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Seek and Destroy - The Second America Rising Novel

Publisher: Ace Books

In the America Rising book series, William C. Dietz presents a United States in the aftermath of devastating strikes from both meteorites and nuclear weapons. While a "New Order" seeks to make the Southern states into a new nation, President Sloan struggles to reunify the nation and begin to rebuild after the catastrophic events.

In Seek and Destroy, we find the United States embroiled in a full-fledged civil war, with militaries that are fairly evenly-matched (given that they were all on the same side prior to the disaster). President Sloan takes an active hand in military operations, from planning to fighting beside his troops, which earns him respect from the troops and helps him to win the hearts of the people, as well as showing that a former Secretary of Energy can know a thing or two about tactics... especially as they apply to infrastructure and hitting where it hurts. Unfortunately for President Sloan, however, he's up against General Macintyre, a ruthless and cunning military mind who is working for the New Order. Further, the General has two very talented daughters: one is one of the New Order's deadliest agents and the other? Well, the other, Robin "Mac" Macintyre is fighting for the North and has even saved President Sloan's life (in the previous book, Into the Guns). It turns out that Sloan has come to find himself attracted to Robin, which could introduce some complications as he's trying to campaign to be actually elected in the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, events aren't making things easy on Sloan. There is an assassination attempt and a new threat who calls himself the Warlord of Warlords, preaches the second coming of Sun Tzu, and seems to have gathered a following of warlords and the attention and cooperation of the South. If that wasn't enough, nations are beginning to start looking at foreign policy again, and the new administration in Canada seems to favor the New Order more than a re-unified USA, leading Sloan to enter into "tense negotiations." Let me just say it is truly a treat to watch Sloan when he negotiates.

Robin will also find that she has her own problems, as she finds herself being court marshaled for refusing a direct order from a superior (also in Into the Guns), back when the military had fallen apart and most units turned into mercenary bands. Luckily, Mac seems to have a way of landing on her feet. In this case, she ends up part of a program to grant a second chance for soldiers who have messed up and been court marshaled and imprisoned for non-violent crimes. It comes with a zero-tolerance, but 24 months of service without incident buys you a pardon, so there's no shortage of willing applicants.

When the New Order takes notice of just how damaging Robin Macintyre has been to their cause, they give General Macintyre his new order - to eliminate her. He has just the asset for the job.

Having lived in Louisiana most of my life, it was neat to recognize highways and locations mentioned as Northern forces worked their way south to New Orleans in an effort to break the costly stalemate that both sides have seemed to reach at the new Mason-Dixon line. I enjoyed Seek and Destroy, from its locales (some of which I was familiar with) to the character development and its action, but sadly, this felt very much like the second installment in a trilogy. I don't know how it can be avoided, necessarily, but in trilogies, the middle installment usually pales in comparison to the other two. The first story (in this case, Into the Guns) had the meteor strikes and the immediate fallout and breakdown of society, so it was interesting, due to its setting the scene. Hopefully, the next book will also be strong, wrapping the story in its final conclusion. Meanwhile, Seek and Destroy starts in an environment that will be familiar to readers who have read the first book and, while it develops the story and has some nice action, is lacking the "punch" of the first book.

Still, I did find it entertaining and anxiously await the third and final installment of the America Rising series.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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