Shadow Command

Title:                  Shadow Command

Author:                 Dale Brown

Brown, Dale (2008). Shadow Command. New York: William Morrow

LCCN:    2008298352

PS3552.R68543 S475 2008


Date Updated:  April 29, 2015

The U.S. is still recovering from the American Holocaust, a Russian air strike that killed and wounded thousands in 2004, at the start of this clunky techno-thriller from bestseller Brown (Strike Force). In 2009, Lieutenant General McLanahan, commander of the High Technology Aerospace Weapons Center, fears the Russians are covertly arming Iran, now known as the Democratic Republic of Persia. An immoral and weak U.S. president, Joseph Gardner, doesn’t help the situation. Full of technical prose (Skybolt was powered by a MHDG, or magnetohydrodynamic generator, which used two small nuclear reactors to rapidly shoot a slug of molten metal back and forth through a magnetic field to produce the enormous amount of power required by the laser) and broadly drawn characters, from Gardner, who can’t keep his pants on even during a global crisis, to Senate majority leader Stacy Anne Barbeau, who wields her cleavage in the interests of her constituents as well as national security, this novel will appeal to readers who care more about advanced weaponry than a plausible plot.

Plan of Attack

Title:                  Plan of Attack

Author:                Dale Brown

Brown, Dale (2004). Plan of Attack.New York: William Morrow

LCCN:    2003068885

PS3552.R68543 P58 2004


Date Updated:  April 29, 2015

Longtime series hero Maj. Gen. Patrick McLanahan takes to the air again in this rousing-as-usual techno-military thriller by veteran Brown. Always the loose cannon, the general has been demoted and reassigned after sending his unmanned robo-planes against a Russian missile battery without permission. As narrated in Brown’s last book, Air Battle Force, the Taliban military, chased out of Afghanistan by American troops, has invaded Turkmenistan. The Russian Federation, reacting to the invasion and overthrow of the Russian-backed government, sends an occupying force. The Americans are part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission when the Security Council issues orders for all parties to halt military activity. The first third of the book relates the backstory and ramps up readers on all the new military hardware. Each weapons system is minutely described, and the characteristics of its employment lovingly detailed. But this minutiae fades into the background as Brown kicks on the after-burners when the nefarious president of the Russian Federation, Gen. Anatoliy Gryzlov, plans a long-range bomber attack on the U.S. mainland. The disgraced but unbowed McLanahan must convince the government and the armed services to follow his ingenious and daring plan to halt the Russian assault. The resulting battles, both in the air and on the ground, are riveting, as they are in all of Brown’s books, proving once again that he is the grand master of his genre.

In Air Battle Force, Dale Brown introduced U.S. Air Force aerial warfare expert Major General Patrick McLanahan and his air combat unit of the future. Armed with a force of these robotic planes, the general and a handful of commandos were secretly deployed to the oil-rich nation of Turkmenistan to stop a Taliban invasion. And though the Americans won the battle, the war is far from over.

To punish McLanahan and his fleet of robot warplanes for their audacity, Russian president General Anatoliy Gryzlov decides to do the unthinkable: a sneak attack on America-unlike anything ever believed possible-that devastates her strategic air forces.

McLanahan has collected information that not only foretold the Russians’ daring plan, but also gave him the data he needs to plan a counterstrike that could stop the Russian war machine dead in its tracks. But Patrick is no longer in charge of Air Battle Force, and the Russian sneak attack has left the embattled U.S. president with few options: retaliate with every weapon in his arsenal, even if it triggers a global thermonuclear war, or to a cease fire on Russia’s terms.


Title:                      Retribution

Author:                  Dale Brown

Brown, Dale (2007) and Jim DeFelice. Dale Brown’s Dreamland: Retribution. New York: HarperCollins

ISBN: 978-0060889463


Date Posted:      May 20, 2013

I think I have read about 10 of the Dreamland books, but I have so many paperbacks in boxes to be read, I am not totally sure. I guess I liked the “Dreamland Team” because its stories are futuristic probably. However, they are written close enough to cutting edge technology that probably many of the weapons and equipment part of this novel do actually exist.

This is the sixth Dreamland novel that these two authors have written. It is full of military action involving soldiers with nerves of steel, modern, and futuristic airplanes, and drone-like weapons along with electronic equipment that boggles your mind.

Lieutenant Colonel Tecumseh “Dog” Bastien is the leader of Dreamland. The Dreamland group respects and admires Dog’s leadership. There are those above his rank that think the leadership of such a powerful group should be commanded by a higher ranking officer but for now, Dog is it with all the pressures that come with that leadership. The love life of this group is one that evolves as the story progresses as members do have some loved ones in the same group they are in making military objectives extremely hard at times. But things flow quite well under Dog’s command.

Twenty-five nuclear warheads have been lost during warring factions involving India, Pakistan, and China, with the United States caught in the middle, supposedly friendly with all three nations. On paper that works out well, however, in practice it becomes a game of tag and war to get those warheads before anyone else can. Dreamland was assigned to find the warheads before a nuclear war got started.

Using all the modern technology possible, the Dreamland team starts their search, a search that becomes a very dangerous “game” for all involved. Airplanes, ships, drones, and land troops all search the areas that the latest technology has given them as the most likely scattered locations where these warheads might be found. The battles are carried out in a state of war at least for those on the Dreamland team and the searchers for the other nations, who all are intensely trying to find the dangerous warheads before anyone else does or they get set off and do some extreme damage.

I get into these stories as if I were a grunt with them, on the ships, the airplanes, in the sea trying to get rescued, or on the ground guided by my fellow countrymen and women. There is death on all sides even though there is not a war in progress at the time, but the action and out-guessing opponents move to get the weapons is as stressful and dangerous as a full-out war.

I felt as though I was with these soldiers in their personal and group battles mentally and physically. I could visualize every bullet that hit one of them. I wished I were there to assist in their medical care. After several books I almost feel part of their family, happy when things go properly and hurting so terribly when things go wrong.

I am somewhat disappointed that I was unable to find any of the Dreamland books listed in college and university catalogs. They are in the Library of Congress, but in storage boxes at Fort Meade. The call number I give is only approximate.