Under secret orders from the president, U.S. Army Major Zeus Murphy sabotages a Chinese invasion fleet on the eve of its assault against Vietnam. But Murphy and fellow officer Win Christian are trapped behind enemy lines after Christian's erratic behavior gives them away.
Back in America, President Chester Greene fails to convince Congress or the Pentagon that the Chinese invasion of Vietnam is the first step in a plan to rule Asia - and eventually go to war with the United States.
After Murphy and Christian dodge a Chinese armored division and return to Vietnam, Zeus proposes a plan to blunt the tank attack. His commanding officer orders him to stand down. Murphy disobeys to help the Vietnamese woman he loves; Christian goes with him to prove he's not a coward. Within hours, the men are staring down the barrels of Chinese battle tanks at the border. The countdown to all-out war begins....
In Larry Bond's Red Dragon Rising: Shock of War, New York Times bestselling authors Larry Bond and Jim DeFelice imagine a horrifying near-future.
©2010 Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"The techno-thriller has a new ace and his name is Larry Bond." (Tom Clancy, best-selling author of Without Remorse)
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Make sure central characters are credible. Many of the central characters simply were not realistic. For example, the authors created the character of Win Christian in a way that stretched believability. How could anyone like Christian graduate from West Point, reach the rank of Major and pass the training and profiling necessary to be assigned to important covert activities? Luke Daniels further detracted from Christian's character by giving him the whiney voice of a spoiled adolescent. Unfortunately, this was not the only flawed character further harmed by a weak performance. Both Luke Daniels and the authors, Bond and DeFelice have done much better work.
The ending was very predictable and extremely unfulfilling - not up to the standards of Larry Bond.
"Decent Military Thriller with Great Narration"
The narration was great and the overarching plot good but there were some holes in the story and areas that should have been expanded on.
I was hoping for an updated version of Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising. That book was gripping all the way. This one plods and drags endlessly.
"Mediocre middle of stereotyped war novel"
First off, this isn't really a novel: it's the middle part of a larger book that needs some serious editing. It comes in after a back story has already happened, which is OK - this doesn't keep you from understanding what it going on, but it doesn't even try to tie up a single one of several plot lines or resolve anything. If you're not going for the whole series, this is really annoying.
Second: I'm sorry but the fundamentals of this book are so far off that it's tough to get past them, even in the better parts of the book. A few examples:
-- the first part of the book, by far the worst of it, depends entirely on a battle hardened US special ops guy whining like a little kid and then freaking out. Not too likely.
-- then we get to the central premise of the book, which hinges on Vietnam needing American advice on how to defeat a large, technologically superior force. Let that sink in for a moment.
-- then there's lots of little stuff: Vietnam needs Americans to penetrate enemy defenses and blow stuff up? NVA sappers were a famous elite. Americans assigned to Vietnam for an extended time don't know a single word of Vietnamese, not even things like "thank you". The Chinese have overwhelming air superiority but never seem to use it for anything . . . the list goes on and on and the more you know about weapons and tactics the longer your list will be.
Oh yes, the mighty American hero who is going to save Vietnam from the evil Chinese? His name is Zeus. Seriously his name is Zeus. That's about as subtle as this book gets and is all you need to know about the dynamic the book sets up between our hero and the poor little Vietnamese who must follow him.
There isn't really a story, it's just the middle of something bigger, but the performance is pretty good and chunks of the book at least move along so, while the first 25% or so is definitely one star, the book overall climbs up to two star.
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