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The Devil Dragon Pilot: A Ford Stevens Military-Aviation Thriller (Volume 1) Paperback – November 6, 2016
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"A fast-reading and clinching military thriller that would earn a place alongside any Clancy novel." -Reserve Officers Association (ROA)
Ranked #2 on "Best Fiction History Books" - Comparaboo, June 2017
On Power Reads List: "...of local authors worth checking out." -Hilton Head Monthly Magazine, March 2017
"I am a hard nose veteran and a 30 year police officer. I teared at the climax of this book. I don't do that with books." -John Schlutert, New Orleans Police Department
"Truly, an outstanding read. Colby does a tremendous job developing the characters, and keeping the plot moving. You will not be disappointed." -TJ
From the Author
Get your seat harness locked and put your flight helmet on!
Presenting one the greatest military-aviation thrillers ever--an action-packed Book Series with a right hook!
Crammed with deceitful government employees, smoke and mirrors tradecraft, and the blackest, most secretive aviation flights ever undertaken, you will be unable to put it down.
Thank you for reading the Ford Stevens Military-Aviation Thriller Series.
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Placed somewhere around the contemporary scenario of U.S.-China tensions, Devil Dragon is a story of two friends who ought to be foes; both consumed by love of home, family, and flying their nations’ most technologically advanced warplanes.
Using his impressive command of subject, Colby keeps the reader turning pages, as the novel’s novel plot unfolds within an absorbing web of nicely done character development, superb technical and compelling national security detail (all cleared by DoD reviewers by the way – no one is going to jail), and old-fashioned cliffhanging drama.
It is fun to go “behind the text” and imagine this new writer joyously and compulsively scribing his drama. Colby, now a colonel in the Air Force Reserve who has apparently flown just about everything, teaches strategy at the National Defense University; he wrote us, “I looked around some of the current aviation and military themed books and movies, and could not find a fictional story that focused on the Air Force Reserve. With that in mind, I wrote an outline for The Devil Dragon Pilot that prominently featured an Air Force Reserve pilot.
“There was no way I could write a book with my Washington, DC, based schedule, so I got up at 4 AM every day for a year and wrote one or two pages every morning. Air Force Reserve Captain Ford Stevens was born as the main character!
“Ford is a B-1 pilot who is recruited by his best friend, a Chinese Air Force pilot, to [dear reader, you’ll have to pick up Devil Dragon to learn just what Ford’s friend has in mind]. It features Washington DC politics, bureaucratic red-tape, espionage, and high-speed flight. My goal was to put Air Force Reservists in the spotlight.
“Book 2 comes out this summer, titled The Black Scorpion Pilot. We will once again see Ford Stevens test his aviation skills, human endurance, and his ability to survive an almost insurmountable situation.”
Among The Devil Dragon Pilot’s overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews, this one is typical: “A great first novel! Riveting story line and very well researched. The author nails many facets of the US intelligence apparatus, military doctrine and the reality of military service, especially Air Force and Naval Aviation. He does a great job building the characters and relationships. Pick this book up now, you won't be disappointed!”
I do have a couple of suggestions for the author that would make it even better:
The characters are likeable, but they need more development. The relationships are too easy. You need to have a little more disagreement/conflict for them to feel real. This is especially true of the Ford/Emily relationship. For example, when they first discuss Ford's big mission, Emily seems to have no hesitations at all about her soulmate heading off on a very risky and dangerous mission. There should have been more struggle over this.
Use caution when writing from the POV of characters from other countries/cultures. There is a very fine line between inserting local color, and unintended cultural stereotyping, . This is very hard to pull off convincingly, even if you have some experience with the cultures in question. You ran into this to varying degrees both with Wu and with Emily, and it could possibly alienate some readers. Best regards, and I look forward to your next novel.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing where the stories go.
I particularly enjoyed a smart, tough woman as one of the main characters as well.
The story could not be more timely or relevant. It highlights the struggles we face (as the U.S.) staying ahead of the technology bow wave. I am looking forward to the next book.