True to life Vietnam warrior's experience
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2022
I served in Vietnam as a trauma surgeon. Her tale of Jackson's mistreatment is true to our real-life experiences. The story flowed. Jackson was chewed up and spit out by his country's military machine which, like Grant, considered "soldiers" as totally expendable. His team labored under the lies and deceit perpetrated by the brass and their unqualified legacy protecting political superiors. Pairing with his gifted horse is so on point. I met Bob Nevins at one of my talks. He flew Dust Off with the 326th Medical Battalion in Vietnam during the same time period I was there and delivered the wounded to me at the 85th Evac. Check out Alliance 360. The author's analysis of animal and man sharing trust and companionship (herd instinct) are right on. I was expecting the feds to show up as a Christmas treat. Thank goodness they did not.
Duty, Honor, Country
Reviewed in Italy on June 27, 2020
This is one of those Books that make the "Difference". If you are passionate about War and History, "The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles" will surely catch your attention ...
Among the pages of this Book, you will find much more than you expect ....
War in Vietnam. Duty, Honor, Country. Through these words, I managed to immerse myself in reading this Book. The story of a man, deeply wounded in the soul, with a past difficult to forget, to overcome, it is not "only" the hard life at the forefront of the Special Force, made of Blood and Death, but something terrible and dark , which marked him deeply, forever.
We perceive ties that tighten between the Soldiers, away from home, under Army, the Team becomes the Family, the Friends become Brothers, forever. This is one of those Books that you can "touch" with your hand, the reading is so fluent and engaging, that you have the feeling of being present, while the story unfolds before our eyes.
They are extremely intense chapters to read, exciting, because the mood is transferred to us, many themes are addressed, and they are so current despite the story unfolding in the past, many "ropes" are touched, you can feel a strong empathy for the protagonist.
Jackson McKenzie's Life is continually put to the test, betrayal, anger, pain, and in certain moments darkness... he will have to fight with his worst enemy: himself.
Along his way this man will meet ... a wild spirit, which will penetrate his interior.
A strong, powerful and wonderful creature who manages to change something within him, "A Special Contact" through unconditional trust and great mutual respect and ...excursions, in the rugged wild nature, in the heart of the mountains. A Great Friendship is born.
If like me you love the Historical Conflict in Vietnam, the Honor, the Duty for your Country, the true and only American Patriotism, Justice, Truth, Friendship, all intertwined with the Life of a Man, who tries to fight the his "demons", and to get out of them; I recommend reading. Will this man be able to regain his strength and have the courage to come out of the darkness? This is the book for you.
Personally I think that if a writer manages to hit you "inside" and reach the heart of the reader and leave a "trace", it means that he do his job very well. It was like that for me.
When you start reading, you will no longer be able to stop ...
I have already obtained my copy ... A reading absolutely, not to be missed.
An excellent read for anyone interested in history and the trials and tribulations that come with it.
The best compliment that I can give: leaves you wanting more (and since it is a series there is) I am going to start this review in what many will consider a strange manner, but talking about myself. I vowed (and I'm giving away my age here) that I would signup for Service should War come between the United States and Iran due to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. History, of course, shows that resolved without it coming to all-out War (though we've fought proxy-war with them through the many terrorism organizations they help fund and arm), but (of course) the threats from Iran still come as they still force their citizens (many of whom yearn for Freedom from their tyrannical Leaders) into chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" and we need to take those threats seriously (learn from the chants and warnings of previous tyrants that may have had to bid their time but once able followed through with their promises of death and destruction no matter the costs) and why it is such a concern about them getting Nuclear weapons (especially if one was a student of Nostradamus (ArethUSA Quatrain 1, 87)). I did have other friends that did go on to join different Military branches and I have only ever gained more and more respect, admiration, and appreciation for those who Served, and obviously therefore those who actually saw the horrors of front-line actions. It was/is that which attracted me to this book from Angel. An appreciation, care, concern, and that she acknowledges them all in her book Dedication, that their stories (though fictionalized here, some may have experienced similar) not be forgotten (and go too often unappreciated, sadly some-much-so our Vietnam era Veterans and even too our LEOs (Angel's bio shows she was one), Fire, EMT, who also Serve in a different respect), and continue to demonstrate a reminder of those that gave so much (some gave their Lives) that the concepts of Freedom and self-determination remain alive. It was also the reason my first internationally published book had an important "appreciation for our Troops" and "concern" for what more we have to do to repay them for their Service when on average 22 Veterans per day commit Suicide thread in it. As for the book specifics, and again as an author of published works myself, I want to not just praise the greatness of the story delivery and how Angel does not deliver the average "cookie-cutter" type "formulaic" writing that makes far too many books (and, as in this case, a series) "predictable" but instead way more enjoyable when it comes time to turn the page it brings great anticipation for the next page, the next chapter, and the "how does this all turn out!" But, again, I'm going to go "untraditional" (a bit more "technical") here in my admiration for Angel's attention to detail in the choice of the books entire delivery, beginning to end. From the chapter header detailing (font selection) to the way she lends credence (IMO) to the story (as if it had happened, as if this were almost a Memoir and someone's written documentary of not only the what but when) by usage of a timestamp (which, too, IMO, adds to a "it really happened" as if we're reading a Military brief account on an event) down to the importance (reality) of using Military Clock (that I as a former IT guy came to adopt over the years too, as more precise, though it still confuses some, that you just subtract 12 for the afternoon/evening hours). The very unique chopper formation breaks! And I could go on further but if this review turns into its own novel others may not read it. :) LOL I couldn't put it down, I purchased the Kindle version/download in the morning, and read well into the early hours of the next day not wanting to put it down. Where-as, far too much other writings are something I'll read a chapter here and there and finally finish potentially a month later. And, this is only a very minor spoiler, I loved her reference to "It's a Wonderful Life" which despite the seriousness of the topic made me laugh because I too have a reference to that movie in one of my books. It is something other writers could/should (IMO) learn from, in that it relates things that are familiar in their Life even if other concepts and situations in a book are foreign to them. A very nice touch, IMO. I hope this "somewhat odd" review can/will really help bring others "on the fence" about purchasing this book over the so many countless other choices we all have, to sway them toward either this or other books from Angel.
A good read.
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2020
I don't usually read war stories. I purchased this book because the author is kin to a friend of mine.
I was pleasantly pleased from the beginning. The story grabbed my interest and moved along quickly, introducing characters as they came into play. Showed the hardship of war, the loyalty of comrades and the strength of family.
A good read!
Posted by M. A. Matthews
Meet Lt. Colonel Jackson MacKenzie, a man to whom honor is everything. He served his country and became a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Before he can recover from the mental and physical scars of that experience, his country betrays him even as they ask more from him.In the Eye of the Storm is a spell-binding account of Jackson MacKenzie’s war experiences as well as his emotional journey dealing with those experiences. The action scenes had me turning pages as fast as I could, heart racing, to find out what happened next. Some of the emotional experiences brought actual tears to my eyes. The author takes the reader through tension, emotion, and, ultimately, joy with a few laughs thrown in to ease the tension.I look forward to reading more from this talented author.Sally Berneathy
Without giving too much away it is the gripping and action filled story of a flawed Vietnam hero who is manipulated and used by his superiors. People who see their troops as just pawns in a bigger game and if pieces are lost then they can live with it as they prepare for the next mission, battle or war.
Despite there being one or two instances where the use of American Military abbreviations and acronyms made me go off and look them up that didn’t break the tension and desire to keep reading. The description of Vietnam made me feel like I was there in the jungle as well as being glad that I wasn’t.
I started reading it in the evening and, when I finally looked up again, it was the early hours of the morning. My body and tired eyes were telling me to finish the book later but my mind was fighting for me to carry on. Talk about tough calls.
Suffice to say I managed to finish the story and soon went back to read it again because I enjoyed it so much.
I just finished reading "In the Eye of the storm"
This is my thought:
In general, I liked the book. I know well the syndrome that the protagonist suffers, from because unfortunately I have heard about it and too often those who suffer from it are left alone to fight their "freaks". In fact, I appreciated how in the unfolding of the story he is never left alone, but supported and understood by those around him. Regarding this, the figure of Bandit is very nice in this sense, he embodies the strength and commitment that JJ to get out of that "bad situation" in which life had dragged him. I had a little difficulty in understanding the names of the equipment and some military terms, not having a great preparation in the American military, being Italian did not help me, but I managed to find answers, however, that allowed me to understand how the author meticulously documented every detail, weapon or device mentioned. Inside the book, there is Friendship, Family, Spirit of Corps, and Sense of Duty... things that unfortunately are often forgotten, especially these days, but here they find themselves tied and harmonized properly. Something very important: reading this book allowed me to understand some aspects of my wife and all the references she makes every day, having read this Book much before me. Congratulations to the Author for the good work, that speaks of a story that none of us should ever forget...
Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
I had a deep affinity for the protagonist of The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles: In the Eye of the Storm. He is a hero in the strongest American tradition of what that word means. He served in the same Army that I served in, though at a different time and place. Angel Giacomo does a great job portraying this character. I like and admire him. I think you will too. I’m betting that if you are interested enough to be reading this review, you will like this book as much as I did. It goes deep into the mind of an American soldier. A soldier whose father and mother were both distinguished soldiers. I have only met a few soldiers like that, but most of them have been extraordinary men. If you like that kind of story, get ready for a great read!
As for the elements that stand out for me in this novel, first, I have to say characters. I like reading about soldiers. I really love it when the characters remind me of real soldiers that I have met and served with. Lt. Colonel Jackson Joseph MacKenzie is such a character. I liked him and, even more, I admired him. The setting for this story changes from actual battlefields to more symbolic battlefields and all are written well. The plot is very realistic and, sadly, is quite a common one for modern American heroes and veterans. But few of them will have their story told as well as Angel Giacomo tells this one.
The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles: In the Eye of the Storm by Angel Giacomo is the story of a man who served his country his whole life, but he only got betrayal in the end. Lt. Colonel Jackson Joseph MacKenzie is a man of honor, a man who has served his country with pride and was ready to do whatever it takes to protect it. Fighting and never stopping was the only thing he knew, even when he was broken and destroyed after the Vietnam War. However, his spirit remained intact and he still got up and fought some more. However, his breaking point came when he was sent on a secret mission along with his men and his country betrayed him. Now incarcerated, he doesn’t only have to fight off the nightmares of prison life, but also the nightmares in his mind. He feels devastated and he knows that giving up would be just too easy. But he is a fighter, a man who never stopped even when he was being tortured. This is his biggest battle; he just has to find the will to keep fighting on.
This was a heavy and emotional novel to read. Many times, we take our soldiers for granted, believing they will protect us, but forgetting the fact that they are human as well. Reading about Jackson and his rapid decline and then his fight for survival was a very dramatic experience for me. His development was a strange one; he started from the top, fell to the bottom and then literally crawled his way back up to the top. I enjoyed how real he was, how intense and unfiltered. To say that I just enjoyed this novel was an understatement. Intense, raw and very emotional entertainment.
Third Place - The BookFest Awards - Fall 2022 - War and Military Fiction