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Length: 479 pages
Date of Publication: 1993
A hard-line Russian leader invades the Ukraine using low-yield nuclear arms. The United States, under the Presidency of a foreign-relations fuckup, reacts.
This is not a review. I have always said that you should not review a book if you really didn't like it. This is a rant, and a warning to those who might stumble upon this massive piece of crap accidentally.
Up until this book, I've considered Dale Brown one of the best in the military-adventure / political thriller genre. However, this book is so unlike his previous style, I have to wonder if he's suffered a mental breakdown between the last book and this one.
First off, this book is riddled with completely unnecessary military gunk. Now, I like military gunk, but not when it gets in the way of my story. There were entire paragraphs devoted to explaining things you had absolutely no need to know whatsoever in order to understand or enjoy the story. He has not been prone to this in the past, and I can only blame it on his "return to school", as he put it in the intro. I think he spent too much time around crewdogs and other military folk, and was incapable of removing the technobabble that a nuclear air crew needs to know from his narrative.
Then there was the story itself, which SUCKED ROCKS. Russia uses neutron bombs against the Ukraine. The Ukrainian armed forces flea to Turkey, and the US does... nothing. At least, nothing substantive.
The President here is clearly intended to be Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who is portrayed as actually being in charge of things. I admittedly don't like the Clintons, and I think they have the foreign-policy intellect of a three year old, but even I don't think they were THIS idiotic.
So the story wraps up, but it has a minimally happy ending. The two main characters do end up satisfied, but of the four characters in this book I consider to be "bad guys", only one of them gets their comeuppance in the end. One isn't even mentioned in the Epilogue, and the other two (the Pres and his wife) actually come out ahead. So, very realistic, but entirely unsatisfactory.
In short, this book sucks.
As much as i would like to hate you for that rant. (Dale Brown is in my top ten favorite authors) After reading your rant then the book again, I have to agree.
I found it enjoyable only because i understood everything they were saying. and the only reason i understood them is because a lot friends and family of mine are in the military. My grandpa used to work in S.A.C. so i got most of the lingo from him.
I like him, too. That's why it pissed me off so much that the book departed so radically from his usual style.