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Michael Laurence delivers The Annihilation Protocol, the follow-up to The Extinction Agenda, in a series described as "Jack Reacher falling into a plot written by Dan Brown" (James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible). For centuries, a mysterious syndicate known as the Thirteen has staged a silent coup, infiltrating governments and manipulating the cou Michael Laurence delivers The Annihilation Protocol, the follow-up to The Extinction Agenda, in a series described as "Jack Reacher falling into a plot written by Dan Brown" (James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible). For centuries, a mysterious syndicate known as the Thirteen has staged a silent coup, infiltrating governments and manipulating the course of world events. It's more powerful than any nation, deadlier than any army. The time has come for it to emerge from the shadows and claim the entire world as its own. And only FBI Special Agent James Mason and his longtime friends stand in its way. After narrowly preventing a global pandemic, Mason and his team discover an even deadlier threat has already been set into motion. An unknown adversary has produced enough of a lethal nerve gas to wipe every major city off the face of the world, and their only clue to finding it lies in a cryptic message written in the blood of a man found entombed behind a concrete wall. It isn't until another victim appears--right in the heart of Central Park--that Mason realizes the murders are personal in nature, and figuring out the connection between them is the key to averting catastrophe. Eight million lives hang in the balance and their only chance of surviving lies in the hands of Mason, his old friends, and a new partner he's not entirely sure he can trust. Can his team track down a sinister agent codenamed Scarecrow before toxic gas fills the streets of New York City, or will the true power pulling the strings from behind the scenes--the Thirteen--succeed in enacting its genocidal agenda?


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Michael Laurence delivers The Annihilation Protocol, the follow-up to The Extinction Agenda, in a series described as "Jack Reacher falling into a plot written by Dan Brown" (James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible). For centuries, a mysterious syndicate known as the Thirteen has staged a silent coup, infiltrating governments and manipulating the cou Michael Laurence delivers The Annihilation Protocol, the follow-up to The Extinction Agenda, in a series described as "Jack Reacher falling into a plot written by Dan Brown" (James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible). For centuries, a mysterious syndicate known as the Thirteen has staged a silent coup, infiltrating governments and manipulating the course of world events. It's more powerful than any nation, deadlier than any army. The time has come for it to emerge from the shadows and claim the entire world as its own. And only FBI Special Agent James Mason and his longtime friends stand in its way. After narrowly preventing a global pandemic, Mason and his team discover an even deadlier threat has already been set into motion. An unknown adversary has produced enough of a lethal nerve gas to wipe every major city off the face of the world, and their only clue to finding it lies in a cryptic message written in the blood of a man found entombed behind a concrete wall. It isn't until another victim appears--right in the heart of Central Park--that Mason realizes the murders are personal in nature, and figuring out the connection between them is the key to averting catastrophe. Eight million lives hang in the balance and their only chance of surviving lies in the hands of Mason, his old friends, and a new partner he's not entirely sure he can trust. Can his team track down a sinister agent codenamed Scarecrow before toxic gas fills the streets of New York City, or will the true power pulling the strings from behind the scenes--the Thirteen--succeed in enacting its genocidal agenda?

