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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Return
There's no plot summary showing for this book so let me start with a brief precis, beginning with the scenario. That involves the First Team, a small department within the CIA staffed by a combination of CIA personnel and special forces troops and tasked with taking on the threat of global terrorism. Unlike other intelligence groups First Team do not simply gather...
Published on 6 Aug. 2004 by C. Green

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So, so...
McNab's books and "The Unit" TV series have set high standards in the special operations stories. There is more Bond and Gung-Ho in "The First Team" than real special forces tactics. Those who look for this aspect (as I did) will not be satisfied with it. The names of the weapons are there, but this is where the reality stops.

There is a lot of action indeed...
Published on 7 May 2007 by Amazon Customer


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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Return, 6 Aug. 2004
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
There's no plot summary showing for this book so let me start with a brief precis, beginning with the scenario. That involves the First Team, a small department within the CIA staffed by a combination of CIA personnel and special forces troops and tasked with taking on the threat of global terrorism. Unlike other intelligence groups First Team do not simply gather information or take part in direct action; they do both. Combining the best of the CIA and the military they identify threats and immediately seek to neutralise them if possible. The 'Team' is a fictional set-up but is based on reality, with CIA field agents and special forces personnel having worked in conjunction for the first time in both Afghanistan & Iraq. In this book they are working to halt the threat of a dirty bomb attack on the US.
Of course the question remains; is the book any good? From the title of this review you can probably guess that the answer is yes, surprisingly so. Surprisingly because I have always been suspicious of 'co-authored' books, thinking that it many cases they're simply a way for a well known author to cash in on his name without actually doing much work; a bit like writing 'From the producers of' before a sub-standard film in an effort to make it seem better than it is so that people go to see it.
In the case of First Team however, my fear that this would be the case proved unfounded. I loved Larry Bond's previous books, especially Vortex, Cauldron & Red Pheonix, and have been disappointed that he is not a more prolific writer. With this new book he is not quite up to the standard of my favourite works of his, but its still better than a lot of modern thrillers dealing with the same subject.
This is due to several things. Firstly the style of the book. Its certainly fast paced, moving events on in almost real time and refusing to be bogged down in pointless detail or subplots. The single focus of the story is the Team's activities. It doesn't bother with cutting away to show what the bad guys are up to or with the character's private lives (beyond what is necessary to flesh them out and make them human). This is all about the mission and the more enjoyable for it.
The second positive is the level of detail and research that has Bond and DeFelice have obviously done. This feels real. The dynamics of how they conduct the operation have the ring of truth. You can imagine the Team working the way they do. There's no resorting to funky technology to get them out of scrapes or overly cinematic gun play. When at one point on of them fires an RPG at a car whilst standing too close he gets blown off his feet and smacks his head.
Which brings me to the third positive; these people make mistakes. They're not superhuman. Intelligence turns out to be incorrect, the get captured & they follow up duff leads. By making the Team falible it makes it far easier to suspend disbelief and get involved in the story. After all, how many times recently have we had terror warnings or police raids that have based on leads that have come to nothing? How many times have we 'surrounded' Al Quaeda suspects in Afghanistan just for them to slip away? Not everything can be resolved in a nice little neat package.
Of course the book has its flaws. I assume that this is the first in a series and it does have the feel of a story designed to establish the characters; a bit like a pilot episode. I haven't quite finished it yet but I suspect that some of the inter-personal issues between the team are likely to be resolved before the conclusion so that in the next book you can have a stable core of characters to move forward with. This leaves some of the plotting feeling a bit mechanical. Another complaint is that in some places it hovers on the edge of cliche. The lead field operative, for example, is portrayed as a rule-bending maverick working off instinct, his new boss as the up-tight, by the book woman and the researcher back at HQ as a talented uber-geek with a UFO fixation. It almost feels like the cast list of a TV show.
Still, these flaws aside Bond & Defelice have crafted an entertaining, fast paced, lean, contemporary thriller that is a welcome return for the man who's put his name to it. If you can get past the slight feeling that its been written with a formula in mind then there is much to enjoy. I can only hope that if a series is in the offing that they don't become lazy and let the standard slip.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So, so..., 7 May 2007
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This review is from: Larry Bond's First Team (Mass Market Paperback)
McNab's books and "The Unit" TV series have set high standards in the special operations stories. There is more Bond and Gung-Ho in "The First Team" than real special forces tactics. Those who look for this aspect (as I did) will not be satisfied with it. The names of the weapons are there, but this is where the reality stops.

There is a lot of action indeed. And it reads quite well. The plot is interesting. Chapters are short, so a perfect book for a traveler. Still, the author has to do some more research on special forces tactics to make it better.

And...dialogs...they desperately require some improvement. Some of them are simply horrible.

Summarizing - it is OK, but I am not confident I will go for the next part of the series.
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2.0 out of 5 stars First team - third rate book, 16 Sept. 2011
By 
Comical Engineer "comicaleng" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I am (or at least was) a Larry bond fan, but I don't believe that Larry Bond had much input into this book, it bears all the trademarks of a Jim DeFelice book with someone else's name up front to provide credibility & publicity.

This might make a good book if....

* Some of the characters were more than cardboard cutouts
* Some of the action was remotely believable
* The people who got injured didn't make miraculous recoveries in 3 days
* The plot was somewhere near credible
* The "First Team" went into missions with something resembling a plan

Larry Bond wrote some very good books which involved potential was scenarios (Red Phoenix, Vortex, Dangerous Ground etc). His collaborations with Jim DeFelice are nowhere near as good.

I really struggled to make it half way through this book, hoping it would get better but it didn't. In then end I wanted them all to get killed just so I could say I'd finished the book, but I didn't. Sent to charity shop with no regrets.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, 22 Nov. 2007
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I tried reading the book three times because it was monotous, tedious and painful work. At the time of writing, there are two other reviews and I wonder whether we were reading the same book. The characters are paper thin, the plot is straight out of a dumbed down 'B' Movie script and I really do mean that in an unkind way, it would have to improve to be called poor.

We all like escapism from time to time but this is one of those books that should never have been written (and I use the term "written" lightly). I used to like Larry Bond as an author but I have never heard of the other chap. Mr Bond should ditch this collaborative nonsense certainly before he writes another book but mainly before he loses the readers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Team, 17 Jan. 2009
By 
Keith Blakey "Yorkshire Boy" (York,England) - See all my reviews
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I have been a avide reader of Dale Brown for years and it has been very pleasing to find another author who can keep you involved in the plot right upto the end. I have also read Angels of wrath and found that to be as good as his first and I have just started to read Fires of War. Keep up the good work both of you. Jim I am looking forward to you next book with Dale Brown.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Entertainment, 18 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Larry Bond's First Team (Mass Market Paperback)
I loved this book with its simple characters and easy to follow plot lines. In terms of realism its way off the mark but that is what makes it fun escapism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant!, 1 Feb. 2013
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J. Fowler - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Larry Bond's First Team (Mass Market Paperback)
This product is the most brilliant item I have ever bought and I really enjoy the simplicity that it brings.
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Larry Bond's First Team
Larry Bond's First Team by James DeFelice (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Jun. 2005)
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