Gwillam Forte is a fourteen year old runaway in 1943. Arrested while working in a bordello a police sergeant cons the boy into joining the navy so as to avoid problems his arrest could cause. So the young Forte lies about his age and is eventually assigned to the U.S.S. Texas. At the battle of Okinawa a kamikaze attack leaves the boy a triple amputee with both legs and his right hand gone. Recovering in a hospital he finds help from an old black veteran of WWI and the old woman who runs the library. He goes on to become a billionaire making his fortune in real estate and oil.
So in 1994 his friend the governor of Texas want him to help for a future run for the senate. He gets him to agree to refurbish the old battleship Texas in time for the millennium celebration in 2000. Well things get worst in the world. By 1998 The Soviets are winning the cold war and have control over most of Europe, South American, Africa and Asia. They propose a new treaty called the Washington Protocols. In it they would take over providing manufactured goods to the third world while the U.S. would provide agriculture. On the surface it seems peaceful but the Soviets have a secret plan. They hope as the country turns to an agricultural economy the industry will deteriorate to a point where no weapons could be manufactured. Then with the Soviet industry intact they could easily invade. The plan calls for fleets to visit the country and the Soviet Seventeenth Fleet is making its rounds. In San Diego the sailors get out of hand and cause a mess. Texas wants the President to rescind the invitation but to do so would get him impeached by a peace at any price public. So Texas votes to succeed if the fleet enters its waters. The Soviets attack the Texans using nerve gas and kill 500,000. It seems they are unstoppable. Only the refurbished Texas stands in the way.
Saturday Night Live has a sketch with Mike Myers as a proprietor of the Scottish Shop. The motto was if it wasn’t Scottish its CRAP!! Well you could substitute Texas for Scottish an you would have the motto for this book. It is unapologetically pro Texas. Now this book is a bit dated with the Soviets and their taking over most of the world. It is also real over the top with the explosions of the underground caverns causing tsumanis that take out most of the fleet. The second one has the old battleship riding in on top like a surfer and proceeds to take out the surviving capital ships. Still it is also fun and enjoyable. You really root for the Texans after they are so brutally attacked and get a great feeling when the Soviet fleet is so utterly destroyed. Also the story of Gwillam Forte is a very moving one. His life is inspiring and you get a very personal investment in him succeeding. The first of a trilogy of books.
Throughout John Rourke’s adventures since the Night of the War he has had one man he could count on. Paul Rubenstein a nerdy assistant publisher from New York was on the airliner that Rourke was on when the war started. He was the only one that stuck with him when he went for help for the survivors on the plane. Rubenstein knew that to survive he would have to stick with John Rourke. He had a willingness to learn and learned how to shoot and ride a motorcycle. Eventually a strong bond of friendship formed were the two were like brothers. Eventually he became a son-in-law by marrying his daughter and cemented his place in the Rourke family. This book is the story told in Paul’s own words of the events chronicles in the first five books.
The first spin off series of the Survivalist. I really wanted to like this book. I thought it would chronicle the untold story of Paul Rubenstein. Instead all it did was rehash the first five books. Nothing new to read and seemed a pointless endeavor. I hope that if there is a second book in this series it has something more original.
The war is coming to a dramatic head. The Soviet Underground City and Underwater City have agreed on an alliance. Their Island Class submarines will bomb the German City with their missiles while the Underground land forces will then assault it. Rourke and his allies come up with a desperate plan. They will send a commando force to capture the Soviet submarines. Then use them against the land forces.
The story is coming to a conclusion. They end with a great victory and are on the verge on assaulting both Soviet cities. There is another ominous development in the Nazis are still causing trouble. They stage an attack on the German city so this does hint at future troubles with them down the road. This is the last book in the second story arc and next book will have a lot going on. Something completely unexpected and a whole new chapter in the Rourke family adventure.
Rourke and his new join commandos are able to successfully repel the Soviets in both Iceland and the Eden base. There is a new threat besides the Soviets. Sarah Rourke his wife has killed a Nazi named Damien Rausch. Damien’s brother Frederick is still alive and wants revenge. Now Rourke has to protect his wife from a vengeful Nazi. The Soviet Underground city has meanwhile made an alliance with the Undersea Soviets.
This book dealt a lot with the threat of the resurgent Nazis that were starting to be a serious threat. Commander Dodd of the Eden project has allied himself with the Nazis to keep his power and a shared belief with the Nazis philosophy of racial purity. Friedrich Rausch is proven to be the equal of Rourke which makes him a very dangerous opponent. Also we get some insight into the women characters as they all take shelter in the Retreat. A short but interesting story before the big final conflict that’s about to take place.
The war is entering a new phase. Mid-Wake is officially joining the alliance and has made John Rourke a Brigadier General to command a join commando force of troops from the various factions. The Soviets have developed particle beam weapons that are portable. This could be a game changer. Marshal Antonovich is concerned this could spiral out of control and force the Germans to use nuclear weapons. He dispatches Major Prokopiev who is in trouble for letting the Rourkes go from the last book. Prokopiev is to take the plans for the particle weapon to Rourke and bring parity to the situation. So now Rourke has to save Iceland and the Eden base from falling while dealing with this new threat and a growing Nazi movement to overthrow the current German regime.
Things are starting to move in an interesting direction. The new particle beam weapons threaten a new nuclear holocaust that would irreparably destroy the planet. Antonovich is shown as a man who care more for the survival of the world than Communism which is an interesting development and an unexpected ally. Finally there is resurgent Nazi movement from the old regime that is backed by Commander Dodd of the Eden project which gives a whole new threat to the forces of democracy.
Rourke has made it to safety after stopping the Maoist cult from destroying the world. Now he searches for Natalia and his daughter Anne who are missing after crashing into the ocean. He believes that they were rescued by the Americans of Mid-Wake and attempts to make contact. He does contact them and in the process gets involved with their war with the Underwater Soviets. The island of Iwo Jima is a Mid-Wake training ground for surface warfare and has been discovered by the Soviets. After brutally executing the marines and sailors on the island Rourke makes a plan for revenge. He will steal intact one of the Soviets massive Island Class submarines.
So now Mid-Wake is starting to play a more prominent role in the war. The Underground Soviets have developed a portable particle beam weapon that could change the outcome. They also plan to ally with the Underwater city greatly expanding the threat. The Soviets are also making great gains in potentially overrunning Iceland and the Eden base. Another great entry in this series.
Rourke has succeeded in rescuing his son from the Second Chinese City. This happened during the Soviet attack. In fact the Soviets are on the offensive everywhere. The First Chinese City, Iceland and the Eden base. In addition to being trapped deep in enemy territory he has to deal with the fact that Natalia has had a nervous breakdown and is completely out of it. Still there is a much bigger worry. The Second Chinese City has a cult that worships a nuclear missile. They plan to launch it. It that’s not enough the city also has one of the largest nuclear reactors ever built. If it goes off it could punch a hole through the Earth’s crust. Now Rourke, his son, companions and a KGB officer who was rescued with his son must infiltrate the Second Chinese City and stop the insane Maoist cultists from destroying the world.
The action is really heating up in this series. A full blown war is now raging across the world. There is a real threat to the world being destroyed. Its a fast paced story that sees the Second Chinese City destroyed and Natalia and his daughter Annie crashing into the sea in a helicopter. The Soviets seem to be making gains and appears unstoppable. A great new direction for the storyline.