• Escalation

  • Maelstrom Rising Series, Book 1
  • By: Peter Nealen
  • Narrated by: Steve Marvel
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Escalation

By: Peter Nealen
Narrated by: Steve Marvel
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Publisher's Summary

A Storm Is About to Break....  

The mission was straightforward enough. Infiltrate civil-war-torn Slovakia, rescue the hostage, then get out undetected.  

Except that it's not Matt Bowen's first rodeo. He and his teammates know well just how badly things can go once the metal meets the meat.  

But even these hardened combat veterans aren't ready for what's about to go down.... 

A coordinated surprise attack. Massacres in the countryside. The next world war might have just kicked off, in a storm of blood, fire, and betrayal.

©2019 Peter Nealen (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Escalation

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Intense Military Thriller

Escalation was one of those books that I went into with completely open thoughts on. I hadn’t heard much about it or it’s author and I was pleasantly surprised by the pacing and the overall story arc that Nealen wrote. You can tell that Nealen was a military man himself (from his Amazon author bio: Peter Nealen is a former Recon Marine, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and something of an aspiring renaissance man). The book itself is a lot of intense military action.

The way the action and firefights were written are believable and honestly almost too much. I mean that in a nice way though. They were so intense that I had to catch my breath after reading them.

The story itself is an interesting one. The opening half of the story is set up like any other missions. Maybe a little different (thankfully this was in audio, I would have butchered the pronunciation of Triarii (which is the group the main characters are members of). The bits and pieces of information that are sprinkled in about the Triarii were fascinating and it definitely makes me wonder if there are real Black Ops groups out there similar to them.

The story feels ripped out of the headlines (and literally opens with headlines explaining how the world is falling apart). I think that Nealen wanted to write about a near-future (10ish years) in the future, but we’re so close to what he was writing now it feels almost like non-fiction instead of a near-future military thriller.

I had two minor issues with this book. The first was that, while I applaud Nealen for not doing a full-on info dump in the introduction of this book (we are thrown right into a rescue operation) there wasn’t enough information about each character given to help differentiate them from each other. While this was done as the story progressed, by then I was already confused as to who was “important” and who was ancillary to the story.

The second was that the “pick ups” done by Steve Marvel were distracting-ly obvious (a pick up is when a narrator has to go back and fix things that were wrong like pronunciation of words). They weren’t everywhere but Nealen wrote a book with a lot of foreign places and names in it, so every time one of those was wrong, you’d hear a completely different tone come in (not just a different tone of voice, but the recording itself sounded different). While normally these things don’t bug me, I wanted to point it out since I was surprised to hear it in a Tantor Audio book.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Meh

Just one more book in this genre that is a thinly vailed right wing political screed masquerading as a novel.

There used to be great stories in the military thriller genre like Team Yankee that avoided the political lecture and just told a great story.

This novel is a dystopian future where a PMC is fighting against former NATO allies who have formed a globalist alliance against nationalist forces in Europe. The American military has been too infiltrated with godless liberals so a Christian PMC has been charged with doing the hard wet work. All the right notes to give right wing fascists a serious boner and feed into their delusions of persecution. Just check out the 5 star reviews and you'll see what I mean.

There are some interesting projections on the evolution of military tech that are in line with real world experimental kit. I just would prefer my military fiction without the political BS.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story

This isnt as far fetched as we would hope. We have a weak President and an extreme left wing Administration

1 person found this helpful

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terrific book and performance

I strive to read authors with real world experience. Nealen has it. He is a talented writer. He is insightful. He puts the reader/ listener in the middle of warfighting. Great marks for Marvel, too. Looking forward to more.

1 person found this helpful

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Addictive, informative, and realistic

Once you get started you won’t be able to stop. The world Nealen builds is so close to our own; drawing on the very real strategic and social tensions present in the world currently. This plays out like a commentary on things to come; almost predictive in a nature as though someone asked for the realistic worse case scenarios. Also it’s great tactical porn; you can tell there is someone with experience behind this.

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Lots of action on the ground level.

Obviously written by a person who understands infantry and small unit tactics. if you're looking for an action story focused on one small group this is your cup of tea. You will not find a lot plot at the staff , intelligence or political levels of a conflict with this writer. He wrote what he knows , combat.

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Decent for a first person shooter

There aren't many books like this told from first person. That part was definitely a breath of fresh air in a crowded genre. However the author shows his clear hatred of the US military and the millennial/gen Z generation. He takes every opportunity to release his "OK Boomer" rage at modern society. Maybe he forgot millenials have been involved in this nations conflicts for the last 20 years and served just as honorably as any other generation. If you can get past the constant millenial bashing it's a decent read.