From the moment an unholy alliance of Asian and Islamic powers forms to make war on the United States, the future of liberty in this thriller is in doubt. Using secretly developed, high speed, super-cavitating torpedoes and mines, the Red Chinese and their allies threaten to do what no power has done in the 20th century-dominate the United States at sea. Jeff Head weaves a story of what World War-perhaps the beginning of which is our war on terror -would be like, and it isn't pretty. It is, however, entirely plausible.
For 20 years, the United States has watched the Chinese communist governments conceal their socialist character and pretend to be free market capitalists, often at our expense. They have acquired high-level technology, especially during the Clinton administration, without any concessions to internal freedom, and have flagrantly constructed a blue-water navy with one sole purpose: to challenge American dominance in the Pacific. Sadly, even in the otherwise erstwhile Bush administration, such advances have not been tempered, let alone reversed, with the likely result being that, barring a remarkable weakening of China from the inside (as occurred with Soviet Russia), a conflict with the Red Chinese is nearly inescapable.
The good news is that, presently, the United States retains a quality edge over our potential enemies, and our submarines are superior by several orders of magnitude. But the Chinese see this as an incentive to improve their own programs. While an alliance such as Jeff describes is unlikely in the short term, the world has witnessed much stranger bedfellows at the drop of a hat.
Jeff's is a story of heroism, sacrifice, pain, and redemption. His analysis and descriptions are so prescient that we must hope it remains a work of fiction and not history before-the-fact.By Matthew Bracken
If you enjoy reading big-and I mean big-techno-thrillers, then Dragon's Fury by Jeff Head is for you. Imagine a history of World War Two, from the invasion of Poland until Hiroshima: that will give you an idea of the sweeping narrative in this "future history" of the next world war. In Jeff's scenario, communist China forges an alliance with a unified Islamic world, and brings a reluctant India aboard. China leads the way, determined to drive the U.S. out of the Mid-East, the Indian Ocean, Asia, and the Western Pacific.
The war begins with a series of surprise attacks on American naval forces. The Chinese have secretly developed and deployed new classes of weapons the US Navy cannot counter, including hyper-speed super-cavitating torpedoes. With their breakthrough weapons and millions of expendable soldiers, victory after victory goes to the Chinese-led axis, until much of the free world is crushed and subjugated.
The defeat of the Unites States seems certain, but America and her remaining allies rise to the challenge. The United States deploys its own breakthrough weapons and, without giving away too much of the plot, Jeff's techno-thriller shows that space will be the ultimate "high ground," to determine the outcome of the next world war.
In such a scenario could today's bitterly divided America unify and rally behind a strong wartime President, and endure the hardships of years of defeat? Could such a war be fought, and not go nuclear in the opening battles? I wondered about these questions, but in Dragon's Fury, Jeff Head weaves a complete story line that plausibly suspends the readers' disbelief, and takes him or her along for a wild ride that is the next world war.
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