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Air Battle Force Cd [Abridged, Audiobook] [Paperback]

Dale Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2003

On America's newest combat base, U.S. Air Force aerial warfare expert Major General Patrick McLanahan and his crew of daring engineers are devising the air combat unit of the future. Known as Air Battle Force, it can launch concentrated, stealthy, precision-guided firepower to any spot on the globe within hours. And soon McLanahan and his warriors will have their first target.

Chased out of Afghanistan, Taliban fighters are planning to invade the neighboring oil-rich Republic of Turkmenistan, an isolated and wealthy central Asian state. As alliances form and forces collide, the impending battle for control of the world's largest oil deposits threatens to tear apart the tenuous peace created by America's victories in Afghanistan. It's up to McLanahan and a handful of American commandos half a world away, aided by an untested and unproven force of robotic warplanes, to win a war in which everyone -- even "friendly" forces at home -- wants them to fail.

Performed by David McCallum.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This absorbing techno-thriller follows the author's established pattern of fast action in the air and on the ground, its hard-driving protagonists equipped with an arsenal of futuristic hardware. Patrick McLanahan is back again, this time as air force major general in charge of the First Air Battle Force, a secret experimental unit with the controls to a jackpot of high-tech toys, among them air-retrievable bomb-carrying drones, venerable B-52s packing brand-new, high-powered lasers, and B-1s (called Vampires) capable of carrying out unmanned missions. Supporting McLanahan are a respectable company of the other continuing characters in the author's air force saga, which has acquired (like Clancy's Jack Ryan volumes) some of the attributes of an alternate history. These include Rebecca Furness, with her first star; maverick Daren Mace, still under a cloud and still in love with Rebecca; cigar-smoking acting Secretary of State Maureen Hershel; and charismatic ex-President Kevin Martindale. All collide when a Taliban raid into Turkmenistan leads to the overthrow of the Russian-backed Turkmen government. Eager to set things right, the Russian chief of staff engineers a military coup in Russia, pumping up the threat of war between Russia and the U.S. At the end, Brown (Wings of Fire, etc.) has deftly set up his next book, with Turkmenistan ruled by Jalaluddin Turabi, a former Taliban bandit and now a budding statesman, while the Russians bare their fangs over the not-unexpected destruction of their bombers by the Air Battle Force. Brown fans will declare this a page-turning delight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Clancy's got serious company.' New York Daily News 'When a former pilot with years of experience turns his hand to writing thrillers you can take their authenticity for granted. His writing is exceptional and the dialogue, plots and characters are first-class... far too good to be missed.' Sunday Mirror 'Dale Brown is a superb storyteller.' Washington Post 'The best military adventure writer in the country.' Clive Cussler --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By L. Berk
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dale Brown can't decide what he wants to do: Either be a military writer, or be a fiction writer. Frankly, in both arenas, he fails. Quite miserably. There is virtually no plot development in this book, and the endless drudgery of military and technological description becomes mind-numbing, even to the most adherent military fiction fans. His writing is far from fluid, rather he utilises a blocky, counter-intuitive way to write, which makes this book doubly hard to get through.
He attempts to formulate some sort of character development between Daren and Rebecca Furness, both characters in this novel. Rather than adding dimension, however, it merely makes the characters even more cardboard-y: All Brown seems good at is describing missiles and aeroplane fuselage. Which is fine, if you're writing a military guide. And not so fine if you're writing fiction.
The premise of the story is simple enough: Taliban fighters are invading Turkmenistan. In the great name of Clancy, Brown can't help but to throw in some malevolent Russian forces to take a low jab at our Gulagian friends. Additionally, he throws a General (P. McLanahan) into the mix, a General who has faced his share of trials and tribulations, as well as military drama. Finally, there is a political twist: There are two candidates running for presidential office of the United States.
Truth be told, though, after five hundred+ pages of this book, and upon its finishing, I couldn't help but ask: What, exactly, happened? One never finds out the outcome of the political race, you don't quite find out what happens to any of the characters besides in their military circumstances...The characters accesorize the guns, rather than vice-versa.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dale Brown is in fine form once again! July 6 2003
