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#1 2007-01-08 00:41:12

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 3965

Red Phoenix, by Larry Bond

Length: 571 pages, plus glossary of terms
Date of Publication: 1989


After a political faux pas by the South, North Korea attempts to "liberate" its southern neighbor from imperialist oppression.

This is the first book I've read by Larry Bond, although I am aware he had a hand in writing Red Storm Rising, by Tom Clancy.  The story is interesting and engaging, with a strong storyline and good characters.


There were several problems with the book, and they reduced my enjoyment of the story.  The first one was that he used a "local" date system for scene headings.  This is fine and dandy, except when the date jumps backward due to time zones.  You spend several seconds trying to figure out why one scene happens on December 6th, and the next scene happens on December 5th.  If he was going to do this, he should have used GMT as a standard for the story, and then given the local time / date as a secondary marker.  That way it would be clear what he was talking about.

Next, I'm not sure he did his research thoroughly.  For instance, he told us that traveling across South Korea in a jet aircraft was "a long flight".  South Korea's about 300 miles from top to bottom... that's about a half-hour in a fighter plane, which isn't what I'd consider a "long" flight...  There were other things like this, but this one stuck out in my mind.

Further, he tended to give us half of the story with a lot of his subplots.  He would either leave out a beginning scene that would have helped us really understand what was going on, or he would leave out some middle scene which left you just sitting there going, "So... what happened between there and here?"

Lastly, the proofreading on this book is nonexistent.  I think the mistakes averaged about one every other page.  Including some rather nasty and repeated ones... like misspelling the name of the USS San Bernardino.  Although Mr. Bond uses terms that I believe are chiefly British ("scuttle" for "scurry", and the word "juddered" to mean shook violently), he lived in Virginia at the time, and the errors that bothered me weren't the usual British/American English errors.  They were more like missing words, and missing letters to words, and just completely wrong words in sentences.  On the whole, I spent a good portion of my time thinking, "I hope whoever proofed this got fired..."

On the whole, it was a good book, and an enjoyable story, but expect to be a little frustrated by trying to read it, if you don't like encountering errors.

Storytelling: 4 out of 5
Characters: 4 out of 5
Mechanics:  2 out of 5

Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
AMEN! >>> Word Crimes



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