I have read a few of W.E.B. Griffin's novels from some of his other series, but never got engaged in any of those in the same way as I did for the Presidential Agent series. I locked in from the first book of the series, and have continued on with the subsequent works. Initially, the series was really engaging. But with each passing installment, the novels got to be alternately engaging and annoying. Since I am somewhat invested in the series, I purchased "Covert Warriors", and found that the scales have tipped to more annoying than engaging.
The Presidential Agent series has some very relevant, current-day plots that always seem to easily suck the reader in. It leads one to hope that there will be gripping content that will propel the reader through the novel. The problem is that the plot resolution in each book seems to come later and later, with fewer and fewer pages being devoted to it. "Covert Warriors" didn't seem to have any resolution; the hostage rescue - one of several plot threads - was almost summarized in a few pages at the very end of the novel, as if you were listening to a conversation in passing. The dispatch of the suspected moles was also so glossed over that it almost wasn't worth the couple of paragraphs devoted to explaining that in the same ending chapter. The other plot threads involving the President's paranoia, the potential for a coup d'etat, and so on were all left hanging, and the way "Covert Warriors" ended almost made one think that some of that was just conveniently resolved, too.
Character development is an engaging element to the Presidential Agent series, including "Covert Warriors". I do enjoy that several of the primary and secondary characters are fully fleshed out, so as to make them all believable and realistic to the reader. Some of the secondary and tertiary characters through the series aren't of interest to me, but at least the development makes the lack of interest feel more valid because I have gotten to "know" them over the course of the series. However, as with the plot, the annoying part is that with each passing installment, Mr. Griffin and his cohort have leaned too heavily on repeating Charley Castillo's life story ad nauseum. I don't think any reader remains in the same circle of colleagues/family/friends and spends hours re-hashing every detail of one's life - particularly if you know the person really well. This happens multiple times in each novel, and in "Covert Warriors", the life story was re-hashed three or four times (at least). This is definitely not realistic in any way. More importantly, most of the readers of "Covert Warriors" are readers like me who have followed the series from the start. We already know full well Castillo's story, and the overarching plot theme of the series to date, so there is no need to spend so much of the book flogging this same information.
The storytelling seems to get increasingly bogged down with each installment of the series, and "Covert Warriors" is no different. The recurrent trend is that there is much talking/deliberating, traveling, bad jokes told repeatedly, and detail about meals and other trivial details. Early in the series, there was enough of a healthy mix of action woven in to keep the novel moving and the reader engaged. However, as the series has progressed, the bits of action seem to have largely disappeared. "Covert Warriors" is the worst of the series in terms of having to slog through the entire novel without having any real passages with action or any sense of suspense. It just seemed to plod on endlessly, with the overly repetitive elements I mentioned above.
Oddly, I feel some sort of conflict after reading "Covert Warriors". There is a part of me that just wants to give up on the series - assuming it continues - because each passing installment leaves me increasingly underwhelmed, and "Covert Warriors" is (for now) the acme of that disenchantment. But there is another part of me that knows that if/when the next installment comes out, I will very likely read it, because I've already invested myself in the Presidential Agent series and want to see it through to the end - however frustrating it may continue to be.
I suspect that I am not alone in my sense of conflict about the series and "Covert Warriors" specifically. What I have seen of previous reviews suggests there are plenty of readers who do agree with me. I think we are all wrestling with this aspect of having the engaging elements of good storytelling, countered by the annoying elements that I have summarized here. I can't recommend "Covert Warriors", whether you have read the previous books in the Presidential Agent series or not. For those of us who have read everything in the series to date, it is yet another speed bump to wherever the Charley Castillo story is headed, and - unless Mr. Griffin and his cohorts pay some heed to the reader frustration - it will continue to be an annoying ride.