Review: Red Storm Box Set

The Red Storm Box Set

James Ronsone and Miranda Watson’s “Red Storm” series ran for six books. The omnibus box set I bought contained the first three- “Battlefield Ukraine, Battlefield Korea, and Battlefield Taiwan”.

This checks all the boxes. Lots of conference room infodumps with generals and leaders? Check. Huge descriptions of everything? Check. Characters whose sole characterization is at best an infodump and (more frequently) at worst a “Steel Panthers Characterization” where they’re just paper placeholders who crew military equipment? Check. Hopping around viewpoint characters around the world with what feels like no rhyme or reason? Check. And the cherry on top is the Hackett-style “city trade” plotnukes, as Oakland and Shenyang go boom.

This is what I thought I’d be reading en masse when starting Fuldapocalypse. Thankfully, it hasn’t been what I actually have been reading. Reading countless non-dry, non-World War III books has allowed me to view this in a better perspective than I had before. In the past, I’d have probably just denounced it with a combination of fire-breathing and eye-rolling.

I still view this as a subpar book-it’s in the awkward, neither fish-nor-fowl area of being too “literary”, gimmicky, and inaccurate in a rivet-county way to be a War That Never Was-style pure play by play while being too bland and disjointed to be an actual literary book. But now I can weirdly appreciate it for trying to scratch a specific itch. My mindset has gone from “this is bad” to “this has flaws and isn’t really my thing.”

If a sort of “Hackett but with some technothriller gimmicks” style book is your thing, you could do worse than this series.

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