Battle Born Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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Dale Brown, himself a former air force captain, knows that a good techno-thriller succeeds by its careful blending of the hard realism of modern warfare with the fantasy of sci-fi's best alternative reality stories. In Battle Born, Brown takes pains to frame his reality with all the necessary details. He begins with an extensive, international cast list; three pages of contemporary excerpts from newspapers that address the instability of the Korean peninsula; and finally, an explosive battle simulation in the Nevada desert, rich with the techno-speak of modern warfare: "'Radar altimeter set AUTO, bug set to 830, radar altimeter override armed,' the copilot announced on the interphone. 'Both TFR channels set to one thousand hard ride. Wings full aft. Flight director set to NAV, pitch mode select switch to TERFLW, copilot.'"
As the novel unfolds, we learn of a people's revolt against the Communist leadership of North Korea. The South Koreans, already in possession of their first nuclear weapons after the failed kamikaze run of a North Korean pilot, take advantage of the weakness and destroy key tactical sites in the North, forcing a stunning surrender of the Communist leadership and the reunification of Korea. Now in possession of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, the once fractious Korean peninsula poses a serious threat to China, and the world seems poised for World War III. Enter USAF brigadier general Patrick McLanahan. As head of a new B-1B Lancer tactical strike unit based in Nevada, McLanahan and his men target and destroy enemy missiles. With their Top Gun dramatics, the Lancer unit seems the only safety between stability and global annihilation as Korea and China face off.
While all this seems a bit too fantastic and fast-paced at times, Brown's battle dialogue maintains a narrative intensity that keeps it all fun. He does seem to underestimate the impact (pun intended) of using nuclear weapons in warfare, though; the book is premised on a history that involves the Chinese having used them in strikes on Taiwan, and this new tale treats the subject with somewhat less gravity than might be imagined. That said, one can't help but return to those opening newspaper clips from time to time and wonder if the seeds of Brown's world are indeed contained in the ominous tea leaves of current events. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Last spotted on a singlehanded crusade against international terrorism in The Tin Man, veteran hero Patrick McLanahan, now a one-star general, is back at the head of a U.S. Air Force team in this 12th military techno-thriller from the ever-popular Brown. The general's crewAa motley gang of rule-breaking hotheads from the Nevada Air National GuardAis unorthodox, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It's April 2000, and a starving North Korean pilot has just tried to take out Seoul with nuclear weapons. This leads to the Second Korean War, as American flyers help their South Korean allies conquer a seriously weakened enemy. But a new united Korea is soon threatening China, and only McLanahan's team, flying Megafortress bombers equipped with sophisticated antiballistic missiles, can prevent nuclear conflict. Sidestepping obstructive air force bureaucracy and quelling the feuds smoldering among his pilots, McLanahan takes on the role of a renegade elder statesman in his latest foray, leaving most of the flying to his Nevada team, headed by Rinc "Rodeo" Seaver and Rinc's clandestine lover and commanding officer, Rebecca Furness. Seaver, accused of causing the deaths of three officers in a training maneuver, has a lot to prove, and it is his story that drives the personal subplot. Brown's strongest suit, however, has always been his ability to generate tension through high-wire aeronautics and technological breakthroughs, and in this tale he flourishes an ace: top secret plasma-yield warheads, subatomic weapons that silently vaporize their targets. His dialogue is as stilted as ever, and the acronym count as high, but Brown's poetry lies in his exhaustive tribute to the machinery of war, and fans will thrill to it once again in this solid addition to the series. Agent, Robert Gottlieb at William Morris. Simultaneous BDD audio. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Good job with the characters again. Many familiar faces in this one, including Becky Furness, the lady bomber pilot we last saw in "Chains of Command." The most intersting character has to be Rinc Seaver. He is a bit of an enigma when it comes to his motivation and his relationships with the rest of the cast, but that's what makes him so interesting. He also spends much of the book dealing with a training accident that killed two crew members. Creates quite a bit of tension among the people in his B-1 squadron.