30 review for The Annihilation Protocol

  1. 4 out of 5

    PamG

    THE ANNIHILATION PROTOCOL by Michael Laurence is a thriller with a conspiracy angle. It is the second book in the Extinction Agenda series and picks up immediately after the end of book one: THE EXTINCTION AGENDA. This series should be read in order. FBI Special Agent James Mason and a multi-jurisdictional team are after someone with enough nerve gas to kill millions. Who can be trusted? Who is behind the threat? Where is the nerve gas? Who will survive? This book has a bit of historical fiction THE ANNIHILATION PROTOCOL by Michael Laurence is a thriller with a conspiracy angle. It is the second book in the Extinction Agenda series and picks up immediately after the end of book one: THE EXTINCTION AGENDA. This series should be read in order. FBI Special Agent James Mason and a multi-jurisdictional team are after someone with enough nerve gas to kill millions. Who can be trusted? Who is behind the threat? Where is the nerve gas? Who will survive? This book has a bit of historical fiction in it that adds to its appeal to me. Additionally, the story line was very complex with several sub-plots and some very graphic, horrifying scenes. James Mason was a fascinating character and we saw little more depth and insight into his personality. The supporting characters were an odd assortment that enhanced the story line and the addition of a new FBI partner with a larger role added a new dimension to the book. There was enough at stake to keep me engaged throughout the book. The world-building was absolutely fantastic and gave a clear sense of time and place. While the main mystery and issues were resolved in the book, there are several open threads for future books in the series. Overall, the plot was absorbing and well-paced with lots of action and a twist at the end. I would recommend it to those that enjoy complex conspiracy-driven thrillers. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Michael Laurence for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    My thanks to St. Martin's Press, Michael Laurence and Netgalley. So, I didn't get too far into this story. I didn't realise that this book was very much dependant on the book #1. Homey don't play dat! I am guilty of being greedy with my money when it comes down to "spy" stuff! I loved Robert Ludlum! I didn't even know that he had died "way back in the day." I bought the newest Ludlum book, so I thought! Within a very few pages I thought that he had gotten old and stunk! Nope! I said something to My thanks to St. Martin's Press, Michael Laurence and Netgalley. So, I didn't get too far into this story. I didn't realise that this book was very much dependant on the book #1. Homey don't play dat! I am guilty of being greedy with my money when it comes down to "spy" stuff! I loved Robert Ludlum! I didn't even know that he had died "way back in the day." I bought the newest Ludlum book, so I thought! Within a very few pages I thought that he had gotten old and stunk! Nope! I said something to my mom, and she told me that Robert Ludlum had been dead for some time! I was a young single mother. I couldn't afford t.v. Not even a phone. I went from M.T.V. to no T.V! I do spend money on Raymond Khoury books. He rocks! "Mostly." I didn't finish this because it is part of a series. That's it! I'm being fairly generous with my 3 stars!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    This was a decent conspiracy novel... Very much like the original - lots of stories within the story and they are always changing. Our three main characters from the first book are back and still strong. The introduction of Agent Layne was a nice rounding to the team's personality. You will learn a lot of chemical terms and ideas with this story! Science lovers should enjoy that tidbit. The twist ending was quite surprising, lots of action, and a more clear picture about who the bad guys actuall This was a decent conspiracy novel... Very much like the original - lots of stories within the story and they are always changing. Our three main characters from the first book are back and still strong. The introduction of Agent Layne was a nice rounding to the team's personality. You will learn a lot of chemical terms and ideas with this story! Science lovers should enjoy that tidbit. The twist ending was quite surprising, lots of action, and a more clear picture about who the bad guys actually were. Overall, I felt the book could have focused on one main plot and it would have given the reader more structure, bringing more depth but maybe not as much volume. Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    And BAM! We are dropped into the action that hits the ground running! If you are looking to relax into a good book, THE ANNIHILATION PROTOCOL by Michael Laurence is not relaxation material, but it IS VERY GOOD! FBI Agent James Mason and his unlikely hero cohorts may be all that stands in the way of a plot to control the world through systematic releasing of a lethal nerve gas in every major city across the globe. Who can he trust besides his truly unique friends as New York becomes ground zero fo And BAM! We are dropped into the action that hits the ground running! If you are looking to relax into a good book, THE ANNIHILATION PROTOCOL by Michael Laurence is not relaxation material, but it IS VERY GOOD! FBI Agent James Mason and his unlikely hero cohorts may be all that stands in the way of a plot to control the world through systematic releasing of a lethal nerve gas in every major city across the globe. Who can he trust besides his truly unique friends as New York becomes ground zero for the mysterious monster known as the Scarecrow? Who is pulling the Scarecrow’s strings? Have the Thirteen found a way to achieve total domination? Filled with non-stop action, detailed scenes and characters that border on comic book superheroes, I have to say, I really enjoyed this edge-of-your-seat read! Looking for dark conspiracies? Prepared for the good guys to be a little tarnished? Want to feel what is happening in your gut? Michael Laurence has outdone himself with this one! It will have you wondering just what is going on in the shadows as you live your blindly “normal” life, because, "What if...?" I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Press! This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: The Extinction Agenda - Book 2 Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 25, 2020) Publication Date: August 25, 2020 Genre: Thriller Print Length: 384 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelsie Maxwell

