4 out of 4 stars
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EMP Honeymoon by Dorothy May Mercer is a thriller about a North Korean plan to explode a small atomic weapon over America. This would trigger an electro-magnetic pulse which would wipe out most electrical and electronic devices, rendering the US helpless.
Kelly and Tom are recently married and enjoying a honeymoon in the Honduras. Whilst Tom is away fishing for the afternoon, Kelly inadvertently discovers a secret location where terrorists from North Korea are plotting to launch a small medium range inter-continental ballistic missile at the US. She is almost caught by one of them, but manages to escape back to their hotel. But she also manages to alert her brother, senator Mike McBride about the situation. From their short conversation, he realises immediately that there is something very wrong there and has his chief of security send two of her agents over to help them.
In the meantime, Colonel Su-jin, from North Korea, is struggling to maintain her cover as a single American tourist on a lazy vacation. Despite this, her plans are proceeding very well, however, she does not realise that the handsome American who is trying to chat her up, is in fact a CIA agent who soon realises that she is not who she claims she is. This is the setting to an exciting thriller involving civilians and the CIA in a complicated plot to thwart the schemes of the leader of North Korea to cripple the USA.
The action and light-hearted romance is fast and compelling as the characters interact with each other in a desperate bid to save the United States. Written in the third person narrative, the author also describes scenes from the North Koreans point of view. This enables her to show us that they are also human and are acting because they are terrified of their leader and his dark regime of terror. It is interesting to see how this fear also helps to counter the plans of their superiors and to assist the Americans.
The author has clearly researched all the topics handled in the plot and there are even more detailed explanations with references attached at the end of the book. Her writing is fast-paced and the explanations are clear and easily followed, without distracting one from the actual events of the plot. It is fascinating to read about the activities of the various American agencies and to compare them with those of the North Koreans.
This book is part of a series, with many of the characters having been involved in previous books. However, it may be enjoyed as a stand-alone as there is enough background information provided for the first time reader. The plot of this novel has nothing to do with the previous books, although the characters and their resources are part of this story. Descriptions of the various organisations involved sound convincing and realistic. One can only guess how much of this is fiction and how much is actually correct. The references at the end of the book describe the actual procedures of NASA and related space agencies to track objects in orbit around the earth, as well as frightening details of a solar related EMP or an artificially induced one. The descriptions of the newly formed Space Force are almost certainly fictional.
All the characters are likable in this book and even the North Koreans are amusing. The romance and flirtations between the American characters is fun to read. On the other hand, I felt that the Koreans were portrayed in an almost comical light, particularly their beloved leader. There is no graphic detail in the book, but the fates of some of these characters are not pleasant. The same can be said about the action in this book. There is plenty of it, but there are no vivid descriptions which could be upsetting for sensitive readers.
The book is well formatted and laid out. I did not like the sub-headings included in some later chapters. They suggested that it was written for a younger audience, which is definitely not the case. I found no errors in punctuation or in grammar, however; I noticed two typos. It also described two of the characters with minor differences in different chapters. These faults were scarcely noticeable and did not distract from my enjoyment of the book. There are no religious issues or topics that may be offensive to any readers. Readers who enjoy thrillers and some romance will appreciate this book.
This is a warmly written and fascinating book with issues that could be unpleasantly close to reality. I enjoyed the dialogue and the precise details. These details gave the impression that one was reading about actual events and not a fictional plot. I have awarded this book a rating of 4 stars out of 4.
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