General DC

Review: Black Powder Red Earth: Yemen Book One

When I first got out of the military, many of my friends who were getting out around the same time, did not know what laid on the other side. Yes, we heard of some of our friends, doing well, getting jobs in the private sector, where they enjoyed what they do. I also had friends who did not what they wanted to do, so they took the first job thy got offered. The one thing we all felt, that transition, was just rough.

Some of my friends stayed in until retirement and some of them are still serving.  I also had some friends who got to serve in a different way, and get paid even more money than they did when they served, by working for contractors. The one thing most people think about when hear “government contractor” is Blackwater, but no one ever talks about the contractors doing good. In Jon Chang and Josh Taylor’s Black Powder, Red Earth, we meet one such company, who are a means of enforcing foreign policy.

In the first few pages, the reader is dropped right in the middle of a combat operation and we are introduced to Mr. Salt, the owner operator of Cold Harbor, a military contractor, whose there to take advantage of failed states in the Middle east. Salt is asked by the government in Yemen to bring down a head of a terrorist organization, one that has more than a foothold in the country. Once captured, Salt trades the him for access, which leads him to bigger contracts and better intel. By book’s end, Cold Harbor, are on their way to capture another high value target, Isis, and the team is more than primed for action.

Overall, a pulse pounding door busting action thriller that is the next best thing to being there on the ground. The story by Chang is instinctual, the dialogue is superbly written and, and the scenarios are very much realistic. The art by Taylor pops right off the range, both gorgeous and visceral. Altogether, this book feels like an action movie and a documentary, all at once, making me regret not knowing about this sooner.

Story: Jon Chang Art: Josh Taylor
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy