From two former military officers and award-winning authors, a chillingly authentic geopolitical thriller that imagines a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea in 2034--and the path from there to a nightmarish global conflagration.
On March 12, 2034, US Navy Commodore Sarah Hunt is on the bridge of her flagship, the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones, conducting a routine freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea when her ship detects an unflagged trawler in clear distress, smoke billowing from its bridge. On that same day, US Marine aviator Major Chris "Wedge" Mitchell is flying an F35E Lightning over the Strait of Hormuz, testing a new stealth technology as he flirts with Iranian airspace. By the end of that day, Wedge will be an Iranian prisoner, and Sarah Hunt's destroyer will lie at the bottom of the sea, sunk by the Chinese Navy. Iran and China have clearly coordinated their moves, which involve the use of powerful new forms of cyber weaponry that render US ships and planes defenseless. In a single day, America's faith in its military's strategic pre-eminence is in tatters. A new, terrifying era is at hand.
So begins a disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction, co-authored by an award-winning novelist and decorated Marine veteran and the former commander of NATO, a legendary admiral who has spent much of his career strategically outmaneuvering America's most tenacious adversaries. Written with a powerful blend of geopolitical sophistication and human empathy, 2034 takes us inside the minds of a global cast of characters--Americans, Chinese, Iranians, Russians, Indians--as a series of arrogant miscalculations on all sides leads the world into an intensifying international storm. In the end, China and the United States will have paid a staggering cost, one that forever alters the global balance of power.
Everything in 2034 is an imaginative extrapolation from present-day facts on the ground combined with the authors' years working at the highest and most classified levels of national security. Sometimes it takes a brilliant work of fiction to illuminate the most dire of warnings: 2034 is all too close at hand, and this cautionary tale presents the reader a dark yet possible future that we must do all we can to avoid.
* This audiobook edition includes an exclusive interview with co-author Admiral James Stavridis.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Marine Corps veteran Elliot Ackerman and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis bring a tankload of knowledge and experience to the table, making their taut political thriller feel disturbingly real. The countdown to disaster begins when the U.S. engages in some saber-rattling in the South China Sea, inadvertently exposing a powerful new Chinese weapon. Meanwhile, American forces make the mistake of testing their new stealth technology over Iranian airspace, and now an American pilot has been taken prisoner. We enjoyed how the multiple narrators make it seem like we’re hearing from a variety of international newscasters, ping-ponging around the globe as gripping events unfold. Ackerman and Stavridis highlight the personal connections that complicate matters, like a Chinese leader who studied in the States and a presidential advisor with family in India. These international relationships give 2034 a realistic, personal quality that set it apart from similar military techno-thrillers.
The narrative is compelling in its plausibility.
I feel this is rather interesting, for its efforts at logical predictions of politics and war. Modern militaries of today are too overconfident in their belief that technology is infallible. I agree that obviously technology is very powerful, but when it doesn’t work as expected, it becomes a weakness and thus needs a secured protection against hostilities. I also like details, depending on how or where they are presented, good details are the reinforcing bones, or filled-in flesh of the story’s body, enhancing the beauty of it.
That said, I find myself confused with the multiple narrators. For me the voices are connected with the telling of the story, in that a single narrator is easier to follow, and multiple characters being represented by voice actors in the manner of a radio show also is easier to follow. But this devotes large chunks of story to as many as three (or four?) narrators, so I find myself naturally inclined to follow the narrators one at a time, confusing me a little. Maybe my Asperger’s autism causes more interference for me in this, and others would experience generalized narratives differently. But I like the tactical logic, and the description of the details, so 4 out of 5 stars.
For someone who was a Senior leader in the navy to make so maybe basic military mistakes is an embarrassment. This book is poorly written and filled with various Military tropes, Save yourself. 8 hrs and read a Tom Clancy novel.
Nice start but this hodgepodge rapidly goes rapidly into multiple plats and stories-yes, stories. Save your money, THIS BOOK IS A TOTAL WASTE!