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Sunday, November 25, 2012


COMMANDO: Operation ArrowheadCOMMANDO: Operation Arrowhead by Jack Badelaire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jack Badelaire loves the men's adventure fiction of the 70s and 80s. He has a blog and an ezine both dedicated to the genre. Now he's turned his hand to writing and the influence is obvious.

Commando: Operation Arrowhead reads like those cheap potboilers I read in high school back in the day, and I don't mean that in a bad way at all. There's action aplenty as a team Commandos blasts their way through hordes of Germans in occupied France. It's good versus evil with lots of gunfights, explosions, and blood spraying everywhere.

Badelaire's fight scenes are awesome. He's also good at describing the political and strategic situation of the early war years and the rivalries, petty and no-so-petty, that trouble any group of men in a high-stress situation.

I could have used some more fleshing out of the characters. This style of fiction has always relied a bit more on archetypes than deep characterization. Since this is the first in a series, I suspect we'll be getting into the characters' heads a bit more in later volumes. Well, at least those who survive. Badeliare isn't afraid of killing off characters.

People who aren't World War Two buffs might have a bit of trouble with some of the equipment descriptions. Being a Civil War and Colonial war buff myself, my knowledge of weaponry drops significantly after the invention of smokeless powder. Bren gun and the MP-38? I got you. The MAS-36? I had to look that one up!

All in all, a damn good read for anyone who likes fast-paced adventure fiction and wants to Nazis get blown away in large numbers. I predict Jack Badelaire is going to make a major name for himself in this reemerging genre.

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  1. Sean, thanks for coming back to this and writing your review - it's much appreciated. Also glad to see that despite all the blood and guts in COA, you got out of Iraq unscathed!

    I hope all the gun minutiae wasn't too obnoxious. Like I did for Killer Instincts, I made a blog post to fill in some of the details on all the various weapons that appear in the novel. I'll have to find a more permanent place to link that post, because some of those weapons aren't that well known these days.

    I'm working on the sequel right now, Operation Bedlam, and let's just say that several of your predictions and comments regarding characters will come true...

    Anyhow, thank you again for taking the time to write a review and post it here!


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