Red Phoenix Burning
Larry Bond & Chris Carlson, author
North Korea has one of the world’s largest standing armies, capable of unleashing a massive arsenal of chemical and nuclear weapons. With an unstable government, under absolute dictator Kim Jong-un, North Korea more closely resembles an organized crime ring than a real nation-state. Millions live on the edge of starvation while Pyongyang’s ruthless generals, crooked bureaucrats, and vicious secret police wage a covert war against each other to expand their rival fiefdoms. RED PHOENIX BURNING explores the implosion of this corrupt regime – a coup that triggers a bloody civil war among the North’s brutal factions. The world is dragged into a violent and rapidly widening confrontation amid North Korea’s shattered ruins, bringing it to the edge of an all-out war that could engulf the entire civilized world. Fans of the original RED PHOENIX will be delighted to see favorite characters like Colonel Kevin Little, Brigadier General Tony Christopher, and Colonel Rhee Han-Gil returning to battle, older and wiser, alongside a new cast of heroes and villains. RED PHOENIX BURNING will also offer readers a deeper look behind today’s headlines of turmoil and uncertainty—a look made all the more profound by the in-depth knowledge of war, military technology, and geopolitics brought to bear by Larry Bond and his co-author Chris Carlson.
Bond and Carlson’s sequel to Red Phoenix offers a fascinating and plausible scenario of North Korean regime change. After North Korea’s hated Kim dynasty collapses in a military coup, Col. Rhee Han-gil leads his Special Forces “Ghost” Brigade across the DMZ to secure the North’s fearsome WMD stockpiles, accompanied by American Col. Kevin Little. A stalemate battle with North Korea’s Gen. Tae Seok-won for control of the capital, Pyongyang, leads to an alliance against hostile Kim loyalists and advancing Chinese forces. Meanwhile, Cho Ho-jin, a North Korean spy for the Russians, abandons his surveillance mission to aid American relief worker Kary Fowler. Cho subsequently assists Rhee and Little in a thrilling climactic battle against a potential last-minute nuclear strike by DPRK holdouts. Too-quick victories and forgettable enemies diminish the rousing battle scenes—though the naval skirmishes and aerial dogfights are standouts—but the emphasis on Korean factions rather than American players distinguishes this from the typical 38th-parallel thriller. (BookLife)