Friday, April 29, 2016

Tuesday Book Review: "Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises" ~ Believable EnterTRAINment

**Originally published Tuesday, April 26th, 2016** -- **BUMPED** --  

Max Velocity, the nom de guerre of the author of "Contact!" (You can read my review of Contact!, published in March 2016, HERE) has written more than just an invaluable tactical "how-to" manual for those wishing to prepare and be informed.  He has branched out and written two works of near future political fiction, of which I am reviewing the first, titled "Patriot Dawn", here.  The paperback is suitable for a wide audience - no prior military exposure or political vein is required to enjoy the book on several levels.  I am finding that Max Velocity's writing works to not only entertain, but to do so with purpose and vigor as a means of training.  I will use this post to inaugurate a new genre named "enterTRAINment".  It is through compelling story elements and structure that the Reader is exposed to and absorbs the tactical lessons, tactics and procedures that Max Velocity pounds home on in his work, "Contact!"  As such, consider it to augment the book "Contact!", as it is really a training enforcer for that work.

The subtitle of the work is "The Resistance Rises".  The book lives up to this, as it is the origins story for the second work in the series which will be reviewed later.  The plausible backstory, which details the gradual decay and the descent into national disarray is believably presented with an eye to detail.  I found the writing to be riveting... by page 42, I could feel the tension as my pulse quickened along with the narrative.  This is the first time that from reading a work of fiction, the sensations of combat and the exhaustion afterwards left me physically tired.  It is evocative writing, filled with potent characters and solid storyline.

One of the interesting story components is the interaction (actually, sublimation of) the National Guard into FEMA/DHS.  This would fit well with what is official public policy of the Obama Regime

That which would have been questionable a few years ago really is now accepted as reality.  Given this current trajectory of American security politics, the story line is entirely believable.

One very important consideration that Max Velocity addresses in his book is that of "span of control" within any organization.  About page 100, he recognizes the limits of personal influence, of command and control over a group of a given size.  Interestingly, that span of control seems in practice to be limited to about 7 people.  In a current Infantry Regiment, typically you have a Commanding Officer (CO) Colonel, an Executive Officer (XO) LtCol, an S-3 Operations Officer (OpsO) LtCol, an S-2 (Intelligence) Major, an S-1 (Administration) Adjutant Captain, S-4 (Logistics) Captain/Major, S-6 (Communications/IT) Captain/Major... as primary Staff.  Just shy of 7.  The common density of symbols on a jet's HUD (Heads Up Display) is also 7 (you can go for more, but it gets pointless).  Seems the human mind has a instinctive redline on this sort of thing.  Max's writing is unusual in that he addresses the non-sexy issues of planning and staff work that escape lesser writers.  Tactics are all well and good, but if there is no staff work or planning, you are doomed to fail.  Fail to plan equals planning to fail, as they say.  About page 177 you will see the issue of planning at its climax.

There is an item that is totally NON-fictional in this work, and that is the ongoing development and production of an advanced thermal poncho that Max Velocity has spent a good deal of effort on bringing to fruition.  The reasoning behind this is to provide concealment from the proliferation of infrared (IR) devices that litter the modern battle space.  Drones are a particular example of an IR surveillance threat.  As cameras get smaller, lighter and more capable, that threat is not fictional, it is quite real.  His thermal poncho is an interesting development.  You can read about it here.  He also has some nice chest rigs up for sale .  There are commercial IR systems that you can purchase that will give you IR  capability.  You can buy such devices, but understand their limitations of range and field of view.  Still, an interesting niche for all sorts of uses.

     Given that this is a work of fiction, I do not want to provide any spoilers for you.  I will say that it involves a realistic family unit in an all too recognizable Northern Virginia locale.  They adapt over time to a series of challenges while witnessing loss and human triumph.  The personal toll of combat is reasonably depicted.  The people are quite human in life and in death.

