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Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite
Pagasa: This is the Future of War centers on a race to control an island in the South China Sea. A billionaire with a vast armada of ships is hired by the American government to secretly deliver the materials and weapons needed to secure the island for the rightful owners, the Philippines. China is the aggressor, and the race is on to be the first to control the island. Author FX Holden is prescient in his projection of weapons technology, geopolitical events, and the future battlespace. This is a fast-paced, gripping novel that rings all too true. If you served in the military, fly a plane, or just want badly to do either one, grab your flight suit, helmet, your thrill meter and read Pagasa. F.X. Holden takes you on a hypersonic ride into a future conflict along vectors straight from today’s reality - a natural projection of technology and geopolitical conflict thrust into a real-world possibility in the future. This fast-paced, intricately detailed journey into a future conflict with China is built around age-old conflicts between nations surrounding the South China Sea, and Holden delivers the non-stop action through the eyes of warfighters and civilian combatants caught up in the covert maneuvering between the United States and China.
The story begins with the mysterious Sylvie Leclerc, Head of Operations, White Star Risk Group owned by billionaire Karl Sorensen, recruiting a rogue Australian ex-military, civilian pilot Karen “Bunny” O’Hare to fly the advanced aircraft that will be used to protect the White Star ships. The ships, contracted by the U.S. government, are carrying building supplies and weapons needed to secure Pagasa Island for defense by the owners, the Philippines. It’s a secret mission in direct conflict with an advancing Chinese military invasion. There are spies, subplots of survival, and the gripping aerial combat maneuvers of Bunny O’Hare and her unlikely sidekick, the Scotsman, Angus ‘Ginger’ McIntyre, faced off against Li Chen, the dynamic Chinese PLA pilot. The characters are real, the action non-stop, and the outcome always in doubt.
As a writer myself in this genre, I’ve said it before and I will restate it here that F.X. Holden is a master at delivering top-notch, rapid, breathtaking scenes that exceed the prescience of Tom Clancey, the micro-accurate battle action of WEB Griffen, the intrigue of Steve Berry, all wrapped in the closeup action of a Stephen Coonts thriller. Pagasa: This is the Future of War by F.X. Holden has earned my highest recommendation, if your thrill meter can record this level of action.