AIR BATTLE FORCE begins spectacularly as ongoing hero of Dale's books General Patrick McLanahan is leading an intel mission into Afghanistan in the war on terror. When he almost loses one of his supersecret StealthHawk UAVs, he orders a decidedly unauthorised mission to recover it using all means at his disposal, much to the detriment of the Taliban forces in the area who want the weaponry on the UAV, his superiors in the White House who want him to fail and indeed at Diego Garcia naval air station when he has to bring down a crippled EB-1 bomber! These blazing action scenes set the tone for the story. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, resurgent Taliban forces led by a General Zarazi ousted out by US forces set their sights on oil-rich neighbouring Turkmenistan, seeking the riches to fund Al-Qaeda terror cells and further their own gains. However, plans for a quick takeover are in danger from an internal power struggle from one Jalaluudin Turabi, corrupt Russian military officers seeking the rebuilding of the former Soviet Union and also US oil companies bribing the Taliban to keep pipelines open. When Turkmenistan is invaded, the US President Thomas Thorn reluctantly authorises McLanahan's new Air Battle Force in to sort out the mess before a major confrontation occurs. Using ground troops - ongoing Marine characters Hal Briggs and Chris Wohl in high-tech exoskeletal body armour armed with hypervelocity projectile weapons - and a new fleet of unmanned, virtual-computer-controlled B-1 bombers, they do all they can to bring down Zarazi's guerilla forces. But there are always complications - General Rebecca Furness, B-1 wing commander is under scrutiny from old flame Daren Mace, from CHAINS OF COMMAND. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars What is this book about?? May 22 2003
I read this book as a pre-read from the publisher. There was no synopsis on the back, so I really had no idea what the book was about. After reading it, I still can't figure it out. There really isn't a central plot thread. It's almost like this entire book is just the setup for the next one (which could be about a US-Russian shooting war, which would be great). One plot thread is about the evolution of the Air Battle Force, another is the adventures of the Taliban/Turkmen soldiers roaming around. And these threads really don't collide at all; the climax is a quick one-sided battle with the Russians that felt more like a Dale Brown technological briefing than a good battle description. Ever since the Old Dog was shot down in an earlier book, it seems like the climaxes of Dale Brown books are just ridiculously one-sided. To be fair, I haven't read all of his books.
Having said this, the book is definitely a page-turner, unlike some of his other recent novels that I just gave up on. Fun to read, but not in the same league as Old Dog or some of Tom Clancy's early books.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It Loiters and is Gratuitous May 13 2003
I have read all of Dale Brown's novels and have enjoyed his work. As an author he took his tales a step further than others in the genre by researching/creating believable cutting edge technology that was operated by enjoyable characters. He did not create super heroes that belonged in comic books, rather pilots and their teams that would read as though they could be found in the armed forces of our nation. His political players were also credible and their behavior, however unsettling, never strayed beyond what we might read or hear of in the news. "Air Battle Force", is only the second of his books that I feel is poor, and it is weak because he treads the same ground he covered in his last workm and allowed a gratuitous mean streak that may have a visceral appeal but is out of place in his collected novels.
In the tale it is mentioned that all but 2 of the original crew from his first novel are gone. The majority of members are missing and those that remain are embittered and often place their own personal feelings and vendettas ahead of any manner of rational action. This is not the first book that stretches credibility by having his players break every manner of law without consequence, some now engage in behavior they once would have routinely condemned, and practice conduct the author would not have written of. When some of the, "good guys", engaged in electric shock torture I nearly put the book down. This type of vigilante behavior may appeal to the lowest common denominator of hatred but I don't believe it has any place when it is our armed forces that are portrayed as the practitioners. The armed forces are made of imperfect people but this does not mean their imperfections create monstrous behavior by default.
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