Member Reviews

Holy cow! I’m hooked. I know it’s a no no to see the movie before reading the book, but I’ve been bad. I saw The Gray Man a year or so ago and, consequently, I became captivated with the sophisticated action-packed thriller and jumped on the chance to read Mr. Greaney’s latest novel in the series.

While Courtland Gentry, aka The Gray Man, and his partner Zoya Zakharova, aka Anthem, are running for their lives from the governments they worked for, several artificial intelligence experts are being murdered one by one. And by a chance meeting with a former colleague, Court and Zoya are next.

This book creates tension and suspense from the very beginning and the idea of machines working together to destroy humans is incredible as well as terrifying. We have heard lots about artificial intelligence in the media and it’s not going away. From smart phones to autonomous Smart Cars, it’s in our daily lives, but what about our finances, our healthcare, and our defense systems? Greaney explores the idea that all of that information is dangerously floating out there in mass quantities and can be hacked and used against us in an alarming and devastating way.

It’s been a while since I read a terrific thriller and Mr. Greaney has raised the bar for me. His attention to detail is superb as he educates the reader about the ins and outs of AI while developing incredible characters who are conflicted and challenged with their morals and beliefs.

From the first nail-biting action scene to the final battle for humanity, I could not put this 556-page fast-paced book down. If you love political and military thrillers filled with gripping and chaotic action, don’t hesitate to pick up this book. It is a terrifying and tangible look into the world’s future and I’m shaking in my boots.

Thank you to Mr. Greaney for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectations of a positive review.

Was this review helpful?

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, NetGalley and publishers.

The Chaos Agent is an action packed techno-thriller perfect for everyone who loves James Bond or Jason Bourne. The latest entry in Mark Greaney’s Grey Man series, like the title character himself, hits the ground running and pulls no punches. Around the world, geniuses in the world of AI are being hunted down and eliminated mercilessly, apparently by an implacable enemy with endless resources of human beings and the best equipment money can buy. And of course, Court and Zoya find themselves drawn into an increasingly tangled international web where no one is safe. Can even they make it out alive?

Was this review helpful?

What with AI being so prevalent in society today the scenario and plot line of this novel is disturbing. The Gray Man series has entertained us with many previous novels, even though each can stand alone. I found this one to be difficult to get through, even though I enjoyed the beginning chapters.

There are way too many characters, locales and possibilities. The convoluted plots got to me after awhile, as did the wordy descriptions that brought nothing to the main story. I was very tempted to not finish this. I don’t want to discourage anyone from the read however, as I was reading the ARC, perhaps the publishers have refined the finished product, eliminating the frills.

Thank you to the publishers via NetGalley for the opportunity to give my unbiased review.

Was this review helpful?

The Chaos Agent by Mark Greaney, is an exhilarating thriller that skillfully captures the essence of our technology-driven era. This pulse-pounding novel delves into the very heart of our zeitgeist, immersing readers in a world of relentless suspense and intrigue.

Was this review helpful?

I received an ARC from "NetGalley" and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

The story begins with Court and Zoya laying low in Guatemala. The are cooped up in an apartment until the rain stops. The then go to a cafe to get something to eat. During their meal, Zoya recognizes an individual and returns later to talk to him. Because of this interaction, Court and Zoya get put on a kill list. Since they have not been looking at the news, they were unaware of all the people involved with AI being assassinated. An old acquaintance of Court's has been directed to take both Court and Zota out. The two manage to escape and eventually end up in Mexico where Court meets up with his old handler.

Things go from bad to worse and eventually the two team up with the CIA. Their task is to put an end to the killing.

To find out what event happened in Mexico, how the two ultimately joined with the CIA and who was responsible for the assassination and why, then you need to read this book You won't be disappointed.

Was this review helpful?

Another winner in the Gray Man series. This is the 13th book in the series and they just keep getting better and better. This one has everything you want in an action thriller: great characters, a fast paced plot, and unexpected twists. Throw in some weaponized AI and you're in for an edge of your seat thriller. Highly recommended

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publisher for an advanced reader copy.

Was this review helpful?

A complex thriller with AI at the center of the story. A series of assassinations of top AI scientists and thinkers turns into much more as assassin is pitted against assassin. Russia, China and the US are in the running for responsibility. Lots of action and bloodshed in cinematic reading. A little too long but the many sub plots enhance the plot. Some surprises and I am in for the next Gray Man novel.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Loved this latest in the Grey Man series. It was a non-stop action read with a great story-line. Subject was AI robots and how far mankind will go to win. What would be the cost if AI machines can rewrite the codes to control them. Loved the action of Court, Zoya, Zack Hightower, and the Ground Branch men. Definitely kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Can't wait to read the next in the series.

