Skip to comments.The Enemies List (Travis McGee's novel reviewed in GUNS Magazine)
Posted on 04/16/2010 11:26:02 AM PDT by Travis McGee
I have a rule I tell every author who sends me a book to review: I only write good ones. If I dont care for it, Ill decline to say anything. I figure its not my place to crush someone elses labor of love.
So I ventured into Matthew Brackens latest offering, Foreign Enemies and Traitors, with a bit of trepidation. After all, Id written reviews in this magazine for the two prior volumes in his trilogy, Enemies Foreign and Domestic (Nov. 2005) and Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista (Feb. 2007). I called the former a thrilling first novel one that engages, grips and doesnt let up, and the latter a brave book [that] nails the probability of near-future disintegration of the Republic with terrifying prescience.
And then there was Matts handwritten note to me on the cover page of his latest: This is my best effort, its all I can give. I hope it makes a difference.
What if I didnt care for it? What if I was let down because it couldnt match the expectations the first two books instilled in me?
No worries. This is the best of the bunch, and thats saying a lot. As always, Bracken writes a page-turner involving main characters you care about deeply or hate to their evil cores. This third volume is mainly Phil Carsons story, the Viet Nam veteran we met as a major supporting character in the first two novels. A hurricane has shipwrecked him in Mississippi while smuggling cargo from Central America into a vastly different country than the one he was born into.
Its the Greater Depression. Following massive earthquakes, the Deep South is under the military rule of a general who is an authority unto himself. The federal government is hopelessly corrupt, presided over by a charismatic subversive who has placed fellow Marxist travelers in key positions of great power. The Northeast and Midwest reflect his socialist centralized federal control. Tennessee has been in rebellion, and the president, anxious to subdue the insurrection so he can turn his attention to the resource-rich Free States of the Northwest, has brought in foreign mercenaries But its not my place to tell you Matts story. I want you to watch it unfold for yourself.
It reads like a movie. Bracken paints scenes with a masters touch, so you can see where his characters are. You can feel their emotions. And when it comes to technical details, explanations of weapons systems, military protocols, intelligence capabilitiesnobody does it better.
Still, its not an easy book. The details require us to pay attention. And theres much uglinessthe degradation of some, the racism, the evil (and tell me Bob Bullard, the soulless, ambitious Director of Rural Pacification, doesnt qualify as a great villain!).
If you havent read the first two novels, dont let that stop you from getting this one. It reads well as a standalone book, and I cant think of a better introduction and inducement to discover the earlier works.
Youve given enough, Mr. Bracken. Your best is superb. Well done, sir.
CONGRATULATIONS for a great review and best of luck with the book!
David is a stand-up guy who is not afraid to put his name on difficult issues, during a time when the federal government is compiling literal enemies lists.
Unlike many so-called conservatives who head for the tall grass when times get scary.
Congrats on a great review!
Congrats on the review! Well done (but expected) ;-)
Will add to my reading list.
Well done, Matt. I’m ordering my copy this weekend.
I read “Foreign Enemies” and recommend it to all who want a good “end times for America” kind of yarn. Very scary, but let’s hope not prophetic.
Mine was just delivered to my house by a uniformed agent of the federal government.
(My friendly USPS mailman.)
WHOOPS! Wrong cover. I just “google imaged” GUNS Magazine June 2010, and didn’t check.
Hey, they both have pistols on the cover, oriented the same way.
Woo! Great job Travis. They are sitting on my shelf waiting for me. :-)
Way to go, Travis McGee! I’m gettin’ it!
Was your Domestic Army based at Ft Stewart?
Kudos for getting the review!
Congrats Matt! All three were great pieces of work. Looking forward to reading the one you are working on now.
I really enjoyed the first two books and encourage anyone on the Freep Banglist to read them.
What will the fourth book bring I wonder! : )
About the first 100 pages of each novel is posted on my website.
The link to the first third of the next novel is posted just above.
Awesome. Congrats. I been telling my new legion buddies about the book.
Excellent!! BIG Bump!
Well done Travis :-)
I throughly enjoyed all three Matt. Congratulations.
Grrreat Review BTW!
It really helps when Glenn Beck plugs your book about 100 times. I don't have any "names" in my corner, and I'm a "no-name" author, so I've had to do it all by myself, every single inch. (If only my middle name was Gingrich, I'd be on every radio show.)
I covered the misuse of “brilliant data mining” in EFAD, back in 2005. Just take the same Al-Quada seeking algorithms, and tweek them to find gun nuts who are “Constitution fanatics.”
Yes, Cay is pronounced Key. In the Bahamas if you pronounce it like “Okay,” you will be announcing your newbie-ness.
But I think the title Castigo Cay works no matter how you pronounce it.
You being a screenwriter, you know how writers are about eymology, pronunciation and other word trivia! Bahama of course comes from Baja Mar. But “Cayo” in Spanish is pronounced like me-oh- “MY-Oh.”
How it got twisted by the Brits into Cay = Key, I’ll never know. If anything, it should rhyme with Guy. But there were probably a lot of bizarro linguistic shifts going on in the Caribbean melting pot of the pirate days.
BTW, Ross has been rumoered to have a sequel in the works for some time now. You've raised the bar for Ross, I think. You know, we're starting to piss off the Leviathan. A distant thunder...
keep up the good work Sir...
Ross is another stand-up guy who gave me early reviews. He’s been working on “Detour” as a sequel to UC for a while, but I don’t know if that project is still in motion.
I believe that Unintended Consequences is out of print, and on “Amazon Marketplace” used copies are going for over $100!
That means I won’t be lending MY copy of UC out ever again!
i'm thinking about putting Enemies Foreign and Domestic across the top
Well, that makes me glad I've still got mine. Had no idea it was going for that.
What a testimony to an out-of-print novel from over a decade ago!
Nice mag cover piece.
I hope the maglite battery is recyclable and the bullets areecosensitive. :-}
Good Job, Matt!
Anything lurking on the horizon 8-?
Yes, the link to the first third of the next novel is at reply 20.
now I see it. :-)
the first third of Castigo Cay, my next novel.
Don’t hold your breath! You might consider reading something else in the next year.
Great review for another great book!
a book every two years is no easy feat, take your time. I still have at least a couple of chapters left in WEB Griffin Corps X .. and a pile of clancy and such to catch up on.. the internet gets all the eye&noodle-time for some reason and I hardly read anymore except on cruises. strange phenomena.. the more beer, the worse it gets. ;-)
A great review and great books. I own and have read them all!
You can probably get it from most any Internet book-seller, or you can just send Matt a check and he'll send you a book forthwith.
I am proud of ya Matt !
Very cool. I also agree, this is your best work.
Awesome. I have been out of reading — too lazy. But I’m about to cancel cable and probably have to get back into reading. These book will definitely make my reading list.
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