Actually, it should be "Acts of Valor," since the SEAL heroes of the book engage in several operations, any one of which could have served as the climax of an action thriller. But this is no ordinary book. It's a novelization of the Kurt Johnstad screenplay of a film that started out as a documentary and morphed into a feature film. Since the movie isn't out yet, I can't say if or where the authors diverged from the movie's dialog or storyline, but I hope that the movie is as exciting and authentic as the book.
Those are the two words that best describe Act of Valor. It's exciting because it pits a lot of really interesting good guys (the SEALs and their friends) against some very nasty narcothugs and terrorists. The action ranges from Costa Rica to Somalia to the Pacific Ocean, and as hairy as it gets, the danger they face is nothing compared to the danger they're trying to prevent. There are lots of fights, and lot of good story between the fights.
It's authentic because not only do we see the SEALs with their wet suits and M4 rifles, but we see them before deployment, as family men. The authors create complete, realistic characters, who have decided to take on the most challenging duty in the armed forces. At the same time it's showing us the tremendous demands SEAL duty and missions place on these men, it shows us what kind of men are capable of performing them.
Dick Couch and George Galdorisi are the perfect choice to write the novelization. Both are retired Navy captains and accomplished writers. Couch was a SEAL himself, serving in Vietnam, and Galdorisi a naval aviator. Both have been active in the government since leaving the service.
And while the story in Act of Valor is fiction, thanks to the news we know there are other stories out there that are not.
Even if you're planning to see the movie, buy the book.