As natural disasters and terrorists devastate the world, denizens of a top-secret U.S. facility find out about an imminent strike against America in this second installment of a thriller series.
The original purpose of underground complex Omega 11 was to protect Americans against the threat of Soviet nuclear weapons. But its merit is truly put to the test by California falling into the sea, trailed by a major tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. Col. Jon Frasier hasn’t been Ground Forces commander for long but has already faced scoundrels conspiring to assassinate Omega 11 leaders. Things calm down once the compound is in hibernation mode, allotting time for the soldiers to train in combat and weaponry. Frasier also meets with the Chiricahua living in sacred caves taking up much of the land above the compound. A Chiricahua medicine man’s vision seems to confirm information Omega 11 has gathered: Mexican forces are plotting to invade the U.S. They’re getting support from the Chinese, whose tunneling equipment indicates a scheme to seize the facility as well. As reports of global calamities (terrorist attacks, an influenza outbreak, etc.) continue, Frasier prepares to withstand intruders both above and below ground. Hodgson’s (The Omega Project, 2017, etc.) solid premise fits neatly into the post-apocalyptic subgenre, even if the disasters are ongoing. Frasier and others, for example, constantly adjust to their subterranean life (taking in refugees or new officers) and hear periodic accounts of the outside world. The story is predominantly dialogue, as characters frequently discuss the global dilemma, strategy, and training. This allows for a dynamic, multicultural narrative, respectfully showcasing the Chiricahua, diverse styles of martial arts, and Scots Guards who join the complex. Unfortunately, there’s little plot progression; the much-teased confrontation doesn’t quite happen, presumably saved for the subsequent series entry. But characters have time to shine, and, as in the preceding novel, Frasier’s military working dog, Klavia, remains a knockout.
Primarily a buildup for Book 3, but delivers an intriguing underground setting and captivating characters.