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Starfire by Dale Brown
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Starfire (2014)

by Dale Brown

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This writing quality has improved since the last two entries in the series - the pace throughout the novel was good, and rather than the abrupt ending seen in the last two books Starfire had a pretty good climax & wind down.

I was however a little disappointed with the Australian character whose dialogue seemed like it was taken from an awkward comedy caricature, regularly finishing sentences with ", mate" and prolifically using Aussie Slang to the point it was more frequently used in their vocabulary than a bogan plumber would was a little distracting from the story immersion.

The surprise early on in the book was decently executed too, as was the twist at the end, based on the improvement here compared to the last two I'm looking forward to the 20th book in the series, Iron Wolf. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Aug 29, 2016 |
I remember reading some of Dale Brown's earlier Patrick McClanahan stories, and thinking they were a tighter, leaner version of Tom Clancy-esque stories. I only read a few of those earlier novels, but only because I got behind and didn't want to try to catch up.

Starfire continues the Patrick McClanahan world though, and gives it over to the next generation of heroes, including Bradley McClanahan. He's the son of the famed General from the other stories. The narrative does a good job of catching the reader up on major events that lead the world and characters to where they are currently. That was good for me, since it had been some years since I had ready anything in this series.

I remember this series being very real-world military fiction. Cutting edge technology featured heavily in the stories I remember. Starfire goes beyond the cutting edge technology firmly into the near-future science fiction. A near-death character is kept alive inside of a robotic suit of power armor. College students develop an orbit-to-ground power-transmitting device and test it from a military space station, only to realize it makes a really good space-based weapon. And in this story, a new cold war has started over space-based weapons and vehicles.

On the whole, this was a good, fun book. Fans of previous installments will enjoy where the story goes. Fans of Tom Clancy or similar political/military fiction will enjoy this, though it's not as heavy on the political as a Clancy tome.

To nitpick, the narrative is very heavy on detailing the technology and sometimes spends way too much time describing in excruciating detail what is happening. In fact, the opening scene with a character going into space on-board a spaceplane, and docking and boarding a spacestation is one of those too-much-detail scenes. I almost didn't make it through that opening passage. But once I did, the action and actual story-telling picked up. Later sections that went into detail weren't nearly as in-depth as that opening passage and were easily skimmed over. I don't really need to know all the specific manufacturing and deployment history of certain missiles, jets, or whatever, just give me a nice quick overview if what is absolutely relevant to the narrative.

Overall, a good action/military story with a strong space element to the story.

( )
  kevbayer | Jun 20, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062262394, Hardcover)

New York Times bestselling author Dale Brown—“the best military writer in the country” (Clive Cussler)—is back with Starfire,  a masterful military thriller that explores a future all too possible and all too close: the weaponization of space.

With the death of his heroic father, bomber and space warfare veteran Patrick McLanahan, Bradley McLanahan must now fly solo, leading a team of young engineers designing Starfire, the world’s first orbiting solar power plant.

Starfire will not only deliver unlimited and inexpensive electricity anywhere on planet Earth, it can also transmit power to the moon, and even to spacecraft and asteroids. It’s a crucial first step in the exploration of the solar system, and Bradley and his team are on the cutting edge.

But U.S. president Kenneth Phoenix’s plans to militarize and industrialize Earth’s orbit sparks an arms race in space that eclipses the darkest and most terrifying days of the Cold War. Before he can prevent it, Bradley and his team are caught at the center of a battle that threatens to become an all-out global conflict for control of space.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:18 -0400)

While leading a team of young engineers designing Starfire, the world's first orbiting solar power plant, James McLanahan Bradley is caught in the middle of a battle that threatens to become an all-out global war for control of space after the U.S. President ignites an arms race."With the death of his heroic father, bomber and space warfare veteran Patrick McLanahan, Bradley McLanahan must now fly solo, leading a team of young engineers designing Starfire, the world's first orbiting solar power plant. Starfire will not only deliver unlimited and inexpensive electricity anywhere on planet Earth, it can also transmit power to the moon, and even to spacecraft and asteroids. It's a crucial first step in the exploration of the solar system, and Bradley and his team are on the cutting edge. But U.S. president Kenneth Phoenix's plans to militarize and industrialize Earth's orbit sparks an arms race in space that eclipses the darkest and most terrifying days of the Cold War. Before he can prevent it, Bradley and his team are caught at the center of a battle that threatens to become an all-out global conflict for control of space" --… (more)

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