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The Mullah's Storm

By Thomas Young

        Thomas W. Young's book, The Mullahfs Storm, is about a battle for survival, fighting the elements and the enemy in Afghanistan. The plot starts off when a transport plane, carrying a high-value Taliban detainee, is shot down in Afghanistan during a ferocious snowstorm. The rest of the story depicts how the navigator, Major Michael Parson, and army interpreter, Sergeant Gold rely on each other to complete their mission and to keep each other alive.

This book is a fictional account of surviving in Afghanistan that is based on reality. Young commented, "I wrote the book for a few reasons. I wanted to write a compelling story about my worst fears, the thought of getting shot down and killed since I am a flight engineer for the Air National Guard in Afghanistan. Basically my job is to move cargo in and out of the war zone. I also wanted to give an insight into the people who are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, the motivations and mindset of the people who serve there. Remember less than 1 % of the American population has served in those areas."

It is a fast paced book that allows the reader to feel they are part of the battle. The reader is able to experience through Young's very descriptive narrative the cold, hunger, sleep deprivation, fear, and mental strength that the characters had to go through to survive. He commented that the characters, Parson and Gold, ghad a professional partnership. Major Parson is a country boy who has an outdoors skill, which he used to help keep himself and Sergeant Gold alive. Sergeant Gold's skills are the knowledge of the human terrain, the Afghan culture, and the Pashto language.

A descriptive quote in the book describes to the reader what the soldiers sometimes feel, "Let G-d forgive them I will arrange the meeting." Young commented that this is a quote he heard in the military circles and is used from time to time. He clearly illustrates the challenges and difficulties faced by service men and women in Afghanistan as well as the professionalism and the dedication to the mission.

Young is skillfully able to avoid entangling the characters in a romantic relationship. He wanted to base the relationship on a professional partnership since, as he notes, git would not have been realistic for them to form any kind of relationship because they were in too much pain, too tired, and faced too much danger. I never gave Sergeant Gold a first name so that she could keep a certain professional distance.

This book is very interesting and informative. Through the plot and the characters the reader is able to understand what American soldiers must endure day in and day out while fighting the War on Terror.

The Book

G. P. Putnam's Sons / Penguin
September 7, 2010
Political Thriller
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The Reviewer

Elise Cooper
Reviewed 2010
© 2010