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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Odin Mission
I'm typical of my generation- When I was a lad I had several "Action Men" and played out "War Missions" in the back garden. I had a layout of toy soldiers who "invaded" my model railway and played out large battle scenarios around the station yard. I was glued to the screen during Richard Burton's "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" moment and as Gregory Peck & David Niven...
Published on 29 Mar 2010 by Yorkshire book boy

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Norway leaves me cold this time
This book makes me realise that i have grown up and stories like this should stay as commando comics and not be written down and passed off on weary old men. Jack Tanner is just too good to be true he is a perfect shot , fearless leader, never makes a mistake. I am afraid that i need my heros to be believable , and they have to have some failings ( smoking doesn't...
Published on 16 May 2012 by A. Browne


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Odin Mission, 29 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Odin Mission (Jack Tanner 1) (Paperback)
I'm typical of my generation- When I was a lad I had several "Action Men" and played out "War Missions" in the back garden. I had a layout of toy soldiers who "invaded" my model railway and played out large battle scenarios around the station yard. I was glued to the screen during Richard Burton's "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" moment and as Gregory Peck & David Niven blew up "The Guns Of Navarone". I also used to rush to my local newsagents on a Saturday morning to get the latest edition of "Battle".

I'm a reasonably active reader and probably get through between 15-20 books a year (is that active). During the last few years I've been fortunate enough to read the excellent ongoing saga of Uthred and his various adventures imagined so brilliantly by Bernard Cornwell. I've also been re reading a lot of Jack Higgins' wartime adventures and searching desperately for something new which re-captures all of what I've written above.

James Holland has captured that and more in his depiction of Sgt Jack Tanner and his mission to protect "Odin" from the onslaught of the Nazis in Norway. From the very first chapter of the book we are imersed in the battle and are rooting for our "ordinary everyday hero". Holland manages to keep the pace of the whole story zipping along without there ever being a lull and has instantly developed the ability to make Tanner's story a real "page turner". I couldn't help myself most of the time wanting to read "just a little bit more" as I couldn't leave the next section of the story until next time.

As one reviewer says on the back of the book, Holland's description of the action is superb, with complex battle scenes unfolding beautifully before you in a way you can easily envisage. The main thing though is that although there is some substance to Holland's story it never suffers from being too lightweight or indeed too serious. We're not expected to actually believe that any of this is real or could have happened, but the characters and events have just enough truth in them to make sure we don't find ourselves thinking "what utter nonsense".

If you are a fan of World War II adventure stories and are looking for a replacement for the much missed Alastair Maclean or indeed Jack Higgins, look no further than James Holland and Jack Tanner's stories. I personally can't wait to get my hands on the second book and every adventure thereafter. The thought of Tanner at El Alamein or the D Day Landings or even Arnhem is too exciting to contemplate. Bring it on!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate boy's own action hero..., 18 Dec 2008
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This review is from: The Odin Mission (Hardcover)
This is a great action adventure featuring Jack Tanner, every Boy's Own hero. He's a fearless, quick witted, born-to-command commando-style Sergeant who fights his corner of the war against all conceivable odds.

As Blitzkrieg sweeps across Northern Europe, Jack single-handedly takes on the Nazis during the invasion of Norway, coming face-to-face with the evil twisted Scheidt (great name!). As those around him lose their nerve, Jack deals the enemy a deadly blow whilst serving up his own special dish of sardonic NCO insolence. Jack Tanner cuts no ice with incompetent Allied commanders, making enemies by exposing the arrogance and indecision of his officers.

