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Enemies Foreign and Domestic Perfect Paperback – December 1, 2003
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Enemies Foreign And Domestic review in GUNS Magazine, November 2005 A stadium massacre leads to the banning of all semi-automatic rifles, the teaser on the jacket reads. But who really fired the fatal shots, and why? The answer, we learn, involves nothing less than a modern day Reichstag fire, engineered and instigated by an evil and ambitious ATF supervisor and his squad of violent agency misfits. The political fallout of the stadium shooting is a national ban on assault weapons. With free rein to create more domestic terror incidents, and with unprincipled politicians and a complicit media, gun owners are easily demonized as a manipulated public demands more security. All Brad Fallon wanted to do was restore his vintage sailboat, Guajira, take his savings from three years of working the ANWR oil fields, and cruise the world. He hadn't counted on his interest and proficiency in shooting being used to entrap him, or being ultimately forced into covert rebellion against rogue federal agents. But back a man into a corner with other men -- all proficient in modern weaponry, and all unbending believers in liberty -- make it clear that you mean to destroy them, and a most dangerous type of resistance is born: a competent one. Author Matthew Bracken has written a thrilling first novel (did I mention this is also a passionate love story?), one that engages, grips and doesn t let up. He avoids the proselytizing that can plague the liberty genre, and delivers a solid, exciting tale with deep and believable characters. Bracken's background with UDT and SEAL Teams, and as the designer/builder of a cutter that he soloed from Panama to Guam, adds credibility to the technical and tactical details he weaves into the plot. I can't wait for the sequel, scheduled for release early in 2006. David Codrea, GUNS Magazine --GUNS Magazine, November 2005
John Ross' review of Enemies Foreign And Domestic I have several complaints about most thriller novelists. First, their protagonists are too often 100% virtuous with no humanizing flaws. Second, the protagonists let their enemies live when you KNOW the bad guys are going to come back and murder their kids etc. Third, everything the government does (hi-tech weapons, military & police tactics, criminal investigations, etc.) functions flawlessly. Fourth, too many stories have all the brilliant thinking and brave actions done by government employees (Special Forces, policemen, Intelligence operatives, etc.) Lastly, some novels have a basic premise that is just not believable. (Clancy's RAINBOW SIX is a prime example.) Novelist Matthew Bracken has avoided these sins almost entirely in his excellent debut novel ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC. It is a challenge for any writer to come up with a plot that is at once plausible enough to have the reader accept it but also unlikely enough that it has not actually happened yet in real life. EFAD's dramatic concept is this: Wally Malvone, a lone mid-level ATF executive, engineers (with one accomplice) a long-range shooting into a football stadium and successfully arranges for an addled, destitute veteran to take the blame and be killed in the process. Malvone does this because he needs an emergency that will encourage the President to embrace a plan he has put together: Forming a secret "hit squad" comprised of overaggressive ATF agents with disciplinary problems. This squad's duty is to be proactive: identify domestic terrorists ("militia members") and kill them during raids. The trial is in the media, when the cameras see the (planted) contraband retrieved from the slain terrorist's dwelling. Malvone wants to have this hit squad for the obvious reasons: funding, power, and prestige. Naturally, some of the victims drawn into Malvone's web of treachery decide they have no choice but to fight back. At each point in the storyline, as the good guys and bad guys acted and reacted, I kept asking myself if what was happening was plausible. How would *I* rewrite it to make it more believable? In some cases I thought that I would have had the parties react a bit differently, but I had to admit my alternate scenario was not necessarily more likely. The fact is that when you get into the realm of serious, institutionalized government abuse of power in an environment with lots of resourceful, angry, well-armed people and the near-instant information flow of the Internet, you're in uncharted waters. One critic said the female lead was an adolescent fantasy (21 years old, beautiful, motorcycle rider, expert shot, virgin) and I would have given her more edginess, but hey, a lot of readers like their heroes untainted. Anyway, EFAD is an action-packed read, with most of the skill and creativity being demonstrated by the private sector, which is IMO 100% realistic. Send a copy to your favorite Senator or Congressman... EFAD is also good inspiration for me to get back to work on DETOUR, the sequel to UC. No promises, except there should be something in it to offend just about everyone. John Ross, author of "Unintended Consequences" January 2004 --John Ross, author of "Unintended Consequences" January 2004
About the Author
Matt Bracken was born in 1957 in Baltimore Maryland, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1979 with a degree in Russian Studies. He was commissioned as a Naval officer, and served on east coast SEAL teams during the 1980s as a Special Warfare officer, including leading a SEAL detachment to Beruit Lebanon in 1983. He has worked as a boat builder, welder, and charter boat skipper, and holds a Coast Guard captain's license. He is also the author of "Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista" (2006) and "Foreign Enemies And Traitors," (2009)
Top customer reviews
The biggest con for this book was the lack of a clear protagonist. You spend most of the book thinking that Brad Fallon is supposed to be the hero, but he is the most self-involved, whiny hero ever. He does nothing of importance throughout the book and, in the end, is completely unnecessary to the story line other than as an NPC. The majority of the book is written with him as the lead character leading to a cognitive dissonance that is hard to resolve.
This disconnect made it hard to stay immersed in the story despite the engaging plot.
The REAL protagonist is grossly underdeveloped in the first book and the supporting cast, some of them with real potential, remain half written.
All in all, I liked the premise and even liked the way the story unfolds, but can't give it a higher rating with the character flaws. I am reading the second book now, and will review it when I am done.
This is an adrenaline pumping ride through the very near future, replete with corrupt government/deep state spooks and false flags. I had tachycardia through most of the book, as our heroes fought through the traps and attacks that the liberal corrupt government agents incessantly launched at them. While I'm not a big reader of "thrillers", this one was addictive and well-written throughout. The novel's illustration of the need to defend ourselves from an out of control government becomes obvious as well, particularly in light of the deep state operations we're seeing every day on the news.
There were points where the book got bogged down a bit in explanations of weapons, and some of the political wrangling left me a bit cold, but overall it was a smooth and completely enjoyable read despite the minor didacticism. And Bracken's descriptions of guns and their management in fight situations taught me a lot. His knowledge of tactical situations and the way they unfold was brilliant and very well-paced, putting me right in the action, heart racing.
The plot was complex but easy to follow. Contrary to other reviews I've seen, I thought that the characters were well drawn and believable; perhaps not as fully as you'd expect in a more mannered mainstream novel, but more than good enough for the exigencies of an action plot. Ranya and Brad were people I wanted to know, and their romance was a perfect, believable compliment to the story.
And like any great book, I just didn't want it to end. So I immediately bought all of Bracken's other books in anticipation of similar delights. By the way, just finished Kurt Schlichter's "Peoples Republic", and despite the similar setting, it was just amateurish next to EFAD.
You'll especially love this if you love the American Constitution and cherish your 1A and 2A rights. Buy a few copies and give some to the yet-to-be-red-pilled people in your life... you may end up making the world a better place.
The protagonist is a college girl whose father owns a Tidewater Gun shop. When her father is killed by Federal Agents she vows revenge. The story has the usual tropes found in the Fox News, Pro-Gun, Conservative, subcultures. That is to say, the veterans are all virtuous patriots, the common folk are noble, etc., etc., etc.
This book is entertaining, but perhaps not nearly as rich in ideas as the next two in the series. Those books have take modern domestic politics and they give it a very realistic spin.
One idea it does touch on though is that gun ownership, despite the obvious drawbacks of so many guns in a society, is a right which might trump all others in the defense of liberty. Rights such as were to shop and unrestrained sexual behavior pale in comparison to private defense of home and hearth with one's own rifle.