FALLEN ANGEL by Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
Review By Nike Chillemi -
This is one of the best, if not the best novel I’ve read this year.
A United States spy satellite, Angel 12, has dropped from space and is headed for the interior of China. However, when Space Command at the Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska takes a second look, they realize the Chinese have deliberately knocked the satellite out of orbit, intending for it to fall on their soil.
Space Command manages to make some adjustments to the orbit just in time and the satellite crashes in Siberia not far from the sea, which is a much more accessible location. Now it’s up to Sgt. Major Eric Moyer and his elite Special Ops team to find the satellite and retrieve it’s technologically advanced nuclear jet fuel that cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of the Chinese or the Russians. And both nations are on the hunt for it.
From the beginning the team has an uphill battle. First of all their mission puts them on Russian soil, a hostile nation they have no permission to be in. Second of all, since the breakup of the USSR, this particular part of Siberia is controlled by insurgents. These insurgents have already captured one US team and are torturing them.
As I turned the pages, there was always a silent clock ticking. Would our special ops team find Angel 12 in time? That was often in doubt. At one point it seemed as if both the Russians and the Chinese were ahead of Major Moyer’s team.
I thoroughly enjoyed the sub-storyline showing the difficulty of Army special ops families who get little to no notice that their husbands and fathers are shipping out to parts unknown. All they know is the mission is super dangerous. In this novel the team doesn’t even get to say goodbye to their families face-to-face, but is only allowed to make a few quick phone calls before they ship out. When a family member is kidnapped, that means there is an intelligence leak somewhere in the military chain of command on this operation…perhaps even treason.
I had no trouble understanding the military jargon. I enjoyed the competitive banter the members of the special ops team constantly threw back and forth – up to a point. But eventually it put strain on the suspension of my disbelief. I thought, it’s not like this on an actual military special ops mission. There would be at least a few off color remarks. For my part, I would’ve liked a tad less jocular banter and would not have minded a few, only a few, mild “bad words.”
This is a must read for anyone who is a fan of military action-adventure stories. Suspense fans will also greatly enjoy this story. There’s no romance in the usual sense of the word when we speak of the different genres. But these special ops soldiers and their wives share deep love stories which the authors depict in a multi-facetted way. Not to mention the love they bear for their children. It becomes obvious what type of sacrifice this type of soldier makes to keep the American public safe and secure.