Book review: Tick Tock ~ Jane Harvey-Berrick

Posted November 1, 2018 in Reviews by Marieke/ 0 Comments

Book review: Tick Tock ~ Jane Harvey-BerrickTitle: Tick Tock
Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick
Series: EOD #1
Release date: November 1, 2018
(Sub)genres: Military
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Rating: four-stars
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Forget SEALS, Marines, Fighter Pilots – I have the most dangerous job in the world. And I love it.

James Spears is part of an elite group who lives and breathes danger. Where others run from it, he walks towards it, calm, focussed ice-cold. James is a top EOD operative.


You’d call him a bomb disposal expert. Or crazy. A guy with a death wish. He’s heard it all before and he doesn’t give a shit. He’s the best.

They say he doesn’t have blood in his veins, he has ice. They say he has no nerves.
All that’s about to be tested.

Amira is recruited by the CIA to infiltrate a terrorist cell living in rural Pennsylvania. She’s the perfect plant, no one would ever suspect her. Because her brother was killed when a bomb was dropped on the Syrian hospital where he was working as a doctor. And now hate burns deeply inside her. She’s perfect.

That’s what they tell James when he’s told to train her to be the best damn bomb-maker there is. In a secret camp, deep in the woods, James teaches her everything he knows about building bombs. He’s not a praying man, but now he’s really hoping that he’s doing the right thing.

Can he trust her? Will she ever trust him? Who is playing who? And who will pay the ultimate price?

Codename: Hansel and Gretel

How far would you go to make the world a better place? Would you write letters with soldiers overseas, or would you join them in their harsh, brutal battle? Tick Tock tells the story of Amira and James, two young people in the middle of conflict that’s impossible to win without pain and heartbreak. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the whole story, but I take it for what it is.

“I needed to be cool and calculating. Ice cold would save our lives. Emotions wouldn’t.”

Amira works as a nurse and enjoys her life in the United States. As a child her parents moved from Syria to America to live in freedom. Mother, father and her younger sister Zada are devout Muslims, Amira and Karam live a less religious life. When Kamar suddenly returns to Syria for volunteer work and is killed during an air raid, the whole family is destroyed. When Amira is approached by the army to help them bring down an ISIS terror cell in Syria, she agrees. She wants to avenge her baby brother, even though she knows the huge risk she’s taking. Enter soldier James. He’s the lone wolf who’s going to train Amira for her mission, to make sure she acts like a real bombmaker.

“I couldn’t hear what he was saying and I didn’t care. He was holding me, and I wasn’t scared.”

Amira is a brave woman. She’s determined to revenge her brother, but she’s also scared out of her mind. Amira is also struggling with her faith. She’s not a devout Muslim but pretending to be one (for the sake of the mission) makes her question a lot. James is a hardened soldier. He has seen the most horrible things in battle, and he’s not fully comfortable training Amira for the mission. It’s not surprising feelings start to develop between James and Amira; two young people in a remote location, on a dangerous mission. Of course, they fall for each other, how impossible it might be.

“You’re so fucking brave and beautiful. I’m half in love with you and … you’re amazing.”

Tick Tock is a harsh, realistic (well, mostly) story about the war on ISIS and how people lives are affected by an unfair war. Amira and James are good people, who both are formed by the past and present. I’m upset by the ending of this book, but somehow its fitting for the story. A swoony happily ever after would have been too much. There will be a second book, I’m curious what it will bring.

“Every day I had to find a reason to keep on living. I was pretty sure that one day soon, I’d run out of reasons. And then I’d find peace.”

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