Friend & Foe - Book 2

Adult
Rated 4.33/5 based on 12 reviews
Ben & Joe are returning home from the bestial corrective prison in Iran, but their expectations soon vanish as they are forced to confront their own personal dilemmas. Joe is forced to save his family from a tyrant who gained notoriety in the Middle East badlands and Ben travels from the West Bank to Gaza, attempting to trace Taliban recruiters, but ends in Sinai where Joe is close to death. More

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About Nik Olsen

NB I HAVE NEARLY FINISHED RE-WRITING THE THE ENTIRE 2o34 STORY WHICH WILL BE IN ONE BOOK (Not 3 parts)
I am sorry to say that i don't get involved with media or self promotion, which is why my books haven't had any exposure since the first self-published book in 2012.
I simply want readers to like my books and obtain a degree of satisfaction or even inspiration from them. Providing i manage to gain some publicity (for the books).
As book 1 of Friend & Foe is the first of three, any constructive feedback would be welcomed for improvement to book 3; book 2 has been written and assessed by the Indie Reviewer club and is now available. Book 3 is drafted but on hold whilst 2o34 the new edition is under way, and will be FREE for an initial period; hopefully attracting some reviews.
2o34 Part 1 was finished hastily to catch the return of parliament & Brexit debacle, for those that might be interested in a possible scenario from the fallout, and is FREE. Part 2 has also been published but will be superceded.
No print versions are currently available, apart from my own copy, but should there be a demand it is something that can be dealt with at the time.
Thank you for taking the time to read my boring 'bio'.

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Reviews

Stacy Decker reviewed on on April 30, 2016

I absolutely loved this book, and I’m usually pretty on the fence about a lot of these types of books…In a way the characters were pretty much what you would expect from the first book and they all had their own distinct personalities and enough quirkiness so as not to feel like the cliché stereotypes. All the characters were very different and we never knew their motives entirely so the book left you guessing as you read without making it predictable. Plot was never boring and kept on rolling. (I would give you a summary, but there were so many subplots that it would take forever). Writing was smooth and the descriptions made you feel like you were right there in the action, whether it was with Ben or Joe or Sinclair or any of the others. I confess I didn’t *love* the ending…. It just felt a little too anticlimactic after all that happened, but it was still a compelling read and definitely worth my time. Recommend for fans of Daniel Silva, Tom Clancy, Brad Thor…
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Nicole Hastings reviewed on on April 30, 2016

this is the second book I’ve read by Nik Olsen. I really enjoyed the first one, and I think I may have even liked this one better than the first— it was easy to read, not overly complicated, just a great story written with amazing subplots that tie together without dragging things out... It's one of the those books you pick up and just finish before you realized it's over, like eating comfort food, the simplicity, yet action packed pages and witty dialogue and unpredictable twists were great. I enjoyed the descriptive world building Olsen uses, and really felt transported to another time and place. This boo has a depth rarely seen in the genre, and it does have its darker side. We never feel ‘safe’ as we are reading as the threat of danger is always near, but that’s what kept me so hooked. When I was finished I closed my Kindle and smiled, for it was a good read.... I'll want read the other books from Nik Olsen for sure.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Karen Matthews reviewed on on April 19, 2016

"Friend & Foe Book 2” by Nik Olsen is fast-paced, high-stakes thriller with exciting twists and turns that keep you in suspense for hours! In a way this is modeled after a classic political-thriller, but it really impressed me by its originality in many areas and terrific detailing and a substantial (an unpredictable) plot. Olsen is an accomplished author whose creative vision breaks new ground but feels comfortingly familiar. This is a story that kept me glued to the pages for hours, lost within an interesting world that fascinated (and sometimes frightened) me to no end. There were some proofing errors that I noticed, and the last 10% or so felt strangely anticlimactic after the intense buildup… Still a fine journey that entertained, and I will gladly read more from Nik Olsen. Recommend to mature fans of literary political thrillers.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
JohnGoldman reviewed on on April 19, 2016

