He teams up with ex–CIA spy and former girlfriend Daria Buckingham, and the two soon find themselves being chased by Chinese intelligence agents through the underworlds of Turkmenistan and Iran, trying to save Decker and solve the puzzle behind a secret conflict that has the US and Iran tumbling headlong into war.
What I liked: I love the setting of this series. It all takes place in states of the former Soviet Union. It's all the new countries I can't pronounce and know very little about. Basically, I love history and the way Mr. Mayland incorporates details of each country keeps me turning the pages.
That's not to say say The Leveling is a history lesson because it's much more. Thrillers done correctly will keep you not only turning the pages but desperately seeking solutions to each problem as they arise. I like my thrillers action driven but not mindless. I like to try to figure out what's happening and why. Mr. Mayland more than delivers on each score.
I enjoy that Sava isn't infallible. He makes mistakes, actually a lot. His supporting characters are younger and stronger but Sava has brains and experience. This is what makes the characters work well together. Daria and Decker fill out the main cast of characters and each brings their own specific traits into the mix.
The corruption of the government and people make me wonder. Some of the customs and rules of each country seem so archaic but believable. The descriptions are like painted pictures and leave a lasting impression.
What I didn't like: I'm not a knowledgeable political person so some of the reasoning involved in the story was a bit above my head but Mr. Mayland made me believe in the story. It felt a little convoluted but again, I believed in the premise.
This is a series I hope I will have time to keep reading. I want to find out more about each character and what happens in their lives.