Imagine Die Hard, if John McClane had been a retired Special Operations soldier instead of an off-duty cop.  That’s pretty much the scenario that Steven Hildreth presents in The Sovereigns, albeit with a bit more going on behind the scenes.

It is an alternate 2005.  An anarchist/sovereign citizen terrorist group calling itself The Liberty Brigade, made up of a few true believers and a few more violent sociopaths who find the idea of revolution fits right in with their particular idea of fun, has seized the Saguaro Towers, a Carlton Hotel, in Tucson.  They have struck fast and hard.  Security is dead, the hotel’s guests are held hostage, and they have the situation under control.  Their demands hit all the high points of the isolationist and conspiracy theorist narrative.  They are also calculated so that the government can never agree to them.

This is because Colonel Rothbard, the leader of the Liberty Brigade, is playing an entirely different game.  Unfortunately for him, Ben Williams, the retired Delta Force SNCO that Hildreth introduced in his first novel, The Last Bayonet, happens to be on-site when the hijacking takes place, and manages to stay free, taking a very similar role to the aforementioned John McClane.

What follows is a tense, fast paced thriller with plenty of action.  Hildreth keeps the clues as to what’s really going on coming at just the right pace to keep you guessing for a while, interspersed with some pretty intense killings as Williams and the sole survivor of the Towers’ security contingent, TJ Eastman, do what they can to fight back against the terrorists and try to get recon reports back to the FBI Hostage Rescue Team outside.

Overall, the story is well plotted and executed.  The action is believable, even if there do seem to be a lot of headshots.  Under the circumstances, the reasoning is solid (the bad guys are all wearing body armor).

Most of the characters are quite well-drawn.  The only nitpick I could find is that some of the bad guys seem a little bit too based on internet Anarcho-Capitalists.  While presumably some of the cannon fodder isn’t going to be the smartest, and might use the usual AnCap buzzwords on a regular basis, at times it did seem a trifle overdone, making the bad guys slightly cartoonish in their evil.

The end opens up a whole new can of worms (won’t go into specifics, but it is very well done), presumably leading into another sequel.  Hildreth is getting better as he goes, and I think we can look forward to more to come.

The Sovereigns can be purchased from Amazon here.

Book Review: The Sovereigns

Peter Nealen

Peter Nealen is a former Reconnaissance Marine and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006, and again in 2007, with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Recon Bn. After two years of schools and workups, including Scout/Sniper Basic and Team Leader's Courses, he deployed to Afghanistan with 4th Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, I MEF. Works by Peter include: The American Praetorians Series Task Force Desperate (October 2012) - ebook , paperback and audiobook Hunting in the Shadows (June 2013) - ebook and paperback Alone and Unafraid (August 2014) - ebook and paperback The Devil You Don't Know (June 2015) - ebook and paperback Lex Talionis (June 2017) - ebook and paperback The Jed Horn Series A Silver Cross and a Winchester (October 2013) - ebook and paperback Nightmares (January 2015)- ebook and paperback The Walker on the Hills (December 2015) - ebook and paperback Older and Fouler Things (September 2017) - ebook and paperback The Brannigan's Blackhearts Series/Universe Kill Yuan (Spring 2016) - ebook and paperback Fury in the Gulf (November 2017) - ebook and paperback Burmese Crossfire (January 2018) - ebook and paperback Enemy Unidentified (March 2018) - ebook and paperback Frozen Conflict (May 2018) - ebook and paperback High Desert Vengeance (August 2018) - ebook and paperback Doctors of Death (December 2018) - ebook and paperback The Unity Wars Series (P.L. Nealen) The Fall of Valdek (July 2018) - ebook and paperback The Defense of Provenia (August 2018) - ebook and paperback The Alliance Rises (September 2018) - ebook and paperback Short Stories Rock Meet Hard Place (Part I) - Baen Books Blog Non-Fiction Operation Redwings: The Rescue Story Behind Lone Survivor (December 2013) - ebook only The ISIS Solution: How Unconventional Thinking and Special Operations Can Eliminate Radical Islam (SOFREP) (November 2014) - ebook only

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *