TANKWAR VI: DESERT PREY BY LARRY STEELBAUGH

Standard
Copyright 1993

Max Tag and his supertank XM-F4 No Slack Too is assigned to Saudi Arabia to stop a terrorist named al-Burka. Burka was a terrorist that was behind the Iranian-Yemen invasion of Oman that Tag managed to stop before WWIII. After that Burka flew into the Saudi desert where he found a gold mine. He lived as a hermit mining the gold. With enough he used the new Palestinian Mandate which was granted to the Palestinians and consists of the useless desert territory of Jordan and Iraq. He uses the gold to buy a few hundred APCs and tanks. Then he has them smuggled into Saudi Arabia. He also has kidnapped a revered Muslim cleric named al-Kabah. Kabah wants peace but is being used by Burka to deliver a message of Jihad. Burka also plans to attack Mecca and destroy the Kaaba which will inflame the Muslim world. Max must hunt down this terrorist to stop him.

A year later they released the final book in the series. I thought the series was over but apparently the author had a contract to write one more. So he crapped this waste of paper out. As the cover says this is the conclusion to the Tankwar series and I couldn’t agree more. This was just a mess of a book. Nothing exciting happens. They just wander around the desert and talk a bunch. Once in a while there is a fight but it was extremely dull. At a mere 167 pages it was the shortest book but sadly not short enough.

So the series ends and not on a high note. It was a decent attempt to cash in on the big success techno-thriller war books being done by Larry Bond, Harold Coyle and Tom Clancy. Unfortunately events were moving too fast and it became obsolete very quickly. If you think about it the whole concept didn’t really have a long shelf live. After the war in Europe was over then what? As this book shows making it into some type of elite international force going around the world wasn’t going to work. Which is why the big announcement of its conclusion on the cover. A fairly entertaining series that just went one book too long.

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