The Commander

Last Enemy Series Prequel

Fiction - Adventure
288 Pages
Reviewed on 05/25/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dan Hendrickson was born in Sheridan Wyoming near the rustic Big Horn mountain range in 1962 to Carl and Helen Hendrickson. Dan went to school in the Sheridan School District graduating from Sheridan High School in 1981. He spent his athletic time participating in boxing, martial arts, wrestling and a little track. His father Carl owned a small eight lane bowling alley that he ran until Dan was 12 years old. After losing the business to the bank he was forced to go back to school and finish his masters in English. Dan picked up on his father’s love of the written word and enrolled in Casper Community College in 1982 majoring in journalism. Although he found that he had an aptitude for investigative reporting he decided that his desires lied in other areas. He went on to do much volunteer Christian ministry work throughout the United States most of his adult life and continues to pursue those endeavors to this day. During that time he gained another degree in Practical Theology and throughout his many ministry assignments work several secular jobs. Most notable were his auto detailing endeavors. He and his wife Cheryl have owned three different detailing businesses throughout the country the last of which they still run to this day. Recently he has returned to his passion of telling stories and has several books in the process of being published.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In The Commander by Dan E. Hendrickson, Lieutenant Commander Jacob Edwards has just taken command of the Hamilton Class Cutter, First Responder as the captain of the US Coast Guard when news of a possible terrorist attack in the Gulf of Mexico reaches the White House. Captain Tommy Williams sends Jacob to investigate and deal with the situation. As the true extent and severity of the situation unfold, Jacob realizes there is a link to the possibility of a terrorist attack on a US oil rig, and a missing ship carrying children. Behind the sabotage are the Saudi Royal Family, the Russian underworld, and a notorious pirate assassin. As the First Responder races to the oil rig, time is quickly running out. Jacob must use every skill he has learned to resolve the impending catastrophe while obeying an order from the President to keep his movements confidential.

Since reading other books in The Last Enemy series, I was looking forward to more exciting exploits from Jacob Edwards and The Commander by Dan E. Hendrickson definitely lived up to all my expectations. There are new and intriguing characters, as well as many old favorites. Natasha is a real psychopath. I never thought there could be a character more despicable than Dominik, but she was evil to the core. Jacob's relationship with his daughter was endearing as they shared so many tender moments together; this was contrasted perfectly with his relationship with his enemies. I love Jacob as a protagonist. Although his character is flawed, it makes him even more relatable and his morals and character are impeccable. The action begins immediately and takes you on a roller coaster of excitement with so many interesting and strong sub-plots. I thought I could second guess how the plot would unfold by now, but the author always takes me down a path I was not expecting. His brilliance at creating tension and conflicts in the story are enviable and so satisfying as a reader. I read the final third of this novel with my heart pounding, as all the loose ends were tied up with immaculate literary genius. I cannot rate this author highly enough and would recommend his novels to everyone.

K.C. Finn

The Commander is a work of fiction in the action and adventure sub-genres which is aimed at adult readers, penned by author Dan E. Hendrickson. A prequel in the Last Enemy Series, the book follows the adventures of Commander Jacob Edwards, a highly skilled agent of a classified military task force. Given the captain’s chair of the freshly refurbished ship First Responder, Commander Edwards is deployed to the Gulf of Mexico after a crisis sends the region into chaos. As he and his crew contend with saboteurs and terrorists, Commander Edwards must complete a separate mission issued with the utmost secrecy by the President himself.

Author Dan E. Hendrickson has crafted a superb work of adventure fiction which perfectly introduces readers to commander Jacob Edwards and sets up his prime role in future books in the Last Enemy series extremely well. One of the things that most impressed me about this book was the close attention to character development from Hendrickson, whose sharp dialogue and attentive narration ensures that we have insight into Jacob’s brilliant mind and his capabilities as a hero. The pace of the novel moves from exposition scenes to action scenes with plenty of twists and turns, and the use of atmospheric language and detailed descriptive techniques during the action ensures a cinematic feel to the adventure as a whole. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Commander to fans of the Last Enemy series and newcomers eager to be introduced to a hero they can really root for.

Rabia Tanveer

The Commander: Last Enemy Series Prequel by Dan E. Hendrickson is the story of a tenacious man whose only thought is to win. Commander Jacob Edwards is a man of many different talents, which is the reason why he is called upon to handle the most difficult tasks. As the captain of the Coast Guard, he had his work cut out for him when he and his team came face to face with terrorists who just wouldn’t quit and murderers looking for the next kill. Jacob and his team have to put their heads together to stop this chaos from increasing and spreading out. But it is not easy and even a man as daring as Jacob Edwards needs allies. He does not know who he can trust and who he can rely on. He has secrets to protect, orders to complete, and lives to save. Can he do it all?

This high-octane action novel is pretty amazing. From the moment The Commander begins and Jacob enters the scene, you will know that it is about to get heavy. Jacob Edwards is the kind of character who will command your attention from the very beginning. Dan E. Hendrickson did an amazing job at building the tension and making sure the reader was there in the moment with Jacob as he chased down the perpetrators. He was observant and really not subtle with his words (I loved that about him). He had his own personality and his seniority at his job was not going to change that for him. I enjoyed how immersed I was in the story. I was transported right beside Jacob and living the situations with him. The descriptions were vivid and the imagery was phenomenal. I loved this book and I’m pretty sure it gave me an adrenaline rush for hours after I finished it! This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys high-pressure, action novels that keep you up at night and hoping that the story never ends.

Trisha Dawn

Dan Hendrickson’s The Commander is a story of a valiant man named Jacob Edwards. Lt. Commander Jacob Edwards could be described as the younger version of “The Living Legend” Captain Tommy Williams. Captain Tommy Williams has earned the title of a legend because he was the most successful SEAL team leader to date. Similarly, Commander Jacob Edwards was the best operative on the field which prompted the comparison between the two. Few people have witnessed Commander Jacob’s astounding leadership skills, so only a few understood why he was suddenly promoted as the commander of a Hamilton-class cutter, the First Responder. He was, after all, the first person who was still at a low rank to be suddenly promoted to commander. The shakedown cruise of First Responder was the beginning of a secret mission filled with murder and terrorism. Will Commander Edwards be able to handle all the challenges thrown at him without being discovered?

The Commander by Dan Hendrickson is an engaging story that reels you in with every page turned. It’s a well-written piece full of valuable, unforgettable lessons. The main character, Commander Edwards, was an exceptional protagonist - no matter what trouble he faced, he kept proving to everyone that he wasn’t someone they should mess with or underestimate. Despite his strong character, he was also a leader full of compassion, truly a commendable man. He cared for his crew like they were his family and made sure that all his decisions would be for everyone’s safety. He’s a great example of what a leader should be. The antagonists in the novel were also memorable because of their heartless ways. If I were given a chance, I would like to punch them at least once! I was hoping they’d be caught by Commander Edwards and be in prison for the rest of their lives, but they were always so well prepared. Still, I understand that an exceptional protagonist needs an equally exceptional antagonist to make a story great. I also have faith that Commander Edwards will one day catch them and teach them a lesson they will never forget! I can’t wait for the next book because this was definitely worth the read. Great work!

Christian Sia

For three years, Lt. Commander Jacob Edwards of the United States Coast Guard has been part of a naval pirate task force in the Caribbean. He is fit and strong, a man who does a five-mile run every morning. He is the best that Captain Tommy Williams has, so when Tommy calls on Jacob to take care of a crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, the last thing Jacob can think about is getting embroiled in a mess far greater than anything he could have imagined—mass murder, sabotage, and terrorism. Plus, he has to be very discreet about his job when he receives the command directly from the President of the United States. Can Jacob be at the center stage of the president’s war on drugs, human trafficking, and reported “upticks in pirate activity in that sector,” without drawing attention to himself? The Commander: Last Enemy Series Prequel by Dan E. Hendrickson is a compelling military thriller with very high stakes for the protagonist.

The author shows a lot of understanding of the operations of the Coast Guard and writes a story that features very compelling characters, plucked from government agencies like Homeland Security. The themes of drugs, human trafficking, and terrorism are ingeniously developed. The prose, in itself, is delightful. Dan E. Hendrickson has a gift for crafting characters that are human and believable. The protagonist is a family man and readers will enjoy the relationship he has with Danielle, his nine-year-old daughter. Characters have solid backgrounds, are likable, and it is interesting to watch them evolve through the narrative. The Commander: Last Enemy Series Prequel is a beautifully written and engaging tale that grabs the attention of the reader from the first page and never lets it go.

