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Way of the Reaper: My Greatest Untold Missions and the Art of Being a Sniper

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From the New York Times Bestselling Author and Co-Star of Fox's American Grit comes a rare and powerful book on the art of being a sniper. Way of the Reaper is a step-by-step accounting of how a sniper works, through the lens of Irving's most significant kills - none of which have been told before. Each mission is an in-depth look at a new element of eliminating the enemy, From the New York Times Bestselling Author and Co-Star of Fox's American Grit comes a rare and powerful book on the art of being a sniper. Way of the Reaper is a step-by-step accounting of how a sniper works, through the lens of Irving's most significant kills - none of which have been told before. Each mission is an in-depth look at a new element of eliminating the enemy, from intel to luck, recon to weaponry. Told in a thrilling narrative, this is also a heart-pounding true story of some of The Reaper's boldest missions including the longest shot of his military career on a human target of over half a mile. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Nick Irving earned his nickname in blood, destroying the enemy with his sniper rifle and in deadly firefights behind a .50 caliber machine gun. He engaged a Taliban suicide bomber during a vicious firefight, used nearly silent sub-sonic ammo, and was the target of snipers himself. Way of the Reaper attempts to place the reader in the heat of battle, experiencing the same dangers, horrors and acts of courage Irving faced as an elite member of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, while also examining the personal ramifications of taking another life. Readers will experience the rush of the hunt and the dangers that all snipers must face, while learning what it takes to become an elite manhunter. Like the Reaper himself, this explosive book blazes new territory and takes no prisoners.


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From the New York Times Bestselling Author and Co-Star of Fox's American Grit comes a rare and powerful book on the art of being a sniper. Way of the Reaper is a step-by-step accounting of how a sniper works, through the lens of Irving's most significant kills - none of which have been told before. Each mission is an in-depth look at a new element of eliminating the enemy, From the New York Times Bestselling Author and Co-Star of Fox's American Grit comes a rare and powerful book on the art of being a sniper. Way of the Reaper is a step-by-step accounting of how a sniper works, through the lens of Irving's most significant kills - none of which have been told before. Each mission is an in-depth look at a new element of eliminating the enemy, from intel to luck, recon to weaponry. Told in a thrilling narrative, this is also a heart-pounding true story of some of The Reaper's boldest missions including the longest shot of his military career on a human target of over half a mile. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Nick Irving earned his nickname in blood, destroying the enemy with his sniper rifle and in deadly firefights behind a .50 caliber machine gun. He engaged a Taliban suicide bomber during a vicious firefight, used nearly silent sub-sonic ammo, and was the target of snipers himself. Way of the Reaper attempts to place the reader in the heat of battle, experiencing the same dangers, horrors and acts of courage Irving faced as an elite member of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, while also examining the personal ramifications of taking another life. Readers will experience the rush of the hunt and the dangers that all snipers must face, while learning what it takes to become an elite manhunter. Like the Reaper himself, this explosive book blazes new territory and takes no prisoners.

30 review for Way of the Reaper: My Greatest Untold Missions and the Art of Being a Sniper

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Wise

    Nicholas "Irv" Irving writes his second book about being an Army Ranger sniper in his new book "Way of the Reaper". Nicholas got 33 kills in one deployment, which is a record for direct-action snipers. Let me start by saying this. Direct-action sniping is different from the sniping that Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame did. Chris Kyle did long-range sniping. Direct-action sniping occurs in a smaller distance than long-range. Direct-action snipers usually set up from 50 to 300 yards. They use d Nicholas "Irv" Irving writes his second book about being an Army Ranger sniper in his new book "Way of the Reaper". Nicholas got 33 kills in one deployment, which is a record for direct-action snipers. Let me start by saying this. Direct-action sniping is different from the sniping that Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame did. Chris Kyle did long-range sniping. Direct-action sniping occurs in a smaller distance than long-range. Direct-action snipers usually set up from 50 to 300 yards. They use different guns and tactics, but the outcome is usually the same for the bad guy on the receiving end of the bullet. Irv's book is not long, but it is a compelling read. It is a different perspective from the Tier 1 special force operators (Think Seal Team 6, Chris Kyle, etc.) Irv was an Army Ranger, which is special forces, just not the ones who do the really dark stuff. One reason I particularly liked this book is Irv's honesty. He talks about ego and the fog of war and the second-guessing that all soldiers do to themselves, especially when something goes wrong. Irv is brutally honest about what it's like to come home from war. He talks openly about the suicide of one of his service mates and his own near suicide and the help that his wife and his mother, in particular, gave him that lead him to seek help for PTSD. If more soldiers were as open about their struggles and had a wife and family that was as supportive, we wouldn't lose as many soldiers to suicide. I liked this book very much. It was a quick, but engrossing read. It gives you a definite feeling of what war is like and how battle changes people. It also is a reminder that there are certain people who are soldiers and there are certain people who are not. I won this book from Goodreads. I received no other compensation for my review. The views expressed herein are mine and mine alone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bon Tom

