Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tiger by the Tail by John Ringo and Ryan Sear

It all begins so simply, with a training mission for some of the Keldara warriors replacing the many lost in the battle against the Chechen insurgents. Mike Jenkins and his chief of staff, Adams, have chosen as their final exam the task of taking back a freighter from a group of pirates near Malaysia, then destroying their home base. All of this goes relatively smoothly, except that his team takes captive a "prostitute" being abused by the pirates, and discovers a locked case full of motherboards designed to control nuclear power plants in the pirates' treasure.

Though it takes Mike a while to figure it out, it seemed obvious to me before it was revealed in the book that the prostitute, Soon Yi, was a secret agent in deep cover for Chinese intelligence, tracking down the stolen motherboards for her government. After Mike contacts his friends at the highest levels of the U.S. government, he is asked to find out where the motherboards were going, ultimately, and get that information back to U.S. Intelligence. So begins the adventure through Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and other fun places in the Far East. Mike's team takes on gangsters, the police, a rogue Chinese general and even the military forces of a sovereign nation.

Plenty of graphic action, both military and sexual. Sear's addition to the writing team seems to add a bit more "documentary" style to things - each time Mike's team lands in a new locale, we get a couple of pages of background on the country, city or political unit, and there seems to be more detail about the capability of various weapons used by Mike and others. Not the best novel in the series, by a long shot, but not as poor as some reviews would have you believe. Hold out for the paperback before you spend the money.

No comments: