Elise Cooper for BLACKFIVE
Dale Brown and Jim DeFelice co-authored a series of thrillers involving the “Dreamland” characters. Their latest book, Black Wolf, has some of the Dreamland team becoming part of a new “Whiplash” group. While Dreamland was more of a research facility, Whiplash, a secret group, was created as a joint military and CIA team that performed special ground operations in a more localized area of the world.
The plot is fast moving and suspenseful. The Whiplash team includes Brenna and Zen Stockard, Danny Freah, and Nuri Lupo. They are sent to investigate and destroy a covert Russian army of genetically enhanced assassins known as the Wolves. The Wolves mission is to make sure a Russian satellite country does not become part of NATO. What Whiplash finds is that these killers are like “Supermen”, empowered with super-human strength and endurance.
The authors use as a backdrop the steroid experiments involving Olympic athletes from Eastern Europe and Russia. DeFelice commented that he “wanted to get into the whole aspect of enhanced performance, just taking it a few steps farther.” The authors artfully explore how a “super soldier” could be created.
A relevant quote in the book explains DeFelice and Brown’s thinking about technology, “Science fiction becomes reality pretty quickly these days.” Brown explained that what he enjoys doing in all of his books is “taking reality and jump starting it. I wanted to take technology coming right off the drawing board and write about them as if they existed.”
A very interesting subplot of the book delves into the relationship between the characters, such as the responsibilities towards friends. In doing it this way the authors are able to allow the readers to get to know the characters feelings and deep inner thoughts. What is especially relevant in this military-techno book is during combat how someone could be left to die. DeFelice wanted the reader to think about “how far should I go. What is my duty as a friend?”
For those who enjoy technology there is plenty of that as well. The “My-Pid” radio uses the I-phone and Star Trek Computer with thoughts about intelligence that can coordinate and assimilate information. The Rattlesnakes helicopters remind the reader of a “Star Wars” UAV. It is obvious the authors do their homework to see what is up and coming and apply it to today’s world.
This book is very riveting with captivating characters. There are powerful scenes in the novel that explore the relationship and responsibilities of friends. The authors skillfully combine technology with great character development. For anyone who enjoys thrillers this is a must read.