Cherubs 2

Fiction - Military
404 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Cherubs 2 is a work of fiction in the military action, historical, and drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Marc Liebman. The work is intended for the adult reading audience due to the presence of scenes of violence, the use of explicit language, and scenes in which people suffer during combat. Our protagonist is Josh, a newcomer to piloting helicopters during the Vietnam War, who finds himself put in some very dangerous and high stakes situations even on his very first time around in the pilot’s seat. What results is Josh’s selection for special operations, wherein the politics and pressure placed upon them stretches far beyond any single mission.

Author Marc Liebman has crafted a highly engrossing and visual work of fiction with plenty of twists, turns, and clever plotting to offer its readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was the cinematic feel of the text, created by the author’s attention to details, locations, and the description of the operations taking place. From Josh’s viewpoint, we see the war on many levels and really get into the deep detail of the incredible difficulty and pressure that men like him really would have had to face at the time. This gritty realism deepens the drama and, alongside lively dialogue and authentic, confident narration, it is sure to transport readers into the time period and engage them from cover to cover. Overall, I would certainly recommend Cherubs 2 to fans of Vietnam War-era dramas, military thriller novels, and for action and adventure readers everywhere.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Cherubs 2 by Marc Liebman is the first book in the Josh Haman Series. Josh is on his first tour of Vietnam as a new helicopter pilot and he’s about to make a decision that could change his life and career forever. Chosen to fly in Navy Special operations, he becomes fast friends with a Navy SEAL called Marty Cabot and the two find themselves caught up in the politics between the Air Force and the Navy. The USAF is trying to find a hidden entry point for surface-to-air missiles into Vietnam and the missions the two men are ordered to fly could have serious consequences beyond the Vietnam War if not successful.

Cherubs 2 by Marc Liebman is the book that introduces us to Josh Haman and Marty Cabot and it is an action-packed story. I made the mistake of reading Big Mother 40 first (the second Josh Haman book) and I have to say, I found it had more action and a better plot. That aside, Cherubs 2 is a great novel, with some pretty realistic scenes in it and a good plot. The characters are exceptionally well-developed with solid backstories and plenty of believable and real dialog between them. If you love aviation/military/naval action stories, this is the start of what looks to be an excellent series. I would also recommend it for anyone who simply wants a riveting action story to get involved in. With realistic and vivid descriptions, this one is sure to pull you straight in.

Vincent Dublado

Cherubs 2 is a great introduction to the life and adventures of Josh Haman, the spunky naval aviator gracing the pages of Marc Liebman’s military novels. Nothing he learned in school or in the training command prepared him for his first tour as he recalls. War is hell, and sometimes the enemy wears the same uniform. As a brand new pilot, Haman asks a lot of questions and listens. Under the threat of court-martial, Haman has been butting heads with his detachment officer-in-charge and superior officer pertaining to rescue missions. Chosen to fly helicopters for special Navy operations, this is where he meets Marty Cabot, a Navy SEAL who will join him in his future military exploits. The two men find themselves caught in the Air Force’s bickering over money, as well as its fixation on the surface-to-air missiles that the North Vietnamese possesses.

Whether or not you are familiar with the rudiments of naval aviation, you will find Cherubs 2 absorbing and include Liebman in your reading list. This novel explains military and naval operations without sounding very technical. It has a layman-friendly narrative that does not throw in jargon just for kicks. It solidly leans on historical facts about the disappointing outcome of America’s war against North Vietnam, and Liebman, as a naval pilot who rendered dedicated service prior to becoming an author, does not shy away from exposing the costly mistakes of the military. Such errors have largely contributed to tipping the scales in favor of America’s enemy. A novel that gives a thought-provoking reminder of a past mistake that you wish will never be repeated, Cherubs 2 is a balanced approach to the good and bad side of the military. It is a highly-recommended read for those who are tired of reading thrillers that romanticize the Armed Forces.

Steven Robson

Cherubs 2: A Josh Haman Novel by Marc Liebman takes the reader back to the tumultuous period of the Vietnam war, where we follow Lieutenant Junior Grade Joshua Haman in his endeavors to negotiate a perilous journey as a pilot of a combat search and rescue helicopter. This is a wild ride of danger, adventure, terror, and learning of myriad complexity, steeped in the shadows of political cat and mouse games, where the pieces may be expendable and the rewards uncertain. Inevitably, it is relationships that will have the greatest impact on Josh as he finds love, friendship, and respect offset by hate and malice; the full spectrum of humanity laid bare by the intense pressure of surviving a war. Containing a wealth of historically accurate material, from maps, deck plans, as well as detailed information on squadrons, aircraft, and their call signs, this is not only a classic wartime adventure, but an informative resource that addresses not only the horror of war but also the nature of mankind.

Marc Liebman has crafted an epic story filled with life experiences confronted by the most terrifying imaginable threat; a war against an enemy with little compassion for human rights. I found the characters in Cherubs 2 to be uncomfortably real, with what I would consider an accurate mix of those who are true heroes, those who do their jobs, and those who play it too safe, bordering on the precipice of cowardice. And lurking in the background as always are the leeches, staying away from the fallout, watching for opportunities they can utilize for their own advantage; Captain Latham being a prime example. Each of these players was developed superbly, and this was particularly evident with Josh, who started out very much the raw co-pilot and developed into an assured, confident and skilled operator. Combined with these nicely developed characters is a plot that built steadily in intensity and contained the right amount of all the elements to make this one compelling read.

Rabia Tanveer

Cherubs 2 is the first book in the Josh Haman series by Marc Liebman. Josh has just finished his training and is a new helicopter pilot for the military. He doesn’t have the experience or the knowledge to rub elbows with the big guys on the team, but he is smart enough to climb the ladder to become an important member of the team. The opportunity presents itself when Josh becomes part of special operations. He and Marty Cabot are tasked to work on new missions that not only put their lives in danger but could also bring danger for the USA even after the Vietnam War. Marty and Josh have a lot riding on their shoulders, and there is a lot that can go wrong. However, Josh is determined to get the job done. Can Josh live up to the expectations he has set for himself? Or is he in for a rude awakening?

The action is relentless and a driving force in Cherubs 2. I love how Josh is introduced to readers. There isn’t much fanfare, and there is no “hero” entry for Josh. He is introduced as a simple man who is excited but nervous about his job. All the scenarios that the author brings into the story are believable and realistic. There is never a moment where you will be exasperated and feel like that could never happen in real life. I think this is the biggest strength of this story and author Marc Liebman. He focuses on creating backgrounds, descriptions, and actions that are realistic so that readers can immerse themselves in the story and feel like a part of it. Josh’s growth is fundamental to the story, and I enjoyed how he reacted to office politics and how much he relied on Marty to survive it all. I loved each moment of this book. It is a great novel for people who enjoy military fiction.