Monday, January 25, 2016

The First Hostage- Joel C. Rosenberg

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: “The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

My Thoughts:  Normally I do not read this sort of book, preferring my fantasy and historical novels. But since this story was set in Amman, I decided to give it a try after spending the summer in Jordan last year. This made it a lot of fun to read about King Abdullah, after seeing pictures of the royal family in nearly every business I had visited there.

The First Hostage is an intense, fast paced story about terrorism and the efforts of political leaders toward world peace. It was gripping and engaging (so much so that I was almost late to work a couple times because of reading it). I am certainly glad that I decided to give it a try.

The one detractor from the story was J.B. himself. For most of the first half of the book, I had forgotten he was the narrator all together because he interjected his own opinion so infrequently. Then, because I had forgotten about him, I was slightly irritated when the story took the time to catch back up with his life instead of continuing with the unfolding drama in Amman. It was not until the last quarter of the book that his character really shown and I found myself caring about what happened to him.

This story has certainly made me excited to read more books by Rosenberg and I hope to find more like this in the future.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Don't you hate it when the character doesn't establish himself well early on? Playing catch up with him and his life later on in the book is so annoying. Like, couldn't we have gotten this out of the way earlier, when I cared about who was narrating? That being said, this book sound pretty cool. I'll have to keep an eye out for it, because it sounds right up my alley at the moment. I usually read fantasy and sci-fi, but I'm a bit if a thriller/mystery binge at the moment.

    1. The adventure is really intense, so I would say to try it. But yeah, the narrator took awhile to establish just who he was and why I cared about his life.