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Jack Carr’s The Terminal List reviewed

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For action thriller lovers, here’s Jack Carr’s The Terminal List reviewed.

Jack Carr’s The Terminal List reviewed

Jack Carr's The Terminal List stands as a compelling testament to the fusion of real-world experiences and high-stakes fiction. This action-packed thriller introduces readers to the indomitable James Reece as he embarks on a relentless quest for justice. In this review, we delve into the riveting world of The Terminal List, exploring the plot, characters, series, and the transition from page to screen.

Who is Jack Carr?

Jack Carr is a former Navy SEAL and New York Times bestselling author, best known for his debut novel, The Terminal List. He is a former Navy SEAL sniper, platoon commander, and task unit commander with over 20 years of experience in Naval Special Warfare. Carr's background in special operations teams and his combat experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq provide him with unique insights that he brings to his writing. His work has been praised by established authors like Brad Thor and David Morrell, who have likened Carr's storytelling abilities to literary giants like Tom Clancy.

The Terminal List plot explained

The Terminal List is a gripping action thriller that follows the journey of James Reece, a former Navy SEAL sniper and platoon commander. The story kicks off with Reece and his SEAL team on a classified mission in Afghanistan. What should have been a routine operation takes a dark and sinister turn, resulting in devastating consequences and the brutal deaths of his team members.

As the sole survivor, Reece returns to the United States and discovers that the mission's failure and the deaths of his team members were not accidents. Instead, they were part of a conspiracy that reaches deep into the U.S. government. Reece becomes a target of powerful and ruthless enemies within the military and intelligence community who are determined to eliminate him to cover up their nefarious deeds.

Fueled by grief and a thirst for vengeance, Reece embarks on a mission to uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. He's convinced that there's a "terminal list" of individuals who must pay for their crimes. With his military training and skills, Reece becomes a force to be reckoned with as he hunts down those involved in the conspiracy. The Terminal List is a high-octane tale of conspiracy, retribution, and the pursuit of truth in the face of overwhelming danger.

Breakdown of the characters of The Terminal List

The Terminal List by Jack Carr features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique attributes and roles in the story. Here's a list of key characters and brief descriptions of each:

  • James Reece: The protagonist of the story, James Reece is a former Navy SEAL sniper and platoon commander. He is a highly skilled and dedicated soldier who becomes the central character in the novel. Reece is on a quest for vengeance and justice after a mission in Afghanistan goes terribly wrong.
  • Caitlyn Reece: Caitlyn is James Reece's wife and a loving, supportive partner. She plays a vital role in the story as she tries to understand and help her husband, who is grappling with the traumatic events of the mission.
  • Alex Cobb: A fellow Navy SEAL and a close friend of James Reece, Cobb is a critical character in the story. He is part of the same mission in Afghanistan and suffers the same traumatic consequences. His actions and decisions significantly impact the plot.
  • Lt. Commander Sarah Patterson: Sarah is a Naval Special Warfare officer and a friend of James Reece. She becomes involved in Reece's pursuit of justice and helps him navigate the complex world of military intelligence.
  • Secretary of Defense Christina Vidal: Secretary Vidal is a powerful figure in the U.S. government. She plays a key role in the events that unfold and has a significant impact on the direction of the story.
  • Senator Charles Huffman: A U.S. Senator, Huffman is deeply involved in the political side of the conspiracy that Reece uncovers. His motivations and actions are central to the plot's development.
  • Tom Crocker: A former SEAL sniper and mentor to Reece, Crocker provides guidance and support to Reece as he seeks retribution. Crocker's experience and wisdom are invaluable.
  • Roger Ellis: Ellis is a former SEAL and an essential contact for Reece as he navigates the covert world to uncover the truth behind the mission's failure.
  • Dr. Christian Townsend: A medical expert who aids Reece in understanding the physical and psychological effects of his experiences and helps him in his quest for justice.

The Terminal List reviewed

Jack Carr's The Terminal List has earned critical acclaim and a devoted fan base. Carr's storytelling prowess shines through as he weaves a suspenseful and action-packed narrative, drawing readers into a world of covert operations, betrayals, and the indomitable spirit of a former Navy SEAL. The novel's authenticity is bolstered by Carr's firsthand knowledge of the Special Forces and the intricacies of the intelligence community. The plot's complexity, moral dilemmas, and Reece's relentless quest for justice make The Terminal List a page-turner from start to finish.

Carr's writing style keeps readers on the edge of their seats, blending vivid action sequences with deep character development. The novel's exploration of the toll that war and secrecy take on those who serve is both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant. The Terminal List is a thrilling and well-crafted debut novel, marking Jack Carr as a promising voice in the action thriller genre.

