Bill Yenne’s Raptor Force is a case of a book that dips into multiple action subgenres and seems determined to take the worst parts of each while being unable to grab the best. It’s the kind of commandos-vs-terrorists novel that might seem simply pedestrian if it didn’t have the premise it did.
See, the reason the task of hunting down bloodthirsty and effective terrorists is entrusted to this mega-top-secret band of off the grid commandos (based on the Flying Tigers in-universe) is because the US (along with most other countries) gave the UN veto power over its military power projection (!). This is the kind of thing that zombie sorceresses were made to do.
The heroes are all flat space-fillers, the villains are the most cliche terrorists straight out of Command and Conquer Generals, and the stock supporting characters are exactly who you’d expect them to be. This wouldn’t be a big problem if the fundamentals were good, but they’re not.
Raptor Force has the constant perspective and place-hopping of a technothriller but none of its technology or great power conflict. It has the focus of a small-unit book but none of the spectacle or “punch” that a good one has. The actual action scenes are decidedly underwhelming, the worst thing a cheap thriller can be.
This was not a good novel. Even the potentially over the top premise wasn’t run with, opting for the overly serious technothriller style instead of a shameless spectacle.