The China Sea by Richard Herman

The China Sea by Richard HermanThe China Sea by Richard Herman
Published by Endeavour Press on July 25th 2017
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 249
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
two-stars

The Chinese Dragon has awoken - and is narrowing its sights on the South China Sea.

America - and it's president Morgan Taylor - cannot permit such territorial expansion to go unchecked. But America also cannot afford to go to war. To square the circle the President decides to employ the services of David Santos, a retired air force general and intelligence officer, and his "Bravo" team, a company of trained specialists.

As the unit is deployed into South East Asia they know that America will deny all knowledge of their existence. Capture will mean torture - and death. Santos and Bravo team must try to prevent a war, working in the shadows. But they will not be alone. China has deployed its own unit, to counter the Americans and foment conflict and conquest. The fate of Bravo team in the South China Sea could shape - or shatter - the peace between two global superpowers.

The clock is ticking. The race is on.

I’ve hesitated about writing a review of this book, so I could see whether it had a lasting memory on me. I read so many thriller novels, and there needs to be something different about a novel to really rise above the pack. I find the political dynamics in the South China Sea to be quite interesting, and is likely to be the next big thing in thriller novels, taking over from the Russians who dominated the genre’s Bad Guy Ranks for so many years.

There are some interesting characters in here – a South Korean super sniper who infiltrates the North on a dangerous mission for instance; a group of Vietnamese rebels who call themselves the Viet Cong – but apart from these I really struggled to keep a track of everyone else. There were a few big set pieces involving the American president, and the North Korean president, but apart from that I really struggle to elucidate just what the point of any of it was. I understand – from a geopolitical point of view – what China thinks about the control of the South China Sea, but beyond that this book really felt like a bunch of talking heads who travelled from Australia to Vietnam and… didn’t seem to do anything.

I think this book tries to be a throwback to a Spy v Spy novel, where the two sides never really come into contact with each other. But this felt really generic, and lacked a clear vision of what was going on. It felt like watching the news – you get a lot of segments of stories that are short, sharp, and to find out anything new about any individual piece, you need to wait a while.

There are a lot of great thriller writers out there, and an abundance of books to choose from and I just can’t find a reason to recommend this book.

I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

two-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
one-half-stars
Writing
two-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Cover
two-stars
Overall: two-stars

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