Friday, April 4, 2014

Storming the Black Ice by Don Brown

If you like international military intrigue with deadly forces at sea, you'll like this novel.

It is a few years in the future and a team of British petroleum engineers has discovered a vast reservoir of crude oil below the surface in Antarctica. The nation to first stake its claim would become the richest nation in the world. The British have begun a secret military build up, code names “Black Ice,” to shore up defenses in the area. But it is a race against time and before troops can arrive, the scientific compound is attacked by Argentine forces. The cruel Argentine military leader uses deadly force to capture the scientists and the few of military support. Britain and Argentina soon come to battle in the Drake Passage.

Brown has created a believable scene for a future battle over newly discovered oil reserves. Argentina is still sore over the Falkland Islands and is itching for revenge. The Argentine president has made an alliance with Venezuela to defy the British. Britain, on the other hand, has Chile as an ally. The U.S. pretty much sits this one out.

The novel has great sea battle scenes with subs attacking ships. Pete Miranda shows his expertise as a sub commander. He's in Chile to instruct their navy in the use of a nuclear sub the U.S. recently sold to Chile. There is also the vengeful Argentine captain who captured the Brits at the Antarctic camp and thinks nothing of using extreme interrogation techniques to get the information he wants.

So there is lots of action in this novel, both on the individual level and at the sea battle level. There is also romance, three romances in fact. I thought that was a bit much. The end to the novel is quick and all three romances resolve too easily for my sense of reality. But then, I'm a woman and know that it takes more than a tearful reunion to live happily ever after.

I appreciate that Brown has included a great deal of information about the geography and politics of the scene of this novel. I was also glad to see maps included so readers can understand where and how the action takes place. Those who enjoy learning about ships and subs in action will like this novel too.

You can request a free excerpt of the book here.

Don Brown is the author of The Navy Justice Series and a previous submarine thriller. He served five years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in the JAG Corps. After leaving active duty he remained on inactive status and reached the rank of lieutenant commander. He and his family live in North Carolina.

Zondervan, 356 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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