Monday, June 9, 2008

Book Review Shadow Command by Dale Brown

Shadow Command is the latest novel by Dale Brown. It is a military / political thriller set in the near future. I have to admit that I had a difficult time getting into this book. It's the latest in a series, so I will assume that some of the problems I encountered stemmed from the fact that I had no prior knowledge of these characters and their previous endeavors. It was not easy to keep up with who was whom, and really what was going on in the first 150 pages or so. Around that point, however, I started to get a feel for the cast of characters, and the military-speak became easier for me to decipher. Also at this point, the action seemed to pick up, and where prior to this there was much talking and little doing, the plot started to take shape and become more exciting.

The book had enough action (especially toward the end) to keep me interested. However, I did have issues with some aspects of it - the portrayal of women being the biggest of these issues. While there were women in high positions, each of them used her sexuality in one way or another to advance her agenda, and I found that to be annoying (I would say offensive here, but it being a work of fiction, I wasn't really offended). There were a few ill-placed rather gratuitous sex scenes that I felt would have been better left out all together.

Overall, I'd say that Shadow Command was sort of mediocre. It wasn't awful, but there wasn't any point where I felt really pulled into the story. I didn't feel anything for the characters, and I probably wouldn't seek out the next in the series. But, if you've read Brown's previous books and know enough of the backstory involved, it would probably be worth reading this one.