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Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Fire of the Raging Dragon" by Don Brown

How might our President react to a blossoming war between China and Taiwan?  What actions might he take if his daughter were on board a Navy vessel in the South China Sea as tensions escalate - and what if she were taken as a prisoner of war?  If he had the power to save her life, would he?  How might such a war - and its implications - affect the US?

Fire of the Raging Dragon is a political thriller like no other.  Fast-paced, technical, and full of military maneuvers, this book is guaranteed to keep you up late turning pages.  It sure did for me - by the end.

The end of this book came rather abruptly, but by then I wanted to know what happened to each of the main characters, and so I couldn't put it down.  The beginning, however, took me a while to get into.  I think that's because I was waiting to experience a character connection, and that took a bit of time - most of the book, actually.

I wanted to like this book.  I really wanted to like this book, but there was just one problem with that:  I think it was written for a man.  It was definitely written by a super-intelligent, great writer with vast stores of knowledge about the US military and their operations.  The wide cast of characters allowed the reader to see each event from a myriad of angles, getting really into the action - but not the characters.

The characters are my favorite part of the story.  I want to feel what they're feeling, see what they're seeing, smell the cookies as they bake them.  Brown writes in a smooth and engaging way, but the reader changes perspective on most pages throughout the book, allowing little time to connect with a character's emotions before hopping on to the next.  As a woman, I want to close the last page on a book feeling as if I've made new friends, whereas with Fire of the Raging Dragon I felt as if I'd finished watching an action movie.

If you are connected with the military in some way, or if you enjoy reading about guns and wars and great big what-ifs, then this is the book for you.  It's well written, well researched, and full of facts, figures, numbers, and men trying to one-up each other with their weapons.

As for me ... I think I'm on weapon overload.  I think I'll go find a romance.  :-)

I received a free copy of Fire of the Raging Dragon from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

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