iSEAL by Jude Hardin
I recently read iSEAL by my friend Jude Hardin. A little bit Michael Crichton's "Terminal Man," a little bit "The Matrix", probably a little bit "The 6 Million Dollar Man," if you're old enough to remember that TV show. This short, fast and action-filled thriller is about a Department of Defense project to have a microchip implanted in an soldier's brain, allowing the soldier to instantly access the Internet, as well as download programs to teach things, i.e., martial arts or flying a plane, etc. The main character washed out of the Navy SEALs program and volunteers to be the first human test subject. Part of the testing, however, involves temporary amnesia in order to test the device's effectiveness. But shortly after the device is implanted, an assassin kills the head of the project and "Mike" finds himself on the run from a mysterious assassin, the CIA, the DoD and law enforcement.
iSEAL is probably more of a novella than a novel. I think I read it in 3 or4 hours and it races right along with no padding whatsoever. Jude is a fine writer and he's become very deft at creating memorable characters with broad strokes, and his sense of pace—if you're a fan of the mad-dash style of storytelling, which I am—is pitch perfect.
This is a lot of fun, and clearly we'll be seeing more iSEAL books in the near-future—better sooner than later because iSEAL 1.0 (for lack of a better term) ends with a cliffhanger and I don't want to wait a year for iSEAL 2.0. If action thrillers are your cup of tea, this is your kind of book.