Friday, April 26, 2019

Freedom's Rangers #02 - Raiders of the Revolution

From 1989 through 1991, Berkley released a six-book science-fiction series under their Action-Adventure line. The series was stamped with the house name of Keith William Andrews. The novels were actually written by brothers William H. Keith and J. Andrew Keith. How does a time-traveling series gain valuable shelf-space in the men's action-adventure aisles? Gun porn. Lots of gun porn. And compelling covers.

Beginning with the series' eponymous debut, the familiar narrative of the US falling to invading Soviet forces begins. The idea is that the Soviet Union won the Cold War and thus took command of Europe using the guise of “U.N. Forces”. By 2008, the Soviet-Russian control has reached the U.S., gobbling up all of the major cities. Like a “Red Dawn” concept, there are pockets of resistance in rural places. The headquarters is Free American Central Command at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Freedom Rangers utilize a top secret time-travel base to thwart the Soviet Union through the annals of time...because the Reds have a time travel device as well. Seriously. 

While I don't completely know the debut mission, my paperback collection features books two and three. The second entry, “Raiders of the Revolution”, contained a backstory for new beginners. Lieutenant Travis Hunter leads a small group of time-traveling Rangers, which is ultimately the cast of characters featured in the series. Each book features a new location in time with this novel's setting being the Battle of Brandywine in the Revolutionary War. The mission is to stop the K.G.B. from assassinating George Washington!

With all that being said, the book was a real blast to read. As I mentioned in my introduction, the Keiths inject copious amounts of firearm lingo into the narrative. It's one of those writing styles where every gun in the room is described in detail. Because the Rangers can't risk leaving, say an Uzi or AK-47, in the 1700s, they must fight the Soviets and then retrieve any firearms to carry back to the future. Interesting enough, they leave thousands upon thousands of brass rounds lying everywhere. Bonkers. Why wouldn't people just pick up these brass artifacts and reverse engineer a .223 round? Regardless, it's a fun concept.

Unfortunately, J. Andrew Keith passed away in 2009 but his brother runs a detailed author site explaining many of his own science-fiction novels including some info on this series. You can check it out here.

No comments:

Post a Comment