Review: The Survivor (A Mitch Rapp Novel) by Kyle Mills

The Survivor

About The Survivor

A blistering novel that picks up where The Last Man left off, The Survivor is a no-holds-barred race to save America…and Mitch Rapp’s finest battle.

When Joe “Rick” Rickman, a former golden boy of the CIA, steals a massive amount of the Agency’s most classified documents in an elaborately masterminded betrayal of his country, CIA director Irene Kennedy has no choice but to send her most dangerous weapon after him: elite covert operative Mitch Rapp.

Rapp quickly dispatches the traitor, but Rickman proves to be a deadly threat to America even from beyond the grave. Eliminating Rickman didn’t solve all of the CIA’s problems—in fact, mysterious tip-offs are appearing all over the world, linking to the potentially devastating data that Rickman managed to store somewhere only he knew.

It’s a deadly race to the finish as both the Pakistanis and the Americans search desperately for Rickman’s accomplices, and for the confidential documents they are slowly leaking to the world. To save his country from being held hostage to a country set on becoming the world’s newest nuclear superpower, Mitch Rapp must outrun, outthink, and outgun his deadliest enemies yet.

About the Author

Vince Flynn

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn (1966–2013) created one of contemporary fiction’s most popular heroes: CIA counterterrorist agent Mitch Rapp, featured in thirteen of Flynn’s acclaimed political thrillers. All of his novels are New York Times bestsellers, including his stand-alone debut novel, Term Limits. The Mitch Rapp story begins with American Assassin, followed by Kill Shot, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Separation of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Protect and Defend, Extreme Measures, Pursuit of Honor, and The Last Man.

His novels have been published in twenty countries worldwide, and have sold more than one million copies as ebooks. He was a native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, where his family lives. Visit his website at

Kyle Mills

Kyle Mills is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including the latest in Robert Ludlum’s Covert-One series, The Ares Decision. Growing up in Oregon, Washington, DC, and London as the son of an FBI agent, Kyle absorbed an enormous amount about the Bureau, giving his novels their unique authenticity. He and his wife live in Wyoming where they spend their off hours rock climbing and backcountry skiing.

My Thoughts

After Vince Flynn's death in 2013, his publishers entrusted thriller author Kyle Mills to carry on with the long-running Mitch Rapp series. The Survivor is the fourteenth entry and, after Flynn's last two prequel novels, returns readers to the present-day, following up on the enormous amount of fallout from the finale of The Last Man.

A CIA turncoat has, in the wake of his death, begun unleashing data that could cripple America's intelligence community and end the careers of CIA Director Irene Kennedy and uber-assassin Mitch Rapp. Their enemies are pining for this data, chasing any lead they can, with the hopes of usurping the United States. Naturally, Rapp isn't going to allow that.

Series creators leave a long shadow in the wake of their passing, and die-hard fans can be hard to please when the torch is passed. For his part, Mills writes a solid continuation and builds a novel that fits well with what came before, sufficiently tapping into the same voice of each character and expected levels of violence and American rah-rah-rah jingoism as previously written by Flynn.

While it's an entertaining enough read, I can't help but find Mitch Rapp growing increasingly one-dimensional as the years go on. Fans expect a big, heroic tough-guy, of course, but the level of fervor and almost-fundamentalist mentality that's been bred into the man over time has reached increasingly pscyhopathic levels in the years following his wife's murder. Rapp is no longer a man content with eliminating only America's enemies abroad, but at home as well, to the point that virtually anyone that dares disagree with, or even simply annoys, him is construed as needing a bullet to the back of the head.

The fact that Mills is able to interject some degree of self-reflection in Rapp is a bit of a win. I don't think we're in any danger of Rapp suddenly turning into a cuddly comedian, but the man is ripe for some personal growth and much-needed maturity before he descends into pure caricature. While I've liked, and at times even loved, this series under Flynn's guiding hand, I'm hopeful that Mills can put his own stamp on the series and give these character some fresh perspectives and breathe new life into them in subsequent entries.

Nobody will ever mistake Mitch Rapp for the calm, cool, collected CIA pros of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series, but if you're looking for a fun bit of fictional sabre-rattling, these books, and The Survivor in particular, are certainly enjoyable enough reads.

Buy The Survivor At Amazon

Read An Excerpt of The Survivor

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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