Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

America's Finest

Title: America's Finest
Author: Stephen Peterson
Genre: Non-Fiction, Creative
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1438985681

The more than sixty short stories that make up "America's Finest" details the humanitarian service as well as the personal sacrifices of the men and women of each of the branches of the United States Armed Services in Iraq. United States service members provided Iraqi citizens health care services, formal education, public works and many other services too numerous to describe. Though the United States Armed Services are trained in the art of war, more than 70% of its activities, even during the period of armed conflict, was dedicated to non-combative work for and on behalf of the Iraqi people. within days following combat action, American service members began initiating public service work toward re-building the infrastructure and personal lives of individual Iraqis in a spirit of compassion, mercy and forgiveness towards those who had been enemies only hours before. Airmen/women, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers gave thousands of manhours each week in their attempt to make life better for the Iraqi people. A number of these service members gave the citizens of Iraq the greatest gift any person could render-their lives. Privates, junior enlisted non-commissioned officers and junior company grade officers most between the age 18 and 24 years of age make up the majority of the figures in these stories. These brave, resourceful young men and young women are the REAL heroes and heroines. From rural communities, suburbs and inner cities; rich, middle class and poor; every racial and ethnic group make up the United States armed services. As an all volunteer force, there is no compulsion to serve. Yet each do so willingly for freedom and liberty for all. They are indeed "America's Finest" and patriots all!

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Peterson, Stephen


Title: Rhombus
Author: Bob Gore
Genre: Fiction, Sci-Fi
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0929712889

Deep in the Nevada desert, on a military base that doesn't exist, the U.S. government has developed the most sinister warplane ever to rule the skies. Its name is Rhombus and it's the pinnacle of man's genius applied to the art of mass destruction.

Rhombus is death come alive.

Lt. Michael Christum is America's finest aviator, a supreme and lethal warrior. A man of honor, his love for his wife and children are as profound as his sense of duty. Christum will pilot Rhombus. Time after time he's answered his country's call, unflinching, unfailing. But this mission is different. It if fails, it will mean the eradication of mankind.

Rhombus is a high-tech action-adventure thriller penned by a U.S. Air Force Top Gun who employs his intimate knowledge of the military mentality, tactics, and weaponry to put you in the cockpit of the world's ultimate weapon--heading toward a target that no one could possibly imagine.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gore, Bob

Echo of a Distant Planet

Title: Echo of a Distant Planet
Author: Wayne Lutz
Genre: Fiction, Sci Fi
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0978135776

How would a distant intelligence contact earth? Shawna is an Air Force officer with unearthly remembrances of the future and the C-130 Hercules as her hero. Trapped in a structured military world, her eerie memories persist for nearly three decades, culminating in a message from the stars. Meanwhile, on a distant planet, alien life is struggling with their attempt to communicate with life on earth. Shawna is their target. The author of six books in the series "Coastal British Columbia Stories" ventures into an exciting new genre, military aviation science fiction.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Lutz, Wayne

Breath of the Choson Dragon

Title: Breath of the Choson Dragon
Author: Jack L. Wells
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bob Flournoy

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1450551963

The Book: Breath of the Choson Dragon. Awarded a GOLD MEDAL for Mystery/Thriller by the Military Writer's Society of America, Oct. 2010 and a SLIVER MEDAL for fiction, Branson Stars and Flags Book Awards, Nov. 2010. North Korea is always in the news, sometimes front page, sometimes buried in the back. It is a vexing and problematic child that won't be ignored and won't go away. My new book is a created scenario investigating how North Korea could make the front page with a vengeance. It is based on actual history and current events. Remember, there is nothing quite as dangerous as a maniac with a mission. And nothing as concerning as such a maniac with weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivery. "Breath of the Choson Dragon" captures the ideas and emotions of the people caught up in implementing, discovering and precluding a surprise attack; a surprise attack that is very plausible. Summary: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), surreptitiously, acquires two ex Soviet Juilett class guided missile submarines in 1993, and then missiles, and later thermonuclear warheads and prepares to use them in a preemptory strike against US bases in South Korea, Japan, and Hawaii 18 years later. Their objective: reunification of the Korean peninsula under their flag. The US Defense Intelligence Agency ultimately becomes aware by putting together divergent pieces of the puzzle and finally takes last moment action to covertly stop the threat just prior to the attack. Writing Concept: The story is told through the experiences of individual North Korean, American and allied officers and others and the locations move to various sites around the world. I have personally visited most of these locations. There is a lot of realistic military, business and personal dialog. Characters develop and grow and some ultimately even change their perspective. It is an accurate technological suspense novel told through human interaction. It is not buried in jargon and is written for the layman. Military and strategic terms are explained through dialog and the reader learns capabilities through situations, not just narrative.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Wells, Jack L.

Saigon Gold

Title: Saigon Gold
Author: Hugh Scott
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0979953480

Saigon Gold won the 2010 Gold Medal award for fiction from the Military Writers Society of America.

Veterans and tourists will be entranced by this fast-paced thriller in which a decorated American officer returns to Vietnam and must face the harsh truths of his military exploits. The daring plot includes China's expansionist navy attempting to seize a key base, thus upsetting the balance of military power in the Western Pacific.
Robert Anderson is lured into a scheme to help a wartime friend recover a gold fortune. But a vengeful North Vietnamese official is watching. Discovery of cryptic documents about an ambush that only Anderson and a Vietnamese officer survived launches Anderson and companion Jenny Ngo on a wild chase around scenic Vietnam to unravel their secret before every witness is silenced by a mysterious killer.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Scott, Hugh