Monday, October 27, 2008

2008 Book 95: Balance of Power

Book #:95

Book Title:Balance of Power

Author:James W. Huston

Publisher:William Morrow

Pub. Date:

Started:October 23, 2008

Finished:October 27, 2008

Time to Read:5 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:"Tom Clancy meets David Baldacci on Patrick O'Brian's high seas in this electrifying debut - and explosive tale of terrorism, naval action, legal intrigue, and a historic showdown on Capitol Hill.

When ruthless terrorists hijack an American merchant ship - the fastest in the world - they're hoping to spark an international incident, and that's just what they get. Half of America is screaming for their blood, but the peace-minded President rejects military retaliation...and suddenly finds himself facing open revolt.

When Jim Dillon, special assistant to the Speaker of the House, discovers a long-forgotten power in the Constitution that allows Congress to conduct a limited, private war without presidential approval, his ambitious boss sees and opportunity to humiliate his rival in the Oval Office. Over at the White House, Dillon's old friend Molly Vaughan is working feverishly on a legal strategy to block Dillon's plan. A constitutional crisis engulfs the nation and the case moves swiftly towards the Supreme Court...culminating in a trial drama that's equal of anything in Grisham.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, a "rogue" battle group with its special commission from Congress races toward a deadly rendezvous with the terrorists. With H-Hour drawing ever closer, fighter jocks, Navy SEALS, and Marine assault teams prepare for action in a frenzy of activity that sweeps from the high-tech Combat Direction Center of a modern carrier to the high-tension cockpit of an F-14 in flames. At the same time, the President dispatches another U.S. Navy battle group to intercede and prevent the Congress-authorized troops from engaging the enemy in full-scale combat....

Flashing between the political clash in Washington and the countdown to assault halfway around the globe, Balance of Power builds up to a suspenseful crescendo that blends Capitol Hill infighting, international terrorism, and state-of-the-art military technology into an epic confrontation with world peace at stake. This is a thriller for the 21st century, with Washington power politics, cutting-edge naval warfare, and intricate legal wrangling packed into a high-voltage blockbuster that is also solidly authentic and frighteningly plausible."

Review:Before I set my eyes on the first page of this novel, I already had high expectations. After all, when a book jacket compares the author/story to Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Patrick O'Brian, and John Grisham...well, you can't help but expect greatness. Fortunately, the cover copy wasn't just a lot of hot air...I'm now a James W. Huston fan (this is his first book) and I can't wait to read more.

Let's think about this, folks...we have political intrigue, military drama, and legal maneuvering. Could there have been a way I wouldn't have liked this book? The characterizations are drawn straight from headline news - each personality that Huston creates is one that you could have easily seen on a report from Capitol Hill instead of a novel. The plot is only too feasible...and the political fighting is an all-too-familiar scene. In fact, I had to set this novel down several times and remind myself that it wasn't real.

I highly recommend this novel...I have the first edition hard-back but it's been re-released as a mass market paperback. Run, do NOT walk, and grab it! Even 11 years after it's initial release, it's timely and spot-on with the state of the world.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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