Review

Patriot Acts

by Greg Rucka

Readers first encountered Atticus Kodiak in CRITICAL SPACE,
which released in 2001. Greg Rucka’s character has returned
with a vengeance in PATRIOT ACTS, and the most immediate question
is if it was worth the wait. The answer is an emphatic
“yes!”

Rucka does such a great job bringing new readers (along with those
of us with short memories) up to date while moving the story along
at Warp Factor 7 that you’ll intuitively grasp what has gone
before, even if it isn’t immediately explained. The author
doesn’t mess around, however, and in the violent world he has
created for Kodiak, it is clear that literally anything can --- and
does --- happen. Suffice to say that Kodiak and Alena,
Kodiak’s uneasy paramour and sometime teacher, are on the run
from an adversary who apparently has unlimited resources and is
using them to take the pair permanently off the board. They have no
idea who this person is or why they are being pursued, and have
little time to wonder why.

Rucka moves things along brilliantly --- from flight, to escape, to
ground, to investigation --- as Kodiak and Alena begin to turn
things around. They gradually and painstakingly become the pursuers
even as they themselves are being tracked down, establishing first
the answer to the question of who, and then to the question of why
they are being pursued so relentlessly and with terminal
intent.

There are many memorable moments in the novel. After reading it,
however, I couldn’t help but conclude that there are two
everyday acts that I will be unable to perform without thinking of
this book for some time to come. The first is pumping gas; the
second I won’t give away, but it’s something a great
number of us do around the house, particularly in the summer and
winter, sometimes without thinking about it. Read it and see.

PATRIOT ACTS is a riveting and an engrossing work, arguably
Rucka’s best to date. He wisely leaves a couple of secondary
issues dangling that could serve as springboards for a follow-up if
he so chooses. Hopefully, fans will not have to wait another six
years for Rucka’s next novel.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 14, 2011

Patriot Acts
by Greg Rucka

  • Publication Date: November 25, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0553588990
  • ISBN-13: 9780553588996