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Dreamland: Strike Zone
By Dale Brown and Jim Defelice

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Dreamland: Strike Zone
By Dale Brown and Jim Defelice
Magna Large Print Books, 2006
ISBN: 0-7505-2563-0
Genre: Techo-Thriller, Suspense

Reviewed by Herbert White - November 10, 2006

Strike Zone is, according the Dale Brown's Megafortress website, the fifth book in Dale Brown and Jim Defelice's Dreamland series. Although part of a series, this book can be read, with ease, as a stand-alone novel. The series is set against the back-drop of a top secret military air base located in the Nevada desert. Technically located on the fictional Elliott Air Force Base at Groom Lake, Nevada, the Air Force's High Technology Aerospace Weapons Center is universally called, simply, Dreamland. The base is a testing, design, and construction facility where high tech military weapons are created and deployed.

The men and women of Dreamland also, often, find themselves in the thick of things, and are often called upon to embark on hazardous and difficult missions. After a burgeoning war between China and India is defused, the men and women of Dreamland discover that there is a high-tech, robotic, stealth warplane on the loose. Worse, this new stealth warplane bears a striking resemblance to the Flighthawk, one of Dreamland's own creations. Do they have a spy in their midst that is leaking information to the enemy, or is this seemingly ghost clone simply a fluke and the enemy just happened to create their own version of the Flighthawk warplane. Perhaps most unsettling of all, the folks at Dreamland are not really sure who is in control of the ghost clone. However, one thing they know for sure is that, in the wrong hands, this warplane could wreck havoc upon an unsuspecting world.

This scenario sets the basis for this non-stop thriller. First the good guys must discover who created the ghost clone, then how many of them there are, and of course, where they are located. Next they must figure out a way to destroy them, a task that is easier said then done. With skill and daring the men and women of Dreamland devise a scheme to draw the ghost clones out so that they can be destroyed - they hope...

Dreamland: Strike Zone is a great novel. The story line is believable, and the battle scenes, especially the aerial ones, are well wrought and faithful to current military protocols and fighting techniques. Brown and Defelice's writings mesh seamlessly, and while the story is technology heavy, it enhances rather than weighs down the story line. While the book is filled with intriguing, three-dimensional characters, Brown and Defelice never let the character's personal dramas interfere with the action. A trait that I like in my techno-thrillers!

Full of nonstop action and enough techno-toys to satisfy a junkie, Strike Zone is a great action thriller. The Dreamland series is one of the few a joint venture series that I really like. When Defelice teamed up with Steven Coonts on his Deep Black series, his writing, and/or ideas, just did not seem to mesh well with Coonts. With Brown, however, Defelice has found a true partner, not only is their end product coherent and vibrant, but the Dreamland books are just what a techno-thriller should be - books filled with lots of scientifically possible gadgets and lots of high impact thrills. Throw in Brown's aerial skills and talent for writing realistic air battles and you have a real winner. By far, Strike Zone is one of the best books, so far, in the Dreamland series.

Dreamland:Strike Zone can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of Magna Large Print Books.

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