    Totally gripping. Written in easy to follow, factual style. Will read first book for sure.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Starbuck

    While the book recounts a series of special operations missions in Iraq and Afghanistan from a tactical snipers perspective, the true merit of the book is the final chapter. Nicholas Irving opens up in the final chapter highlighting the struggle that he and many veterans of the GWOT have had with the transition to civilian life. It is his depiction that provides a brief insight into the lasting impact of conflict that will require our nation to step up our support of the brave men and women that While the book recounts a series of special operations missions in Iraq and Afghanistan from a tactical snipers perspective, the true merit of the book is the final chapter. Nicholas Irving opens up in the final chapter highlighting the struggle that he and many veterans of the GWOT have had with the transition to civilian life. It is his depiction that provides a brief insight into the lasting impact of conflict that will require our nation to step up our support of the brave men and women that serve our Nation and protect our freedom. Thank You for your service to our Country!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris (Norseman) Miller

    A tremendous book and a great follow up to The Reaper! Nicholas Irving does a great job telling stories from his time as a newbie to a seasoned sniper team leader. There is emotion, battle, and more importantly a great lesson at the end of this book! Great read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Conner

    Way of the Reaper This book retells the true stories of Nicholas Irving's record-breaking Army carrier as a sniper in the 75th Ranger Regiment. The book goes in-depth of some of his biggest decisions and lessons learned in the field from the beginning of his career to the end in certain missions that could've changed his life forever if it went wrong. These stories are not for the light of heart as they go through some of the kills he got and how he felt about killing a real human and some of th Way of the Reaper This book retells the true stories of Nicholas Irving's record-breaking Army carrier as a sniper in the 75th Ranger Regiment. The book goes in-depth of some of his biggest decisions and lessons learned in the field from the beginning of his career to the end in certain missions that could've changed his life forever if it went wrong. These stories are not for the light of heart as they go through some of the kills he got and how he felt about killing a real human and some of the saddest times he's had in his life. His bad times are taken over by his adrenaline pumping descriptions and moments in his time in the field that will leave you with a new look on life and new life lessons that he figured out fast in the field. This was a very good book. I've always liked the true military action-packed books that re-account the lives of the heroes that serve us. The description is amazing in this book and the lessons he learns, and the way he learns them, are very interesting. The way he talks about his kills and how he feels about them is very in-depth and will make anyone think hard about how they do what they do in the field. It is an easy read in the sense of reading but the thoughts and how in-depth he goes isn't the best for people who aren't good with hearing the bad things that go on in the field. Another book that is similar to this is American Sniper. It is another military book that goes in-depth of another veteran's career (Chris Kyle) so if you liked that one definitely check this one out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Freeman

