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Task Force Desperate (American Praetorians) (Volume 1) Paperback – January 31, 2013
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Now that's out of the way, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. It's the not-too-distant future. The US dollar has collapsed, leaving the nation's military in shambles. Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti has been taken over by jihadists and hostages have been taken. The US government contracts Praetorian Security to locate the hostages. Jeff "Hillbilly" Stone, former Reconnaissance Marine and Scout Sniper, is one of those contractors. Working with limited resources, against the clock and against enemies more sophisticated than in recent times past, Stone and the Praetorians race from one firefight to another, keeping alive by sheer determination and toughness.
From start to finish, it's obvious that Nealen's book was written by somebody who has both talked the talk and walked the walk. The weapons, tactics, terminology, and mindset of the contractors are all on point. Nealen writes in the first person from Stone's point of view, and any veteran of combat arms or SOF will be able to relate to his motivations, urges, and how he describes combat. There are no guns akimbo or grenades that level city blocks. Everything that is in the book is actually how it's done in real life.
It's rather subtle throughout, but Nealen has actually crafted an alternate universe with writing the collapse of the dollar.Read more ›
What you end up with in Task Force Desperate is fast paced action, coupled with tragically realistic third world scenery, taking place in a bit of a cliche future world where global economies are in tatters and Private Military Companies are trying desperately to hold everything together.
What I felt the book was lacking was character development, and also a bit of the realism of combat. The team members never seemed to make a mistake, which made them more like robots than people. Yes, some died, but hardly in ways that left you questioning their judgment. They absently risked their own lives without so much as a shoulder shrug. The human element was just missing.
My own teammates had a lot to lose if SHTF on a mission, and would be unlikely to unquestioningly support a mission that throws a 5 man team at a fortified building without at least some semblance of support. These Praetorian guys basically came off as suicidal, which is all fine and good as long as their back stories support a suicidal attitude. Unfortunately I got little in the way of back story on any of the characters other than a basic professional resume and a stat sheet of heights and weights.Read more ›
The overall plot is not entirely unfeasible and the author uses the story as a glimpse of his vision of a not so distant future should things continue on the track they are. The book has actually inspired me to dig a little deeper and do more of my own research, so kudos to the author for his inspiration. I can't say I disagree with most of the author's implied views, and I found it to be a pretty interesting plot.
I appreciate the author's knowledge on the subject matter; the technical aspects of the book are accurate. The technical aspects of the book do at times overshadow the other parts, as it seems like the author goes out of his way to name as many different types of rifles and variants as possible. A little nitpicky, I know, but several times while reading I was struck by how much focus was being put on the gear to the point of detracting from the characters. However, the author's knowledge in the subject matter made the book very believable and I would rather have too much detail than want for more.
Where the author falls a little short is in the character development. The characters are completely one dimensional, stereotypical and uninspiring. I know it's an action book but a little character development would make me a little more vested in the story (minus the fact that I'm a red blooded American so of course I want to see the guys kick ass and kill terrorists). But maybe just a little backstory besides being ex-Recon would be good.
Overall I enjoyed this and I will be giving the next book a read as well. I have high hopes and I think with a little refining the author is very capable of some great work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read - enjoyed it much more than the 'tactical supernatural' stories. Decent character development, plenty of well-depicted action. Read morePublished 1 month ago by A_Dubious_Actor
Good action. The author writes about weapons and tactics that are real-world and believable. The characters are not superheros and have their faults and make mistakes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by M Bennett
For those who enjoy spec ops military fiction this is an excellent book. It amounts to a police procedural format applied to special operations. Throw in the twists of a privatePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was really well done and much more well edited than much of the genre seems to be. Great story.Published 6 months ago by greentimber
Excellent read for veterans or anyone with a keen interest and knowledge of the tools of the trade.Published 6 months ago by William C Wise
This book was hard to put down. If you like action, you'll enjoy reading this book. You'll be glad you did.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer