Golan

This is the Future of War (Future War)

Fiction - Military
504 Pages
Reviewed on 06/30/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite

In his novel Golan, F.X. Holden takes us on a fast-paced, intricately detailed journey into a future with the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran. Built around conflicts between nations with deep histories of animosity, Holden delivers the action through the eyes of the warfighters and civilians caught up in political brinkmanship. The characters are engaging and real, drawn from all sides and services in the conflict. Futuristic weapons technology, based on a ten-year forward development projection, has very real roots in today’s military. We follow Amar Azaria, a Druze Israeli engineer caught in the melee in the Druze village of Buq’ata on the Golan Heights. She is joined by American 3rd Marine Gunny Jensen and his squad in a twist of fate that finds them fighting for their lives against Russian-backed Syrian invaders mingled with Druze nationalists. At sea, Iranian navy captain Hossein Rostami is carrying a nuclear weapon provided by North Korea to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nearing conflict with the surface fleet, Israeli submarine Gal, commanded by IDF navy captain Binyamin Ben-Zvi, also carries nuclear weapons. Neither Iran nor Israel has admitted to having these weapons, but events will put them all in harm's way in a dramatic confrontation of nuclear recklessness. A central character throughout the entire story is fighter pilot Karen O’Hare, call sign Bunny, who ends up “flying” remotely operated fighters in the battle against Syria and Russia over the Golan. She is accomplished, self-assured, and feisty to the max, as we know combat-blooded fighter pilots to be. Rounding out the high-tech world, back home in Washington, D.C., the newly appointed Director of Cyber Security, Tonya Dupré, applies her AI (artificial intelligence) programs to discern the startling truth about the imminent threat of Iran and Syria, backed by Russia, carrying out an All Domain Attack – cyber, space, air, land, and sea – against the state of Israel. Golan: This is the Future of War, crafted under the masterful hand of F.X. Holden, is a valid projection of the very possible outcome of what is happening today.

Take a couple of deep breaths before you open the first page of Golan because the dramatic pace will not allow for breathing. A future war wrapped in a spy thriller, this story has it all. Holden sets the scene ten years into the future with engaging characters deploying futuristic weapons in a conflict that can lead to nuclear war. It is not science fiction but a keenly accurate projection into the future of current technology and research, masterfully executed and entwined in human experiences, emotions, and personalities. Holden exceeds the prescience of Clancy and the micro-accurate battle action of WEB Griffen, matching the mystery writing of Berry as he weaves the lives of Americans, Israelis, Iranians, and Russians into a tapestry of future battle and potential global nuclear disaster. Characters like the agoraphobic Tonya Dupré and her brilliant grasp of applied Artificial Intelligence and cyberwarfare, and Karen “Bunny” O’Hare and her rebellious fighter pilot persona engaging in robotic warfare at a skill level unmatched to date. As Holden takes us from scenario to scenario through the eyes and emotions of warfighters of all stripes, American Marines and cyber-aviators, Israeli IDF fighters, Druze engineers, and Navy officers, Iranian Navy, Russian aviators, he drives an intense roller coaster ride of dramatic arcs that leaves us breathless. F. X. Holden’s Golan is an eerily realistic projection of the dangerous world we live in today, taken to its mad, mad world possibilities for human-induced disaster. As a writer, reviewer, and avid reader, I am a student of the best writers in Holden’s genre and have quickly and eagerly added him to my reading list. I strongly recommend you join me.

K.C. Finn

Golan: This Is The Future Of War is a work of fiction in the military, action, and thriller sub-genres, and was penned by author F. X. Holden. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and contains mild profanities and references to military conflict throughout. Set across the globe in various locations and told through the eyes of different participants on the front lines of both conflict and decision making, this novel asks important questions about the future of nuclear conflict and what could happen if restrictions were lifted on weaponry. What results is a very engrossing blockbuster military tale that is sure to keep readers turning the pages from cover to cover.

Author F. X. Holden has crafted a cinematically vivid work of fiction with plenty of twists, turns, and surprises to offer readers alongside its suitably complex plot. Having read some of the author’s work before, I knew I’d be in for a wild ride with plenty of action, varied characters, and interesting situations, but this particular novel had such a desperately exciting and realistic feel to it that it has swiftly become my new favorite. There is certainly something for every reader amongst the cast of well-developed characters, but for me personally, it was wayward pilot Bunny O’Hare who stole the show. Overall, I would highly recommend Golan: This Is The Future Of War to fans of immersive military fiction, original storytelling and plot ideas, and for readers of near-future action stories everywhere.

Steven Robson

Golan by FX Holden is a prequel to the Future War novels, where the reader is immersed in a 2030 conflict that immediately becomes as compelling as it is chilling in its portent of the myriad dangers of the developing world; dangers that in some ways mirror the Cuban Missile crisis, where on 27th October 1962, Vasili Arkhipov stood up for all mankind and chose to give millions a future others wanted to extinguish. The theatre of focus here, as the name suggests, is Israel, where the Golan Heights becomes the prize: an area of historical conflicts too numerous to recount. By shifting the focus smoothly between political leaders, key personnel in Air, Naval and Land forces, and the civilians we are all fighting to protect, Golan gives an incredible insight into the spirit of humanity, tempered by a glimpse of the tools of destruction we choose to pursue and the desperate acts we are willing to carry out when despair guides our hands. The key message that shines through this amazing book is that an individual can have ultimate control over our future; will they go the way of Vasili Arkhipov or are we doomed to annihilation?

FX Holden’s Golan is an amazing read, clearly demonstrating profound insight into all of the intricacies of political, technological, and operational aspects of modern warfare. This is not only superior, fast-paced action and adventure on a grand scale, it is a tool for learning of new developments, significant historical events, and perhaps, most importantly, the workings of us, the humans that now maintain custodianship over Earth. What I loved most about Golan, however, was its recognition of the world as the stage with players from all nations contributing, be they heroes or villains. This lends great credibility to the story, and characters like Israeli Corporal Amal Azaria, Aussie Flying Officer Karen O’Hare, and American Director of Cyber Security Tonya Dupré starred in their own way, bringing wonderful personalities to the table in their roles. In a very large cast of players, each demonstrates a uniqueness that will create an enormous amount of either positive or negative empathy, and you will quickly realize that in war every single participant is a victim.