Publishing Date: February 2018
Publisher: Dog Ear
Publisher’s Description: This book starts off with Jon reminiscing about one of his early CAG missions in Afghanistan hunting for Taliban controlled caves. Later during a lull in operations he is invited to go hunting on the surface with the Chiricahua Apache. After the hunt one of the Chiricahua medicine men has a vision of the future that reveals a new enemy. An invasion from Mexico by a coalition of Mexican and Chinese forces. Jon has a little time to prepare for this threat while at the same time eliminating another threat that started in Book 1.
Review: Not sure what to make of this novel. The stilted dialogue between the characters that is overlaid with backstory and their personal histories came off a bit contrived. There was no flow to the exchanges and everyone in Omega 11 is either an expert commando do-gooder/jujitsu master, or a hot looking female sharp shooter/Olympic gold medalist x2/sword expert. The delivery is a bit smug with every event showcasing how great they, and their Indian neighbors are. If you have read any of John Ringo’s books, this follows the same pattern. The whole “Klavia The Superdog” shtick wore a bit thin especially when the narrative switches to her perspective. Anthropomorphism really has no place in literature except SciFi/Fantasy.
A few instances where you really needed to suspend your disbelief is the inaccurate portrayal of “The Hunt”. In about a day they kill 42 wolves that are attacking their small party. Wolf behavior is thrown out the door on this one as is the idea of hunting “vicious” coyotes with spears. Of course Becca kills a 170 lb. cougar with a spear and shoots freehand a lame deer at 740 plus yards with iron sites. She uses a .308 round that is special because the bullet and load is different and custom made by Westley Richards. The round “looks different” than a regular .308. Huh? A custom load is a well developed process of matching your gun to bullet type/weight, powder type/weight and most importantly, distance from the lands for seating depth. Not to mention all the prep that goes into case selection, sizing (neck or case), fire sizing to chamber, trimming/chamfer, truing- out of round necks, truing primer pockets and flash holes, weighing each bullet for consistency and proper crimp. To say that a round is custom because it looks different is not sufficient. Additionally, Westley Richards does not make custom loads for clients.
The idea that John and his MWD-k9 and Becca are accepted into the Chiricahua nation as warriors is pretty funny. In case you missed the last 150 or so years, natives don’t really like us. How do I know? I have worked on Indian reservations for 25 years an am a First Nations decendant. Sure I have a lot of friends, but generally, Tribal Council’s are careful to exclude non-tribal employees/members from ANY tribal events and you will not lead from the front on any policy issue. Also the idea that there is a traditional tribal gathering being acted out in ancient Indian escape tunnels where elders have visions which the military takes seriously, is ridiculous. The whole special warrior knife thing where “warriors have to kill anyone that touches their knife”, is bullshjt.
This novel never gets off the pot. The war that you waited for, never comes and each day is an endless hashing of “topside” conditions. I will say that the guessed at political perspectives might be pretty close in a real situation based on the current state of anarchy that resides around the world. The characters are fun to follow in that the movement flows at a good clip WHEN MOVEMENT OCCURS. The writing style grows on you and only wastes your time with verbose military verbiage if you’re not into it. There were way too many firearm, Indian and wildlife fails, but was balanced out with some good action and interpersonal interactions.
The novel was cogent but I would say that the author either lost his voice or never developed one to enhance the characterization. Every character was patterned: like watching a B-grade military movie where characters exchange patterned dialogue. I will not be visiting the next in the series unless the author pays me.