The Aden Effect: A Connor Stark Novel, by Claude Berube
You might think that the Naval Institute Press only published non-fiction of the kind that I frequently review (this is the fifth book I have received from the Naval Historical Institute to review). If you thought that, though, you would be very wrong. I was pretty excited to review this book when the offer was given after I finished my fourth book review for the Naval Historical Institute, being a fan of books like the Ambler Effect that combine military and intelligence-themed action along with thought-provoking material about the state of the world.
So, being the sort of person I am, I decided to look at how the book had been reviewed at Amazon to see how the book was reviewed there by those who have read the book since it was published about a month and a half ago. So far, there are some minor quibbles about how the novel does not reflect the current political situation in Yemen, how the characterization is a bit black and white, and how it is really a buddy-cop sort of novel (worthy of a film adaptation) rather than being a purely Connor Stark novel. None of these quibbles really dimmed my interest, especially when reviewer after reviewer compared it favorably to recent Tom Clancy efforts and praised its action and its short length.
So, what sort of serious and thought-provoking issues am I expecting to see in this book? I’d like to see some thoughts about the the instability in the Gulf of Aden region (Yemen/Somalia) as well as questions about the difficulty of the privatization of the military in recent years and its implications. I’ve always been fascinated by mercenaries, after all, having one in my own family, an uncle of mine. If the book manages to explore just these issues well, it will be a good one enough one with compelling characters (especially those with authority issues) and a solid plot. And if this book sells as good as its advance reviews would merit, this would keep the Naval Historical Institute well in the black, and able to publish quite a lot of the monographs that I tend to read more often.