    The Annihilation Protocol by Michael Laurence is book two in his The Extinction Agenda series. FBI Special Agent James Mason is once again investigating the Thirteen. The plan has changed from global pandemic (scary in the time of COVID-19) to chemical annihilation, still with the intent to decimate the world’s population. The Thirteen have been bent on world domination for centuries; their thirst for power knows no bounds. Mason and his group of talented friends stopped them the last time. Can The Annihilation Protocol by Michael Laurence is book two in his The Extinction Agenda series. FBI Special Agent James Mason is once again investigating the Thirteen. The plan has changed from global pandemic (scary in the time of COVID-19) to chemical annihilation, still with the intent to decimate the world’s population. The Thirteen have been bent on world domination for centuries; their thirst for power knows no bounds. Mason and his group of talented friends stopped them the last time. Can they do it again, in the face of an enemy that always seems to be one step ahead? The Annihilation Protocol proves that Michael Laurence is still in the business of writing masterful thrillers. The characters are well-rounded with complete backstories. The scenery and background details are vividly described and seamlessly incorporated. In fact, I felt like I was there, scarily. The plot is complex but brilliantly compelling. There is some violence and gore that may be inappropriate for sensitive readers. This is still a 5 out of 5 star read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    In the second book in the Extinction Agenda series, Special Agent James Mason is still on the trail of 'the Thirteen' and an engineered virus that could kill millions of people if it is ever released. But it becomes obvious that the departments of government involved, including the FBI, have been infiltrated by people who want to make sure he doesn't succeed in his mission. It's impossible for Mason to tell his friends from his enemies, or just whom he can trust, including his new partner, SA Je In the second book in the Extinction Agenda series, Special Agent James Mason is still on the trail of 'the Thirteen' and an engineered virus that could kill millions of people if it is ever released. But it becomes obvious that the departments of government involved, including the FBI, have been infiltrated by people who want to make sure he doesn't succeed in his mission. It's impossible for Mason to tell his friends from his enemies, or just whom he can trust, including his new partner, SA Jessica Layne. Mason wishes the bad guys still wore black hats. This is a very exciting thriller that is timely in its topic. But what sets it apart is the monster at the heart of the story who seems to have a personal agenda apart from causing the mass destruction of most of the world's population. Thankfully Mace has close friends with considerable skills who help him by digging deep for clues from the past. Always look for the motive as well as 'who benefits.' Oh sure, Michael Laurence occasionally makes use of some trite thriller scenarios to help build the dramatic tension in the story but the book is still quite entertaining so I'll overlook them. We hear so much about conspiracy theories these days...what if some are true?? Ha! Good luck sleeping tonight! I received an arc of this new thriller from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    Whew! I thought the first book in this series was a whirlwind ride so I wasn't totally surprised when this one began with that same kind of over-the-top energy but I think I'm about worn out with it all after two books. Good plots, yes. Good characters, yes. Good heart thumping action, yes. However, I need a rest and I don't think I'm going to get it from this author. That's okay. In this story you are going to find a shadowy group perfectly willing to release a virus to cause a pandemic or nerve Whew! I thought the first book in this series was a whirlwind ride so I wasn't totally surprised when this one began with that same kind of over-the-top energy but I think I'm about worn out with it all after two books. Good plots, yes. Good characters, yes. Good heart thumping action, yes. However, I need a rest and I don't think I'm going to get it from this author. That's okay. In this story you are going to find a shadowy group perfectly willing to release a virus to cause a pandemic or nerve gas in the middle of a major city. All kinds of motives behind all the violence with the agents from the bureaus who protect the population from these things compromised by moles within those organizations. Who can you trust when you've been burned so many times, when those you love have been killed just because of who you are? Those kinds of feelings run constantly throughout the novels in this series so you feel the depths of the hardship the good guys go through just to fight to save those who need their protection. This series will continue into a third book. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-galley of this novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    This was an excellent entrant to this series, and one that potentially allows Laurence to pivot the series a bit if needed. Laurence shows excellent creative work in coming up with some very interesting chemical weapon delivery mechanisms, to the point that I would not be surprised to learn he has drawn the attention of various alphabet soup agencies while researching this book or at least once it publishes and they begin reading it. Interesting use of a long-known-yet-still-not-officially-ackno This was an excellent entrant to this series, and one that potentially allows Laurence to pivot the series a bit if needed. Laurence shows excellent creative work in coming up with some very interesting chemical weapon delivery mechanisms, to the point that I would not be surprised to learn he has drawn the attention of various alphabet soup agencies while researching this book or at least once it publishes and they begin reading it. Interesting use of a long-known-yet-still-not-officially-acknowledged bit of world history to further this saga, and particularly well executed there as well. While I very much hope Laurence is allowed to pursue the initial direction of the series, this book sets up a pivot into a short Black List type tale with much more at stake than that show ever really had going and that pivot could be very nearly as interesting given Laurence's storytelling abilities. Very much recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    If you haven't read the first in this series don't worry....this one will make everything clear about the first one. During this time of COV-19 and all that it entails I was a little skeptical about liking a book having to do with a shadowy organization, chemical weapons and the very real possibility of one of the most devastating nerve gases ever being released over a major U. S city. However I was absorbed from the very beginning. This book made me think about what is really out there? Who is ou If you haven't read the first in this series don't worry....this one will make everything clear about the first one. During this time of COV-19 and all that it entails I was a little skeptical about liking a book having to do with a shadowy organization, chemical weapons and the very real possibility of one of the most devastating nerve gases ever being released over a major U. S city. However I was absorbed from the very beginning. This book made me think about what is really out there? Who is out there, and what are they capable of researching and developing to harm us instead of help us? What is the motivation? Greed is usually the answer but sometimes ideology contributes to the results and in this case finds its roots deep in history. This book has a gripping ending and leaves the door open for the next. If I have any criticism I felt the story was too long and could have been pared down some. Other than that a wonderful read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Henderson-Farr

    Thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Th Annihilation Protocol is the second installment to The Extinction Agenda and continues the storyline from the first book. Special Agent James Mason along with old friends Gunnar Backstrom and Ramses Donovan, are in a race against time to stop a secret society from releasing a nerve agent that will kill thousands of Americans. Mason is assigned a new partner, Special Agent Jessica Lay Thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Th Annihilation Protocol is the second installment to The Extinction Agenda and continues the storyline from the first book. Special Agent James Mason along with old friends Gunnar Backstrom and Ramses Donovan, are in a race against time to stop a secret society from releasing a nerve agent that will kill thousands of Americans. Mason is assigned a new partner, Special Agent Jessica Layne, who he is reluctant to trust, but look at what happened with his last two partners. She will have to prove to Mason that she is trustworthy and not on the payroll of the Thirteen. This is a story with a lot of details told in a extremely fast paced storyline so be sure to pay attention to everything. Your heart will be pounding without ever leaving the comfort of your cozy reading nook. Can't wait for this adventure to continue!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kay Brooks

    A Long And Complex Mystery There is lethal nerve gas in the hands of an unknown enemy, but he is not ready to release it. Not yet, not until he has fulfilled his last, dying wish. In this second book of the series, James Mason is tasked with finding and stopping the forces behind the plan to wipe out millions of people in New York City. But first Mason has to find the person behind a series of bizarre murders. Each murder scene has its own element of danger for Mason, who must follow the trail wi A Long And Complex Mystery There is lethal nerve gas in the hands of an unknown enemy, but he is not ready to release it. Not yet, not until he has fulfilled his last, dying wish. In this second book of the series, James Mason is tasked with finding and stopping the forces behind the plan to wipe out millions of people in New York City. But first Mason has to find the person behind a series of bizarre murders. Each murder scene has its own element of danger for Mason, who must follow the trail without becoming a victim himself. If you enjoy learning all of the details and the history behind every action you will love this book. It is well written, a compelling mystery, and there are plenty of surprises. The author describes each scene and underlying historical data in methodical detail, making it a complex and tedious read for anyone, like myself, who likes a fast-paced mystery thriller. I found myself stopping at the end of a chapter and spending my time surfing the internet or scrolling through TV channels looking for something to entertain me before I was able to pick up the book and continue reading. Thank you Michael Laurence, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book for review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fire

