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Arctic Wargame (Justin Hall # 1) by [Jones, Ethan]
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Arctic Wargame (Justin Hall # 1) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 332 customer reviews

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Length: 332 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"ARCTIC WARGAME puts unique characters in an unusual place, which is becoming more important to the entire world. There's a lot of action in a very cold, but very important part of the world." -- Larry Bond, author of New York Times bestselling thrillers Vortex, Cauldron, and The Enemy Within, and co-author of Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy.

"Loved the book and would like to read the next one." -- D. P. Lyle, MD, author of the Samantha Cody thriller series and the Dub Walker thriller series.

"Laden with action, compelling figures, and intriguing settings, this is a great read." -- David Freed, author of Flat Spin and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

"Always looking for new series, and this one is a great intro to Canadian Special Forces man, Justin Hall. ... Smooth with dialogue and paints a vivid picture, with great pace." -- Adrian Magson, author of the bestselling Harry Tate spy thriller series.

About the Author

Ethan Jones is the author of the wildly popular Justin Hall spy thriller series, which has eight books so far. The first book in this series, Arctic Wargame, reached the Amazon's Top 10 Best Sellers lists in 2015.

The second book, Tripoli's Target, was also very successful, catapulting to the top of the Best Sellers lists. The third book, Fog of War, and the fourth book, Double Agents, have also regularly hit the Best Sellers lists in the spy fiction genre.

Rogue Agents is the fifth adventure in this series. The sixth thriller is titled Shadow Agents. The two newest additions to this series are Homeland, the seventh book, and The Saudi Strategy, the eight book, both released in 2015.

Ethan Jones has also started a new spy series: Carrie Chronicles, which features Justin Hall's partner, Carrie O'Connor, in solo adventures. The first novel in this series, Priority Target, is already out. The second novel, Codename: Makarov, will come out this year.

To learn more about Ethan's current and future works and to read exclusive author interviews, books excerpts and book reviews, visit Ethan's blog at

To enjoy Tripoli's Target, the second book in this series, for FREE, join Ethan's Fans Mailing List at this link:

Ethan is a lawyer by trade, and he lives in Canada with his wife and son.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1904 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0084FH6M8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,897 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This work is pretty close to being totally ridiculous. An American base commander rescues 3 people from certain death in the Canadian Arctic, realizes that they are most likely Canadian military or intelligence officers, and then refuses to allow them to contact the Canadian government and also fails to inform his own superiors of the situation? You're kidding, right? And Danish intelligence officers organize an armed invasion of Canada, using imprisoned terrorists and criminals? I'm accustomed to a certain lack of realism in books in this genre, but this one is really over the top.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Arctic Wargames is a conventional thriller set along the Davis Strait in the far northeast of Canada. The strongest character is the setting itself which interacts with the story at key points in unexpected ways. The book is much less interesting when events move south of the Arctic Circle. Unfortunately, the author is unable to maintain a steady awareness of the northern environment. When necessary for the plot, aspects like intense cold, difficulty of distinguishing ice-covered solid ground from ice-covered water and the experience of using different types of vehicles under arctic conditions; are described with accuracy, but these same things are forgotten in the next scene.

The plot is logically consistent and clever, although gleefully absurd as befits the genre. The author plays fair. The incredible premise is set out clearly with no surprise inventions later in the book. And as far from reality as the events are, there is a core of real geography and politics. You'll probably need a good map and a little research into territorial disputes in land of the midnight sun to make sense of things, or you can forget all that and just cheer for the good guys to blow up the bad guys. Arctic Wargames has a tight pace, steadily building to a satisfying climax with just enough backstory, foreshadowing and multithreading to keep things interesting. The author does a good job of avoiding predictable step-by-step storytelling without ever forgetting that this is a thriller that has to drive relentlessly forward.

Once you get beyond plot, pacing and setting, the book has some weaknesses. The characters are stock and unappealing. That's not uncommon for a thriller nor, for many readers, much of a disadvantage. Ethan Jones is not pretending to be Jane Austin.
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Format: Paperback
I started "Arctic Wargame" thinking it was going to be much more of an Arctic survival novel than spy thriller. It ended up with a few pages in a full novel of being stranded in the Arctic and then it was a fairly typical spy thriller. Nothing against spy thrillers. It's just usually not a genre I pick up and read.

That written, I did finish the book and enjoyed most...some of it. The premise of the book was unique but I never felt it was fully played out. The book was rather dry and blase about the whole idea of Denmark (actually Russia) invading Canada. There were some exciting vignettes but they were the exception rather than the norm.

The idea of agents from the Canadian Intelligence Service was different but I never got a real "Canadian" flavor from these characters or the book. To me the book could have taken place anywhere - I never got a good sense of place. I also never felt that ANY of the characters were fully developed or sympathetic. Some of this, I am sure, is because this is a spy thriller. I never find too much character development in this genre which is one reason I usually avoid it. I like to know a bit more about my characters and their motivations. I like to "like" at least one protagonist in a book and didn't in this one. But...there was action. I like action. The action scenes were what kept me reading until the end of the book, even though none of them out and out over-the-top either.

After all that, I might give this author another chance in the future. This is his first book. He did write a teaser short story for "Arctic Wargame" called Carved in Memory and I enjoyed it. So I believe he is going to improve.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The most unique aspect of Arctic Wargame is the fact that it centers on an elite military unit...based in Canada. Indeed, a lot of the book orbits around a potential war between Canada and Denmark, and it's fascinating to watch these events play out with America being reduced to a background role, and not always a heroic one at that. Sadly, that's about the only truly compelling aspect of Arctic Wargame, which otherwise is a perfectly serviceable, if unremarkable, military thriller. The characters are relatively generic; from the alpha-male hero to the evil mastermind working for the villains, you've seen these characters before, and none of them are particularly complex here. That's fine for novels like this, which are more about the action; sadly, the action here is overly complex, and Jones often loses the reader in battles which lose all sense of geography or direction. Still, I could usually understand the general sense of the battles, but the bigger problem was this: I never really cared that much who won or lost, and that's a big problem with a big action-based book. In the end, it's not as though Arctic Wargame is particularly bad - the characters are serviceable, the plot interesting enough, the action adequate. But it's never all that good, either, and by the end, it was more dull than anything else - and that may be worse than being really "bad".
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