RogerBW's Blog

Viper Strike, Keith Douglass 08 August 2016

1991 military fiction; second in the Carrier series. A complex plot sees Burmese, Thai and Chinese renegades orchestrating a breakup of SEATO for purposes unclear at first. Carrier Battle Group 14 is going to get caught in the middle.

This book is where things get cunning. There's plenty of false-flag provocation, kidnapping of sailors on liberty in Bangkok, and a complex plan to take the carrier out of action before anyone even knows a shooting war has started.

Characterisation is still minimal, but the players are slightly better developed than before; Magruder, now labouring under the label of "hero" after his actions in the last book, gets involved with Pamela Drake, a TV reporter who's generally anti-military (because The Media Hate Us, or at least so Magruder assumes, not entirely accurately) but open to debate. Cue a tourist-guide infodump about the floating markets of Thonburi, of the sort that's harder to get away with now that we have Wikipedia. Several of Magruder's squadron mates get a bit more detail and development too, particularly "Batman" Wayne who's starting to turn into an approximation of a human being. All of these people have their flaws as well as their strong points, and that's deeper than much mil-fic manages to get.

OK, so the only real reason to read this book is still the air battles, but you're unlikely to find a copy without looking pretty hard so you probably know that already. Within that specific area, Keith delivers, with his genuine gift for writing action scenes.

This is probably the best of the series. Followed by Armageddon Mode.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Carrier | Series: Carrier | Next in series: Armageddon Mode

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1