A well constructed good science fiction war novel set on 86, a colony planet settled by citizens of the United States. There seems to be some fighting...moreA well constructed good science fiction war novel set on 86, a colony planet settled by citizens of the United States. There seems to be some fighting going on so the United States has sent in its Settlement Office troops to look into the fighting.
Lex Falk is a journalist, who has seen it all. He travels to Planet 86 in search of a good story, but he is shown the usual set up pieces that all of the young journalists are shown. He meets up with Cleesh, a fellow journalist, who has an interesting proposition for him, a special spying mission at the hands of GEO, a corporation that suspects the fighting is a cover for something. But then there is an explosion in town, and Falk suspects that there is more to the story. Meanwhile Cleesh reveals that if he is interested in the spying mission, he needs to be active right now, and then in a scene right out of Avatar, they insert Falk into a "jung tank" and upload his mind piggyback into combat vet Nestor Bloom, who is about to be deployed in the hot and heavy.
But Bloom takes a bullet in a ambush right from the start and loses his mind and Falk is thrust to the fore. Falk/Bloom must use all of Falk's smarts and Blooms inherent skills to survive a real shooting war and figure out why the two sides are fighting so hard over Planet 86. Is it mineral rights, the Moon, or is there something hidden on Planet 86, thats worth the Eastern Block and the US going to war.
Its fast, its hot, its an excellent science fiction war novel.
An excellent war novel set in Afghanistan. It is a sequel apparently to a previous novel featuring the likable Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parson, who...moreAn excellent war novel set in Afghanistan. It is a sequel apparently to a previous novel featuring the likable Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parson, who is an advisor to the Afghans training their helicopter pilots and his subordinate, Sergeant Major Sophia Gold, who is both his translator and a airborne veteran with parachuting experience.
Young plunges the reader right into the thick of the Afghan conflict, where villages are threatened by Taliban fighters, and friend and foe are not easy to perceive. Parson goes to an Afghan village to help with earthquake relief and the copter comes under enemy fire. When they leave, Taliban swoop in and steal some kids. They want to use them as suicide bombers. The Taliban commander is a radical even for the Taliban. A kid is killed in grotesque ways. Parsons must fight through enemy fire. A co-pilot of his helicopter tries to take him captive. We see the war through the eyes of Parsons and his helicopter crew.
Meanwhile Gold goes to a village to talk to some local women, who seem to have Taliban leanings. They invite her to talk to one of their husbands -- a leader of the Taliban. Parson refuses to permit her to meet with the Taliban leader, but she defies his orders and ultimately her visit leads to vital intelligence as the Taliban and the Americans have a coalescing of interests. The Taliban do not want radicals to undermine their pursuit of keeping the populous leaning toward their interests, and the Americans, have an interest in killing Taliban terrorists.
Gold's intelligence coup leads to a final battle to breach an Afghan stronghold and kill the Taliban radicals.
The war action is fierce. The book may be a little slow in parts, but Young is able to expose a different war to us, a modern age war, where innocents are pawns.
Eric Rider is an Army Cop, a member of their Criminal Investigative Service during the early days of the Vietnam War. He is sent to Cheo Reo, a remote...moreEric Rider is an Army Cop, a member of their Criminal Investigative Service during the early days of the Vietnam War. He is sent to Cheo Reo, a remote base in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, on a secret mission to find who is growing opium in the highlands and using the proceeds to fund Viet Cong activities. Its partly a spy mission, partly combat duty and partly a cop mission, but its a superb novel of the early days of the war.
Rider goes on spy missions with the local CIA agent, while also helping a local doctor who is ministering to the Montagnard tribes people. He also aids Colonel Bennett in his camp. The remote outpost has little military value to the North Vietnamese, but hidden in the jungle it seems like many locals from the AIDE group, the South Vietnam Army, the Viet Kong, the North Vietnamese are all doing business. Corruption is rife.
Rider must manuever among these groups and survive the machinations of the drug overlord, who is closer at hand than one would imagine.
Its a great superb war novel and spy novel because it explores another side of the conflict that is not covered in other fiction about this period. How much of it is really fiction and how much is fact is hard to say, but Jurjevic's journey into his past is all good.(less)