Richard Peters is the author of the Operation Enduring Unity political thriller series and a variety of science fiction. He served from 2002-2007 as an artillery spotter in the US Army. Richard spent 27 months in two tours bringing peace at any price to the post-apocalyptic streets and mahalla’s of Baghdad.
He currently lives with his wife and son in Germany and runs his own technical services business.
He also runs a book review blog for military veteran writers and others writing about military/veteran themes (fiction and non-fiction).
on Dec. 18, 2013
I purchased this story on Amazon.
On the surface, the central hero character, SFC Grant Justice, is just as much a gung-ho, space cowboy as that awesome name suggests. However, the author does a pretty good job bringing him back down to earth through oscillating bouts of overconfidence and self-pity. Creating a bad-ass hero is easy. Building one regular people can realistically identify with is a harder task.
The essence of Mr. Hawk’s story is fairly unique and intentionally funny. A time traveling soldier from the “barbaric times” is awoken by a “socially deviant” scientist over 600 years later. Against all odds, the author is able to pass this off as plausible. At least to us non-biologists. From there, our self-loathing John Wayne forces a sheepish world into a high-stakes battle against wild injuns… I mean aliens.
This is where the story becomes overly formulaic. There were several big twists that just lack the impact because they were a bit too predictable. Still, that’s an ancient complaint for most stories. The only real weakness of this tale is the length. Mr. Hawk wraps up the story arc and all just fine, but you’re still left unsatisfied. Belly not quite full and aching for seconds. Of course, isn’t that a hallmark of a good author?
Well-polished novel. Especially for an Indie. The author mentions his second edition being “professionally edited.” I think it’s safe to say he got his money’s worth and so will the reader.
The War Journals: Resistance
on Jan. 10, 2014
If you’re expecting a wild action tale or remake of Red Dawn with this book, you’d be mistaken. On the other hand, you won’t be disappointed with what you find. While the story centers on an ex-super duper soldier accidentally building a resistance movement against invading Chinese troops, they spend surprisingly little time actually fighting and a lot more giving speeches.
The focus here is less on the war and more on the private emotional journeys the hero and his sidekicks take from mild-mannered civilians to merciless guerrillas. A string of betrayals and self-created disasters then keep the pressure ramped up and the fun going. You feel throughout that the guerrillas and the US in general would handily when the war, if they could only get out of their own way. The real enemy the good guys always struggle with isn’t a foreign army, but themselves and their own self-destructive tendencies.
Unlike most of these WW3 tales, the author gives and maintains a clear and coherent strategic narrative. Personally, I found the details of the broader war extremely far-fetched, but at least having a clear understanding of the “big picture” made for a more interesting read. While there are a number of technical errors with weapons and tactics, the author’s skilled handling of his complicated and self-destructive hero and well-fleshed out supporting cast overshadows such details.
Overall, the prose and style reads more like a screenplay than most novels. That’s neither good nor bad, but merely a taste preference. While I can’t give this 5 stars because of so many events and decisions stretching the realm of believability, there’s no denying that the story is pretty unique. All in all, a fun read that’s worth the time, even if it is not the most thought provoking.
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel - Revised Edition
on July 14, 2014
As a modern Iraq war vet, I usually can’t relate to these old Vietnam War stories. Until this book, that is. Wow! It’s not just the “smack the magazine on the helmet” attention to detail, but the timeless realism that roped me in. If it weren’t for the jungle and mosquitoes, you could be crawling around with soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq.
My only complaint is the story’s length. While there’s no apparent “filler,” cutting the less important details would really pick up the pace.
Since the war was before my time, I can’t speak to the accuracy of the novel… but that doesn’t matter. Fiction, memoir or a little of both, Cherries still makes my top 10 list of best war novels. Whether a veteran or civilian, this is one great adventure tale.