Hey Space Cadets, here is the next installment in my series of book reviews. I’ve been busy with life, but I am hoping I can hit the ground running once the summer is over and I can throw my kids at the public school system! I’ve got a few open projects, but Chris Winder and I are whittling that pile down! I hope to get back to publishing novels soon. I’ve been reading the stories submitted to the anthology I’m hosting, and wow there are some good ones! I can’t wait to get that to you this December!! Finally, if you don’t listen to our podcast, you should check it out! We’ve had some fun guests whom I’m sure you’ll love listening too! But enough about me, let’s get to this review!
Author: Harold Coyle
Narrator: James Patrick Cronin
Price: $7.99 USD (Kindle Edition) & $1.99 USD (Audible Add-On)
Obtained: I bought the story and audiobook combination from Amazon.
Rating: 1/5 Grenades
I’m torn about writing this review because I have many pleasant memories from the time I spent reading the author’s works as a kid. They were the sort of aspirational action adventure novels that I liked, I literally consumed any story centered around the military. However, I won’t be writing my normal review style for this novel. There are a few reasons for this, the story didn’t age well and my tastes have changed since I was a kid. If that was the only reason, I still probably write the review and give both divergent viewpoints equal consideration. However, whoever took this original hardback novel and turned it into an e-book butchered it. It was so badly produced that I tried to return the book to Amazon. I literally missed the return window by two days and had some salty things to say to my computer screen. Like I said, I originally loved this novel, a story about a fictional WWIII, with the USSR and the Warsaw Pact fighting the forces of the United States and NATO allies. I absolutely loved anything that center around a military figure, and Harold Coyle served those up in spades. I spent my summers mowing lawns just to pay to own his books, and that was after I read them from the library. Finding one of his works in such a disreputable state broke my heart.
The story centers around the main character, Captain Sean Bannon, who led a tanker company with attached assets from the mechanized infantry. As I’ve aged, my tastes have refined, and I found that this novel fell flat for me. The characters were one-dimensional, which was even more noticeable with the enemy. The Russians were the underdeveloped and stereotypical “Ivan” you’d expect from the height of the Cold War, which is part of why I concluded that the book didn’t age well. In addition to the characterization, the action didn’t feel visceral enough. Like the characters, the combat scenes fell flat. The world building wasn’t horrible, though it built off the “modern world,” so there was less for the author to do. Luckily, the audio narration was the one shining light in this train wreck of the updated version of Team Yankee. While I did take advantage of Audible’s no questions asked return policy, it wasn’t because the narrator did a bad job. In fact, I went on to buy three of the books narrated by James Patrick Cronin. I recommend his work with no reservations.
Overall, I would say that you should pass on this story unless you can find one of the originally released version. Sadly, this was a one-star novel.
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are used on the Fair Use Doctrine.