    This book had me hooked from the first chapter. I haven't read book one yet, but now I need to. I wish I had realized it was book two before I started reading, but this book was amazing on its own. I'm excited to go back and read the first book now and I added Laurence to my follow list so that I can keep an eye out for his future work. I'm really excited to see what he is going to come up with next. This was a fast-paced, intriguing read that kept me wondering what was coming next. An amazing pr This book had me hooked from the first chapter. I haven't read book one yet, but now I need to. I wish I had realized it was book two before I started reading, but this book was amazing on its own. I'm excited to go back and read the first book now and I added Laurence to my follow list so that I can keep an eye out for his future work. I'm really excited to see what he is going to come up with next. This was a fast-paced, intriguing read that kept me wondering what was coming next. An amazing premise and characters. I felt like I knew them and was along for the wild ride. There are some incredible elements to this story that really make it feel like you are a part of it. It is so well written at times I felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading. I can't wait to see what Laurence comes up with next. 5 Stars!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lou Jacobs

    Special FBI agent James Mason is immersed in a complex and dangerous investigation involving both chemical and biological agents ... at stake our the lives of millions ... not only in the U.S. but across the globe. Even his own organization has been infiltrated with operatives of a shadowy cabal that has its origin many generations ago. The syndicate of the Thirteen families reaches back nearly three and half centuries. There is turmoil and juggling for power amongst the family heads.... the one Special FBI agent James Mason is immersed in a complex and dangerous investigation involving both chemical and biological agents ... at stake our the lives of millions ... not only in the U.S. but across the globe. Even his own organization has been infiltrated with operatives of a shadowy cabal that has its origin many generations ago. The syndicate of the Thirteen families reaches back nearly three and half centuries. There is turmoil and juggling for power amongst the family heads.... the one known as Secundus hopes to rise to ultimate power by releasing a bioengineered virus upon the world that will devastate the globe. He will then reap billions in revenue with his already manufactured vaccine. And, as a direct result will be elevated to Primus. But, instead the altered dynamics has led to a virtual free-for-all for supremacy. ... with complex machinations amongst the others. Mason must locate and retrieve a cache of the notorious Novichok A-234 .... an upgrade of the German created sarin gas. ... which has an increased efficacy and stability over its volatile nerve gas precursor. The Thirteen has insinuated itself not only into the government but also multiple law enforcement agencies. Agent Mason utilizes a band of diverse and amazingly competent friends to thwart the cabal. He is aware their goal is to cull the world population to a size that could more easily be controlled and ruled ... swoop in with a "cure" and assume the role of savior , rather than oppressor. Laurence spins a complex and twisted narrative ... chock full of scientific and political details, while the body count rises along with the unraveling of a suspenseful and dramatic denouement. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review. ( at readersremains.com )

  14. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    What could be deadlier than a global pandemic? Enough lethal nerve gas to wipe everyone off the map! Well, you've got my attention...Carry on, Michael! Wait-What? The only clue is a cryptic message written in blood on a concrete slab ... Well this stirs those thriller juices guys and let me tell you it's full steam ahead, a real page turner, edge of the seat type of read. In fact at times I felt like I was slowing down as a speed reader trying to keep up with this intense action on full display befor What could be deadlier than a global pandemic? Enough lethal nerve gas to wipe everyone off the map! Well, you've got my attention...Carry on, Michael! Wait-What? The only clue is a cryptic message written in blood on a concrete slab ... Well this stirs those thriller juices guys and let me tell you it's full steam ahead, a real page turner, edge of the seat type of read. In fact at times I felt like I was slowing down as a speed reader trying to keep up with this intense action on full display before my eyes. Michael has a knack for capturing the attention, ringing out the truth, and serving it up -execution style! YIKES!! By the way, one of suspenseful pieces surrounds a sinister agent codenamed,"Scarecrow." Quite fitting for the situation especially in NYC Subways. Hey, I wonder if this Scarecrow is being paid off to orchestrate the subway attacks and Times Square Massacres? You know, I'm itching to tell you but I'm sworn to secrecy... Go, run, pre-order this beauty because it truly is a heart pounding masterful piece! Thank you to Michael, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bent Hansen

    I am the kind of reader who likes to read books in a series chronologically. Some writers are excellent at not referring too much on past books in the series in case the reader had jumped into the series at a later stage. The publisher's marketing people - as well as quite a few other Goodreads reviewers of the book - had let me know that reading this book - number two in Michael Laurence's Extinction Agenda series - was a book that could be read more or less independently from the first in the I am the kind of reader who likes to read books in a series chronologically. Some writers are excellent at not referring too much on past books in the series in case the reader had jumped into the series at a later stage. The publisher's marketing people - as well as quite a few other Goodreads reviewers of the book - had let me know that reading this book - number two in Michael Laurence's Extinction Agenda series - was a book that could be read more or less independently from the first in the series. Well, I soon realized that I strongly disagree with that notion. Yes, there are many pages spent on telling about the super important events in book 1, but still I felt like I was joining a vacation that everybody else in the party had been taking part in for weeks before I arrived. The story development and how the characters knew each other and were bound by past experiences just made me feel like I had too much to catch up on while at the same time hanging on to the new developments of book 2. That resulted in me struggling quite a bit in the first third of the book - even having me reconsider numerous times whether reading book 2 before book 1 was such a great idea. Grumpy chronological reader comments aside, the book is a super well crafted thriller with credible plot twists and turns, good detective work, cyber geeks extraordinaire, super evil villains, and blurring lines between who is good or bad. Especially the last third of the book is super exciting as the protagonists are fighting the clock without knowing how much time they have left, while at the same time avoiding being sidelined from the investigation due to an inter-agency pissing contest. Four big stars! [An ARC of the book was generously provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]