    Reaper was an extraordinary novel describing the events before and after Nicholas Irving earned the label “The Reaper”. Events such as Irving's time as stryker driver during the hotel party as they called it, or Perkins stepping on an IED so close to the end of his deployment are just a few events from Irving chaotic deployments. Yet again in this book, the difference in equipment and training between regular grunts and special forces is brought up. This reminds me of comments from Chris Kyle, ma Reaper was an extraordinary novel describing the events before and after Nicholas Irving earned the label “The Reaper”. Events such as Irving's time as stryker driver during the hotel party as they called it, or Perkins stepping on an IED so close to the end of his deployment are just a few events from Irving chaotic deployments. Yet again in this book, the difference in equipment and training between regular grunts and special forces is brought up. This reminds me of comments from Chris Kyle, made when he was working alongside jarheads during his deployments. In the book, Irving discusses how the normal army had less protective/ advanced equipment to protect against IEDs compared to the special ops groups or ranger battalions. I like how Irving explains how he worked his way through the system from a Stryker driver, to machine gunner, to designated marksman, and then finishing out as a sniper. I feel not anybody can pick up a book like this and read it and understand the events and even begin to imagine the feeling behind them. Besides that fact, I would definitely recommend this book if you want to see someone else's deployments. It was a great action packed book that I never got bored at.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ty Dettman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reaper was an extraordinary novel describing the events before and after Nicholas Irving earned the label “The Reaper”. Events such as Irving's time as stryker driver during the hotel party as they called it, or Perkins stepping on an IED so close to the end of his deployment are just a few events from Irving chaotic deployments. Yet again in this book, the difference in equipment and training between regular grunts and special forces is brought up. This reminds me of comments from Chris Kyle, ma Reaper was an extraordinary novel describing the events before and after Nicholas Irving earned the label “The Reaper”. Events such as Irving's time as stryker driver during the hotel party as they called it, or Perkins stepping on an IED so close to the end of his deployment are just a few events from Irving chaotic deployments. Yet again in this book, the difference in equipment and training between regular grunts and special forces is brought up. This reminds me of comments from Chris Kyle, made when he was working alongside jarheads during his deployments. In the book, Irving discusses how the normal army had less protective/ advanced equipment to protect against IEDs compared to the special ops groups or ranger battalions. I like how Irving explains how he worked his way through the system from a Stryker driver, to machine gunner, to designated marksman, and then finishing out as a sniper. I feel not anybody can pick up a book like this and read it and understand the events and even begin to imagine the feeling behind them. Besides that fact, I would definitely recommend this book if you want to see someone else's deployments.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    I enjoyed this book (Book on CD) and went through it very quickly. Listened while doing yardwork on a Saturday. The book doesn’t follow chronological events of Nicholas Irving’s experiences in Afghanistan, rather he relays stories of his time in country as they come to mind, as if he was talking with you in a general conversation. Irving is a member of the Army Rangers, and was a sniper team leader. He recounts stories of he and his different team mates providing overwatch for the assaulters in I enjoyed this book (Book on CD) and went through it very quickly. Listened while doing yardwork on a Saturday. The book doesn’t follow chronological events of Nicholas Irving’s experiences in Afghanistan, rather he relays stories of his time in country as they come to mind, as if he was talking with you in a general conversation. Irving is a member of the Army Rangers, and was a sniper team leader. He recounts stories of he and his different team mates providing overwatch for the assaulters in their unit, operations they participated in, engagements they had, successes and losses. Good stories, good lessons. At the end he touches on the difficulties of transitioning back into normal life. I think this is one of the least understood aspects of military life, and one often overlooked by those at the top. Fortunately, it is gaining much more exposure, but it is still something that greatly affects those having served in wartime. Enjoyable book, worth the read. I wish Goodreads allowed one to give rankings in half star increments, as I would have ranked this book slightly different.

