The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun
by Matt Bracken
7-26-17 review by: FL Guy
Anyone taking a cursory glance at Amazon’s current fiction novel listings will confirm what many folks may have already surmised. The past few years have seen an explosion of what is commonly now referred to as “dystopian fiction. ”
In the typical dystopian tome, a lone protagonist or group sets out on a quest for survival in what was once the world as he, or she, knew it.
I will cut right to the chase and state, most emphatically, that Matt Bracken’s latest novel is NOT a work of dystopian fiction.
So, how does one catagorize The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun?
IN my opinion, you simply can’t.
TRCOZ is a fascinating amalgam of today’s news headlines, long term economic collapse, the very real horrors of jihadist piracy, and sexual slavery. Stir in a healthy dose of Bracken’s trademarked attention to accurate detail, several shocking rapid fire plot twists, and stunningly up close and personal tactical action that could only be penned by a man who knows what it’s like to have trained and worked with those guys who swim in, do really dangerous stuff with weapons, and then back swim out.
If you’ve been in the military, especially in the Navy, Marines, or Special Ops, Bracken’s unique portal will catapult you right back into pitch black night forced marches, monster swell sea-states, and the muscle memory weapons familiarity that never completely leaves, even with the passing of the years.
Never served ? IT doesn’t matter, because Matt’s worldly and fascinating cast of civilian and military irregulars will be dragging and pushing you along for the ride of your life!
The men and women in this book are unique and thoroughly fleshed out. Matt takes a slightly slower and more detailed start off in this novel to introduce them. Trust me, you’ll actually care about these people. The action will come, and when it does, you’ll be right in the middle of the hell-storm with people that have transcended the printed page and become living, breathing, flesh and blood in your mind.
TRCOZ works as an adventure novel. Man alive, does it work.
It also goes much deeper than that. I won’t reveal just how.
Red Cliffs is Matt Bracken’s best book. That alone should be all you need to hear.
Get yours today; here’s the Amazon blurb:
Dan Kilmer is a former Marine sniper in his late thirties. Fifteen years earlier, he returned home from military service in the Middle East and gave college a try, but his combat experiences prevented him from fitting into campus life. In a South Florida boatyard, his uncle was attempting to refurbish an old cargo schooner, and Dan left college to help him finish the flagging project. After two years of work but before the sixty-foot boat was relaunched, his uncle fell from a scaffold and died. While still in his mid-twenties, Dan inherited the schooner Rebel Yell, but not the means to maintain it or to afford the cruising lifestyle. Soon after, he left the United States to embark on a series of voyages, mostly in pursuit of beautiful women and good times.
The action in this new novel takes place a few years after his adventures in Castigo Cay, the first Dan Kilmer novel. In The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun, Dan’s trading schooner is located in southwest Ireland, where he is attempting to sell 96 drums of diesel fuel salvaged from an abandoned NATO base in Greenland. The global financial system has collapsed, and both paper and digital currency have no value, but diesel fuel and gold still do. While waiting to sell his remaining thirty barrels, Dan is approached by a retired SAS colonel and asked to transport a dozen former special operations commandos 1,400 miles south to the Canary Islands, where they will be transported by a landing craft to Morocco in order to conduct a rescue operation. Two months earlier, nearly seventy Irish and English girls had been kidnapped by pirates from their elite Irish boarding academy and taken to Port Zerhoun, which is under the control of a cartel of modern corsairs. The young schoolgirls will be sold at auction as sex slaves, unless a ragtag team of former commandos can liberate them in time.
TRCOZ excerpts here.
And don’t miss this related discussion by one of Matt’s editors over at GoV.