4.5 stars
both of the books I’ve read now by the author Nik Olsen I have found to be extremely well-written and engaging. There’s lots of action, great character and plot development, flashes of humor, and some surprisingly emotional moments. Some characters are on occasion paper-thin, but they’re mostly likable and serve a purpose, and the heroes are easy to root for (Joe and Ben) and the bad guys are easy to hate. The political world Olsen creates occasionally feels like a composite of familiar elements, but there is enough originality so that I don’t feel like I’ve read it before… Olsen is great at breaking down the unfolding plot into manageable chunks so as not to overshadow the suspense element, and as the story unfolds and you put all those pieces together, you can see that there’s more complexity here than you’d initially expect. I liked the terrorist element and thought it added a deeper layer to the believable political setting. A fast paced read that I didn’t want to put down, especially towards the end. Hope there will be more soon!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Cale Owens reviewed on on April 15, 2016

another fantastic read by Nik Olsen. Like the first one, the pacing was decent, with adequate action and elements of danger and mystery, and the book just flew by very quickly for me. I have mentioned before that I’m not particular about prose in general, and I appreciate the lovely manner of storytelling that was employed by the author. Reads very literary and even beautiful, even when covering ugly scenes. Very true-to-life, like you can tell that Olsen knows well the subjects in which he writes. Like the first book it definitely had complex plot development and characters who just come alive in Ben and Joe (with the addition of some notable newcomers) and a terrific wide ranging supporting cast. There is nary a ‘dull’ part, and plenty of high stakes at hand to keep us engaged throughout, and an unexpected ending to the climax. I like how ‘big’ this book feels, in terms of geopolitics and locales and cultures. A riveting read and while it’s not perfect, it’s very eye-opening and entertaining.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
SherriWarner reviewed on on April 15, 2016

3 1/2 stars
For the most part “Friend and Foe part 2” by Nik Olsen was an enjoyable, almost intoxicating mix of an entertaining action adventure and a complex thriller with darker literary motifs (if this makes sense). However at times the impersonal narrative voice made it difficult to get involved in the story, and I frequently felt emotionally detached from all the action. Seemed like it lost focus on occasion and I really wondered about the need to have so many characters come and go,…While they're still likeable characters, sometimes they don't drive the plot forward fast enough. At times I thought there wasn’t enough tension, and the pace slowed down instead of picking up. The writing and world building is quite solid, however, and as far as the actual story itself I was hooked… after about 1/4 way through. But once I was in I was dying to see what would happen and the ending kept me wanting more. A very broad and astute look at the world and the complexities of human nature under the best and worst of circumstances. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Jean007 reviewed on on April 14, 2016

4.5 stars
There is much to be said about a novel that just reads well. I've mentioned this before in other reviews I’ve written, but a book that keeps you reading long after you plan on putting it down ranks high for me. Not only is it entertaining, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down. That is what reading this book “Friend & Foe Book 2” by Nik Olsen has done for me. Typical of many action/adventures I’ve read, “Friend & Foe 2” has much in the way of grittiness and high-stakes political maneuverings, yet it remains inventive. With twists and turns, you won't know who… or what… to believe and trust. The plot moved quickly and even though some traditional thriller archetypes show up, it is not in the usual way, which is refreshing. There only minor typos and editing glitches (mostly punctuation) but really nothing that hindered my enjoyment any. A very strong follow-up effort by Nik Olsen, and I will be looking forward to reading the conclusion of this exciting trilogy!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Samantha Ryan reviewed on on April 14, 2016