The Terminal List books in order

The outstanding success of the first novel led to The Terminal List series. Here is a brief synopsis of all the books following The Terminal List in the proper reading order:

  • True Believer (2019) - The Western world has been the victim of multiple terrorist attacks orchestrated by a former Iraqi military commander. When the U.S. government needs to find this terrorist, they know James Reece is the perfect man for the job.
  • Savage Son (2020) - James Reece is recovering from brain surgery and putting his life back together. Luckily, he has a journalist named Katie Buranek and a former SEAL teammate Raife Hastings by his side. However, they are in great danger and the Russian mafia is out to kill Reece.
  • The Devil’s Hand (2021) - The Supreme Leaders have put an action plan to defeat the most powerful country in the world. In the meantime, a junior officer and Ph.D. student have gained access to an unknown weapon. Will Reece stop them?
  • In the Blood (2022) - After completing an assassination for Israel, a woman boards a plane in Africa, and the plane blows up mid-flight. While James Reece is checking the names and pictures of the victims in the news, he sees a face he recognizes. He enlists new and old friends to find her killer.
  • Only the Dead (2023) - The assassination of a congressman in 1980 sets off a chain of events that culminate in a clandestine group of global elites attempting to seize control of a weakened United States. With the world teetering on the brink of war, James Reece must thwart the conspirators and restore balance against all odds.
  • Red Sky Mourning (2024) - The seemingly disconnected elements of a rogue Chinese submarine, a powerful tech mogul, and a politician under foreign influence converge to create a looming threat to the United States. The nation's only hope lies in a quantum computer known as "Alice,” and its only connection to the outside world is James Reece.

About The Terminal List TV series

Due to the success of the book, The Terminal List has been adapted into a television series, and it found a fitting home on Amazon Prime Video. The series stars Chris Pratt as James Reece, bringing the character to life with intensity and authenticity. Filmed in locations such as Utah's Park City and Ukraine, the show captures the gritty realism of Carr's source material. Delivering the same high-stakes action and suspense that made the book a success, Amazon has renewed The Terminal List for season 2 and called for a prequel series, which will tell the origin story of Taylor Kitsch's character, Ben Edwards.

Differences between The Terminal List show and the book

While The Terminal List TV series faithfully adapts the core storyline, there are expected deviations to cater to the visual medium. Here’s just a few examples of what readers can expect when watching the series, but warning: spoilers ahead.

Extra scenes

Although in both the TV show and book, James Reece wields his famous Winkler Sayoc tomahawk, some of the scenes in the TV show were created to keep the viewer guessing and surprised, especially those who had read the book. Therefore, some scenes from the TV series are not in the book.

List changes

The names on James Reece’s list are also different in the TV show. Some on the book’s list have been removed, while new ones were added in the TV adaptation.

New enemies

In the book, Hammadi Izmail Masood is an ISIS intermediary acting as a Muslim cleric in the U.S. He is the one who helped set the ambush against Reece’s Special Operations team. The TV series, however, merges Masood with the CIA agent Ben Edwards regarding who set up the trap.

Scene changes

The scene that leads to James Reece finding his wife and daughter dead is also different in the TV series. In the show, a group of assassins attack Reece in the hospital. He escapes home to find his wife and daughter murdered. In the book, on the other hand, the hospital attack never takes place. When Reece arrives home, the police are already there to inform him of his family’s death.

Added drama

For some of the events in the story, the Amazon Prime Video show created more elaborate action scenes with real-life Special Forces in some scenes, while the book portrayed a much shorter and uneventful scenario. That’s the case when James Reece attempts to kill Steve Horn and the SEAL team is ordered to track him down.

New characters

Some characters were incorporated into the series and are not in the book. That’s the case with Bill Cox, Admiral Pillar’s right-hand man. Congressman J.D. Hartley did not have an important role in the book like his wife, Lorraine Hartley. For that reason, he was cut out of the TV series.

Different deaths outcomes

The grand finale of the TV show is also different from the book. Horn is killed on the steps of his building in the book, while in the show, he is part of the final reunion between Reece, Lorraine Harley, and Edwards.

Listen to The Terminal List with Speechify

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Is Terminal List based on a true story?

No, The Terminal List is not based on a true story.

Does Jack Carr have kids?

Yes, he does. Jack Carr lives with his wife and three children in Park City, Utah.

What is Jack Carr’s podcast?

Author Jack Carr has a podcast called Danger Close, which takes fans “beyond the books with conversations from real-life warriors, tactical experts and fellow writers about the world of The Terminal List, real conflicts, gear and a ton more.”

What is Jack Carr's real name?

The author of The Terminal List has never mentioned his real name. He did share that he got inspiration from great bestselling authors like Lee Child and Tom Clancy to come up with a pen name that contains the letter C.

What is Jack Carr's favorite color?

There’s no information available yet on Jack Carr’s favorite color.

What is JackCarrUSA?

JackCarrUSA is author Jack Carr’s collection of merchandise at, the proceeds of which go to organizations that support veterans.

When will the 7th Jack Carr book come out?

The new book in The Terminal List series, Red Sky Mourning, is set to come out on May 14, 2024, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.