Saturday, 29 January 2011

Death in the Desert by Jim Eldridge

Also read as part of

August 2010, Egmont 
208 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, 12+ 

Fighting, secret operations, modern warfare, Afghanistan, friendships, betrayal, events turned upside down,     lack of equipment/men, change in tactics, courage,

Summary from Egmont

Let's give ‘em something to think about!
Another day, another mission. Now a fully fledged member of covert military squad Delta Unit, Mitch is thrust straight back into the battle zone. And there’s more at stake then ever before.
The Mission: smuggle an undercover peace negotiator through war-torn Afghanistan to the secret hideout of a powerful Taliban leader.
The Squad: elite, Black-Ops soldiers -; Mitch, Gaz, Two Moons, Tug, Benny and Nelson – codename, Delta Unit.
Six men set out on the mission. How many will come back?

Nayuleska's thoughts
Update on 5th February 2011: The lovely people at Egmont got on the case for this book only being labelled for boys. It now has the recommendation for both boys and girls. Yay!

Here's part of the original view which is no longer true because of the above changes. My first thought was going to be something else. However, when I checked out the Egmont page, I got a little hot headed. I realise that it is intended to help readers find more gender appropriate books. But this book only has males as the main gender. I agree this will appeal to males a lot. However, I know a few friends who adore military fiction as much as I do, with things going boom and wide range of weapons. So  I urge readers to give this to female readers too :) 

It's a really fun book. Not in a fluffy bunny way, but in a realistic operation way. The advantage is that the author has been in situations like this, and currently lives under an alias somewhere in the UK. That fact alone indicates that the scenarios in the book are realistic, and quite possibly based on real events (with some facts changed for protection). That realism gave me respect for all military personnel who perform these jobs day in, day out. It widened my knowledge of what happens in Afghanistan, how quickly political and military situations change. 

Clues were dropped in the novel that an event might not go to plan. It didn't, and the team were in trouble. However, using their wits they were able to turn the situation around and make a good deal. They work well together, and trust each other do think on their feet, and understand thoughts with a few simple gestures, which is all they can do when the enemy is observing them. I didn't really breathe a sigh of relief until the book ended - there is constant tension, with occasional light relief. I loved how at the end of the book there's a little file on each of the team members, including their height, name, favourite weapon, specialism, rank, and the amount of languages they know. Languages are a huge asset in the military. Hopefully this will encourage youngsters to learn languages themselves, and use them for the benefit of others. 

Final conclusion
A must for anyone who enjoys reading about combative operations involving the military.

Check out the other book in the series - Black Ops: Jungle Kill


Cliona said...

Hmmmm, it sounds OK, maybe not my kind of book, though. Fab review!

Nayuleska said...

Thank you :) I do review quite a wide range, and hopefully most tastes are catered for :)

asamum said...

Wow you ar going great guns on the BBC