  16. 5 out of 5

    Zandt McCue

    This was intense. I love the fact that James Rollins was the one who wrote the blurb for the book because I know James from a certain fantasy series he put out years and years ago before I knew he wrote the Sigma books. There's so much going through my mind right now and I'm writing this from a cell phone so I wont be able to give my full assessment just yet. This was the second book in a series and also the second book this week ive started with book two on without knowing a thing about the fir This was intense. I love the fact that James Rollins was the one who wrote the blurb for the book because I know James from a certain fantasy series he put out years and years ago before I knew he wrote the Sigma books. There's so much going through my mind right now and I'm writing this from a cell phone so I wont be able to give my full assessment just yet. This was the second book in a series and also the second book this week ive started with book two on without knowing a thing about the first. Listen, you can jump right into this one. All the information you need is in the second and third chapters. After that it is all go go go. This is a thriller I would recommend to people who like Dan Brown or the Bourne Novels. I will be going back to check out the first book too, because its worth it. This was gripping and exciting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark Easter

    This is a great read with a complex plot that never slows down. It is apparently Mr Laurence's second novel but will not be his last as he appears to possibly have the talent to become a great author in the genre. The manner in which the author forces the reader down certain paths the plot does not necessitate sometimes twinges ones suspension of belief but the reader never has time to slow down enough to be bothered seriously. It is also hard to get a true measure of the characters as we barely This is a great read with a complex plot that never slows down. It is apparently Mr Laurence's second novel but will not be his last as he appears to possibly have the talent to become a great author in the genre. The manner in which the author forces the reader down certain paths the plot does not necessitate sometimes twinges ones suspension of belief but the reader never has time to slow down enough to be bothered seriously. It is also hard to get a true measure of the characters as we barely get even a glimpse of their history, character, likes, dislikes, loves, hates, triggers, etc. This inhibits the reader for cheering as much as one might be inclined to do. Still, a good read that places Mr. Laurence on my "Authors to follow" list.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Darren

    I got this as a arc e book for my i pad from Net Galley. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. I hope to read more books by this author.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Reppy

    "The Annihilation Protocol" was thoroughly enjoyable. I liked how the author utilized both historical events and current world issues to help craft and advance the conspiracy that is at the center of this book (and series) and has been persisting for a hundred year. The Thirteen is a cabal that plans to utilize its resources and supporters, some of whom are highly placed in government agencies or businesses, to reduce the world population to a more "manageable" level which it can then control, a "The Annihilation Protocol" was thoroughly enjoyable. I liked how the author utilized both historical events and current world issues to help craft and advance the conspiracy that is at the center of this book (and series) and has been persisting for a hundred year. The Thirteen is a cabal that plans to utilize its resources and supporters, some of whom are highly placed in government agencies or businesses, to reduce the world population to a more "manageable" level which it can then control, and which will view the rule of The Thirteen as their salvation. This is the second book in the series and it would be beneficial for the reader to have read the first book; I have not read the first book yet, but plan to go back and do so. The second book picks up after events that occurred in the first book. While there is enough information in the second book to allow the reader to understand basically what happened in the first book, especially the events that have shaped and changed FBI Special Agent James Mason, the main character, and made the hunt for The Thirteen deeply personal. While The Thirteen plan to take over the world, there is dissension and infighting among some of The Thirteen, with efforts by some members to eliminate other members and rise up in the ranks. The over-arching plotline in this book is that a sizeable quantity of the Russian nerve agent Novichok may have been secretly produced in Colorado and then transported to locations unknown, from where it could be used to kill large numbers of people. The author utilizes Operation Paperclip, a US scheme to smuggle Nazi scientists into the US and give them new identities in order to gain access to their technology, which was more advanced than US science/technology at the time, and keep the information out of Russian hands. One advantage of sneaking Nazi and Japanese scientists into the US is that these scientists had been conducting research on the effects of biological and chemical weapons on humans, research that would not legally or ethically be allowed to occur in the US; although that will not stop the US military from secretly conducting such research. That research is the key to understanding The Scarecrow, the main villain in this book. Even though the villain is not supposed to be the favorite, The Scarecrow was my favorite character in the book (which is not to say I agreed with the Scarecrow's actions or methods). The Scarecrow is an enigma for most of the book, but the Scarecrow creates some ingenious traps for its victims and investigators and also creates some rather clever puzzles to help the investigators, if they are clever and resourceful enough, discover the information that The Scarecrow wants publicly revealed before its endgame is set into motion and which explains the Scarecrow's motivations. The book ends with new villains identified and new plots hinted at. I look forward to the next book in the series. I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jill Elizabeth

