Raven Strike is book number thirteen in Dale Brown’s Dreamland series of action thrillers. Fans of the Dreamland series have enjoyed reading about the adventures of the team members of the Dreamland and Whiplash organizations as they battled enemies of the United States while fighting for their own existence in the military and political arenas of the American government. Lt. Colonel Tecumseh “Dog” Bastian inherited Dreamland, an advanced aerospace-weapons testing facility, when the Pentagon was looking for an excuse to shut it down. Under his leadership, Dreamland and its people provided a fast-strike, high-tech alternative to conventional military response options.
In Raven Strike, readers meet up again with Lt. Colonel Bastian’s daughter, Breanna Bastian Stockard, a retired Air Force Captain and Megafortress bomber pilot, who is now heading up a combined CIA and Pentagon high-tech wizardry program. Her husband, Jeff “Zen” Stockard, another retired Air Force Dreamland pilot who is wheel-chair bound and now a U.S. Senator is both her biggest supporter and potential adversary. Her main CIA contact is Jonathan Reid whose official title is Special Assistant to the Deputy Director Operations, CIA. Colonel Danny Freah, a Medal of Honor winner, heads up the Whiplash military team that is called in to support the CIA. The in-field CIA agent, Nuri Abaajmed Lupo, is a top CIA operative who is used to working on his own but must now adjust to the quasi-military team to complete his mission – the recovery of a top secret aircraft that has crashed in Africa while on a covert operation to assassinate a Chinese arms dealer.
The action takes place in Sudan, Africa where warring rebel forces have made life for themselves and the Sudanese people a hellish day-to-day existence. It is here in Sudan where the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called Raven crashes while on a black op mission to assassinate Li-Han, a Chinese arms dealer. The combined CIA-Whiplash team is sent in to recover the UAV in the midst of the rebel warfare. Back home in Washington, DC, Breanna Stockard and Jonathan Reid discover that the mission was an illegal CIA operation – without support of Congress or the President, Christine Mary Todd. The lack of cooperation by higher ups in the CIA hampers the recovery operation and it eventually ends in failure. The threat of the Raven project backfires when the “brains” of the weapon are smuggled back to the US by Islamic terrorists to be used in a jihadist attack in Washington, DC.
Raven Strike is a fast-read full of action and a great deal of political intrigue. Readers who enjoyed the previous Dreamland books will probably enjoy Raven Strike.