A supposed summer camp for troubled teens actually turns out elite warriors for American covert ops in this gore-splashed series opener.
Pulled out of a juvenile detention center and flown to a mysterious co-ed camp deep in the wilderness, Wyatt undergoes a punishing three-month version of Navy SEAL training (hell week and all), then, with his newly forged band of brothers and sisters, takes on a crazed superhacker with a habit (described in grisly detail) of eating select body parts of captives and underperforming employees. Assembled from a mix of rapid cuts and flashbacks that serve to fill in background details, the piecemeal story rolls along to its bullet-riddled climax, past sprays of blood and crunches of bone, team-building ordeals, a romantic triangle, and set pieces ranging from a high-speed car chase through midtown Manhattan to a kidnapping by Islamic State group terrorists. At summer’s end the survivors disperse, with the odd Glock or other keepsake and clear hints (some gruesome) that all might not be as it seems. With minor exceptions the cast defaults to white—although the hacker’s sidekick, Raquel, a barely restrainable psychotic killer, is Syrian/Lebanese—and is neatly divided into rugged heroes and caricatured villains. Readers fond of atmospheric prose or nuanced characters and situations will be deeply disappointed.
A lurid, unvarnished crossover by the co-author of the bestselling American Sniper (2012), with clear potential for both sales and sequels. (Paramilitary thriller. 14-18)