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Henry Martin is a former naval officer who served on both submarines and surface ships and a writer whose work has appeared in markets as diverse as INTERZONE, POLYPHONY, ON SPEC, and several original DAW anthologies under the name Steven Mohan, Jr. His work has won honorable mention in THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION and THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR and he is a past Pushcart Prize nominee.
on March 30, 2011 :
When I was younger I enjoyed Tom Clancy's books. As I got older, I kept having to close them, because I was getting weary of reading a fat edition of "Jane's Gadget-of-the-Month" club with some violence thrown in. This attention to gadget over grit more or less turned me off of the genre, since Clancy has so many emulators. In WINTER DRAGON, though, I found a welcome balance.
It has gadgets; you'll know what kind of frigate is shooting what kind of gun aimed by what kind of radar. You won't want for naval parlance or military characters or the cool, serene silence of the sea. You'll trust those details are right, because Mr. Mohan's background as a naval officer breathes through the pages. But those things are afterthoughts--because what Mr. Mohan has successfully given us are those things we expect from the genre but used by and seen through the eyes of real, living and breathing characters. People we want to care about--as individuals--and not just as "that guy who pushed that button to launch the rocket." Individuals who exist in and interact with a cast of other individuals. In short, Mr. Mohan has created a world and populated it with people.
You'll care about Sandra Johnson's relationship with her daughter even as she's having a stare-down with the Chinese vice-premier. You'll care about Mark Castillo, when he has to face the Chinese captain his crew has just pulled out of the debris-filled ocean where the Chinese ship used to be. And you'll for darn sure care about the nameless junior officer who literally kills herself trying to save her shipmates. You'll care because Mr. Mohan creates real people and puts them in unreal positions, and then makes us care about what happens to them.
What more can you ask for a techno-thriller? Political intrigue--check. Insightful characters--check. Real-world weapons and tactics--check.
Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)