  9. 5 out of 5

    norcalgal

    I picked up this book because I've read other books about Special Forces and thought it might be an interesting read. Maybe I just have to be in the right frame of mind, because I got half way into "Way of the Reaper" but could go no further. It's not really the fault of Nicholas Irving or Gary Brozek. Rather, I think that because what I read so far didn't cover much new ground from my other readings of SpecOps, I just decided to stop. The only part of this book I thought was interesting was Irvi I picked up this book because I've read other books about Special Forces and thought it might be an interesting read. Maybe I just have to be in the right frame of mind, because I got half way into "Way of the Reaper" but could go no further. It's not really the fault of Nicholas Irving or Gary Brozek. Rather, I think that because what I read so far didn't cover much new ground from my other readings of SpecOps, I just decided to stop. The only part of this book I thought was interesting was Irving's varied roles (and upward rise) in the military. I'm glad the author got to live his dream and become a sniper, but once I learned that, the book had nothing else to compel me to continue reading. Still, I would recommend "Way of the Reaper" for anyone who has an interest in military non fiction, and the wet work of the Special Forces in particular.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Although not an in-depth story of the author’s service time while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sniper, the book does give the reader some idea of the life of a USA serviceman overseas. Yes, the writing could have done with better editing and a better timeline, but if a reader wants slick, professional writing then read fiction by Michael Connelly, Robert Crais or M. J. Arlidge. Instead, these are the thoughts of a man faced with the prospect of dying on a battlefield and how he coped wit Although not an in-depth story of the author’s service time while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sniper, the book does give the reader some idea of the life of a USA serviceman overseas. Yes, the writing could have done with better editing and a better timeline, but if a reader wants slick, professional writing then read fiction by Michael Connelly, Robert Crais or M. J. Arlidge. Instead, these are the thoughts of a man faced with the prospect of dying on a battlefield and how he coped with that fear and how he justified the job he did. I learned of things such as the strict Rules Of Engagement, an After Action Report etc and so I now have an understanding of the life of a sniper in the USA military. The quick-read story is told in an entertaining way and is quite enlightening.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    My husband and I listened to this on CD during a road trip. I have no military experience, but my husband served in the Army for 13 years with 5 deployments under his belt. I don't know which one of us got the most out of the book. I learned so much about the mindset of soldiers and why, when they come home, they have such a hard time talking about what happens over there. It also gave me a slight peek as to what my husband has been through and why so many soldiers come home angry, drink, fall i My husband and I listened to this on CD during a road trip. I have no military experience, but my husband served in the Army for 13 years with 5 deployments under his belt. I don't know which one of us got the most out of the book. I learned so much about the mindset of soldiers and why, when they come home, they have such a hard time talking about what happens over there. It also gave me a slight peek as to what my husband has been through and why so many soldiers come home angry, drink, fall into a deep depression, all three, or worse. I can't speak for my husband, but I think hearing Irving's story allowed him to reminisce about his military career and maybe even gave him perspective and hope for the future. Thank you, Nicholas Irving, for sharing your story and helping me better understand my soldier.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Teagan Prochnow

    The Way Of The Reaper is written by Nicholas Irving. This book is written about his time as a sniper when he was in the army. Nicholas served in the army from 2004 to 2010. Nicholas was 17 when he joined the army and was 23 when he quit. I really connected to this because I have had multiple people in my family in the military and a couple of them were snipers. This book has helped me understand some of the stuff that they went through when they were deployed. I like this book because it gives The Way Of The Reaper is written by Nicholas Irving. This book is written about his time as a sniper when he was in the army. Nicholas served in the army from 2004 to 2010. Nicholas was 17 when he joined the army and was 23 when he quit. I really connected to this because I have had multiple people in my family in the military and a couple of them were snipers. This book has helped me understand some of the stuff that they went through when they were deployed. I like this book because it gives you that feeling of war and how it affects people. It also talks about how ego affects you. He was very open to talking about suicide when the soldiers got home and he talks about his struggle with suicide and how his wife and mother helped him get through it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Will

