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Sunday, June 4, 2017

KILL YUAN (audiobook) by Peter Nealen

Published in May of 2017 by Peter Nealen, LLC
Read by Cody Parcell
Duration: 12 hours, 23 minutes

The Yuan in the title Kill Yuan is a Chinese Navy captain who has stolen his frigate and its crew and become a pirate leader in the South China Sea. For some reason, the government of China is not acting against him and the other governments in the area are not strong enough to move against a true military ship the size of a frigate (in the pirate world a frigate is much larger than most of their re-purposed ships). The United States has ignored this new pirate leader because its forces in the area are busy playing cat-and-mouse war games with the Chinese Navy.

Cut to Dan Tackett. He is a former member of the U.S. military who has done some independent work as well. But, he has stopped all of that because his wife has died in a car crash and he has to raise their two children. But, making the money he needs while repairing motorcycles is tough and he has to make it up with lots and lots of overtime, meaning that he is not actually raising his own children - he is leaving that up to the day care providers and he hates it. In the evening he is drowning the pain of the loss of his wife in plenty of alcohol.

Out of desperation Tackett looks online for some independent military contractor work and finds an offer that looks to good to be true: $50,000 per month! He decides to go for it, leaves his children with their grandparents and goes off in search of a fortune that will pay off his house and leave him able to raise his children.

Tackett arrives at the training facility in Florida with a number of recruits and discovers that it's training pace is unbelievably grueling, even though it's purpose is hidden. His true employer is also hidden and this might just be a problem once they are deployed...

I listened to the audiobook version of this book read by Cody Parcell. Parcell did a fine job of reading the book despite his consistent mispronunciation of the word "redoubt" (it is pronounced rah-doubt, not reed-out). His pacing was good and he did a great job with the Chinese accents.

While I like a good action book, I freely admit I am not really an avid reader of pure military adventures so this one was a little out of my normal reading zone. The section on training was excellent. The middle part of the book (when they are deployed) was also excellent. The last third of the book got a little too full of jargon for my tastes.  When the author started to refer to weapons by the letter number combinations (like M16 and AK47 but different number combinations I had never heard of because I have never served in the military) I just assumed they were rifles of some sort and went on with the experience. On the whole, though, this was an enjoyable listen. I listened to it very quickly, which is a great sign.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Kill Yuan by Peter Nealen.

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