     Around page 176, the author provides an excellent narrative of a fictional urban defense against a heavy force.  Although this is used as part of the educational narrative, employing insurgent/guerrilla forces in built up areas is a subject of whole volumes.  Max treats the subject with great respect and I have to say that the word picture he painted brought back some memories of Fallujah and Ramadi at the height of the conflict. Suffice it to say, while urban defence can exact a huge toll upon an attacker, you hazard getting fixed and become subject to defeat in detail as superiority of force gets used as a sledgehammer upon you.  If you are curious about this topic, I will address it soon.

     Although the work is fiction of a future gone off the rails, Max Velocity presciently hits on the topic of Chinese infiltration of Military Intelligence.  The headlines of recent days about the accused Chinese spy LCDR Lin are merely the times catching up with what he wrote back in 2012. This event illustrates the Chinese Intelligence practice of "1,000 grains of sand", where they have a plethora of agents all reporting bits and pieces to their handlers, who then build the big picture from the reports.

Accused Chinese spy LCDR LIN
The tactical good sense displayed in the book is not rocket science, but it relies entirely upon you in the execution of the details.  Such is the work of all worthwhile endeavors.  The "gear queer" out there may blanche at the suggestion that small arms will get necked down to what your adversary uses (read: AR series small arms).  In the reading, you will come to appreciate the small things in gear that make life livable.  Things like quality boots, the need for gloves and eye protection.  Not everything necessary is sexy, but they do help you sustain and perform over time.

I do promise you this - the scenario is engrossing, the characters believable.  There is no deus ex machina that the story line hinges upon.  Those who can see and those who are aware of the situation today will not have to stretch the bounds of inevitability for any of it.  As such, I highly recommend his work to you, for your own enterTRAINment and benefit.   Time is fleeting.

Thanks for stopping by - we hope your visit was enjoyable.  If this is your first visit, you may enjoy some of Partyzantski's previously published Tuesday book reviews as well.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting, reading and hopefully sharing with others.  Supporting this blog by shopping through one of our Amazon links is greatly appreciated.  Comments, questions or concerns are always welcome - you can contact us via E-mail or follow us at Twitter via @Partyzantski or @Stopshoutblog.  You can also sign up via e-mail for new posts (we do not sell or share your e-mail contact information with anyone). Comments/feedback are welcome and valued, however, all comments are moderated and will be posted after we have time to review and release. Thanks again!

Tuesday Book Review Written by StopShoutingBlog contributor and #FAB50 Blog Award Winner Partyzantski, coolest cat on teh inner webs, retired Mustang, former FID embedded Senior Military Advisor, SASO trainer and scenario developer, Electronic Warfare Aviator, PME instructor, certified Force Protection and Anti-terrorism officer and combat seasoned USMC (0202) field grade intelligence officer. When not blogging or maintaining weapons proficiency at the range, he enjoys cat herding and travel to off-the-beaten-track locales. You can follow him on Twitter @Partyzantski 

Explore Lowa Men's Zephyr Mid Hiking Boot, Coyote/Olive

Merrell Men's Moab Gore-Tex Hiking Shoe


15Fixer said...

Greetings and Felicitations!! I like your new word, enterTRAINment, and I have a recommendation for you. At the DanMorgan76 blog, he has a "story" called "The Patrol" that is very engaging, and very educational too! It is currently in 9 parts, and is not a book (yet), but it is definitley worth reading. It covers commas, navigation, tracking, sit reps, and a lot more. Try it out.

Stop shouting... said...

Thanks for the heads up! We love it when friends drop by, and love even more when they share good gouge!!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoy your book reviews. Thanks for all you do.

TnDoc said...

You're totally right on the money....excellent instuctional book. I've trained with Max...he's all about helping train up civilians and even us ex military that aren't up to speed. Check his site out...worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review; thorough, concise, and to the point as usual. But there it was....I was waiting for it.....the THERMAL PONCHO......just tell me was the use of this amazing device described in the book? If not....I wonder why? If it is, just remember, it is a work of fiction. Cheers