Islands of Rage and Hope (Book 3 of The Black Tide Rising Series)
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
What's that line? Oh yeah, 'The reward for a job well done is a more difficult job'. Which pretty much epitomizes the adventures of this book, because as the billing goes up for Wolf Squadron (there's a really cool video that covers it, although how Ringo didn't put it to the background music of Suite Madame Blue I just don't understand) Steve begins branching out. He's always pushing, that one.
And how does he branch out? By deciding it would be a right swell time to put some helos back into service. After all, they'd just retaken Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for those who haven't seen 'A Few Good Men') for the purpose of creating a stable base from which vaccine might be created. And true, they had just picked up another fifty or sixty marines. But helicopters?
This hits Faith pretty hard, as it loses her Janu whose MOS is apparently helo maintenance and repair. It doesn't help that she also loses Fontana, as an SF trained medic to the oncoming baby eruption. (What happens in the compartment stays in the compartment) And in their places Faith gets a bunch of Gitmo marines that hadn't fired weapons outside of qual (or the apocalypse) since boot. Marines that just happen to outrank her Wolf marines. And who have more trouble accepting a 13 year old butter bar. Makes sense, considering that things were actually much worse when Janu and Fontana joined.
This causes several issues, not least of which is a loss of Faith's confidence. But it also ends up showing how well she can adapt to new situations. IMO she doesn't handle the entire experience perfectly, but then, she's thirteen years old. A little slack please.
Sophia also has a lesser part in this book, but the situations she deals with she handles well. That includes a scenario where they pick up a couple of . . . odd marines early in the book. All I can say about Decker and Condrey is that they somehow simultaneously exemplify the very best and worst of marines all at once.
Walker makes a reprise throughout this book, first as a mentor for Sophia, then Faith. To say that I was completely shocked about the origins of his knowledge base would be pushing things, but to say that God (in this case that's the author) smiled on Wolf squadron by keeping him alive would be an even greater understatement.
As usual Ringo makes sure to add a punch to the end that makes you want to read the entire thing again. In this case its something of a 1, 2 punch, but it is done very well. This is the book that made me think 'this series would make a great movie series'. Well, if you could convince Ringo that naked zombies (no matter how realistic) would be a hard sell for Hollywood. As it is they are great books. I give this one a 92%.