"Wings of Fire"
(Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer JUN 26, 2002)
The price of this mission is higher than he expects. His brother discovers a hidden cache of specialized weapons, and in attempting to destroy them causes a chain of fire that kills him. They manage to return to their ship, but the Libyan air force realizes that their attackers must have come from the sea, and begin sinking every ship in the area. His wife and technical crew are supposed to take off in the Hammer (a hover jet) while he and the Night Stalkers cover their retreat. She is a important member of their team, able to program many of the weapons her husband uses in his job, and so is the best choice to pilot the craft. She disobeys him, realizing she can program a Flight Hawk, or unmanned missile, to destroy a Libyan warship bearing down on them. This act of bravery will end in her disappearance, leaving McLanahan in doubt of her fate.
When they make land, they meet up with the wife of the assassinated Egyptian president and they agree to work together to discover what happened to Patrick's wife and crew, and to prevent the destruction of the Egyptian oilfields by the Libyan king. Trapped on an airbase, Patrick and the Stalkers fight their way clear, barely avoiding being caught in a neutron blast, which destroys the entire base. Believing his crew to have been destroyed also, they return home to America to piece together their lives. Later, they will discover new information that some of his crew was removed to Libya, and now he must mount an offense in the heart of the Libyan king's capital to save his wife and crew.
The most outstanding part of this book is the action. The high tech weaponry is really neat. A good example would be the exoskeletons that the Night Stalkers are equipped with. They make the wearer almost as invincible as Superman, protecting them from head to toe, allowing them to electroshock their enemies, increasing their strength several hundred fold, and allowing them to jump from building to building. These incredible weapons make the action and fighting even more exciting. Despite the Science Fiction feel to the technology, it is all very believable. I would not be surprised if all these things already exist.
Patrick McLanahan makes for an admirable leader --- fearless, intelligent and honorable. He truly cares for his crew as well as his wife, and you know he would go after them even if she were safe. He is not the type to leave anyone behind. Susan Salaam desperately wants what's best for her adopted people of Egypt, and is willing to do anything to protect them. Originally from America, she married the president of Egypt and when he is assassinated decides to work to further his dreams for his people. Driven by ambition, she is only willing to compromise when it will help achieve her aims. All in all, the cast of characters are all well written, the action is exciting, and the story is engrossing.
I would suggest this book highly to people who enjoy a good adventure, especially if they love high tech equipment and political intrigue.
- Amazon readers rating: from 16 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
Novels that Features Air Force General Patrick McLanahan
- Flight of the Old Dog (1987)
- Day of the Cheetah (1989)
- Sky Masters (1991)
- Night of the Hawk (1992)
- Shadows of Steel (1996)
- Fatal Terrain (1997)
- The Tin Man (1998)
- Battle Born (1999)
- Warrior Class (2000)
- Wings of Fire (2002)
- Air Battle Force (2003)
- Plan of Attack (2004)
Novels that feature Admiral Ian Hardcastle
Written with Jim DeFelice
- Dreamland (2001)
- Dreamland: Nerve Center (2002)
- Dreamland: Razor's Edge (2003)
- Dreamland: Piranha (2003)
- Dreamland: Strike Zone (2004)
- Dreamland: Armageddon (2004)
- Dreamland: Satan's Tail (2005)
- Dreamland: End Game (October 2006)
- Dreamland: Retribution (September 2007)
Task Force TALON:
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- Official Web site for Dale Brown
- Reno Gazette-Journal interview with Dale Brown
- The American Reporter book review of Fatal Terrain
- Christian Sauve's (brutal) review of Fatal Terrain
- Rebecca's Reads review of The Tin Man
- BookPage review of Battle Born
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About the Author:
Dale Brown was born in Buffalo, New York in 1956. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Western European History and received an Air Force commission in 1978. He was a navigator-bombardier in the B-52G Stratofortress heavy bomber and the FB-111A supersonic medium bomber, and is the recipient of several military decorations and awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Combat Crew Award, and the Marksmanship ribbon. Dale was also one of the nation's first Air Force ROTC cadets to qualify for and complete the grueling three-week U.S. Army Airborne Infantry paratrooper training course.
Dale is a director and volunteer pilot for AirLifeLine, a non-profit national charitable medical transportation organization who fly needy persons free of charge to receive treatment. He also supports a number of organizations to support and promote law enforcement and reading.
Brown is a member of The Writers Guild and a Life Member of the Air Force Association and U.S. Naval Institute. He is a multi-engine and instrument-rated private pilot and can often be found in the skies all across the United States, piloting his own plane. On the ground, Dale enjoys tennis, skiing, scuba diving, and hockey. Dale, his wife Diane, and son Hunter live near the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada.