Book Reviews

Book Review – Invasion: Colorado by Vaughn Heppner

This is the third book in Vaughn Heppner’s Invasion series. Set in the not-too-distant future, the world has cooled off due to volcanic activity, creating a food shortage. The United States has finally had to pay the bill for its runaway spending, which has thrust it into a depression. The Chinese, desperate for food for their populace and looking to flex their muscle, have invaded through Mexico, taking aim at the heartland and the food supply.

As the title states, most of the action in this book takes place in Colorado. Having been pushed back in both Alaska and California, the Chinese Army and their South American allies take aim at pushing through Colorado north, then across to the Mississippi River. However, the Americans have something to say about that.

Chinese technology seems to be superior to the American technology at nearly every turn, except for one thing: the American super-tanks known as Behemoths. The problem has been turning them out, which is a slow process. The main factory is located in Denver, right in the path of this latest Chinese offensive.

This thriller is heavy on the technological descriptions just as the other books earlier in the series have been. If you are into high-tech weaponry and details about how it works, you’ll be in heaven reading this. I’ve read that a lot of what he’s detailed here is feasible, or at least something that defense firms see in the realm of possibility some day.

The characters here are given a lot to do in the story. Paul Kavanaugh and his buddy Romo are starting to seem like larger-than-life heroes who have someone watching over them. Stan Higgins has evolved from a history teacher to a potential war hero leading the behemoths into battle. He’s fretting over the fate of his son, Jake, who was nabbed for protesting the President and thrust into the Penal Battalions defending Denver. These continuing characters give good perspectives into the battle, as do the characters on the Chinese side of the battle. Not all of them will survive, however.

The story flows well, with interludes from various “historical journals” that give an analysis of the battle strategies from the perspective of the future. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this but overall it works, if it does interrupt the flow a bit.

There’s not a given as to how the battle will end. Heppner had the Americans repel the Chinese in Alaska, then stop them from a complete invasion in the previous book, limiting them to the southern part of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. At the same time, China is making its offensive in Invasion: Colorado, the German Dominion (made up of European states) has plans of its own and doesn’t follow through on promises made to the Chinese, setting up the next novel. The question is whether this will impact the Chinese enough to give the Americans an advantage to hold the Chinese at bay here.

The series is good. I borrowed all of the books through my Kindle Unlimited subscription and they are still available there Heppner is a good writer, and especially if you’re into weapons technology, you’ll enjoy this read. It’s sort of like alternate history, which I enjoy, while at the same time being a different vision of the future than we’re used to thinking about.

Previous book in the series (link): Invasion California by Vaughn Heppner

Next book in the series (link): Invasion: New York by Vaughn Heppner

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