My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(This review is a guest post by 27-year-old Corporal Sean Murray. I didn’t want to read this author until I read his review.)
A book set in the near future depicts a depressing world from the American perspective. America’s power and influence has drastically evaporated, no longer the dominant superpower in the world, now sitting on the very edge of extinction as China has taken over America’s place with an expansionist agenda while America retreated into an isolationist shell discarding allies in attempts to avoid conflict with the Chinese juggernaut. The situation is dire and depressing, and the book continues on with a subsequent Chinese-American War with the destruction of our prized Navy (a situation almost incomprehensible for modern day Americans), defeat in detail of our Marines (a force legendary for their ability to fight), leaving the survival of the country in the hands of the ridiculously outnumbered Army and the Air Force, which is reduced from an offensive position to trying to just defend our own air space. We learn all this within the first few chapters and at the same time a prime lesson that is relevant today is shown. Diplomacy without the threat of force is useless, as we see with N. Korea and Iran in today’s society.
In this depressing setting the war for America’s homeland begins. Normally, I would have discarded this book by now, as I have no interest in anti-American fictional books, but despite the setting, this is a book that will make you proud of being American. Values are shown that are heartening; common decency, love of country, defend at all costs, never surrender, and faith in oneself and one’s fellow countrymen.
The Main characters are Han WuShi, who is basically related to every single person in the political administration for China, depicting his growth from a pampered army recruit to a leader. And Stephanie Baker, daughter of the US President, who unlike Han fights in most of the major battles on the east coast, rising from a Private to a Captain. Also we see the war from the perspective of Captain Jim Hart, a Green Beret fighting behind the lines giving us the viewpoint of someone fighting with no support, and finally returning to Free America, protecting civilians who want out of Occupied America.
It’s through Stephanie and her fellow soldiers that we see all the amazing things about our country; pride, love, loyalty, willingness to fight and die for her. All qualities that Americans like to believe are in every single one of us. From the confusion on the Chinese side of why they are even fighting in America to the simple statement on most Americans; “Get the F*** out of my country.” Stephanie’s down-to-Earth attitude, despite being the daughter of the President, and her bravery and refusal to back down injects pride, we see her as the best of America, what we all strive to be. A typical US Teenager, who instead of going to college to have fun and learn is fighting battles to save our country. We watch as the momentum shifts, and finally at the climatic Battle of Washington the war turns around and America goes back to the offensive. Our super weapons (mainly Arsenal Ships that volley fire 16,000 missiles) are completed or nearly complete, and America is back on the offensive. It’s hard not to read this book without a smile on ones face, Eric L. Harry does an amazing job portraying the darkest time in America in a way that makes you come out re-affirming all the best qualities of our country.
The first time I read it was done all in one sitting, couldn’t put it down…same with the second time and the third time. This book became such a favorite that I rebought it after loosing it. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s feeling depressed of just wants to read a great story in a scary time, made all the more believable by explanations.