Shlok Vaidya is a longtime friend of zenpundit.com and is a consultant on technology and security issues, including terrorism and the Naxalite insurgency. When I heard that Shlok had received a coveted advance copy of the latest novel by Daniel Suarez, I cordially invited him to cross-post his review here. Vaidya blogs on books, technology, warfare and resilient communities at Shloky.com.
by Shlok Vaidya
Kill Decision is startlingly real. And equally plausible.
Suited masters of perception playing games with reality while skipping scotch in Crystal City. D.C.’s incestuous relationship between big defense business and… everyone else. Nameless, compartmentalized operators fighting through the night in cesspools loosely labeled as countries. Drones raining from the skies.
For those familiar with the constellation of clandestine units, private military contractors, and information warriors that comprise much of America’s counter-terrorism capacity, this book will feel very, very real.
(If you’re not up to speed, I heartily recommend Marc Ambinder’s The Command as a quick/cheap/quality introduction to that world.)
But Kill Decision takes that reality a step forward. In a way that perhaps cements Suarez’s position as the best near-future fiction author of the post-9/11 era. He folds in equal parts science, warfare, and informed futurism to take today’s sleek drones to their logical conclusion. The results will gnaw on your brain like a swarm of gnats, for weeks after you read the book.
This is possible, of course, due in large part to his foundation in John Robb’s work (something Suarez graciously mentions in his acknowledgements). Readers of Brave New War and Global Guerrillas will find themselves nodding along.
Kill Decision is that real, yet, like Suarez’s Freedom and Daemon, it’s also a lot of fun. Great action sequences that just scream MAKE A MOVIE. Compelling characters. Quality narrative. It’s all in here.
Grab it today if you want to see tomorrow.