    I really enjoyed the first book in the series - I read it last year when it was on here and gave it five enthusiastic stars. I remember falling into the story straight away and not being released from its pull until the very last page was turned. And even then, I wrote in my review that I couldn't wait to see where things were going next. This time around I really struggled tho, and the story from the first is not fresh enough in my mind to know if it's a difference in approach and detail (which I really enjoyed the first book in the series - I read it last year when it was on here and gave it five enthusiastic stars. I remember falling into the story straight away and not being released from its pull until the very last page was turned. And even then, I wrote in my review that I couldn't wait to see where things were going next. This time around I really struggled tho, and the story from the first is not fresh enough in my mind to know if it's a difference in approach and detail (which was my initial feeling) or simply a result of the different state of mind I find myself in as a result of the differing state of the world right now. I have seen other reviewers say they did not read the first book and didn't think you had to because the author gave plenty of background and detail in this one. I disagree with that. I read the first one, and only a year ago, and I still found myself struggling to remember the relationships between the characters and the details of the conspiracy and events it describes. As a result, I found myself struggling to keep up almost from the opening pages of this one. The characters, the plots - they're very involved and it is the untangling of the webs surrounding them that makes the revelation of the conspiracy so intriguing. When you feel like you are floundering to keep track of all of those connections, it makes a read like this much more difficult I think. Frankly I could have done with a two-page synopsis of the high points of the first book and the relationships it described. Unfortunately that wasn't included here. I found this one a slower-going read entirely, and also struggled to find my way into the story this time around. As I say though, I'm not sure if that is me as a reader or the book. The world is a very different place than it was a year ago, and conspiracy theories about the release of pandemic agents or nerve gas resonate on a different frequency now than they used to, and I have found that as a reader I have a tougher time with books in that genre lately than I ever have before. Still, this was not my favorite and I almost couldn't believe it was the follow-up to a book I reviewed so positively last year... As a result I netted out at only the stars this time, and frankly am not sure if I'll go on to the third book - or at least not if it follows straight away.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bob Lewis