"Friend and Foe Book 2” is the second novel I’ve read by Nik Olsen, and like his first one (F&F Book 1) I thought it to be very good—excellent writing and a compelling, unpredictable plot set against an intriguing background. I like the fact that it is a fully-realized political thriller, action adventure without all the bloat that can sometimes weigh down a complex book like this one. Olsen fills you in as we go without getting bogged down in describing every last thing, but still maintains great character and plot integrity. The story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into Olsen’s strong narrative. And I haven't even begun to talk about the characters, which were authentic and move the story forward nicely. Ben and Joe are the type of leads we like to root for, and I enjoyed watching their relationship continue to develop over the course of the action. Some similar themes and motifs found in political thriller/suspense lore, but once again Nik Olsen does a fantastic job of putting his own unique spin on them. The ending is one that will make you want to read the next one as soon as possible! Recommend for mature fans of literary drama/thrillers with a multicultural angle.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Cory Banyan reviewed on on April 7, 2016

I am really becoming a fan of Nik Olsen’s books. This is the second one I’ve read from him – the first being the previous book in this 3 part “Friend and Foe” trilogy. These books definitely need to be read in order if you would like to understand the full scope of the story, (so read the first one before reading this one-- it is good!) There is lots of great action and plenty of twists (which while a tad detectable at times are still entertaining), lots of interesting and intelligent banter between the protagonists, several other interesting/evil side characters and daunting obstacles to overcome, all of which is tied together with fast paced quality writing. I thought the dialogue to be nicely crafted (something I am picky about) and was surprised with how it all wrapped up……but very satisfied and really eager to see how it all goes down in the last one. Recommend for mature reader of political action/thrillers. Fans of the genre will love it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
GillianHancock reviewed on on March 31, 2016

to be honest, it took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going…after the intriguing beginning it seemed to sink into a really slow period of dense telling narrative that really slowed the pacing for me. But I knew from reading Mr. Olsen’s other book that he can definitely deliver on an amazing, complex story so I just kept going and let the book go where it needed to ho… and the more I read the more I got into it, and then by half way I was totally hooked!! Mr. Olsen did a great job at creating some really interesting characters, keeping the leads from the first book and introducing us to some new ones in this one… and also in keeping us on our toes… some surprising events at the end, and I was so curious to see how it would all work out, but it did in a way that makes you hope that the conclusion in book 3 is not too far off! Intelligent, complex, visionary, and will force you to think outside of your comfort zone, this “Friend and Foe” book is very well done and I’d recommend this series without hesitation.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Essieh reviewed on on March 28, 2016

"Friend and Foe book 2” is a great piece of action/political/ suspense/ thriller fiction no one should miss reading if they are looking for an adventurous, entertaining read that has high stakes and an unpredictable plot… particularly on a wet winter's day (or on a sunny summer's day under the shade of a tree with a snack or two). If you're looking for a work lacking in cliché then I must say that you might have a bone to pick with this, as there were many ‘familiar’ elements that made me almost feel at times that I had read it before (I haven’t). But I believe the author's job is not to be completely original (for is there such a thing as true originality, especially in the political adventure game?) here but rather to tell a powerful story that stays with you. For I believe that the true future for the genre lies not in becoming ‘newer’ but rather by taking old tropes and telling them better. This is done nicely here and I am impressed with the way that Nik Olsen can tell a story in his own way with characters that we love, or love to hate. I looked forward to my reading time each evening and was sad when it was over. Hope part 3 is available soon.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Jenna Brewster reviewed on on March 26, 2016

for me the best part about reading these books by Nik Olsen is that his narrative prose is some of the best and most authentic I’ve read in a while, the way he brings the scenes to life, and the attention to historical and cultural and political details that gave this story genuine authenticity. I actually feel like I learned something about world affairs and perspectives had a fun time doing it. Great book and great series overall… and I like how this story and the world is getting bigger and bigger, and more complex. It is action/drama/philosophy/adventure all in one, and while it still has the familiar vibe that most political thrillers, it still feel fresh and original enough and is definitely unpredictable, especially towards the end. It is more than just the classic story of “good vs. evil”, and really encompasses so much more of the human condition – and it is also funny at times, despite being so ‘dark’. I chuckled at some of the dialogue and really enjoyed watching the characters evolve as the story progresses. Ready for part 3!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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