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SHOCK OF WAR by Larry Bond


From the Larry Bond's Red Dragon Rising series, volume 4

by Larry Bond & Jim DeFelice

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2139-8
Publisher: Forge

Third in the very-near-future war series (Edge of War, 2010, etc.) about a drought-stricken, starving and desperate China's efforts to secure food supplies by invading lush Vietnam.

The United States, meanwhile, has its own problems. Gas costs over $14 per gallon, while the recession and housing crises are still in full swing. However, when China marches to war, U.S. President George Greene defies Congress and determines to aid Vietnam to ensure world stability. Oh the irony. Environmental scientist Josh MacArthur witnessed the Chinese attack and a subsequent massacre and even has footage of the event. But thanks to Chinese counter-propaganda and a lukewarm media reaction, Congress shrugs. Oh the double irony. CIA officer Mara Duncan, who helped Josh escape and evade assassins, now sidelined in Washington and given a desk job, analyzes some curious features of the Vietnamese defenses. As a typhoon approaches, a U.S. destroyer patrols off the Vietnamese coast in an effort to prevent Chinese troops from landing. And, in a top secret op, Majors Win Christian and Zeus Murphy join the Vietnamese defenders while Greene schemes to smuggle missiles into Vietnam to counter the Chinese battle tanks. Despite all this, only the timidity of the Chinese commanders prevents sudden and complete disaster. Is it credible? Well, sort of, though one can't help wondering why China didn't use its gazillions in hoarded U.S. debt to buy food, or how Vietnam managed to accumulate enough rice to feed a billion Chinese. However, the headlong pace, crackling action and splendid heroics more than compensate.

Crank up the La-Z-Boy, lean back and enjoy.