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.
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. As events rapidly escalate toward global catastrophe, we found ourselves reading faster and faster. 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.
In this sobering near-future novel from Ackerman (Waiting for Eden), a former Marine, and Stavridis (Sailing True North), a retired U.S. Navy admiral, a number of incidents across the globe build toward war between the U.S. and China. American war ships in the disputed waters of the South China Sea come upon an incapacitated trawler carrying advanced Chinese technology. The plane of a Marine pilot testing new stealth capability is remotely hijacked and delivered into Iranian hands. A Chinese defense attach on assignment in the U.S. executes a plan to decimate the American Navy and cripple the nation's cyber infrastructure. A U.S. deputy national security adviser at odds with his superiors must use his ethnic connections to negotiate a peace, even as an ever-escalating series of attacks engulfs American and Chinese cities in nuclear fire. The authors do a fine job depicting the human cost of geopolitical conflict, though they avoid the hardware emphasis of most military thrillers, and some of the potentially more exciting scenarios occur offstage. Those seeking a realistic look at how a future world war might play out will be rewarded.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Too much focus on uninteresting characters combined with an unrealistic and unsatisfactory conclusion.
Thought provoking and humbling
A keen reminder to never take what we have as Americans for granted.
A real page turner, could not put it down. Makes think about what’s happening in the world today. Scary.