Review – “Full Black” by Brad Thor

Review – “Full Black” by Brad Thor

In my review of last year’s “Foreign Influence” by Brad Thor, I said the following:


If I have one criticism of the book it is that it reads like what it really is – a prologue.  The story is engaging, fast paced, and well written – but you can tell that it is essentially the foundation for a deeper and more far reaching narrative.


Tomorrow marks the release of that more far reaching narrative.  With “Full Black”, Thor pays off the promises found in “Foreign Influence” and delivers a thinking man’s thriller.  There’s plenty of action, military insight, and even more action – but there’s also a cogent political, social, and economic story woven into the fabric of the book.  Taking a step back and looking to the horizon, we find that while still dangerous, radical Islam is not the only enemy we face.  At times nuanced and at other times blunt, Thor pulls no punches in deconstructing the broader adversaries aligned against us in the world today. It’s a story about layers, and serves to lay the foundation for the continued evolution of both Thor as a storyteller and Scot Harvath as a character.

When last we saw Harvath (aside from a brief cameo in “The Athena Project”), he was beginning to pull at the strings of a larger conspiracy behind recent terrorist attacks in the United States.  Betrayed by someone within the intelligence community, Harvath has nonetheless continued to track down and disrupt terror cells.  As he works his way down the rabbit hole, he makes a stunning revelation about the driving force behind further planned attacks.


Where the book really shines is in its exploration of current geopolitical realities as seen through the lens of fiction.  Thor has said all good thrillers are rooted in reality and this is no exception.  From the threat of radical Islam, to the institutional shortcomings of our intelligence apparatus, to the asymmetrical warfare being waged on us by the Chinese and others, to the frightening reach of our own government, to the elements in our society who want to see us fail as a nation – it’s all here.


In particular, the idea that there is something bigger going on around us forms the real intellectual heart of “Full Black”.  As Harvath looks for answers, he finds that the radical Islamic terrorists are only the tip of the spear, not the hand that holds it.  It’s a truth best said by my favorite Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn, in Episode I – “There’s always a bigger fish.”  Thor lays out a scenario that will ring familiar to long time Glenn Beck listeners and viewers:


What we discovered was that beginning in the 1940s, radical elements inside the United States had recognized that there were these huge piles of money just sitting inside multiple large foundations and endowments all across the country.  These big government collectivists, globalists, socialists, and communists realized that if they could get into positions of power, say on the boards of directors at the foundations or the endowments, they could steer the money any way they wanted.  And that was exactly what they did.

It’s those elements in society that hold the real power.  It’s those elements that have put in place a plan to destroy America by attacking not from without, but from within.  Key to their plans is the belief that most Americans are essentially too stupid or too asleep to care about the broader political realities of the world.  Sadly, that is too often the case.


There’s a good reason this book is called “Full Black”.  Not only does it deal with a black op conducted completely off the books – it also takes an unflinching look at the dangers we face in this country, with a populace still stuck in the soft slumber of willful ignorance.  Sure, the bad guys get brought to justice at the end of the story and the extant threat is addressed – but the underlying issues remain.  There are still enemies out there, and they are patient:


You still have your name.  You still have your flag.  You still believe you have your freedoms, though in reality they have been slowly siphoned away.  You still believe you have a Republic when, day-by-day, what you have been left with is merely an illusion of a Republic.  Your entire house, as it were, has been rebuilt one brick at a time and no one has even noticed.  No one has done a single thing about it.


Not a simple “stop the plot, save the world” story, “Full Black” is instead an intelligent examination of current events and a wake-up call for free thinking people everywhere.  It shines the light on a world order I don’t want to live in.  The America described above is not the America I want to leave for my kids.  In this book we are given a glimpse of what real danger looks like.  It may only be fiction, but it’s a book you should read.  Consider it an alarm clock.  We’ve hit the snooze button one too many times already.  It’s time to wake up.



My Favorite Words From “Full Black”:

Individualism in America is hard-wired into our DNA.  We want to make our own decisions, even if it means making mistakes.  We don’t want other people telling us what to do.  There’s a group of people, though, who believe that you and I are too stupid to make our own decisions and that they should do it for us.  Despite America being the greatest force for good in the history of the world, they see it as greedy and evil.  They’ve been tearing it apart bit by bit for decades and have become desperate to finish the job.  They believe they can and should use any means necessary to get across the goal line, no matter what the cost.


Harvath willingly defended those he didn’t agree with, even those who loathed the very existence of men like him, because as Americans or allies, he believed passionately in their rights as individuals to think and do what they wished.  It didn’t matter how he might disagree with them or vice versa.  He felt it made him stronger to defend their rights – without an expectation, any recognition, or any reward.


And while you see these people as victims, I and the other free-market zombies, as you put it, see these people as individuals.  Individuals empowered to make their own decisions.  Neither you, the government, nor anyone else has the right to be in the business of trying to regulate outcomes.  You can call it social cohesion, income equality, or social justice.  It doesn’t matter.  Despite whether the term offends you or not, what you are advocating is pure socialism.


Having studied history, Harvath knew that once people gave up their freedom in order to restore order, that freedom was never returned.


You can read my review of “Foreign Influence” here.

You can read my review of “The Athena Project” here.

You can read my interview with Brad Thor here.

*A copy of this book was provided to by the publisher for the purpose of this review

© 2011, The Word Zombie. All rights reserved.

3 Replies to “Review – “Full Black” by Brad Thor”

  1. I think that I have read all of the Harvath series from Mr. Thor, including the Athena Project. I love this guy. He may at times seem simplistic but he is right. Especially about the media, Washington elites and the “Foundation Culture” we live in. If American foundations promoted liberty we would not be where we are today. We are heading toward Greece, but with military power.

Leave a Reply