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by Dale Brown
HarperCollins, May 2007
464 pages
5.99 GBP
ISBN: 0060753080

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In his previous book ACT OF WAR, Dale Brown went the way of a Japanese anime cartoon creating a strike force of scientists and soldiers using the latest technologies to fight the war against terror. One of their main weapons is the use of CIDs or Cybernetic Infantry Devices. It is sort of an exoskeleton that gives a soldier stronger maneuverability and the ability to stay in contact with base command.

This time in EDGE OF BATTLE, the team has set camp in Southern California to advise law enforcement in dealing with illegal immigrants coming up north from Mexico. A man who goes by the name of Commander Veracruz (after an embarrassing Mexican defeat from the United States) is the villain of this piece. He has an agenda that forces him to go into extreme measures in order to fulfill his goal, mainly to saturate the United States with illegal drugs. He does that by claiming to fight for Mexican respect and get back the territories he alleges the United States has taken away illegally from the Mexican people.

The book is filled with its controversial topics, but it still reads like a comic book. It is not a good combination. The author relies on too many stereotypes to tell a story talking about something most Americans feel strongly about illegal immigration into the United States.

In Brown's book the military knows best government is full of incompetent bureaucrats, and Mexican law enforcement is considered a joke since the cops are the real crooks. He also uses acronyms left and right without much use of the story context. There is a glossary at the beginning of the book and if I had to go through it after every third sentence, it is not worth doing the trip. It is no secret that I did not like ACT OF WAR, but I did want to give EDGE OF BATTLE a chance to see if it could get any better. It didn't. Consider yourselves warned.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, July 2007

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