- File Size: 829 KB
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Publisher: Tactical 16, LLC (January 15, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 15, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HW1MA2G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,181 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Line in the Valley Kindle Edition
|Length: 338 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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He did a smart thing, and solicited enough feedback, that he took the chance, and it worked out. He found a publisher (Kudos to Tactical16!) and I think it's paid off.
Mexican Cartels and Muslim Terrorists Attack Texas. Which sounds like, and is, a heck of a plot line. But just as importantly, it's utterly believable. I almost want to label this category of novel a "near-future possible military fiction"
Other authors might have used that plot to show the Hollywood Ending(tm) of the USA stomping the bad guys while losing a few of our own in a detached, dramatic way. Or maybe the over-arching war story that covers the scenario from the distance like playing a strategy game on the computer.
Mr. Hernandez isn't that sort of writer. And that's not a criticism. He's in his own class and he is growing better by each novel. "Proof of Our Resolve" was very good as well, and you can see how he is improving with pacing and dialogue. His action scenes in both novels were good at portraying the chaos that occurs, but this novel seems to have tightened it up. The tension that builds before the first firefight was very well done.
This is a ground level portrayal of combat.
What can happen when overwhelming pressure, lack of knowledge, split second decisions in absolute chaos under fire and severely sleep deprived humans react... in human fashion. Mistakes are made. People die. Even the ones you like. The ones you don't like. And everyone in between. Stupid decisions are made, ill-informed decisions are made, people second guess themselves. Paper pushers worry about spreadsheets.
And Bad Things(tm) occur by good guys as well. This is one of the main plot issues so I won't discuss it here.
The characters are real. His writing is real. I've said this before and I'll say it again: That's the best compliment I can say to an author. And that is why I can honestly say that this is the first book in a while where I refused to put it down until I finished the last page. Most books I can put down even if I like it and come back later. I *had* to know what happened to these characters.
****Possible spoiler alert****
I want to be as vague as possible, but the line that haunted me was near the end: (Paraphrasing) "That's what you say to me? After all this, that's the first thing you think to say?"
The novel ends on a good cliff-hanger. I want to read more. I hope to read more by this author. I hope this is a rewarding journey for Mr. Hernandez.
You can check him out at his blog:
He's a very down to earth guy and engages with his commenters, and some of his posts have gone viral.
LINE IN THE VALLEY takes a darker turn than its predecessor. I'm surprised that the overarching plot (insurgent forces of unknown origin attacking and capturing border towns) has not been done before by a more prominent thriller author, as it is nothing short of brilliant. It certainly sets the stage for SFC Nuñez--who has reneged on his vow to leave the Guard after the events of PROOF--and his platoon--now led by Lieutenant (formerly Corporal) Rodger Quincy--to have to live the nightmare scenario and fight the war at home. It's frighteningly plausible, and makes the reader wonder why it hasn't happened already.
My only gripe with the plot was that we never really get down to the nitty gritty of who the insurgents were or what their goals were, aside from intel briefings that Nuñez and Quincy receive from their S-2 shop. HOWEVER, it can be sensibly argued that Chris's objective was not to provide a third person omniscient thriller novel, but rather to put the reader in the boots of the soldiers on the ground. Having worked as an infantryman in Iraq, I can testify that when you roll outside the wire, the average grunt isn't particularly concerned with the strategic battlefield picture as it falls outside of their immediate duties, so this is accurate.
I do feel the prose has improved markedly since PROOF and that Chris is growing as a writer. He's starting to find his stride. Having said that, I do feel that it could be a bit more polished.
What Chris lacks in polish, he makes up for it in raw action and his ability to put the reader on the ground. You feel the dread of having to fight a war on the American homeland, the frustration and rage at the actions of the enemy, and the hollowness and sorrow that comes from one's mates dying around them. His characters are extremely well-written, as always. I can safely say that with just under a decade's experience in the military, I have met somebody like each of the characters in LINE IN THE VALLEY.
The ending is a cliffhanger, and has me rushing to buy the next book to see what happens next. Once you read LINE IN THE VALLEY, I have a feeling that you will do the same.
Most recent customer reviews
Believability is important to me, and this book, the dialogue in particular was very believable and realistic.Read more