn't lost half a step when the action starts; hell, he hasn't lost one quarter of a step. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks, and Blaine and Johnny and Sal fit right into Today as well and as smoothly as ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
Blaine McCracken is back and saving the world from a thunderous collection of adversaries in a rousing thriller from author Jon Land

It has been 15 years since the last appearance of McCracken and crew. But it feels like no time has passed for the reader as the plot pinballs from one extreme to the next all while keeping "us" glued to the page and our seats.

It's one Big Bad after another for our heroes and that may seem crazy, but with the skillful touch of a master storyteller like Land, you just find yourself diving in and going with the flow.

It won't be another 15 years before we get another McCracken yarn given how well Pandora's Temple has been received. And I'll be waiting with cash in hand for that book.

Next up from Land I hope will be a new installment in his Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea series. That would make this fan that much more happy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2013
I was so excited when I discovered Jon Land had released another in the Blaine McCracken series. I even went so far as to purchase the kindle edition as well as the paperback!
I loved Pandora's but have to admit it took me a bit to come to terms with Blaine being 60.. (and Sal closer to 70!)
I know today's 60 is like yesteryears 40, but it was still a leap of faith in Jon pulling it off realistically (which he did in spades!)
I'm happy he kept true to the timeline.. It would have been too easy to conveniently forget their origins were in Vietnam..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
The story is engaging even though it is a little thin in places. The character development is good and continues throughout the story. What held my interest was seeing how each new development was handled by Blaine McCracken and Wareagle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
I have been reading Land's books for decades. I relished going back into McCracken and Wareagle 's actions and dialogues. For me it was a fast read. Did not want to put it down till the end. If Land had kept writing I would have kept reading!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I think the test of a great book involves losing track of time while reading. Well, this one passed. I couldn't believe I'd spent four hours reading last night. Wow! I'm not even finished yet, but I just had to post this review. This is my first McCracken book, but it won't be the last! Cheers to Mr. Land!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
Good read... especially liked that characters have aged after the 10 year hiatus between stories.....have read and enjoyed all previous McCracken novels and this one is true to the McCracken / Wareagle heritage..
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