What makes this book great is the thrilling combination of action, military detail and historical accuracy. By far the best of James Holland's fiction so far (in my opinion) and I do hope we'll see more of our fearless hero Jack Tanner with many more WWII adventures to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Debut, 6 Sep 2009
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odin Mission (Jack Tanner 1) (Paperback)
Fans of the genre will remember with great fondness books by authors such as Sven Hassell and have long sought an Allied alternative to which to while away a few pleasant hours. What you get in this, the first offering of James Holland is set in Norway in September 1940, the reader will get a tale of Jack Tanner as he seeks to undermine the Axis and strike a blow for the Allies in this offering. Ideal for fans of Sharpe it really did get to grips with not only the subject matter but also allowed the reader the chance to follow in the footsteps as they darted from shadows to cover in such a way that you felt you were there. A great offering and a series that will have a fair crack with many HF readers. Great Stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Norway leaves me cold this time, 16 May 2012
By 
A. Browne "avid reader" (Donegal Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Odin Mission (Hardcover)
This book makes me realise that i have grown up and stories like this should stay as commando comics and not be written down and passed off on weary old men. Jack Tanner is just too good to be true he is a perfect shot , fearless leader, never makes a mistake. I am afraid that i need my heros to be believable , and they have to have some failings ( smoking doesn't count).
The plot was fairly minimal and there did seem to be a lot of repitition , slog through snow , have a small fight with enemy , win , escape and plod through snow again. If i read about the adaption made to his rifle to suit his old dad's scope once i felt i read it a dozen times.
I found the historical details of interest . Was the British Army really this ill prepared?. Thank heavens i could get all the right kit for my 'action man' when i needed it and perhaps i should have read this book when i was 10 . Unfortunately i have grown up and i have better things to read than Jack Tanner stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This could run and run, 21 Aug 2009
By 
D. P. Evans (Dublin) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odin Mission (Jack Tanner 1) (Paperback)
As others have said, "A WWII Sharpe" pretty much sums up The Odin Mission, and there's nothing wrong with that idea at all. Pacey, with a proper boys-own hero, troubled past and all; The Odin Mission ticks all the cliché boxes but is well written and Holland knows the minutiae of WWII armies and organisation intimately, which helps make everything hang together and feel plausible. You don't read books like this as some kind of intellectual challenge, you do it because they're a damn good read, and The Odin Mission delivers.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good old fashioned WW2 actioner, 26 May 2008
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odin Mission (Hardcover)
An attempt at high action fiction from a writer of history and he gives us a solid and enjoyable actioner that we don't see much of nowdays. Almost a WW2 Sharpe, here we see Sgt Jack Tanner in Norway, on the run from German troops who want the secret he does not know he is protecting.
This is fun with a blend of Sharpe and Alistair McLean's less complex war novels.
Enjoyable and a promising start to what I hope is a long running series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bore Story, 1 Oct 2013
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (As seen on iPlayer) - See all my reviews
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It's 1940 and Hitler's war machine is rolling up the Scandinavian penninsula. A few ill-equipped British battalions stand side-by-side with their Norwegian allies. Sgt Jack Tanner is cut off from his unit and has been assigned a secret mission that could determine the outcome of the entire war.

My grampa served in the RAF in North Africa during the war and my abiding memory of him is his passion for those old Commando! picture-books, in which clear eyed, square-jawed Tommies showed the Boche who's who. They were wonderful, and I whiled away many a wet afternoon poring through them, enjoying their simple stories and exquisite artwork.

Holland has clearly tried to recapture the magic of Commando, with a strong nod towards Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe on the way. In this first episode, I'm afraid, he hasn't really pulled it off.

Holland's basic technical writing skills are beyond reproach. He writes clean, descriptive and unfussy prose and the plot is simple and linear making this an easy, undemanding read. A simple plot is perfectly acceptable in my opinion but it HAS to be bolstered somehow. The War Story comics could get away with it because the artwork supported and enhanced the basic storyline, but The Odin Mission, sadly, doesn't have this advantage and there is a distinct lack of brio to the affair. The characterisation & scenery is flat, the dialogue clunky & contrived and the tension & excitement is seriously lacking - Holland is no Cornwell and Tanner is no Richard Sharpe. It's not a long read, fortunately, so it's not too difficult to work your way through to the (inevitable) end, but I must admit that I was flagging at the half-way mark.

I would dearly love to try later books in the series and I can only hope that Holland (who has written some excellent - and exciting - factual histories) has improved in subsequent episodes.

I'm afraid to say that I'm being generous with my 3 star rating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Jack Tanner, 24 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Odin Mission (Jack Tanner 1) (Paperback)
I've never been big on reading (don't even think I've read a newspaper properly!), but whilst going on my hols I thought I'd pick up a book as the wife had her head buried in a certain females paperback. I saw The Odin Mission and after reading the back cover and being interested in world war 2, I thought I'd give it a try. Since then I've read all 5 Jack Tanner books!! You can't go wrong with The Odin Mission and I defy not to read no's 2,3,4 and 5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wotan excellent book, 16 Oct 2012
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I really enjoyed this book! I downloaded it without much thought - I'd taken note of the title and author's name from a 'summer reading' column in a newspaper. Someone was being enthusiastic about the Jack Tanner series; I thought I'd try it. I thought Tanner was another detective, secret agent, whatever. Buying on kindle, I was oblivious to a fact that would have been obvious, had I seen the cover on the shelf: this was a war story, not a crime thriller. But what a brilliant surprise (if only to me!) - completely involuntarily I was back to schooldays with Warlord comic, and yomping across Norway with Jack Tanner and his platoon as if I was once again spending July at army cadet camp, age 15! The plot involves the successful delivery of a military boffin to safe passage against a backdrop of the fall of Norway in 1940. Sgt Tanner is obliged to lead his men against Nazis and terrified civilians, all of course without overly upsetting his incompetent officers. I'll definitely be back for more.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good boys own type adventure, 13 Jun 2008
By 
Scot Bradley "scuba_scot" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odin Mission (Paperback)
I have long wished that there was a WW2 equivilant to the Sharpe series and I think this comes pretty close. It has a good fast paced action story and James Holland has obviously well researched the period. For people interested in WW2 it makes a nice alternative to the many non-fiction books on the period. Overall I found this book a great read and hope that this is the start of a long running series.
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The Odin Mission (Jack Tanner 1)
The Odin Mission (Jack Tanner 1) by James Holland (Paperback - 18 Jun 2009)
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