Joshua Soule

Jacob Edwards has seized his new role in command of the First Responder for the United States Coast Guard as part of his new and well-earned promotion. Shortly after the newly refurbished vessel takes to sea, Edwards is put to the test in a barrage of troublesome events that may prove too much for even Commander Edwards to overcome. Heated acts of international terrorism, blackmail, and drug-fueled aggression not only put Edwards in danger of losing his life but also bring trust and loyalty into question. It’s a dangerous game, and the outcome may be death, but certainly not glory.

Dan E. Hendrickson has done it again; The Commander is a well-crafted piece full of action, suspense, and undertones of family, friendship, loyalty, and doing what is right when that’s not always so clear. I was impressed with the clear amount of knowledge and research that Hendrickson has clearly put into The Commander. I compare Hendrickson’s writing with that of Tom Clancy; a descriptive and engaging military masterpiece. Immediately from the first chapter, Hendrickson pulled me in with tense action, then I built relationships with the characters as I got to know them, then I pored through the book to discover how everything plays out. Suspenseful action is complemented by well-structured characters and a fine-tuned plot. A quality read for any action-thriller lover.

Jamie Michele

The Commander by Dan E. Hendrickson is a prequel to the military suspense Last Enemy series, which is followed by book one, The Good Fight, book two, The Cartel Crusher, and book three, The Last Enemy. This installment is an origin story for Commander Jacob Edwards, a Coast Guard Cross recipient and one of the youngest to be given the rank and command. As a result, Edwards has achieved legendary status among his subordinates on the second largest vessel in the Coast Guard's fleet, First Responder. While Edwards wears the sleeve rank insignia of Commander, one thing it doesn't reveal is Edwards' involvement as part of an elite task force that compromises Coast Guard protocol as an international crisis emerges on an oil rig, and the orders that sanction a resolution come directly from the highest authority possible.

The Commander is a well crafted military fiction novel, ripe with an almost true to life blend of realism and cinematic depiction by author Dan E. Hendrickson. The book provides multiple points of view characters that allow a reader to immerse themselves in the full scope of its plot. The pacing is well executed and Hendrickson doesn't waffle about with unnecessary information dumps that seem to be the modus operandi in the genre, and the simple style of writing makes this series a solid entry point for those who are just now discovering a love for military suspense. I enjoyed the humanizing of Edwards and the delicate balance achieved by Edwards the husband and father, and Edwards the American hero. I was particularly enthralled by a plot that surrounds an oil rig, eliciting the recent memory of the deadly, real-life failure of the infamous oil rig Deepwater Horizon. Overall, this is an exciting prequel that is easy to recommend.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

As a newly promoted Commander, Jacob Edwards is now in charge of First Responder, a Hamilton-cutter belonging to the Coast Guard of the USA. On his first-ever voyage aboard the ship, Edwards confronts an evil alliance forged between a certain prince of Saudi Arabia and the Russian mafia. They have concocted a villainous scheme to dominate the oil production near the Gulf of Mexico. Through mindless violence and careful manipulation of a large number of people, some of them high-ranking government officials, they are ready to wreak havoc on the oil rigs placed there. The Commander, a prequel to The Last Enemy series by Dan E. Hendrickson, narrates Edwards’ battle to thwart the evil forces at any cost while bypassing the intervention from the corrupted superiors.

Having previously read The Last Enemy series, I thoroughly enjoyed this prequel by Hendrickson. The Commander highlights the miraculous abilities of our beloved Jacob Edwards to withstand and overcome any difficult situation. His honesty, integrity, leadership qualities, and superb combat skills make him a valuable asset to his superiors. Added to this, his down-to-earth manner and excellent sense of camaraderie grant him the position of a much-revered hero. The novel also introduces Boris Rasmov, the Russian mafia gangster, and his equally formidable associates. We get an initial measure of the cold-hearted cruelty shown by the antagonists who will stay with us for the rest of the series. The breath-taking turn of events and the meticulously described fight sequences make this book a worthy read for thriller enthusiasts.