    This is the second book in a new series. The first book, The Extinction Agenda, was one of my top books of last year and it introduced the world to a sinister organization called the Thirteen, a cabal controlling the world's power structures from the shadows and to FBI Agent James Mason and his friends who stand in their way. This book picks up right where the previous book left off, bringing the reader a new deadly plot and a host of new characters (on all sides of the conflict). Admittedly, thi This is the second book in a new series. The first book, The Extinction Agenda, was one of my top books of last year and it introduced the world to a sinister organization called the Thirteen, a cabal controlling the world's power structures from the shadows and to FBI Agent James Mason and his friends who stand in their way. This book picks up right where the previous book left off, bringing the reader a new deadly plot and a host of new characters (on all sides of the conflict). Admittedly, this kind of thriller may not be for everyone, but if you're the kind of person who enjoys fun action-packed books while contemplating conspiracy theories, it's definitely for you. Also admittedly, it sometimes strains the willing suspension of disbelief a bit, but the author has a talent for making the outlandish seem entirely possible. He manages to weave together a story that seamlessly connects a modern day terrorist threat to decades-old political machinations, and weaves his fictitious history with real history so effectively that the reader would be forgiven for struggling to separate the two. In fact, the historical discoveries are so interesting that even what would ordinarily seem like slow points in the narrative, in which the heroes are busy investigating and under no direct threat manage to feel just as exciting as scenes with chases, explosions, or gunfire. I opened this review by saying that The Extinction Agenda was one of my literary highlights of last year. This sequel makes a similarly strong showing. In fact, I may even prefer this book slightly over its predecessor as it delves into deeper and darker layers at the conspiracy behind the series. If you've read the first book, you won't want to miss this one. If you haven't read the first book yet, I would recommend picking it up before reading this one. Technically, this book does stand alone, but it provides a richer experience, I think, if you're familiar with the events of the first book. Either way, I highly recommend it, and I eagerly await the next installment in the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    I read the first book in this series, The Extinction Agenda, back-to-back with this one. That is, I started this one within hours after I had finished Extinction, a bit grumpy because I had spent so much time on it and felt so little reward. Second verse, same as the first, except the Annihilation Protocol is even longer than its prequel. It's frustrating because Michael Laurence can write -- so why does everything have to be so superficial and exaggerated? Chapter One was over the top, and I don' I read the first book in this series, The Extinction Agenda, back-to-back with this one. That is, I started this one within hours after I had finished Extinction, a bit grumpy because I had spent so much time on it and felt so little reward. Second verse, same as the first, except the Annihilation Protocol is even longer than its prequel. It's frustrating because Michael Laurence can write -- so why does everything have to be so superficial and exaggerated? Chapter One was over the top, and I don't mean that in a good way. It was extreme, yes, but in a caricaturish fashion, suggesting the characters would be even less realistic in volume two of the series than in volume 1. Oh, dear. Plowing on, nothing hooked me. It's not that it wasn't good enough. It's that there was too much. I like conspiracy plots. I don't expect thrillers to be literary. I do, however, like complicated characters, both villains and heroes. And I'm turned off by the superficial, in dialogue, motivations and historical treatment. There was a character near the end who said, "I still can't wrap my head around the idea that we're dealing with an overarching plot spanning four generations." 810 pages later -- Me either, honey. This is a thriller deeply-rooted in science fiction and horror, which makes sense given that the author has published previously (under another name) in both those genres. In an interview with a local newspaper, he said he had created the Michael Laurence pseudonym because “I accumulated a little baggage with my given name. I put out a lot of books; not all of them have been successful.” He hopes, the reporter said, "that this series will be a fresh start, some 15 years in the making." God bless him, I hope so, too. But I'm not planning to take a stab at the planned volume 3 of the series. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advance readers copy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    FBI agent James Mason has lost his wife. She was killed by a syndicate known as the Thirteen. It has caused the death of his partner as the Thirteen has turned him into a “bad guy.” The Thirteen has its “fingers” in the FBI and the U.S. government. Mason knows that they have a deadly lethal gas. He is given a new FBI partner who he doesn’t know if she is “clean” or has been influenced by the Thirteen. Mason decides to have his friends help him while he decides if his new partner is safe to work FBI agent James Mason has lost his wife. She was killed by a syndicate known as the Thirteen. It has caused the death of his partner as the Thirteen has turned him into a “bad guy.” The Thirteen has its “fingers” in the FBI and the U.S. government. Mason knows that they have a deadly lethal gas. He is given a new FBI partner who he doesn’t know if she is “clean” or has been influenced by the Thirteen. Mason decides to have his friends help him while he decides if his new partner is safe to work with. Mason has been assigned to a case who is killing people and the murderer has been called Scarecrow. Why is the murderer called Scarecrow? As Mason and his partner investigate the case, they find Scarecrow has the lethal gas and may be a member of the Thirteen. Homeland Security tells Mason’s boss to remove Mason and his partner from the case. Mason thinks that Homeland Security is influenced by the Thirteen so he keeps investigating unofficially. Why does Mason think that? Will Mason be able to solve this case? This is a follow up from the the previous novel that the author wrote. I did not read it. The author includes in this novel an excellent” backstory” so you understand why Mason Is so involved in this case. The novel has a combination of history and science in it. It’s a story that has amazing chills going throughout it. There are some unexpected moments that made me wonder how Mason didn’t give up on finding Scarecrow. It’s a nonstop thrilling mystery! I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. FBI agent James Mason faced an uphill battle against the Thirteen Syndicate in the thriller "The Annihilation Protocol". Unlimited resources and long-standing generational control enabled massive infiltration by the organization. Mason with a close group of supporters were determined to win the fight at all costs, the alternative was unthinkable. The seventy-eight short chapters were written in a clear concise manner with vivid imagery and intellectual twists. Delivery of unique clues and out-of FBI agent James Mason faced an uphill battle against the Thirteen Syndicate in the thriller "The Annihilation Protocol". Unlimited resources and long-standing generational control enabled massive infiltration by the organization. Mason with a close group of supporters were determined to win the fight at all costs, the alternative was unthinkable. The seventy-eight short chapters were written in a clear concise manner with vivid imagery and intellectual twists. Delivery of unique clues and out-of-the-box thinking confirmed a sense of controlled strength and unexpectedness in the writing. A shocking and thought-provoking plot exceeded beyond anything I could ever imagine and yet, it opened my eyes to the depth of influential control within our every day life and the population overload globally. Absolute power and unaccountability were realistically viable. I was impressed by the powerful, unrelenting fierceness of the characters. They held a firm presence and not one of the characters were lacking. The Annihilation Protocol was unusual for me, there was an uncertainty about it. I had not read the first book in the series. Yes, there were many intriguing and interesting areas I enjoyed in the book but an instant love or hate reaction did not happen. I was suspended in thought questioning what did I just read. Days later, this book lingered in my mind and still does even today. It challenged me and I am glad for it. Michael Laurence thank you for this surprising read. My review was based on the book I won in a Goodreads First Read giveaway.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This follow-up to THE EXTINCTION AGENDA was another action-packed thrill ride that combined a complicated conspiracy, detailed science, and history going back generations in a story that is utterly engrossing. I found it extremely hard to put down and was happy to be able to read it immediately following the first in the series. My immediate reaction after shutting down the kindle after I finished was to lament the fact that the third volume is probably a year away! The synopsis provided by the p This follow-up to THE EXTINCTION AGENDA was another action-packed thrill ride that combined a complicated conspiracy, detailed science, and history going back generations in a story that is utterly engrossing. I found it extremely hard to put down and was happy to be able to read it immediately following the first in the series. My immediate reaction after shutting down the kindle after I finished was to lament the fact that the third volume is probably a year away! The synopsis provided by the publisher gives a great description of the premise and the author fulfilled all my expectations. I urge you to read the initial book before tackling this one in order to have the full background and understanding about the cabal behind these heinous plans to kill off a large part of the world's population. Money and power are often in the hands of really evil people and the motive of revenge can create the life mission of someone who has been wronged. Pure entertainment even if it hits a high on the "you've gotta be kidding" meter! I enjoyed the interaction between the 3 main characters continued from the first book and can't wait to see what is next for them. Lots of description and detail to satisfy anyone's curiosity and the writing is great. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-book ARC to read, review, and recommend. I only wish this would be optioned for a Netflix series or a major motion picture! And, Mr. Laurence, please get busy on book #3.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This is another action packed novel from Laurence and sequel to The Extinction Agenda. In order to fully understand this novel you would have to read the first one. This novel seemed darker to me than the first one. There is a very evil villain who has some kind of a plan to kill millions of people with a lethal nerve agent. There is a secret society who wants to rule the world and has infiltrated many U.S. government law agencies. Mason is again the man who must save the world almost by himself. This is another action packed novel from Laurence and sequel to The Extinction Agenda. In order to fully understand this novel you would have to read the first one. This novel seemed darker to me than the first one. There is a very evil villain who has some kind of a plan to kill millions of people with a lethal nerve agent. There is a secret society who wants to rule the world and has infiltrated many U.S. government law agencies. Mason is again the man who must save the world almost by himself. The villain gets pleasure out of torturing people so there are some unpleasant and quite gruesome deaths in this novel. The plot is very complex. The villain is playing Mason, making him pursue lead after lead and avoid getting killed time after time. Trying to find out who the villain is and where the deadly nerve agent is stored requires lots of trudging through shell companies, people in the military, scientists. I felt the plot in this novel moved more slowly than the first in the series. I have to admit, I skimmed through much of the descriptions in the latter part of the book. This is a book for readers who like consistent, if repetitive action with a complex conspiracy plot and lots of history and background material. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    The Annihilation Protocol by Michael Lawrence is one thrilling ride. You follow Mason and his team as they attempt to thwart the newest threat from the Thirteen. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. After Extinction Agenda, I was eager for Mason to deliver the justice that the Thirteen deserved. If you have not read Extinction Agenda, I would highly suggest it. Annihilation Protocol can stand alone, but the background found in the first book of the series provides motivation and solidifies relati The Annihilation Protocol by Michael Lawrence is one thrilling ride. You follow Mason and his team as they attempt to thwart the newest threat from the Thirteen. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. After Extinction Agenda, I was eager for Mason to deliver the justice that the Thirteen deserved. If you have not read Extinction Agenda, I would highly suggest it. Annihilation Protocol can stand alone, but the background found in the first book of the series provides motivation and solidifies relationships. The multiple mysteries of Annihilation Protocol keep the reader invested. I was on the edge of my seat in several instances. By the conclusion, I was excited by the prospect that I had not figured out the entire story midway. The author does an excellent job of keeping you guessing. One thing I will say is there is a ton of moving pieces going on in this story. A lot of investigating. A lot of exposition. It is wonderful that we get all of the information relevant to the goings-on, but boy was it a lot. I'll be honest I tuned out quite a few times. And you know what? I still followed along. Some people will appreciate the abundance of facts, but for me, it was a bit much. Despite that, I would still recommend The Annihilation Protocol by Michael Laurence.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I received an e-ARC of The Annihilation Protocol from Netgalley and the publisher in exchanged for an honest review. The Annihilation Protocol is the second in a series but could be read as a standalone novel. It's a fast past thrill ride that jumps right into the action from the first page. FBI Agent James Mason and his childhood friends are right back in the thick of investigating a shadowy, Illuminati-esque group called The Thirteen. When it appears that The Thirteen are on the verge of relea I received an e-ARC of The Annihilation Protocol from Netgalley and the publisher in exchanged for an honest review. The Annihilation Protocol is the second in a series but could be read as a standalone novel. It's a fast past thrill ride that jumps right into the action from the first page. FBI Agent James Mason and his childhood friends are right back in the thick of investigating a shadowy, Illuminati-esque group called The Thirteen. When it appears that The Thirteen are on the verge of releasing a chemical warfare agent upon the world. Mason and his new partner are investigating the case when they stumble upon a bizarre crime scene that further complicates the investigation. The Annihilation Protocol is a tighter plot than Extinction Agenda was and the story benefits from that - it seamlessly weaves together history, science, and conspiracy theory in a fast paced plot that is reminiscent of Dan Brown or James Rollins's novels. Michael Laurence has found his rhythm with the plot and the epilogue left me eager to read the next in the series. I highly recommend The Annihilation Protocol for fans of well-researched and historically tied thrillers like those of James Rollins, Dan Brown, and Steve Berry.

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Purvis

    Author Michael Laurence (https://michaellaurence.com) published the novel “The Annihilation Protocol” in 2020. This is the first of his “Extinction Agenda” series and his second novel. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the contemporary US. It picks up where the first novel in the series “The Extinction Agenda” leaves off. FBI Special Age Author Michael Laurence (https://michaellaurence.com) published the novel “The Annihilation Protocol” in 2020. This is the first of his “Extinction Agenda” series and his second novel. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the contemporary US. It picks up where the first novel in the series “The Extinction Agenda” leaves off. FBI Special Agent James Mason and his childhood friends continue to combat the mysterious syndicate. This dark agency known as the Thirteen is out for world dominance. This time using lethal nerve gas. Not only are Mason and his team facing the potential death of millions, but hems work around his new partner. He can’t be sure if he can trust her. Will they be able to find the nerve gas and stop the next attack? I thoroughly enjoyed the 16.5 hours I spent reading this 433-page thriller. This was a good follow-on thriller. I look forward to more in the series. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.8 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5. You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fred Rayworth

    The Annihilation Protocol was the first novel I’ve read by Michael Laurence and it was an outstanding thriller. The complex story was written in such a way that the writing never got in the way of the story. The point of view was solid third-person limited, with only a couple of minor lapses into head-hopping, but not enough to jerk me out of the story. The past-tense writing, which is all I’ll read, was also spot on. The narrative was mostly brisk and to the point. However, there were spots when The Annihilation Protocol was the first novel I’ve read by Michael Laurence and it was an outstanding thriller. The complex story was written in such a way that the writing never got in the way of the story. The point of view was solid third-person limited, with only a couple of minor lapses into head-hopping, but not enough to jerk me out of the story. The past-tense writing, which is all I’ll read, was also spot on. The narrative was mostly brisk and to the point. However, there were spots when the plot became so complex and dense it was a bit much to take in and keep track of. However, that was just a minor quibble, and in the end, while the resolution left me hanging, it still resolved enough to leave me satisfied. I know this is a series, so I expect some stuff to be left dangling, questions to be unresolved for further books. In a way, it was maddening, yet it’s also to be expected in a long-range story that has to cover multiple books. Overall, I was still able to close the last page with a smile on my face, despite that surprise last scene. Well done and highly recommended.

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