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Larry Bond's Red Dragon Rising: Blood of War [Hardcover]

Larry Bond , Jim DeFelice
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Forge (15 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321404
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 620,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Larry Bond's Red Dragon Rising: Blood of War In the second installment of Bond's gripping series, CIA Agent Mara Duncan faces her most grueling assignment: get scientist Josh MacArthur and a seven-year-old witness to the Chinese atrocities in Vietnam out of the country safely. Full description

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5.0 out of 5 stars A good story well 7 July 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good story well written
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable conclusion to Bond's four-volume series on a China-Vietnam war 5 Mar 2013
By Daniel Berger - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In this last volume of the “Red Dragon Rising” series, the handful of Americans who know what’s really going on in Vietnam face some fateful choices.

The president faces impeachment over what some in Congress think is his desire to go to war with China and defend Vietnam; he knows he must but must do so covertly. Military liaision Zeus Murphy has narrowly escaped with his life after a harrowing mission to Hainan; his superior wants him out of Vietnam but meanwhile he won’t go without the Vietnamese woman he’s fallen in love with, now under arrest. Commander Dirk Silas of the USS McCampbell has been given the difficult job of shadowing Chinese warships in the South China Sea while simultaneously under orders to avoid; he must play cat and mouse as the Chinese harass Vietnamese and foreign shipping.

Meanwhile, scientist Josh MacDonald, an eyewitness to Chinese atrocities against Vietnamese villagers at the invasion’s outset in the first of the four-book series, is still being stalked by a determined assassin. Fleshing out the action are supporting characters like SEAL Ric Kerfer, Vietnamese Army commander General Minh Trung, and CIA paramilitary Roth Setco.

The big question, though, is: China has the overwhelming advantage in force and numbers. How long will it take to overrun Vietnam? How long do the Vietnamese have? And can anything save them?

This book continues as the others have – strong on the strategizing and weaponry, reasonable in the supply and depiction of action, so-so on the depiction of today’s Vietnam, weak on the characterization. Bond’s background in Pentagon-level war-gaming provides a dimension not always present in technothrillers – a realistic sense of how wars develop, how commanders plot and foresee moves, the ebb and flow of battles and wars, and the many real-life limitations.

The war-gamers are represented here by Murphy, whose background in that is what’s gotten him detailed to advise the beleaguered Vietnamese Army. In this volume he sees a bold stroke by the Vietnamese underdogs can buy time or even stop the Chinese in their tracks.

There are certain limitations in this kind of realistic, what-if, set-in-the-present book. It’s tougher to dramatize automated forms of warfare – like the missiles and anti-missile systems used by the warships. The human actors make some decisions, give some orders, push some buttons and stand around while bombs go hurtling through the sky. (The era of drones and other robot weapons is going to change the thriller genre, as there are fewer guys with guns and more deskbound geeks in flipflops operating Predators out of an office in Nevada.)

Bond is strong on the weaponry and uses that as a form of realistic detail. Now, there are times when you want to know that the Chinese are using a (I’m making this up) EK-68A-BL personnel carrier originally built by the Russians, and other times when it’s just alphanumeric gobbledygook, unnecessarily cluttering up the writing because it doesn’t tell you anything important. I understand that with the on-the-ground viewpoint he’s providing, that stuff does matter – is this a vehicle, say, that the Vietnamese can shoot their AB6-89-43-X (also made up) rocket-propelled grenade at? Or not? This is a realistic book and that stuff, in real life, matters. But lapsing into too much hardware-speak gets a writer onto shaky stylistic grounds. The writer must walk a fine line.

Of great value, though, is the big picture and the whole scenario: Changing climate (plausible) causing draught and food riots (plausible) in the world’s most densely populated nation, causing it to eye a fertile neighbor and historic rival next door (quite plausible.)

What’s also plausible is how and why the Chinese invasion falters: the army is too hidebound. Its commanders are too nervous to take any chances – for good reason, as they face death in their party-dictatorship system if they fail. Its midlevel officers have neither the authority nor experience to improvise in the field. They are slaves to caution. Everyone sugarcoats failures as they report up the line, meaning those at the top don’t have accurate information.

Bond has also chosen an intriguing scenario overall – the U.S. quietly looking for ways to aid those who had been our enemies in a long, difficult and politically damaging war within recent memory, against a nation that could become a far greater threat if it chose an aggressive path. It also offers some benefits from the writer's angle: this is not that much of a high-tech war. It's still being slugged out on the ground by tanks and troops, and whether to take that hill still matters, and makes better reading than pushbutton warfare does.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Dragon Risng 19 Feb 2013
By Darrell - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with all of the other books by these authors, it was hard to put down. Read it in two sittings.
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond nails the story line to interesting unexpected conclusions. Good yarn! 3 July 2014
By Bob Oursler - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since it had been several months since I read Shock of War, it took me a while to get back into the story and the characters. It took me until Chapt 10 to get all the main characters recalled. The whole story is fast paced, just like the rest of the series. Bond develops his characters by their actions and he keeps the reader guessing what comes next. By the time I got to Chap 30, I could not put the book down for want to see how the story unfolds. The endings of the characters did surprise me. I was not expecting the final scene with Josh, Mara, and Yo. Bond could have continued the story with LCdr Li taking command of a warship in armed conflict. Would have been interesting to see his take on women in command of combatants under fire. More details of burial at sea would have been appropriate. Bond does leave room for a successor tale. The author's note was appropriate but not really necessary. I did pick up on the change of names of the ships, but the Navy does swap ships and assignments/billets. All in all a good yarn that is keeping with modern events.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Giant Awakes 29 May 2014
By Paul Merten - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A captivating subject, well written and addressing issues that, in the future, might be in the realm of possibilities. I highly recommend the story line as a "can't put down" page turner. As a Vietnam Vet and China expat, it won't take much to connect the dots.
5.0 out of 5 stars fast and slow 21 May 2014
By Darryl A. Pennywell - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sometimes really slow. Not I'm going to go to sleep slow, but overall a good read. Will follow this Author again.
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