Drone Strike by Jim DeFelice with Dale Brown is another installment of the Dreamland series. This is the longest running air combat series with the first novel published in 2001. As in all the previous books DeFelice combines military issues with technology.
The main issues explored in Drone Srike are the use of small Nano UAVs, Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Breanna’s decision to send an American pilot, Turk Mako, on a suicide mission, and the President’s decision not to consult Congress and order a strike on Iran’s nuclear bunkers.
DeFelice commented to blackfive.net, “I hope the readers understand that in a suicide mission the commander must choose between the life of that one person compared to the greater good. In the next book I will explore many questions left up in the air. What will be the repercussions of Breanna’s decision? Will Senator Zen Stockard run for President, and if so will he win? Will Zen choose surgery to enable him to walk or his political desires?”
The plot has Turk embedded in Iran with a small Special Forces group. Their mission is to find the nuclear weapons and destroy both the weapons and bunkers. There is constant action fighting off Revolutionary Guards, Iranian MIGs, and the elite Quds Force.
In this novel Breanna is more of a bureaucratic figure and Zen pretty much just makes a cameo appearance. DeFelice explained, “I needed to make the characters realistic. Because of her age her role had to change. I also want to bring in new characters like Turk to keep the storyline fresh.”
The most interesting part of the story is how it parallels today’s world. There is a President who makes an autonomous decision and decides to use technology instead of manpower for the mission. DeFelice appears to be showing that it is possible to narrow the players, limit the casualties, and not have fingerprints yet the mission can be accomplished. The philosophical question explored is what are the moral choices leaders must make?
The technology used includes the Nano UAVs, prosthetic arms, and a spacecraft. DeFelice noted to blackfive.net, “I always want to include cutting edge technology that is a few years out. The Nano technology is several years away. The Spacecraft is based on one the Air Force is currently testing. Regarding the medicine used for Mark Stoner’s memory that is very experimental and controversial. The communication technology is pretty much up to date. I did a lot of research for the prosthetic technology. Something really neat is the experiment of teaching robotic arms to catch a baseball. The software evolves itself so that the arm can actually catch.”
What DeFelice is hoping readers get out of his new novel, Drone Strike, is a lot of fun and entertainment. Beyond that he hopes that people gain insight to the issues explored and the technology used.