Rising by Rick Campbell is a riveting military thriller.
He uses his personal experience as a retired Navy Commander
to write an authentic story regarding submarine warfare. This
novel is written in such a way that those who want a gripping
story will enjoy it as well as those who want to know about
the latest weapon systems. There’s a great balance between
a good plot, well-developed characters, and a discussion of
Campbell explained to blackfive.net, “I made a conscious
decision to balance the level of detail with the most crucial
aspect of a thriller, the pace. Many times having to stop
and explain a weapons system comes at the expense of the pacing.
All the weapons are realistic, but I did give China some long-range
missile capabilities. Because some of the material is classified
some of the scenes in the book are tweaked regarding the weapon
capabilities. However, I did try to keep everything in the
realm of possibility.”
This second book in the series brings back the main character
of national security advisor Christine O’Connor. She
advises the US President not to sign the Mutual Access to
Environmental Resources accord. She fears that the US and
the Pacific Rim nations will have the availability to dwindling
oil reserves while China is cut off from present and future
production, derailing its economic growth and prosperity.
What results is an all-out naval war with China as they invade
both Taiwan and Japan.
There are many comparisons to World War II when Japan also
went to war over natural resources and had the upper hand
in the initial battles. Campbell takes the reader on a roller
coaster ride as China attempts to neutralize America’s
Pacific Fleet through cyber warfare, jamming satellites, and
infecting weapon systems with malware. With intense submarine
battles it feels as if you’re there, playing the cat
and mouse games as submarines engage with surface ships.
The author hopes to show in his books how the leaders of nation
states are put in positions where they must either accept
the consequences or take action. In the beginning of Empire
Rising he doesn’t make China pure evil, although, the
same cannot be said by the end of the book.
As with the first book, Christine O’ Connor ends up
in the wrong place at the wrong time. This recurring theme
has her playing a leading role as the storyline progresses.
What makes this interesting is that the author through Christine’s
eyes, a military novice, can explain different military aspects
from her perspective. She is seen as someone who is strong-willed,
determined, tenacious, committed to the task, and at times
Empire Rising is a warning of sorts, a ‘what
could happen’ if China does gain the upper hand in cyber
warfare. In the spirit of Dale Brown and Tom Clancy this novel
is a spellbinding story that never runs out of action scenes.
It also has characters that are intriguing and captivating.
a heads up about his next book, whose working title is Cold
Betrayal. It involves a collision between the newest American
fast attack submarine and one of Russia’s new ballistic
missile submarines. As life support systems begin to fail,
the United States and Russia rush to the aid of their crews.
Both sides realize that whoever reaches the sunken ships first
will be able to board the other country’s submarine,
harvesting the latest weapon and tactical systems technology.