Groundbreaking, thrilling and revealing, The Reaper is the astonishing memoir of Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicholas Irving, the 3rd Ranger Battalion's deadliest sniper with 33 confirmed kills, though his remarkable career total, including probables, is unknown.
Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary military career, including his deployment to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, when he set another record, this time for enemy kills on a single deployment. His teammates and chain of command labeled him "The Reaper,” and his actions on the battlefield became the stuff of legend, culminating in an extraordinary face-off against an enemy sniper known simply as The Chechnian.
Irving’s astonishing first-person account of his development into an expert assassin offers a fascinating and extremely rare view of special operations combat missions through the eyes of a Ranger sniper during the Global War on Terrorism. From the brotherhood and sacrifice of teammates in battle to the cold reality of taking a life to protect another, no other book dives so deep inside the life of an Army sniper on point.
Irving, a former Army Ranger, and Brozek, who has cowritten many books, add to the sniper memoir genre a breathless, tension-filled account of the day-to-day combat experiences of a sniper in Afghanistan. A child of a military family, Irving knew he wanted to be a Navy SEAL from a young age and was on his way to reaching that goal when a routine test revealed that he is color blind. A sympathetic Army nurse helped him fudge a vision test, so he became a Ranger instead, honing a natural affinity for sharpshooting. Brozek gives Irving's story shape, heart, and context as he helps convey Irving's mixed emotions about his role in combat. But the real craft is in the book's the artful depictions of battle. Readers are brought into the heat of the fight with white-knuckle anxiety, as troops edge their way toward IED-laden targets, chaotic firefights, and suicide bombers. The story culminates with the takedown of a massive arms depot while Irving was battling a wrenching gastrointestinal infection. It's tough stuff, but Irving is a humble and humane narrator. What could have come across as a shallow exercise in chest-thumping is much more. Hawks and doves alike would do well to spend time with Irving to learn what it's like to be a soldier in today's military.
This book was a very easy read and really puts a lot into perspective when thinking about what soldiers and especially special operators go through on some missions. I never saw any real combat time, I worked on the very chinooks they got picked up by and have the utmost respect for these individuals! Great book!
I hate reading most of the time, this had me ready for the next page all the time! I see Irv on demo ranch and other videos.
It would be an absolute honor to meet him, thank him for his service and glad that he was safe to write this book along with the “cookie monster” thank you for a great read!
Excellent, fast read
It was a great read! You felt like you were really part of the war and in battle at times.