Cody’s Army: DC Firestrike
Picking out cheap thrillers that would stand out from the pack is tricky. When I looked for examples of a second-tier 1980s action series called “Cody’s Army”, I deliberately aimed at the book with the most ridiculous setup (this is not a new activity on my part). Shooting terrorists in _____? Boring. Been there, done that. Shooting terrorists who’ve stormed DC and kidnapped a president? Now that’s something.
So DC Firestrike it was.
Who and What
So, the book stars action hero John Cody and his band of super-commandos, none of whom are that interesting. Opposing them are supervillain Libyans and their local gangster allies, who are only interesting in terms of being cringeworthy. Most of the book is flopping around in a disjointed plot and the actual kidnapping of the president doesn’t take place until over halfway through. I wondered if this was the setup for some kind of cliffhanger, but no, it’s over in a rushed finale.
DEEP HISTORY OF TEM
By the standards of 80s action novels, this is surprisingly infodump-free, at least concerning the descriptions of firearms. I think one of the few things that irritated me was how the author flipped back and forth between “magazine” and “clip” with no consistency.
Well, this is par for the course as far as 80s action novels go. I think the biggest contrivance by far is of course leaving these few supercommandos to be the exact rescuer when you’d have airborne divisions combing the countryside, but this is the kind of series that doesn’t have to be logical.
Most of (note the word most of) the action is pretty paint by numbers action-adventure. I say this despite not having read that many books in the genre. It’s that blatant. However, the conclusion is weird in that it’s actually somewhat realistic. Instead of the big 80s action battle, the heroes move in quickly, decisively, and unflashily.
I think this is a coincidence in that the author was clearly running out of space and just needed to wrap things up quickly, and so it turned into something more plausible by parallel coincidence.
The Only Score That Really Matters
Except for the unintentionally realistic conclusion and over-the-top premise, this is pretty much Middle Of The Road 1980s Action Novel. Not that that’s a bad thing.