Monday, December 3, 2012

Don Brown's Fire of the Raging Dragon Alternative "Future"?

Fire of the Raging Dragon

By Don Brown

This was my first time reading Don Brown; I wish it had been a different book than Fire of the Raging Dragon. One I could have enjoyed as an adventure, an exciting thriller into which I could sink. Some alternative history novel with which I might have been familiar, one that maybe even would have provided a better ending than the reality that had happened.

Instead I found I was reading a possible future--an alternative that is not just possible, but probable?

Certainly it is an excellent, well-written novel--but it scared me enough to find myself crying at certain parts...

I had heard it before, but Brown's insight and experience made me ask: How in "H___" did the U.S. get into a trillion dollar debt to another country?! This is clearly not a party-political issue...It's been going on too long...

The Year: 2014
The Location: South China Sea
Who: Tang Qhichen, President of People's Republic of China (called the Raging Dragon...) ordered the attack on Itu Aba Island...
The Goal: The Natural Gas Abundance There!

This island had been occupied by the Republic of China who had moved to Taiwan but still claimed to be true leaders. Unfortunately, this had gone back and forth and at present the United Nations recognized Tan Qhichen as the leader of China. The U.S. had maintained support to Taiwan, but had never added an embassy there.

The island had been taken over by Tan Qhichen, while plans were already underway to reclaim it! The World watched, but the United States hoped to negotiate and prevent full war. There were already U. S. ships in the area, but just for routine coverage not a full-scale war...

But it wasn't the potential war that aroused actions by U. S. President Surber. A freighter was on its way to Itu Aba carrying weapons. That was an expected haul; however, what was discovered in the deep dark cargo bay there were crates enclosed in wood labelled as medical supplies from bottom to ceiling of the storage area... Pictures were taken and sent to the President and his staff...

They had to act! Even though he was also concerned about his daughter being aboard one of the ships in the area...

Actually, the President's daughter is a fairly major character, even though she is stationed on the USS Emory S. Land, a lightly armed sub-tender that was there to respond to the needs of the other ships. But...well, you can find out about her heroic acts while you're reading... Let's just say also, can news reporters ever keep their promises?...

The novel is very oriented toward the military actions taking place...and makes for an exciting novel for those who enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty details of what takes place aboard ships. I found myself wondering how the men's dialogue could come across so calmly in the midst of chaos, but realized just how much training and experience would finally allow that to happen!

There is nothing I could say about the atrocities found on the M/V Shemnong other than to say the U.S. President made the right choice on what to do. I was disappointed, though, with the portrayal of President Tan Qhichen; it allowed for the best possible ending for the novel, but seemed too cliche, given the powerful and dynamic actions earlier taken... I would like to have seen a more realistic and probable ending to such a tight situation! Let me know what you think!

Still, Don Brown's inclusion of  the background for the novel does reinforce the hopeful impact that the book may have. Sometimes, I think we should have a position somewhere in the U.S. Library System which pinpoints fiction books that clearly deal with today's political issues. Perhaps if we mandated to Congress that they read how world events are being perceived and revealed by authors who are using their work to speak out, then maybe... Oh, well, I can only hope...

I consider this a must-read for those across the world the future...


They lapsed into silence, the humming of the ship’s engines the only sound.
The first officer said, “Captain, may I ask a question?”
“Of course,” Fu said.
“Are you not curious about the cargo?”
Fu smiled, then took another drag from the cigarette. “You mean the military cargo destined for the Spratlys?”
“Actually, I was wondering about the secret medical cargo,” Chan said. “After all, we are being paid a lot more for that than for delivering machine guns and antiaircraft rockets to Itu Aba.”
“Why curious?” Fu tipped his head back and released a cloud of from his mouth. “The first installment has been deposited in our Hong Kong account. Freedom of navigation exists on the high seas. And besides” — he snuffed out the cigarette — “we have been told that the cargo is medically related and that we are not to ask about it. Even you, my dear Chan, will become rich from this, I am sure.”...

The first officer nodded. “I am grateful, Captain Fu. But still, given the size of the contract, are you not curious about our cargo?” Time to get back to work, he decided. Chan glanced at his clipboard.

He had already checked the galley, the boiler room, and the engine room. Still to be checked, the crew’s quarters, the radio room, the cargo bay . . .

The cargo bay. He remembered the captain’s words: “But if you are all that curious, Mr. Chan, go down into the cargo bay and have a look. Whatever you find down there, do not share that information with me. I do not have a need to know nor do I wish to know.”...

The power screwdriver whirled counterclockwise. Two seconds later, the first screw spun out and fell to the deck. Finally, only one screw remained.
Chan grasped the top edge of the plywood with his left hand to prevent it from falling to the deck. As he gripped the plywood, his knuckles pressed against a cool glassy-feeling surface behind the plywood.
The power-driver swirled again. The screw slipped out, and Chan removed the plywood and propped it on the deck by his boots.
“Oh, dear God!” Chan gagged and almost vomited. He needed air! He dropped the screwdriver in the toolbox and rushed out the door, up the ladder, and back onto the portside deck. The rush of warm sunshine on his face relieved some of the queasiness in his stomach. But it was not enough. He leaned overboard and puked into the sea...

Paying no homage to political correctness, DON BROWN’S writing style is described as “gripping,” casting an entertaining and educational spin on a wide-range of current issues, from radical Islamic infiltration of the military, to the explosive issue of gays in the military, to the modern day issues of presidential politics in the early 21st Century.

In November of 2009, four years after it was released, and in the wake of Fort Hood, Don’s highly-controversial novel TREASON rocketed to the #1 BESTSELLER in the nation on the bestseller list for fiction, and remained there for over a week. On Thanksgiving Day of 2009, all four of Don’s novels were ranked in the top 5 on the Amazon bestseller list for fiction! In August of 2010, MALACCA CONSPIRACY also climbed to the top of the Amazon bestsellers list!

DON BROWN graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1982, and after finishing law school, continued his post-graduate studies through the Naval War College, earning the Navy’s nonresident certificate in International Law.

During his five years on active duty in the Navy, Don served in the Pentagon, was published in the Naval Law Review, and was also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

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1 comment:

  1. So many times authors have imagined what politicians say (after the event) was totally unimaginable.