Mitch Rapp is Back: A National Treasure Returns
When it was announced over a year ago that Kyle Mills would finish the late author Vince Flynn’s novel The Survivor it seemed to be surreal. After receiving an advance reader's copy or galley of the novel. It became real. Yes Mitch Rapp is back. Yes Vince Flynn’s legacy is intact. And the world is a lot better off for it.
I do not believe novelists realize when they reach star status Flynn did how their words affect their readers and the culture around them. When Flynn created Mitch Rapp he did not just throw together a great character beloved and adored by millions he created the definitive American hero. Mitch Rapp is the cultural antidote to the mess our culture finds itself in today. There is chaos all around and yet Rapp stands tall. Rapp is needed now more than ever.
It has been said before that nations, societies and cultures need their heroes both fictional and non-fictional. Heroes are the building blocks of nations, the corner stones and their blood is the mortar. Whether they be real, like Chris Kyle and thousands of other men who gave their best or fictional like Mitch Rapp and his band of fellow warriors our country needs them. These icons give us our national identity and our sense of self.
The thing about fiction is that the writer can get away with saying things he would not be able to say in nonfiction. Through Rapp, Flynn was able to speak honestly about national security problems, the ridiculousness of political correctness, and the chaos that Washington politics has become. There was an inherent decency in Rapp and it came from the author. No one else could have written a character like Mitch Rapp because he was Vince Flynn’s voice. That is the power of the novelist, they can explain the culture, dissect it and attack its deficits in a way other writers cannot. They can speak the truth. That is why novels are so important and why heroes like Mitch Rapp and the man who crafted him so deftly, Vince Flynn are important.
The Survivor, the last book Flynn started but never got to finish is out in shelves today. Kyle Mills was chosen to complete the novel after Flynn passed away and as has been said by myself and others it is astonishing at how seamless it is. Mills has captured Flynn’s style and voice authentically. The Survivor is a Mitch Rapp book. From Rapp’s sometimes brazen bravado to Kennedy’s cool style and Stan Hurley’s gunfighter approach to nearly everything it is as if Flynn himself guided Mills in the writing of this book. I am not going to leave any spoilers but I can say this no one will be disappointed by the book. I was amazed, and tearful when I read the advance copy because there was no misstep.
Changes do occur in The Survivor. Some will bring tears. Other changes relief and a bit of vengeful satisfaction and still others bring hope. A man is climbing slowly out of a black pit and though his journey is not over there is possibility of something more. That is what The Survivor is ultimately about. I enjoyed this book so much because I thought of Vince Flynn and I know it’s what he wanted. That’s why he called the book The Survivor in the first place. Mitch Rapp is most definitely back and it is all most wonderful. A National Treasure returns.