As usual, Brown throws a whole lot of way cool high tech weapons at you. I will agree with one point some have made. I think Brown glossed over the impact of using nukes and chem weapons on the Korean Peninsula. Besides the obvious political ramifications, all the fallout would severely effect the whole of Korea, and most likely surrounding countries. I wish that and the actual devestation they caused to Korean cities was touched on a lot more. But that's really my only big complaint with this novel. Other than that, total thumbs up.
The main storyline has South Korea coming into possesion of a nuclear weapon. Then after months of infiltrating North Korea with spys and helping to fight their poverty situation, the South Koreans attack, and most N. Koreans revolt against their fellow Communists to overthrow that form of government, effectively uniting Korea.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. a dysfunctional Air National Guard unit is being tested by Gen. Patrick McLanahan over the Nevada deserts in B-1B's. Dreamland is testing plasma-yield weapons as well as antiballilistic missles.
Back overseas, a United Korea has found a stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), i.e. chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. A leftover crew of loyal North Koreans, still with some WMD's launch an attack on the Southern part of Korea. The defense minister, Kim of United Korea, believes China launched the attack, and wants President Kwon to retaliate against the Chinese with nuclear weapons.
Hence, lies the political and military struggle for the rest of the book. China invades the northern part of Korea, while the
B1-B crews get their act together to keep Northeast Asia from becoming a nuclear wasteland.
Most of the book is dialogue, both normal and technical as only Brown can deliver. Some good aerial sequences, especially near the end.
Patrick must put together a group of young pilots to help fight a nuclear conflict. The new mission begins with joining of US-Japanese-South Korean mock bombing raid, but turns deadly when the South Korean fighters decide to break free and cross the border to North Korea, and support the people's revolt against communists.
Patrick knows this move by the South Koreans can start World War III, but he knows of top-secret aviation technology to stop them in their tracks, to do this he must have his group of rebellious fighter pilots stop fighting each other, and work as a team, or the world as we know it will no longer exist.
"Battle Born" is a great techno thriller. It starts off with a bang, and keeps on banging until the last awesome battle has been fought.
Dale Brown writes easy to read techno thrillers, that keep the reader riveted from page one. His latest novel is a return to top form, by keeping the action scenes exciting, and the plot racing along.
If you like Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts, et al, then you'll climb aboard this book and have a thunderingly good time. All Brown's heroic types are there: Mclanahan, Luger, etc.
The bad guys are all inherently unstable, and unable to think as clearly or as logically as the good ol' U.S. fly-boys. (And when I say enemies, I am not saying Brown's racist at all. Anyone who disagrees with Mclanahan & Co. is an enemy - U.S. citizen, Korean politician, Red Chinese Minister... they're all enemies. This may hint of paranoia... but even paranoid people get killed.)
This book is Brown back doing what he does best: write about U.S. military aircraft and the folk who fly them into danger. Brown's put together another unlikely scenario, made it feel real, and created high adventure out of it.
Good stuff. Long may Brown continue writing. Because while his books may have only the vaguest grasp of real-politik, they are bloody good fun.
Most recent customer reviews
If you prefer your tales of blood and slaughter served up with plenty of jaw-jutting angst, this book is for you. Dale Brown is to be saluted for getting this into print. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by Peter Andresen
For those who like their thrills laced with military action here is vintage Dale Brown. A former U.S. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by Gail Cooke
This book was excellent. Another great book from Dale Brown! In this book, Patrick McLanahan has to put together a group of pilots to fly over Korean Penninsula and make it so that... Read morePublished on May 13 2003 by WG
All things considered, Battle Born was an enjoyable book but, in my opinion, not among Brown's best efforts. Read morePublished on July 5 2001 by Timothy J. Kindler
I've loved Dale Brown's previous books, mainly because of the incredible detail he puts into the flying parts - it almost feels like I'm in the cockpit. Read morePublished on June 18 2001
I have always been a fan of techno/military novels from The Cruel Sea to Kilo Class, but this one just left me cold. Read morePublished on May 19 2001 by D. Birks
Read the other reviews, and feel that this is really a great book. The hard military component, mixed with the fiction makes it great. Read morePublished on April 25 2001 by Glenn S. West
this book is typical of the soft covers wal-mart sells and my wife brings home. this time i was with her and it still didn't help. there was a lot of factual? Read morePublished on March 29 2001 by DAVID N BLODGETT
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