General Patrick McLanahan's new Aerospace Battle Force has grown into a full-fledged task force based on the Armstrong Space Station. Providing almost instant access to space and every corner of the globe using the Black Stallion spaceplanes, the ABF's powerful network of satellites and unmanned aircraft controlled from space can not only attack any target anywhere on the planet within hours but can even invade any computer network as easily as making a phone call.
But the program has its critics and doomsayers, including Russia, the United Nations, and the American press. Wealthy, Western-educated, and sophisticated Russian president Leonid Zevitin uses a combination of top-secret anti-spacecraft weaponry, fearmongering, and new U.S. president Joseph Gardner's own egotism in an effective plan to eliminate all support for the space program. Gardner and his allies in Congress and the Pentagon will stop at nothing--even destroying one of their own--to get what they want.
Yet McLanahan and his forces refuse to allow the Russian aggression to stand. McLanahan ignores directives from the White House and Pentagon to stand down and orders the ABF to attack secret Russian bases in Iran.
President Gardner orders McLanahan's immediate arrest. But before authorities can throw him in jail, they have to figure out how to retrieve him from the space base orbiting the earth. Currently in control of the Aerospace Battle Force from Armstrong Space Station, McLanahan closely watches Russia's movement of weaponry while defending himself against the President's attempts to discredit him. In a race against time, McLanahan must outmaneuver his own countrymen, defeatthe Russians, and expose the truth . . . or die trying.
The U.S. is still recovering from "the American Holocaust," a Russian air strike that killed and wounded thousands in 2004, at the start of this clunky techno-thriller from bestseller Brown (Strike Force). In 2009, Lieutenant General McLanahan, commander of the High Technology Aerospace Weapons Center, fears the Russians are covertly arming Iran, now known as the Democratic Republic of Persia. An immoral and weak U.S. president, Joseph Gardner, doesn't help the situation. Full of technical prose ("Skybolt was powered by a MHDG, or magnetohydrodynamic generator, which used two small nuclear reactors to rapidly shoot a slug of molten metal back and forth through a magnetic field to produce the enormous amount of power required by the laser") and broadly drawn characters, from Gardner, who can't keep his pants on even during a global crisis, to Senate majority leader Stacy Anne Barbeau, who wields her cleavage in the interests of her constituents as well as national security, this novel will appeal to readers who care more about advanced weaponry than a plausible plot. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 12, 2008
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