In the year 2040, the United States is but a mere fraction of the world power it once was. Instead of global warming, a series of volcanic eruptions have caused the earth to cool, causing the food supply to dwindle. The one thing the United States has going for it is the fertile farmland of the mid-west.
Invasion by China began almost a decade earlier, first trying to cross into Alaska. After being repelled their, they created a series of alliances that allowed them to try again years later through Mexico. The two armies stand at something of a stalemate.
In this fourth book, the German Dominion attempts to take advantage of that stalemate. Having been granted access to the North American continent by Quebec, which was trying to cede from Canada, they launch an offensive against the United States through the Great Lakes area.
As with the other books in this series, Heppner writes in great technical details. The weaponry the war is being fought with is quite technical and advanced. At times it works, at times it doesn’t. As the American President fights to not appear weak in front of all that is being thrown at him, he discovers the possible use for a weapon that was being tested that goes very much back to basics. There is intrigue there as well, as he attempts to hold off a possible coup by his advisers.
The characters in the story are the same ones we’ve been following through the timeline. In some ways it works, in some ways it doesn’t. It seems to not be logical that former Marine Paul Kavanaugh has survived all he has been through. Still, using him as a way of demonstrating what the soldiers are up against works, rather than switching out so many characters in each story. The same is true of Stan Higgins and his son Jake, who are each fighting in the war and fighting the bureaucracy that seeks to impose its own version of law and order on the troops. Stan works with the mighty behemoth tanks that are saving the war for the United States, but are also difficult to develop and maintain.
All in all, I enjoyed this. Much of the area here is familiar to me and that made it more interesting. The political intrigue was a good diversion from all the technical details of the weaponry. If you’re someone who likes weapon design, especially speculation on where we could be in the near future, you’d probably love it.
I do want to see where the series ends up. There’s been enough suspense throughout the series that how the world survives this fight for the resources to survive the famine is a compelling story to finish. The technical jargon went over my head for the most part and a few things are wearing on me, but overall I recommend it.