    I am very impressed with Nicholas Irving's new book, "Way of the Reaper". Not only because of the straight forward action but because of how he told the story. Nick was able to tell us about his missions with extreme detail that makes you feel like you are there. I found the description of all of his tools very in depth and interesting. Nick shows us that at a young age he was doing more than most people older than him will ever do. Nick is very humble in his books and really honors his brothers I am very impressed with Nicholas Irving's new book, "Way of the Reaper". Not only because of the straight forward action but because of how he told the story. Nick was able to tell us about his missions with extreme detail that makes you feel like you are there. I found the description of all of his tools very in depth and interesting. Nick shows us that at a young age he was doing more than most people older than him will ever do. Nick is very humble in his books and really honors his brothers instead of himself.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Frisbey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Way of the reaper is Nick Irving's 10 most dangerous missions. This book goes over in more detail missions he talked about in his first book "The Reaper". My favorite story was one where Nick was stuck in a more experienced sniper for hours and almost didn't make it out. I would recommend to anybody over the age of 15 or 16 because there is swearing and graphic imagery about dead bodies and shooting. I would recommend this to any gender and anybody who is interested in military or is thinking ab Way of the reaper is Nick Irving's 10 most dangerous missions. This book goes over in more detail missions he talked about in his first book "The Reaper". My favorite story was one where Nick was stuck in a more experienced sniper for hours and almost didn't make it out. I would recommend to anybody over the age of 15 or 16 because there is swearing and graphic imagery about dead bodies and shooting. I would recommend this to any gender and anybody who is interested in military or is thinking about becoming a sniper. 10/10

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ben Jackson

    This book is book two by author Nicholas Irving and follows his first book, The Reaper. Irving is a sniper operating in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This book follows some of his more memorable recollections from both theatres of war. Nor for the faint hearted! If you enjoy combat books, especially about sniping, you'll definitely enjoy this book. "Without warning. Without remorse."

  16. 4 out of 5

    PizzaCaviar

    Fast paced, informative and thrilling this autobiography of a sniper in the US Rangers was a fascinating and easy read. I was skeptic at first due to some critics accusing the author of being a bloodthirsty hothead. Nicholas Irving does offer some hindsight on this subject throughout most chapters and although it is clear that he enjoyed what he was doing, it is hard to believe he relished in killing as some might want you to believe. Highly recommend if you are interested in the subject.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vitali Voughan Vazquez

    Action packed to best summarize this book. There was never a dull page to read. Irv definitely did a great job describing what it means to be part of a spec ops sniper, one that sees 10x as much action as a regular sniper would. Reading this book only gave me a newly found respect for our men and women in the Army rangers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Don Doak

    Very good read,kudos to the author for such a heartfelt book.l will be reading any and all of his future books. This is a great read for anyone interested in combat veterans and their struggle to put their actions and their feelings about those actions in a constructive way.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barry Medlin

    Outstanding read!! Simply could not put this down! Great reading about first hand accounts and missions. Brought back memories of deployed locations, Camp Bastion, Kandahar and Ranger competitions at Benning. Rangers Lead the Way!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This book is somehow a lot better than Irv’s first book. It was basically a bunch of incidents throughout his deployments, ostensibly less of a coherent narrative than the first book, but actually ended up both having better individual anecdotes and a more meaningful overall message.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mikel Rhodes

    A very interesting book! This is one of the best books about the actions and affects of war on our men and women who have fought and continue to fight our nation's wars. We owe these courageous people a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid! Please read this book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    rebecca johnson

    This book had me riveted and it was so good. My husband and I listened to the audiobook on our way to/from Colorado this weekend and we were completely hooked. Thank you for sharing your stories and mostly, Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Borneman

    Just an amazing real world account of what it was like to be one of the best snipers in the military. An intimate and raw look at what war is really like. And what coming home for our soldiers is like. Just a great book overall.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    It's a first person account of an Army Ranger's tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He eventually becomes a sniper in his unit. The stories are suspenseful and engaging. The book's organization is its only weak point. It seems to end abruptly as the author ends his service and returns home.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    Great Book Like his other book, I enjoyed reading the experiences that Irving had. I especially appreciate the last chapter in dealing directly with veteran suicide rates.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike Wigal

    The guy's not a professional writer obviously. But his experience are real. It comes through. Rangers Lead the Way!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    weak, disjointed, short on interesting action. Quite disappointing

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Cory

    I can’t imagine what our soldiers go through prior to, during and after combat. Thank you all!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doyle

    The most value for the veteran is in the last chapter. It allows one to know they are not alone and to drive on for one needs not be afraid to be afraid.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I usually love special ops books, but this was one that By midpoint, I struggled to finish reading. I just didn't like it.

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