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Larry Bond's Red Dragon Rising: Shadows of War Hardcover – November 10, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Red Dragon Rising Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Bond and DeFelice (Larry Bond's First Team) launch a four-book series with an adrenaline-fueled, multilayered thriller that cuts right to the chase. In 2014, China must cope with widespread riots and a devastating drought; the U.S., where gas costs $14.39 a gallon, is suffering through a recession and a housing crisis; Europe has problems just as serious. When China decides to invade Vietnam in an effort to save its starving populace, the U.S. determines to aid Vietnam to insure the world order. Compelling characters include CIA operative Mara Duncan, who's based in Bangkok, Thailand; Maj. Zeus Murphy, who simulates a war game called Red Dragon (which pits China against the U.S. under code names) and proudly drives a gas-guzzling Corvette; and American scientist Josh MacArthur, who's on the run in Vietnam from a Chinese commando and martial arts master, Lt. Jing Yo. Constant action makes this a must read for military adventure fans. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

The authors’ first of a projected four-book series takes the reader to a bleak world five years from now. Food is scarce, and gasoline prices are through the roof, making every day a struggle. Josh MacArthur, an American scientist working on the Vietnamese border, watches in horror as his colleagues are slaughtered by an invasion team from China, starting what could become World War III. An elite military operation to rescue the scientist is launched, but special care must be taken to avoid escalating the conflict. So MacArthur waits, hiding in the jungle, and the world watches as the war continues to spread across Asia. The president of the U.S. is desperate to find MacArthur, as he has a videotape of the attack that will prove that the Chinese government is lying to the world about the reason for the U.S. presence in Vietnam. The authors have done their homework, using clips from newspaper reports to heighten the realistic feel and producing a thriller that reads like an account of true events. Fans of military thrillers, especially Clancy’s, are the built-in audience for this one. --Jeff Ayers
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Product Details

  • Series: Red Dragon Rising (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321374
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay C. Tipnis on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I hadn't really read any of Larry Bond's other works since his collaboration with Tom Clancy ("Red Storm Rising") but I was aware that many reviewers compared him to Clancy in the sense that he was good at creating plausible world conflict scenarios interweaving it with enough background to make for an interesting story. I also knew that he was good at writing about tactics and war strategy given that he helped develop two strategy games which are fairly well reputed (Harpoon and the World in Conflict serieses). So when I read that he was starting a new series of a potential war against China, I was intrigued.

China is fast becoming the popular enemy du jour in many books and novels about future conflicts replacing the once ubiquitous Russians. In this novel (the first of four books in the series), world climate changes have affected the environments around the world leading to food shortages in countries like China and a re-focus on farming around the world (farms are popping up in people's backyards in New England). The book starts off rather quickly with China's secret invasion of Vietnam; the purpose being to make it appear that Vietnam attacked it's neighbor therefore justifying China's retaliation and helping keep allied nations (like the United States) out of the conflict. The action then rolls on from there at a pretty rapid clip.

Since this is the first of four books there was a lot of time spent in focusing on the Chinese (particularly a commando group that spearheaded the initial invasion) and their hunt for a US scientist who has witnessed (and videotaped) proof that China was the true first aggressor.
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Format: Hardcover
Like most reviewers, I have been a Larry Bond fan for a long time having first read "Cauldron", "Red Phoenix", etc. I have read most of the books he has collaborated or co-written with Jim DeFelice. Having said that I found "Red Dragon Rising: Shadows of War" to be the type of action-techno-thriller that I have come to enjoy.

If you are turned off by the reference to "action-techno-thriller" that I used to describe this book, do not be. While there are references to technology in this book, it is not over the top and most of the equipment that is used and described appears to be everyday hardware. The story here is about the people, the emotions, the motivations, the questioning nature of human beings, and the brutality that evident in many parts of the world.

I am not going to go into detail on the story as many reviewers have done that already, what I wanted to mention is that I enjoyed this book immensely. **Spoiler ALERT** It kept me glued to the story, and I found myself secretly rooting for Jing Yo, not to capture or kill Josh MacArthur, but to see the futility of the orders from Colonel Sun. There were areas in the book that I felt could and should have more multi-dimensional. Captain Lai Wi finds two soldiers attempting to use a satellite phone, confiscates the phone and begins to walk out of the jungle. I would have liked to read from his perspective the attack that ultimately took his life.... The book left me wanting more - which I am sure, will be in the next installment (yes, in my opinion there will be another installment). The other thing I thought would have been a more fitting ending to this particular story is to end the book similar to how it started with a narration to Markus...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first thing I thought when I ordered the book was that it would be similar to the famous Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising" which I still believe is one of the best military fiction books written in the last 30 years. In this book, Larry Bond and Jim Defelice take on the idea that the ecological situation (global warming) leads to China in a desperate situation with the need to expand its borders or die due to emerging farming problems and other problems. As the Chinese army begins to move towards war with Vietnam a few Americans are dragged along for the ride. I didn't dislike the book, but I thought the book took way too long to really get started and I never cared much for the Americans caught in the middle between China and Vietnam and just didn't get into the dialogue or the whole plot.

Again, it's not a bad read, but it's not what I hoped it would be. Apparently, this book is just one of a trilogy(?) and hopefully the action picks up in the next books in the series. It's worth reading, but I can only give it 3 of stars.
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By Dannyb on February 6, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was well written, and the electronic edition was well produced. It seems that a number of authors in this genre believe that a Chinese invasion of Viet Nan in the near future is inevitable. This book gives it a bit of extra plausibility over the usual "Ancient Enemy" theme.
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The story was good, but it took a long time for a lot of the action to take place. This may be from DeFelice because Bond's books seem to move at a much faster pace. DeFelice writes with Coonts as well and these move at about this same pace. Overall the story keeps your interest but it is clearly setup for a series of books. I will read the next one in the series and see how the story progresses.
So my review is at three stars because of the pace, seems that the story could have been shorter by fifty or more pages, but the premise is good and I want to see what happens next some my interest is there otherwise it would be at two stars.
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