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Act of War
By Dale Brown

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Act of War
By Dale Brown
Charnwood Large Print, 2006
ISBN: 1-84617-228-4
Genre: Techo-Thriller, Science Fiction

Reviewed by Herbert White - October 18, 2006

Dale Brown has crafted another thought-provoking techno-thriller in the form of Act of War, the first of a two-part series. The second book, which is also available in large print, is entitled, Edge of Battle. In Act of War the United States is attacked by a terrorist welding nuclear weapons. An oil refinery in Houston Texas is destroyed and more attacks appear to be in the offing. The Guerra Alliance de la Movimento Meio Ambiente - GAMMA (Environmental Movement Combat Alliance) takes credit for the attack.

GAMMA claims to be working for the benefit of the worlds poor and the attack was targeted solely at TransGlobal Energy Corporation, the multinational energy company that owns the refinery, and not at the US in general. Either way, they are planning more attacks against TransGlobal operations on American soil. While the main target may be the company, it is private citizens that are dying!

To stop this terrorist group, the Army unleashes Major Jason Richter, an Army engineer who is the head of Task Force TALON, an elite military unit that has at its disposal an impressive arsenal of state-of-the-art and experimental weaponry and gadgets. Their arsenal includes Cybernetic Infantry Devices (CID), robotic exoskeletons that soldiers can wear that are not only unbelievably strong but which also come fully armed. While many of the gadgets used in this book are based upon current or experimental military technologies, others are purely the work of the author's imagination.

Richter and his team go after GAMMA with a vengeance, and numerous clashes ensue. However, as events unfold, Richter comes to discover that GAMMA is not all that it seems to be and that bigger dangers loom on the horizon. If Richter fails, the nuclear attack on the refinery may seem like the 'good old days' compared with what may come next.

As I've said before, in most of Brown's books, the characters and the overall plot takes a back seat to the action and the technology - both real and imagined that imbue his books, and Act of War is no exception. This is a great book for fans of action and war stories and for techno-junkies, but it is very thin in the realm of characterization, plotting, and realism, which is not always a bad thing. Act of War is a thrilling story that is easy on the brain, yet one that will have you wondering about what might happen should a terrorist launch a nuclear attack. To enjoy this story you must, however, be willing to overlook some of the less realistic points in the plot and simply sit back and enjoy what I found to be a fun and diverting book to read.

Act of War can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of Charnwood Large Print.

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