Was this review helpful?

Artificial intelligence is a societal buzzword. AI is the amalgamation of numerous technologies that, when successful, allow the AI agent to learn and modify its actions. The tech is so new and still scattered. Now if someone with a futurist’s vision could unify the tech . . .

Let’s say someone has kind of figured out how to integrate the tech. That might be the savior or destroyer of the world, depending on what the AI learns and applies. Let’s say there are a couple dozen different ‘modules’ of tech needed to fully realize AI’s potential. To ensure one’s place at the top of the pyramid, the geniuses behind each module would need to be eliminated.

Over the span of about 1 week, billionaire tech geniuses are dying by accident, ‘natural causes’ or just plain murder.

Courtland Gentry (aka ‘the gray man’) and Zoya Zakharova are staying a couple steps ahead of the CIA and the SVR hiding out in Guatemala. One of Zoya’s former mentors reaches out for help in guarding a Russian AI genius in transit to Mexico City, but the genius is struck down. A day before and after finds others killed in Vegas and Canada. Each hit was carried out by a highly skilled shooter who has equally skilled oversight provided by an expert drone pilot.

The video captured at the Mexico hit is sent back to a control center in Malaysia where facial recognition identifies Zoya. She is traced back to Guatemala and the AI of the control center (‘Cyrus’) decides that she and her companion need to be eliminated. A cat and mouse game ensues with the Malaysia control center following Court and Zoya.

Meanwhile, in the UK a hit on a Kiwi AI genius fails. The Kiwi, Anton Hinton, flees the UK for one of his protected labs around the world, this on in Cuba. And you can guess what happens next: Court/Zoya and Hinton kind of butt heads in Cuba. At issues is the future of the tech. Will it be used for the betterment of humanity or does it have the potential to self-actualize and run amok like Cyberdyne in the Terminator movies.

I see that this is the 13th Gray Man book produced by Greaney. We’ve reviewed a few of them here, all favorably. And this is no exception. A first rate action-thriller. The Chaos Agent is a wild ride of deception, murder, and some serious passages of action tying up multiple scenarios around just where and how AI will best be pursued. It had been a while since I last read a Greaney book so I streamed The Gray May (with Ryan Gosling). Not sure how much that helped but it did show the extent to which Greaney will go to portray action. Let’s just say, be prepared for a wild ride over the last 25% of the book.

Thanks to Netgalley for the advance reviewer copy of the book. Their website was offline for maintenance so I can’t say when in 2024 it’ll be available.

Was this review helpful?

Rating- 3.75

So I’m already a big fan of Court Gentry and the Gray Man series and The Chaos Agent did not disappoint.

The Gray Man finds himself in the middle of a huge conflict between man and machine. So fitting right now with AI becoming the future, but at the same time kind of terrifying to think of what’s possible with this technology..The story line was full of action. ending was exciting and unexpected. It definitely left me wanting more.

The only con for me was that there were a couple parts in the middle of the book that were a drag to get through, maybe a bit too much tech speak.

Thank you to Berkeley Publishing Group and NetGalley for an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

The Gray Man is a particular favorite in my family with my husband, adult son and I all loving his adventures and his competence. I’m not particularly interested in military equipment but I know that is a big draw for readers of this genre. The latest volume has Our Guy and his Russian spy girlfriend enjoying some downtime when they find themselves pulled into a very contemporary storyline. Someone is targeting the top minds working with artificial intelligence and killing them off . The danger with worldwide ramifications is creating a military system that by removing human decision making and replacing it with A.I., gives all advantage to the faster reflexes of A.I. Who is behind the assassinations — China, the U.S. or the military-industrial complex?
There is great strategy and lots of battles between humans and robots. In fact, the story is reminiscent of the Will Smith sci fi movie of 20 years ago, I Robot.
My only complaint is the author’s decision to end the book with a cliff hanger. I am confident any Gray Man fan will read the next book in the series and needs no gimmicks to guarantee their purchase. Instead of feeling completely satisfied with the ending of this book, I felt manipulated.

Was this review helpful?

Assassin-for-hire Court Gentry (the Gray Man) and his ex-rival now girlfriend, super Russia assassin Zoya Zakharova, have been hiding out in Central and South America, enjoying downtime together and eluding both the U.S. and Russian governments who want each captured or dead.

An older ex-Russian agent approaches Zoya in a small Guatemala lake town asking for help to protect an AI engineer whose life is at risk, and suddenly Court and Zoya find themselves targeted by facial recognition software and under death threats themselves. On their trail: Scott Kincaid a ruthless assassin known by code name Lancer and also known for leaving excessive collateral damage of civilians in his killings. But ultimately compared to other Gray Man novels, Court plays mostly a secondary support role to his longtime agency friends who are on the hunt for the perpetrator of the killings.

Meanwhile, around the world, close to a dozen top AI scientists and engineers are being killed in rapid succession. Jim Pace from the CIA is tasked with traveling to the assassination sites to try to figure out what’s going on. All have some connection to the use of AI to develop autonomous weapons powered by advanced AI. This is where this novel shines: in the truly scary prospect of both the attraction of using AI to power weapons faster than humans and the potential horror of something going wrong with the AI in control. The killings feature robots that look like Greyhounds with rifles affixed to the backs and endless variations of drones ranging from barely visible to those carrying powerful detonation payloads.

In charge: some combination of famous billionaire Anton Hinton who claims he has a vision of world peace and an AI that Hinton’s created named Cyrus who may be behaving erractically. But Hinton may also be angling to sell his new AI weaponry to the highest bidder, which appears to be China. But, the U.S. wants the technology for themselves. Thrown into the mix: an old favorite Zack Hightower who’s been drawn out of retirement to take control of Hinton’s security team.

All action leads to Cuba, where Hinton has converted a sprawling old Russian intelligence campus and bunker into his AI lab. The tension keeps ratcheting up, and ends in non-stop violence between CIA teams, Hinton’s private security, AI driven autonomous weapons, and the Cuban militia that went on for so long that that it ultimately seemed gratuitous and over the top. I found myself skimming dozens of fight pages.

But gotta love Greaney for a huge, cliff-hanger set up for the next outing in this series, where Court and Zoya will return to the forefront.

Thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.

Was this review helpful?

The Chaos Agent

As is often the case, Mark Greaney is on the forefront of topical issues with this one. You have artificial intelligence that starts out promising but is soon running amok, advanced drones capable of doing amazing things, and a seemingly benign tech guru who is, under his veneer, pretty reprehensible. All of this presents quite a challenge for the Gray Man, but with a little help, he is up to it.

This one has what Gray Man fans have come to expect: fast-paced action with high tech weapons and compelling characters in various exotic locales. As usual, this offering from Mark Greaney is escapist espionage fare at its finest.

I am grateful to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Mark Greaney's The Chaos Agent (Berkley 2024), Book 13 of Gray Man series, is another winner. This one is ripped from future headlines about the power of AI. Against his better instincts, Court Gentry, aka, the Gray Man, is pulled into an international battle to control AI warfare and those who know how to invent and run it. The major players in this industry on the West's side are being killed off, leaving the Chinese scientists to continue their work unchallenged. Except there’s a problem. One of the murdered players in this industry is personal to Gentry's girlfriend, Zoya Zakharova. Because she is close to this man, the killers think they must eliminate her, which Gentry won't allow. While the killers try to figure out how to deal with Gentry and Zoya, their mostly-unchallenged AI is learning how to dominate the world and wrest control from its human masters. As Gentry tries to save Zoya's life, and his own, he is also fighting for the survival of humanity in a Wild West of Man vs. Machine. 

The only downside of this book is that Greaney includes an awful lot of background on the characters. It’s interesting and builds their credibility, but slows the plot. It took a long time for Court and Zoya to get from their Guatemala hideout to the story's climax locations as Greaney was building all of this backstory. Not good or bad. Just a comment, and having said that, I still couldn't stop reading and gave the book an enthusiastic 5/5.

Was this review helpful?

Five stars! Unputdownable! The Chaos Agent is not my usual genre, but I loved it. It's action-packed with AI military-grade weapons. Although I could predict some plot points, it contains some great twists. It was a fantastic read.
Thank you @netgalley and @berkleypublishing for the eArc! #thechaosagent

Was this review helpful?

This is a can’t put down non stop action book. The story is fast paced and grabs you from the first page. This book is part of a series and could be read as a stand alone, but the series itself is so good I recommend all of them. Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.

