Top positive review
And the War Marches On...
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2021
Book #6 of Peter Nealen's Maelstrom Rising series, THUNDER RUN, takes us back to Europe and Matt Bowen's Grex Luporum team. Months after taking out the French nuclear arsenal, the US military has the bright idea of making the eponymous thunder run straight to Berlin to crush the European Defense Corps. On the other side of hairbrained ideas, the Department of State figures they can work out a peace deal. The Triarii are not sanguine about either option, especially given what they've lost in the war thus far. Still, they do their duty under the letter of marque and reprisal and engage in operational and intelligence preparation of the battlespace ahead of the US invasion.
Things rapidly escalate beyond the original plans, and there is a twist at the end that I honestly did not see coming (and I'm usually pretty good about seeing such twists coming). The action is kinetic, and we get to see the Grex Luporum do more of the cool guy sneaking and peeping stuff that we're used to hearing about from SOF units rather than the traditional mud-and-dirt variant that has become the staple of Nealen's books. Both are fun to read, though I will admit it was a nice change of pace.
For me, much like its immediately predecessor FORTRESS DOCTRINE, the key element that I love is the characterization. We're seeing more and more of Matt Bowen's personal side in the few off-duty moments we see. I do wish a couple of those were expanded upon, but at the same time, they're not skimped upon, either. It's those personal moments (both with Bowen and the snapshots we get with the team) that makes readers like me really root for the characters when they've got bullets flying inbound.
An excellent war thriller and I'm looking forward to reading the next.