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RETURN FIRE ****

 

Written by Ryan Clipper.
Published by Publish Nation.

Available on Paperback and download.

211pp. RRP £9.99.

 

The 2017 novel PRECISION mixed boy’s own adventure with a world tormented by all too frequent terror attacks to paint a picture of a dystopian world that didn’t feel too far removed from reality. With London regularly subjected to terrorism, the story told of a solution being formed by the government resulting in the Urban Strike Group or USG, a trained team of young soldiers specialising in close hand combat and hand held weaponry.

 

The USG turned out to be a success and in the sequel RETURN FIRE, that just might be a problem. They officially don’t exist but their regular success and dealing with terror situations has gotten both the press and UK’s enemies suspicious – rumours are abound and a gun for hire terrorist is on their tail with potentially lethal consequences.

 

The first novel spent a lot of time building the world that has gone to hell with back stories given to seemingly minor characters. With the USG in operation, the sequel builds on many of the original story strands that were introduced and subsequently it’s a more streamlined book with nearly a hundred pages fewer than before.

 

The rich military detail is still present, opening up the appeal to those not versed in such a world, but it also works as a standalone piece.

In many ways it’s a darker book too with the deadly effects of warfare seeping into the young members of the USG, culminating in a particularly gruesome assault, and rescue, at a secondary school.

 

While it may not quite make the political statement of the first entry, it’s a more than worthy follow-up.

 

Phil Slatter.

 

 

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