Tag Archives: army

Thunder in the Morning Calm

Thunder in the Morning Calm (Pacific Rim Series #1) by Don Brown

Published by Zondervan.  Distributed by Brilliance Audio.  Performed by Dick Hill.

Rating:  * * *

Action-packed from start to finish, this unabashedly patriotic tale has the makings for a made-for-TV movie.

Lt. Commander “Gunner” McCormick hears rumors of a North Korean prison camp holding elderly American prisoners of war from the Korean War 60-some years prior.  The possibility of finding and rescuing the POWs strikes a chord with him because his grandfather disappeared during the war and is officially listed as missing in action.  When the opportunity arises, Gunner and his hastily formed commando group advance into North Korea to search out the camp and rescue the prisoners.

You may recognize performer Dick Hill from the Jack Reacher audiobooks.  If you like his narration in that series, you will almost certainly enjoy this performance.

This work is labeled faith-based fiction, and that theme is prominent throughout.

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On Two Fronts

On Two Fronts by Sgt. Adam Fenner and Lance Taubold

Copyright 2013 by 13Thirty Books

Rating:  * * *

Sgt. Adam Fenner, deployed as a medic to Afghanistan with the Nevada National Guard, and his friend at home, Lance Taubold, write about their separate experiences of the deployment.  The book, written largely during the deployment, consists of each of them writing chapters in their own style and from their own perspective.  The story concludes shortly after Adam’s return from Afghanistan.

I love the asides:  notes from Adam included in a chapter by Lance, and vice versa.  Often as simple as [Adam:  Eye roll], the interactions make me chuckle.  Lance’s splashy style contrasts with Adam’s pragmatism, making an interesting combination.

Lance is in patriotic, save-the-world mode from start to finish, as a way to support Adam.  Adam is more matter-of-fact, only showing depth of emotion at one point, in the form of disillusionment following an explosion in a village thought to be friendly.  Adam’s chapters convey mind-numbing boredom interspersed with fierce activity, which he indicates is usual for deployments.  He speaks in broad terms about friendship and love, but rarely displays the emotion with which Lance’s chapters vibrate.  Lance deals more directly with the fears and feelings of separation experienced by those at home, the things Adam downplays or puts out of mind in order to focus on the here and now in a combat zone.

I struggle with the timeline in the book, sometimes unable to determine what is present day and what is being recounted from earlier.  All in all, an interesting read.

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick, narrated by William Dufris

Rating:  * * * *

Homer, a boy with a talent for telling entertaining stories (some might call them tall tales) sets off on a heck of an adventure when he attempts to save his brother Harold, who was sold to the army during the Civil War.  Homer meets a motley assortment of characters with interesting names like Professor Fleabottom.

William Dufris does an absolutely delightful narration of this story.  All the character voices are distinct from one another, and each voice brings the character to life so that even minor characters become memorable.

Wildly funny and adventurous, the story nevertheless contains an undercurrent of sadness as Homer encounters kidnapping, thievery, war, incarceration, and death.  The journey to recover Harold complete, Homer finishes up his account (mostly true) with humor and optimism, leaving the reader/listener wondering what is next for him – and knowing that whatever it is, it will be entertaining!

If you like this story and/or this narrator, you may also enjoy the Holmes on the Range series by Steve Hockensmith.

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