REVIEW by @Fidget78 : The Hammer of God by Tom Avitabile – Release Date 4/10/12

With America in the crosshairs of terrorists who don’t have to play by the rules, President James Mitchell needed an edge. That’s where Bill Hiccock’s Quarterback Ops Group, (QuOG) a top-secret operations cluster run out of the White House, comes in. They are the Commander-in-Chief’s personal “pointy end of the stick.” Given unprecedented power, these dedicated men and women cut through the cells and terror networks at home and abroad, unleashing the full force and determination of America across the world.
From psych-ops, where they terrorize the terrorists, to the pure brute force of going in hot, wet, and wild, QuOG uses innovative technology and on-the-spot improvisation to beat the bad guys before they know the game is on.

(synopsis cont’d)
Hiccock fields his handpicked team of the “best of the best” in abilities and prowess: people like Brooke Burrell, who distinguished herself as an FBI agent, and now goes toe to toe with a terrorist mastermind; Bridgestone and Ross who cut through countries, culture, and killers like a laser through butter; former hacker for the mob, Kronos, an offbeat “techno-sapien” who practically mind-melds with any computer, network, or Internet backbone and manipulates it to do his bidding; Janice Hiccock, Bill’s brilliant wife, who provides insight into the human behavioral matrix; and Bill himself, whose keen analytical mind and propensity to somehow find himself in the line of fire befits an academic titan…who also happened to have won the Heisman Trophy.
Their current goal: find a loose suitcase nuke before it finds its way to a city near you and ends millions of lives.

I’ve been going back and forth in my head about this book for days and still am not sure how I feel about it.  In other circumstances, I might pass on reviewing this novel by Mr. Avitabile but that’s not my thing.  I asked for an ARC of this novel because it caught my attention so I felt I needed to write the review.  I’ve never understood writer’s block but I have hit reviewer’s block on this one.
Okay, Hammer of God isn’t bad.  That’s not the problem at all.  It has high points and low points.  It kept me interested but not riveted.  The novel is well written, even as an ARC.  Parts of it were brilliant and then there were parts that made me say, “Why the heck did I need to know that information?  Did it even need to part of the novel?”  Having said that, in the finished version it might be edited to delete off the wall information.  There is some information that a reader needs to know to flesh out the storyline, no problem.  However, information provided about another character that doesn’t provide background or storyline continuation, not so much.
My first inclination was to say this book could be characterized as Vince Flynn light but it wasn’t quite that good.  A better comparison might be Clive Cussler light (definiely no offense to Mr. Cussler, I love his books).  Hammer of God has all the makings of an excellent novel but it just did not come together for me. 
Upon further investigation before finishing up this review, I did my normal Goodreads and Amazon glimpse of other reviews and a little author background.  I found the author had written an earlier novel and was continuing the storyline with this one.  Yes, a series.  I thought while reading Hammer of God, there might have been an earlier novel but I wasn’t sure.  That could be a good thing and a bad thing.  This novel can be read as a stand alone; good.  Based on the way the novel was written, I thought the author was a rookie; bad. 
I won’t go back and read the previous book.  I might, however, try the next book IF it’s reasonably priced on Kindle.  I would like to see if Mr. Avitabile grows as an author.  His ideas are good but not well executed as of yet.
My rating, a very weak 3 Stars

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