Sky Masters – Dale Brown
Okay, short story before I talk about the book. The Strathmore Recycle station has a take it or leave it section. This is where you can leave still good stuff for someone else to take, or take something that someone else left. It’s like a free garage sale. Stuff must be still in a reasonable working condition. There’s a little shack with some books, and I picked this one up – not in the greatest shape, but pretty reasonable!
Okay, on to the book!
I was looking for an older Dale Brown book, and here it is. A few weeks ago I talked about Tin Man, which occurs much more recently in fictional time.
Patrick McLanahan is a former bomber pilot, now special airplane test pilot working at Dreamland, where he gets to test all manner of futuristic weapons. The Philippines ask the U.S. to leave their bases, and the Chinese invade. Politicians can’t make any fast enough decisions, but the President manages to allow a handful of Megafortress bombers and other bombers using some incredible weapons and high tech satellites to try and repel the invasion.
I really enjoyed the book. The language was generally very clean. There was lots of action, and lots of development by the characters. Dale Brown has done his research in looking at the types of weapons and military and political command structures, and how they work together. There were some light-hearted moments, and some near death experiences.
I like a good military strategy story, mixed in with politics, and of course the hero who can’t do any wrong. This is one of the first books with Jon Masters, a young brilliant scientist who comes up with an amazing amount of technology to try new things. Jon and Patrick both grow and learn, although Patrick is much older than Jon, they each play off each other, and it makes a very, very good read.
The way the book is written you see two or three stories and sides within the story, and you are treated as if you have inside knowledge. But there’s still enough unknown to keep you turning the pages to find out how it’s all going to end.
The ending was very good, and definitely plays to a future storyline, and if you check Wikipedia, you’ll see there were many more stories to follow.
If you can find this book, it’s a great introduction to much of Dale Brown’s work, although there are still some earlier ones, which I’m going to try and track down – to see the beginning of the saga.