Book Review: Proportional Response by Stefan Vucak

Proportional Response - SliderTitle: Proportional Response
Author: Stefan Vucak
Genre: Political Drama / Thriller
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

A political drama that will leave you gasping!

In a joint exercise with the Korean navy, Admiral Pacino’s son is one of the casualties from a North Korean missile strike.

Conducting negotiations with North Korean in an attempt to normalize relations, the Secretary of State learns that the CIA is secretly funding a faction to topple the Supreme Leader. Furious, President Walters fires the CIA Director and installs a replacement.

In the Yellow Sea, the United States and South Korea commence their annual joint naval exercises. A North Korean corvette launches a strike against an American destroyer, causing casualties. In charge of the exercise, Admiral Pacino learns that his son is severely wounded. He dies a day later.

Although Pacino understands the need for restraint by everybody, he is dismayed to read that the President is more interested in making a settlement with North Korea than acknowledging the lives lost—on both sides. To remind the administration and both Koreas that every life is valuable and should not be thrown away in a diplomatic gesture, he mounts a strike against unmanned military installations in the two Koreas. Summoned to Washington to face a hearing, Pacino’s flight is sabotaged and his aircraft crashes.

President Walters understands what Pacino has done, but faced with ‘big picture’ considerations, he cannot condone the action. The reformist faction topples the Supreme Leader and the new leadership makes overtures to America to hand over their nuclear warheads and dismantle long-range missiles.

Surviving the crash, Pacino faces charges that would see him serving time in Leavenworth. However, his action has struck a responsive chord with many in the military and the public. Although nothing could be done to save his career, President Walters does not want Pacino crucified.

The hearing exposes the heartless treatment of veterans by the government and the military. To limit political damage, the Navy awards Pacino administrative punishment in lieu of a general court-martial. Appreciating Pacino’s qualities, Walters offers him a position as Advisor to the President to get things fixed.

A stunning geopolitical thriller that examines American foreign policy and national values.

What I liked the most about Proportional Response, was how well the author knew the subject matter. From the clashing of cultures between North Korea and the United States, to the political situation between both countries, to human nature and how humans would react to tragedy, all of it is sport on and shows the author’s impressive knowledge of the material, and of human psychology.

The writing was excellent and pulled me in right from the start. The focus on international politics worked well, and despite the descriptions of how everything worked, and the sometimes impressive amount of details, it was still a fast-paced read. At the end of the book, I had a feeling I’d actually learned something, all while enjoying myself and getting lost in the impressive plot.

I would recommend this to fans of political thrillers and intellectual thrillers. It’s a gem in its genre, and I can’t praise it enough.

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