Writers often allow their narrative to get swept up in the kind of action that leaves their characters behind. When this happens, it’s because the characters have become secondary to the spectacle. Spectacle, no matter how dazzling, is empty and meaningless if it doesn’t advance your story or provide your characters with an opportunity to reveal more of themselves to the reader.
Some writers, like Lee Child (Without Fail) and Wilber Smith (River God), manage to subject their characters to all manner of abuse, while at the same time using the chaos to help further define them, or move the plot forward. Others…well, let’s just say it’s tougher than it looks.