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  • Steven Hendricks

Empire Rising

Author: Rick Campbell

In Rick Campbell’s “Empire Rising,” I found the premise of China out maneuvering America on the cyber level a definite and realistic possibility, maybe even a probability. But Campbell’s depiction of China’s military capabilities is far greater than the United States left me somewhat aggravated.

I know the U.S. thinks of itself as superior in the cyber world and thinks of China as inferior. But many of us know that this is simply not so. Most of our military fighting machines are highly dependent on software programming and this novel does a good job of highlighting that we may be losing future conflicts based on our military software performance and the vulnerability of it being sabotaged. Just look at all the recent major companies that have been hacked, some of whom were defense contractors. Some of this hacking has been traced to China.

In this nautical tale of the U.S. Pacific Fleet combating the Chinese Navy over their attack on Taiwan, the Chinese ultimately wipes out the U.S. Pacific Fleet leaving them free to invade and expand across Asia, particularly Japan! Empire Rising is compelling and the plot was good enough to hold my attention throughout. There was lots of maritime action and suspense that military marine buffs will enjoy, and the geo-political saga was engrossing.

However, I was also annoyed by several technical errors that military enthusiasts like myself noticed - Glock pistols do not have a safety lever or switch and F-35 jet fighters have only one afterburner, not multiple afterburners. These were just a few technical issues that I picked up on, so no telling if there were more in the nautical speak of the submarines, ships, and other weaponry. Other than that, I enjoyed the reading.

Empire Rising was a very suspenseful and plausible story.


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