Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. In this latest Waiting on Wednesday I take a look at next upcoming book from the incredible Jonathan Maberry, Relentless, which will continue the exciting adventures of his long-running protagonist Joe Ledger.
Long-term readers of my blog will know that I have a lot of love for Jonathan Maberry’s books; indeed I am currently in the middle of listening to his latest novel, the standalone horror book Ink. However, the Maberry novels that I have most enjoyed over the years has been the extraordinary Joe Ledger series, which follows a covert military operator, the titular Joe Ledger, as he attempts to counter several elaborate plots and terrorist attacks by sophisticated and high-tech adversaries. I absolutely fell in love with these books the moment I read one of the later novels in the series and I have spent the last couple of years going back and reading every single Joe Ledger book, finishing it off earlier this year. Each of these books was extremely well written, deeply compelling and full of intense action, and I ended up rating every single one of them extremely highly.
The original Joe Ledger series came to an end in 2018, but the storylines and characters from this original series continued with the Rogue Team International series, which started in 2019 with Rage. The Rogue Team International books are written in a similar vein to the original Joe Ledger novels and they continue to follow Ledger as he takes on international terrorists and criminal masterminds. I had an outstanding time reading Rage last year and it ended up being one of my favourite books (and audiobooks) of 2019. Needless to say, I have been eagerly awaiting news of any upcoming Joe Ledger novels for a while and I was extremely excited when I heard that the second Rogue Team International novel, Relentless, is coming out next year.
Relentless is currently sent for release on 13 July 2021 and it looks set to continue some of the excellent storylines set up in the first novel. Both the cover art and the synopsis for Relentless are already out, and if I wasn’t hyped up for this book before I found out what was going to happen in it, I sure as hell was once I read the following:
Rogue Team International joins Joe Ledger in a new hunt that spans the globe and journeys deep into the terrifying landscape of the human heart.
JOE LEDGER’s world has been torn apart. The people closest to him have been savagely murdered and Ledger is on the hunt for the killers. His already fragile psyche has cracked apart, allowing a dangerous darkness to overwhelm him.
His hunt takes him deep into the world of the deadly black market weapons sales, and standing in his way are a new generation of private military contractors. These mercenaries have been enhanced with cutting-edge cybernetics and chemical enhancements, transforming them into real-world super soldiers. Stronger, faster, harder to hurt, and fitted with built-in weapons. They are beyond anything Joe has ever faced.
But he is not the Joe Ledger they expected to fight. He is defined by the Darkness now. The attempt to destroy him–to break him–has backfired. Instead his enemies have turned him into a far more fearsome weapon.
Everyone is out for blood.
This is an extremely cool synopsis, and there is a lot of detail in there about what amazing features the reader can expect when Relentless comes out. Not only is the protagonist going to come up against a group of cool new villains, enhanced super-solider assassins no less, but there is going to be a huge focus on the protagonist’s psyche after the traumatic ending to Rage, in which his entire family was killed before his eyes. This should make for some really intense moments, especially as Joe Ledger has always been a particularly damaged individual who turns his severe childhood trauma (and no author writes trauma as well as Maberry) into supreme murderous rage and an impressive fighting spirit. Having him even more unhinged than before is going to be extremely fascinating and terrifying, and I cannot wait to see how deep and far Maberry dives into his character and what carnage will result from his actions (a fight between a super pissed Joe Ledger and super-soldiers will definitely be worth seeing). It will also be interesting to see if Ledger catches up with the antagonists behind the attack on his family in this novel, or whether they will be an alternate antagonist in the story. Either way, the reader is in for a lot of fun and a lot of hyper-violence when Relentless comes out.
Like many novels I feature in my Waiting on Wednesday articles, I know well in advance that I am going to love Relentless when it comes out. Based on how much I have enjoyed the author’s prior books, I very confident that I am in for a real treat with Relentless and I am deeply excited to find out what sort of impressive narrative he comes up with this time. Maberry is such an incredible author and I have grown to really enjoy his fantastic writing style and ability to come up with captivating storylines and fascinating characters. I cannot wait to see what happens in this awesome upcoming novel and this next chapter in the life of Joe Ledger is sure to be a good one. I am planning to grab the audiobook version of it (especially if it is narrated by the always impressive Ray Porter) and I have no doubts that Relentless will end up being one of my top novels and audiobooks of 2021.
While I am waiting for Relentless to come out (it is going to be a long eight months), make sure to come back in a week or so to read my review of Ink. You should also make sure to check out my reviews of Maberry’s Joe Ledger series, including Patient Zero, The Dragon Factory, The King of Plagues, Assassin’s Code, Extinction Machine, Code Zero, Predator One, Kill Switch, Dogs of War and Deep Silence.