Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.

By the end of this set of chapters I’ll finally be half way through this book, which is good but I still have the other half to go. Look, this isn’t my genre to begin with, and I picked up the book many years ago out of curiosity and wanting to expand my library a bit, but so far I have not enjoyed this book. Between the odd chapter structure and the mostly unlikable heroes this just isn’t doing it for me. The story is competent enough. Whether it’s Clancy, Pieczenik, or Jeff Rovin doing the writing here he/they is/are good at what he/they do. I’m just not really feeling it whenever they leave Korea.

Last time we saw that extremists on both the North and South side of Korea are hatching a plan to cause a war because they can’t get along…despite currently getting along. I guess when you have a common goal, even if it’s “kill each other”, you can put your differences aside. It may seem irrational, but such hatred is itself irrational, isn’t it? And it’s sure to get even more irrational before we’re through.

  • Chapter Thirty-Seven: Tuesday, 9:10 AM, Washington, DC: Five chapters
  • Chapter Thirty-Eight: Tuesday, 11:17 PM, Sea Of Japan, twelve miles from Hungnam, North Korea: two pages and a paragraph
  • Chapter Thirty-Nine: Tuesday, 8:20 AM, the C-141 over Texas: five pages

I wonder if anyone out there is keeping up with all the time zone changes to make sure this is accurate?

I think the author is trying to make Mike look a little better but fails miserably in my opinion. Even if, as Paul thinks while dashing to the White House while his son is getting worse and his wife just wants her husband by her, that Mike would bail out and head back (leaving the team a man short because Mike took his spot remember) it doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t have to. No, I don’t care that Mike is a general at heart and would want to be with the team he created. He has a job to do, the Op-Center project is already one for two and still in a probationary period, things have been falling apart, a good soldier had to stay behind so Mike could play soldier again, and he’s a jerk for not staying behind even if he doesn’t know about Paul’s son. And while I don’t know if it’s sexism or not, he should give his wife more of a pass than Mike right now. Meanwhile he can’t trust Mackall because he isn’t sure she has Op-Center’s best interests in mind over her own. Paul, I know you want to have people who think outside the box and everything, and this may be for the best since a variety of perspectives is better in the long run than a bunch of yes men in a situation like this, but why would you hire someone you can’t trust?

Meanwhile all the good people are still in Korea. A recon team is making their second pass when they’re shot at and force away by North Korean fighters. The chapter opens talking about how Communist countries rarely respect the borders and the North especially thinks they own more of the Sea Of Japan than actual Japan or the US believes but considering the lack of warning shots and the plane just barely escaping their recon mission to see if the North is mobilizing or not (since there’s still that issue with the computers tied to the satellites) I have to wonder if this is more of Eyepatch’s Northern…ally isn’t the right word…co-conspirators maybe?

So back with the glory hound…I mean Mike, he gets a call from Op-Center asking his team to do some recon. They work out a strategy and if it wasn’t for the jackass here it’s a scene I could probably get into. There’s talk of military strategies in the past and how to tinker with them for this situation. Also, Mike and Stoll cooked up a little plan that might work for their escape since they won’t be able to get out the way they came. This does interest me, and not because Stoll is so far the only other likable Op-Center member alongside Paul Hood. I wonder what “EBC” will turn out to be? (rhyme unintentional)

So I’m still not sold on this book. I’m not sure it was worth getting, at least for me. The story is competent thus far; I just like to have the majority of the heroes not be someone I want to smack with a fossilized newspaper. I hope the next set of chapters leans more towards enjoyable because I’m on the fence with this set. We’re finally half way through the book. The sooner I finish the other half the better.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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