by Lt. Col. Hunter Ripley "Rip" Rawlings IV (Ret.)
is a military thriller. Marine reservists, National Guard
soldiers, and civilians band together to fight an invasion
on US soil. As Russia attacks the US on its own soil, a ragtag
pieced together team from the West Virginia National Guard,
Ranger Special Ops, US Naval medical teams, West Virginia
mountaineers, and backwoods hunters engage in battlefield
tactics to take America back.
noted, "I was always intrigued with what is going on
between America and Russia. The Russians were upset that they
did not win the Cold War. They have shown extreme aggressiveness
because they really do not like the US. I think that the Cold
War is back. I also read books, including what General Patton
wrote about Russia. He immediately knew Russia was not an
ally and were bad bedfellows."
reading this, people might think of how during the Revolutionary
War and the War of 1812, Americans defeated a far superior
enemy with a combination of military men and militia. Although
some might think how is it possible for Russia to attack the
US on its own soil and initially succeed, they should think
back to the movie "Red Dawn," which had a group
of mid-western teenagers banding together to defend their
town and their country, from invading Soviet forces.
most authors send their protagonist into a war zone abroad,
terrorist hell holes, or even clandestine operations in other
countries, this book has the homeland attacked. To show how
possible this is, Rawlings documents in the opening pages,
1990 reissued Russian battle authorization justifying an invasion
of the United States. He takes it a little farther by having
far-right radical elite Russian senior military officials
implementing it. The Russian navy infiltrates America's shores
by using attack vessels disguised as cargo ships. What makes
the story work is how the author does not go into major detail
about the invasion but delves into what happens afterward
and how Americans fought back.
wrote in the beginning of the book how Russia and America
have plans to invade each other. What I used in the book is
the dumbed-down version of the Russian plan. They still have
that perspective that they must neutralize the US before they
handle the threat of Europe. They want to be the second super-power.
I just took it a step farther and showed as Stalin thought,
that America is in some sense worse than the Nazis. They perceive
America as evil."
protagonists are very believable, and readers will root for
them to succeed. There are plenty of tough women, such as
Navy Commander Victoria Remington and dog handler, Staff Sgt
Diaz. The hero is Marine Lt. Tyce Asher, who fought in Iraq,
was wounded there, and now is in charge of a joint Marine/National
Guard reserve unit. He has flaws and can sometimes question
his own decisions, but when the troops need a leader, he's
a battle-tested squared-away Marine, much like the author
who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Northern Africa. Rawlings'
duties included being an Infantry and LAV Reconnaissance Officer
as well as a Warfighting Department Head for Marine Corps
Command & Staff College.
The author commented, "Tyce lost a leg in combat and
lived with the decision that cost most of the platoon their
lives. Then he must deal with the government telling him they
do not need him anymore because he is seen as a cripple. He
has a lot of self-doubts; yet, rises to the occasion. Commander
Remington kicks Tyce's butt and tells him to get his act together.
I know that the battle of the sexes ends with the trench.
She is a very strong Italian descent woman. Very feisty. She
eventually places her trust in Tyce but points out she is
his equal after he earns her respect. Overall, she is direct,
will call out BS when she sees it, and is very vocal."
pulls back the curtain to inform readers about the pressures,
stresses, and strains that come with military leadership.
The story is gripping and maintains a high level of suspense
through non-stop action.