Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: A Time for War

A Time for War is the second book in the fiction trilogy by radio host Dr. Michael Savage.

This book was a good 50 pages shorter than the first one, which is good, because the first one had at least 50 pages of padding. There was only one sex scene in this book, on page 219 (hardcover), as opposed to the fifteen or more in the first book. That's a wonderful improvement. One very odd thing was that there were only a handful of chapters that were all super long. The last chapter was about 60 pages. They could easily have been broken up without losing anything.

A Time for War takes place exactly one month after Abuse of Power, in September 2011. It stretches credulity more than a little that Islamic terrorists working with MI6 would try to set off a backpack nuke in San Francisco and then one month later the Chinese would try to release a deadly plague in the exact same city. I would think SF would still be under complete lock down one month after a failed nuclear attack. I also find it unbelievable that two billionaire industry magnates would be conspiring to take down the US government one month apart.

Then there is Jack Hatfield, the almost super hero of the books. He's a journalist who reported on the first Gulf War and then lost his job in the early 2000s when a media watchdog group got offended by a remark he made regarding Islamic terrorists. I don't know how much money TV journalists make, or how much they can keep 10 years after being downgraded to working freelance, but this guy has properties all over town, a 40 foot yacht, and a fancy car. Money is no object for him, or any of his friends, the near 70 year old mercenary (said to be "older than God") who can beat the crap out of anyone, carries illegal weapons around with impunity, and flies all over the world to help guerrilla fighters take down drug trafficking rings and tin pot dictators, and the straw hippie trust fund baby who keeps getting beat down intellectually (and sadly dies half way through the book). The aging hippie is a hypocrite (he complains about pollution yet his own boat is a gas guzzler) who gives a few strawman arguments that get shot down, then he goes off to sulk about how leftists today have lost their way, having abandoned free love and egalitarianism in favor of identity politics and social justice warriorism. It was difficult to get through the scenes where he was there because they seemed like cheap shots.

Jack Hatfield is also unbelievably lucky. He has luck that does not exist, saving the day with one or two seconds to spare every time. He also has unbelievable charm, able to bed any woman half his age on the planet with a few words except his ex-wife who left with a bald 300 pound lawyer Jack walked in on one day. She pays Jack to park her even more expensive car in his private parking garage to gloat. One is left to wonder how Jack is so lucky, how he is basically the biggest hero in the world, having saved tens of millions of lives twice, and yet his career is still ruined because of what some political action group said about him a decade ago. The man saved not only SF twice, he saved the entire global economy, he's friends with big shots in the FBI, and he still can't get a show on TV. I don't buy that.

One final note, in regard to the nature of the plague germs that were going to be released. I don't care if you swallow a million lethal doses of plague, it won't kill you a million times faster. Your blood will not boil and cause your eyes to pop out of your skull. The bacteria still need to attack your cells, which still takes about an hour per cell. The more bacteria there are the more cells they can attack, but they can only kill cells so fast.

A Time for War
never raised itself to the level of excitement of Abuse of Power. It seemed like more of the same.