Was this review helpful?

Another bombtastic addition to the series!
~~~~~~~~~~
If you love fast-paced reads that make you question everything you think you know about world politics and players, this is the book for you.

Greaney cannonballs us right into AI for military use and its full attempt to start a world domination plot. Buckle up for this ride that is nothing short of scary and crazy!

All of the main players are included in this edition; Court, Zoya, and Zack, plus so many more that you will recognize from other books. The interactions are wild and unbelievable! And hang on for the messed-up twist at the end that plows us right into the next book.

If you are looking for a methodical thriller and suspense-type espionage story, this is not it. Greaney packs in so much action and twists that you need to clear a weekend for this book. Once you start reading, it is tough to stop!

The Chaos Agent is controlled chaos throughout and you will not want to miss this one!

Was this review helpful?

Pub Day 2-24-24
The Chaos Agent is the 13th book in the Gray Man Series. Mark Greaney never disappoints. I have read every single installment in this series and could not imagine missing this one. With each book the reader becomes more and more involved and interested in the life of the Court Gentry and now with his partner Zoya.
Court and Zoya have tried to slow down and have assumed new identities while living in Central America. Zoya’s ‘Uncle’ from Russia tracks them down. Computer geniuses all over the world are being taken out. It appears an autonomous AI system is tracking people down and making decisions to take out the target withOUT human input.
Who built this AI system? These drones? These robots? A high flying fast paced ride lead by The Grey Man in a book that is written so vividly the reader is immediately immersed in the story. Neatly tied up with a bow and the ground work layed for The Gray Man’s next adventure!

Was this review helpful?

Another good Gray Man novel. Was a bit slow for the first 100 pages but the action ramps up quickly after that leading to a break neck conclusion which leaves the reader wanting more. Looking forward to the next one

Was this review helpful?

A pulse-pounding thriller that taps into the zeitgeist of our tech-driven era…..

Book Information

Mark Greaney's upcoming thriller, "The Chaos Agent," spans 560 pages and is set to hit shelves on February 20, 2024. This highly anticipated novel marks the 13th installment in the gripping Grey Man series. Special thanks to the Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with an advance reader copy for review.

Summary

In search of a quiet life, the Gray Man and his partner, Zoya Zakharova, have assumed new identities in Central America. Their peace is shattered when an old acquaintance proposes a risky mission—to rescue a Russian scientist targeted for assassination. Despite refusing initially, their association draws deadly attention. They quickly find themselves pursued by assassins and facing enemies from billionaires to governments. With no place to hide and with the world hanging in the balance, the Gray Man confronts the inevitable, acknowledging that in this deadly game, fighting is the sole choice.

My Thoughts

Mark Greaney's "The Chaos Agent" is a classic Grey Man tale that showcases the author's mastery of storytelling. As the plot unfolds, Greaney unleashes a literary adrenaline rush, making 'The Chaos Agent' a rollercoaster from which readers won't want to disembark.

The novel is filled with a lot of familiar names from Greaney's previous stories, adding an extra bonus for longtime fans. It also includes several good twists, ensuring that the book holds the reader's attention from beginning to end.

One of the strengths of "The Chaos Agent" lies in its interesting premise, which is not too far-fetched and remains very current to our times. In a digital dance of danger, the narrative serves as a timely warning about the dark allure of artificial intelligence, painting a vivid picture of a world where technology becomes both savior and nemesis. The exploration of AI's potential to assume control of defense-related computer systems and manipulate human assets raises thought-provoking questions about morality and reaction time when these elements are removed from the equation. The novel delves into well-thought-out details on how AI might be weaponized, adding depth to the storyline.

While the book may have been slightly longer than necessary, it is highly enjoyable, especially for those who love action-adventure thrillers. Greaney also delivers a solid ending, successfully tying a bow on the story while skillfully setting up the groundwork for the next installment. This ability to both conclude and pave the way for future developments is a skill that many authors struggle to achieve simultaneously in my reading experience.

Recommendation

"The Chaos Agent" is a gripping and well-crafted novel that captivates readers with its fast-paced plot, familiar characters, and a compelling exploration of AI's potential consequences. With the precision of a master chess player, Greaney maneuvers characters and plot twists like pieces on a board, creating a literary game that keeps readers turning pages until the final move. If you relish action-adventure thrillers, this book deserves a spot on your reading list.

Rating

4 Grey Stars

Was this review helpful?