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on 21 June 2016
In fact the storyline and characters are so close to those in Bernard Cornwell's first novel, 'Sharpe's Rifles', that he could probably sue. Successfully. There's the chisel-jawed super-warriror leading a the ragged band of Rifleman, whoops, sorry, Rangers marooned behind enemy lines. There's the teaming up with the locals on a missions that could change the war. Like Sharpe, Tanner is also an expert marksman.There's the appearance of a beautiful local lass as the obligatory love interest. The similarities are legion, to the minutest detail: Tanner even acquires his enemy's better-made boots. I could go on. And on. And on. All that's missing is a giant Irishman.

That said, it's a bit like watching an adaptation of 'Macbeth' set in a different place and period. Nothing wrong with that. It's still the same story. Still just an enjoyable. Just weird that an author should write an near-identical tale to a famous best-seller.

A lot has been said about the historical accuracy of the book's detail. So I also found it a little surprising that so many minor details were wrong. The Panzer VI (Tiger) did not come into service for another two years. The Junkers-88, so prominent in this book set in mountainous central Norway, did fly in the campaign but was restricted to a (very successful, unfortunately) maritime strike role. Again, I could go on and on...

I just hope the author did the right thing and split his royalties with Bernard Cornwell.
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on 5 October 2016
A very good, fast-paced story following the events of the Nazi occupation of Norway. The book is full of interesting characters from all participating nations, they are evenly balanced and the action keeps going relentlessly until the very end. Jack Tanner is a good character, though, sometimes feels a bit too obstinate without any real sense to the fact that the others in his group are newcomers to war and don`t realize so quickly when to run and when to hide. He also completely ignores the fact that the Brits and the French never really liked each other, not to mention taking orders from someone on the other side of the Channel. He might be a good soldier, but he`d make a terrible diplomat.
However, it`s a good, well rounded story, easy to read and I just couldn`t put it down.
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on 16 October 2012
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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on 3 August 2017
Well, that was fun.

This is a breezy, action packed, page turning, ripper of a yarn, featuring Sergeant Jack Tanner as he crosses Norway during the disastrous British military campaign of 1940. I've read some of Holland's non-fiction historical work in the past and enjoyed it (Italy's Sorrow and Battle of Britain). Holland brings the historical detail and knowledge of the campaign brilliantly to bear, as the historical back drop to what is essentially a Commando story.

I just hope the rest of the series is as enjoyable as this was.
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James Holland's 'The Odin Mission', the first in what I'm sure the publishers hope will become a series to rival Cornwell's Sharp or Scarrow's Eagle novels, is a pretty decent variation on the old 'men on a mission' WWII adventure staple. It has everything you would expect from the genre, including a square jawed, capable, man-of-the-people hero in the shape of Sgt Jack Tanner, a cheeky-chappie sidekick in Cpl Sykes, slightly clueless members of the officer class (albeit French this time) getting in our heroes' way, hissable Nazi bad guys, a convenient love interest for the hero, hidden traitors, skin of the teeth escapes, buckets of derring-do and plenty of action. All these elements are marshalled into a coherent and satisfying adventure by James Holland whilst maintaining reasonable historical accuracy when it comes to the real events that frame the story, in this case the Nazi invasion of Norway.

Despite ticking all the right boxes for the genre however, The Odin Mission never really rises above the ordinary. It certainly doesn't attempt anything really fresh in terms of plotting, style or characterisation. Yes, the Norwegian campaign setting is a bit different and means that Holland can now follow Tanner's adventures through the entire length of the War and across all theatres of combat, but beyond that it doesn't offer up any major surprises or challenge the reader's expectations. Tanner is your average everyman hero; capable, brave, handsome in a rough sort of way, attractive to women, loved by his men and with hints of a dark past that will inevitably come to light in future books. You know he will survive whatever challenges come his way and get the girl along the way. Its very much a paint by numbers effort in that respect, albeit an enjoyable one if you're in the mood.

If you're a fan of military adventure fiction The Odin Mission will keep you entertained. How truly satisfied you will be is open to question, as is how much potential there is to the series if future books stick slavishly to the same formula. With luck, having successfully established Tanner as a character, James Holland will begin to play around with the genre and try new things in future adventures. If he doesn't then I doubt that Sgt Jack Tanner has enough that is new and fresh about him to really hold readers' attention long term.
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on 15 March 2009
Loved the cover of this book! Very evocative for me, a child of the 60's and 70's, of Comics like 'Battle', 'Victor' and 'Commando' plus hours of setting up toy soldiers on the floor of my bedroom.

The book, as so many have pointed out borrows heavily from Sharpe novel's. Tanner a previously decorated sergeant from previous campaigns is thrown into the disastrous British mission to save Norway from the German invasion at the very start of WW2.
He is surrounded by arrogant and incompetent officers, makes a personel enemy of a fanatical opposing German officer and despite being in the heat of battle manages to encounter and fall for a beautiful girl. Sharpe or what!

Without giving too much of the plot away Tanner leads a handful of 'Tommy's' on a scouting mission into the mountains where he comes accross an allied French patrol led, of course, by an incompetent officer who takes an instant dislike to Tanner. The two team up to escort a small group of important Norwegian's to safety through the mountains chased constantly by German troops.

A fair bit of excitement along the way and the author's knowledge is comprehensive and immpressive. It failed to engage me on an emotional level in the way Cornwell has such a great ability to do. Also Tanner himself bordered very close to the 'too good to be true' side. Natural leader, hero, marksman and an ability to render people unconscious with a single blow to the head (a feat he does 3 times during the course of the book)
Felt the author could have shared these abilities around the platoon a bit to make the action a little more plausible but this is heroic fiction after all!
But readers with an interest in WW2 will enjoy this as will anyone fancying a bit of 'Sharp' in a more contempary setting.
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on 28 June 2013
Fed up of reading the exploits of American heros, I thought i would give this a bash after all what did i have to lose. Boy am I kicking myself for not having discovering this series earlier. A cracking tale set in Norway during the early days of WW2. a hero you can get behind and the Nazis are really nasty what more can you ask for?

If you are looking for a great read and a central character that is just what a male hero should be tough, loyal and believable then pick this up read it enjoy it and join the ranks of Jack tanners fans.
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on 24 November 2014
I'm do not usually leave reviews on Amazon but after reading The Odin Mission I felt a compelling urge to let others know of it's existence. I have always had an interest in 20th century history and found these books by chance after reading a number of Anthony Beevor books. The combination of action and historical detail are a perfect combination leaving you totally engrossed to the point that at times I could have actually been there fighting with these guys. If you want total escapism, excitement and you enjoy war stories then this is the book for you. I can guarantee you that this book will not disappoint. Easily five stars along with the other books in the series.
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on 16 June 2016
great fun. Just like reading a Commando comic story. pure escapism. Don't expect in-depth characterisation and thoughtful insights though this is just pure high-adrenalin fun
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on 9 August 2011
I first saw the Jack Tanner series in a book shop and was interested, i'm a big sharpe fan and i'm also keen on military history so a sharpe style book set in the second world war was right up my street.
The story is set in Norway and you get a real sense of the country and the enviroment the soldiers are having to deal with and also (as is always the case with the British military at the start of a conflict) the soldiers equipment is poor.
The book has some great action scenes my only issue with the book is Jack Tanner, hes a great action hero but everything seems to go his way its like the man can't do wrong hes always outnumbered, outgunned and just the general under dog but he always comes out on top this for me makes the main villian seem pointless.
All in all this is a good action story Sharpe fans will enjoy it, i am going to continue with the series hopefully Jack Tanner himself will get more interesting and maybe make afew mistakes.
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