Mike Maden is not just a thriller, but a thought provoking
book. The theme is so realistic it is ripped from the headlines,
questioning the use and danger of drones. Within an action
packed plot readers will be confronted with the use of drones
in war and civilian life.
Former CIA Special Forces operative Troy Pearce returns. Now
the CEO for Pearce Systems, a leader in Drone technology,
he is asked by the President to head Drone Command, a new
covert department that runs on black ops funding with little
oversight. Almost simultaneously with Pearce taking command,
a series of drone attacks are carried out on American soil:
a subway train in Washington DC, an airport in Texas, and
water contamination in California. The most serious attack
was a drone landing on the White House lawn demanding President
Lane hang the ISIS black flag over the White House or suffer
the coming consequences. With American lives at stake and
an economy in a downward spiral, Pearce and his team must
find a way to expose the terrorists and take them out before
it's too late.
Maden wanted this theme to be a warning, "Technology
is getting better and better, cheaper and cheaper. They are
amazing devices, but are only as good or evil as the people
that have them. One of the reasons why I wrote Drone Threat
was to highlight the fact that commercial off the shelf hobby
store drones can also be deadly. The primary advantages of
the lower tech, smaller payload civilian systems is that they
are easy to acquire, operate, and difficult to locate because
of their size. These highly capable and yet inexpensive systems
are begging to be weaponized. About two weeks ago this happened
when ISIS converted a small cheap commercial model by fitting
an improvised explosive device that injured two French paratroopers
and killed two Kurdish soldiers. We should expect more of
these kinds of attacks including here in America."
Beyond the theme of drones Maden also explores the psyche
of Pearce, a heroic American warrior, and the horrific mistreatment
of women by ISIS. Through these issues the former President
Margaret Myers is interjected into the plot. She does not
have much of an active role in this book except to be the
supportive mate of Pearce, since they are now in the early
stages of a relationship.
Pearce is suffering from traumatic brain injury from his days
in combat. He has anger issues, nightmares, and at times wants
to withdraw from the world. Maden wanted to acknowledge those
US warriors "who serve in combat and pay a big price
for that. I reflected their wounds in Troy. The human body
does not take numerous blows to the skull without taking a
toll. Although Troy is a fictional character he represents
on some level the brave men and women on the front lines fighting
the war on terror."
Something that gets very little play in the mainstream press
is the treatment of women and how ISIS captures girls that
they force to become sex slaves, selling them to the Saudis.
There are some scenes, which are very descriptive and saddening
regarding the abuse and how no one seems willing to help.
A book quote, "A dozen women sat cowering on the floor,
their faces covered by hijabs. But their downcast eyes told
all, dazed and red with tears. Some were even blackened."
In all of his books Maden always shows the political maneuvering
and through Pearce's eyes readers see why many politicians
should be distrusted. In this book he confronts the issue
of lobbyists and the power they can yield. Pearce's disgust
comes through in his thoughts, "Washington's famous revolving
door between government service and the lobbying agencies
made him sick to his stomach. More than a hundred formerly
registered lobbyists now served on congressional staffs...Worse,
more than four hundred former Congressmen and Senators were
now highly paid lobbyists." What Maden hopes to show
is that these lobbyists are more concerned with their own
pockets than American Security. "There is no accountability
or penalty. How can we regulate out of corruption? Politicians
who leave office can leverage their Congressional relationships
and influence into multimillion-dollar second careers."
Drone Threat exposes the dangers of drone technology
as well as politicians. With a plot filled with action, intrigue,
and political maneuvering, it is a very powerful read.