December 6, 2019

Review: Tiger by the Tail by John Ringo and Ryan Sear

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Always count on a spec ops team to get the job done. Or, as in the case of this week’s review, deliver the goods on action and adventure. Tiger by the Tail by John Ringo and Ryan Sear is a first rate, no-holds-barred action-fest that spans Southeast Asia. Out from Baen Books, the book is a standalone work in the Paladin of Shadows series.

Tiger by the Tail follows the further adventures of spec operator Mike Harmon and his motley crew of Keldara operators as they fight pirates, drug runners and terrorists across Hong Kong, Bangkok and beyond. As they shoot up one den of thieves after another, they stumble across a deadly find that sees them racing against time; high technology and plans to restart a rogue nuclear weapons program. This leads to a showdown in Myanmar (or do you say Burma?) in an epic action-fest that makes Jack Bauer look like a Cub Scout.

While short on the character building or thought provoking dilemmas, books like Tiger by the Tail are just fun to read. As a former USAF spec op member myself, I can appreciate similar to true-to-life books like the recent No Easy Day and Richard “Dick” Marcinko’s Rogue Warrior. It is also amusing to us how these “men’s adventure” sorts of books always go into immaculate detail about makes, brands, and caliber, whether it be guns, autos, or women. And speaking of which, one of our favorite characters was femme fatale Katya, who can easily take care of herself in this testosterone-soaked setting… hey, when she getting a lead in her own book?

The writers also definitely know their stuff when it comes to military tales and tactics. Would-be military sci-fi writers would do well to take pointers from Tiger by the Tail in setting up their respective deep space conflicts. The writers also know their stuff in terms of settings and locales in Southeast Asia. We could see bringing along Tiger by the Tail on your own next big Asian backpacking adventure.

What’s next for the Kildar? Will they ever run out of terrorist thugs and baddies before ammunition?  Will Myanmar ever “get over itself” and call itself Burma once again? Even on vacation, shoot ‘em up adventure for the Kildar is never far away in behind-the-news headlines intrigue.

It’s also interesting that, be it Tiger By the Tail or 24, nukes still always make the ultimate climax for any drama as a plot device. Obviously, Pyongyang can’t seem to get enough of ‘em as well!

Do read Tiger by the Tail for some steamy down-home jungle warfare and a crackerjack action-adventure of a tale!

Can’t get enough of the Paladin of Shadows series? Also check out A Deeper Blue, Kildar, Unto the Breech, Choosers of the Slain & Ghost!

Next Week: we’ll venture back into the plague infested environs of quarantined London for the Sequel to London Eye: Toxic City: Book One with Tim Lebbon’s Reaper’s Legacy: Toxic City Book Two out this month from Pyr Books!


  1. HSM says:

    Did you actually read this book?

    Its about 4 orders of Mag short of the other books in the series. If Mr Sear wants to write then so be it but Ringo is doing himself no favors by putting his name on Sear’s inferior work.

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