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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1964, and the top secret group Operation Red Dragon has been utilizing advanced technology and superhuman soldiers to keep Kaiju - prehistoric survivors and modern mutations of varying size and strength - from destroying humanity since the end of World War II. 

Theirs has been a constant struggle to keep these horrifying creatures at bay, and despite some close calls, the world has remained safe. The struggle is about to escalate, however. The Daikaiju - the largest, most powerful creatures in all of creation - are about to make this secret war very public, and the destruction from their fast-approaching battle will be catastrophic.

Fortunately, the agents of Operation Red Dragon have a plan - not necessarily to prevent the fight, but to keep human civilization intact when the dust settles. For this plan to work, they need one down-on-his-luck reporter to serve as their witness...assuming he can cope with the absurdity of it all.

©2018 Severed Press (P)2018 Beacon Audiobooks

What listeners say about Operation Red Dragon

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good story with quibbles, 1 flaw in narration

Review is specific to the Audible version. I was directed to this product by the author's YouTube channel, which I have watched for a while but will try to keep that bias out of this.

The story is a "Part One", and that means it has to ride a balance between establishing enough of the world to interest the reader without reading like the RPG sourcebook for the campaign instead of a complete story. The writer found a good balance here. The story is complete enough that it would be no tragedy if Part Two was never written, but good enough I'll pick it up without delay when it comes on Audible.

My only real complaint is specific to the narration. One of the female characters is supposed to be a brassy, 'take-nothing from nobody' type who holds her own on sheer guts and charisma. The voice the narrator used struck me as closer to that of a mousy secretary. It was distractingly off-putting for me. Otherwise the narration was capable, distinct, and did not fall into the trap of overplaying the fantastical elements (an easy trap in this sort of story).

The world falls into the "Weird World" genre. While this outing deals mostly in the kaiju elements, the author makes it clear there is much more going on in the world. There are three super-powered individuals in the story as well as future tech, but the author makes it clear that they are lower on the power-chain than the daikaiju.

It's here I have to register my first quibble: the story dips its toes in the Masquerade trope - the World Doesn't Know. That is, the public at large doesn't yet know these elements are happening. The author appears to have deliberately set the story in the 1960's so that's a little more... let's say 'acceptable' rather than 'believable'. To the author's credit, the story ends on a note that the world is going to find out eventually anyway (it's "doesn't" know, not "can't" know) and they need to start the progress. So I'll register this as a quibble rather than a complaint.

The next quibble is more of a mixed bag. The story engages in religious terminology and elements, and does so in a positive light. That is, they aren't described as fundamentalists afraid of everything nor as ignorant fools. The story even used one of the places in the Holy Bible where a kaiju could be described (the behemoth from Job). Anymore, this simple courtesy is almost refreshing enough to be a plus.

However, the story also invokes the tropes of throwing the word "god" around for the daikaiju (I don't know whether or not he capitalizes it in the text or not) and (more of a problem for me) the use of the Hidden \ Lost Parts of Scripture trope. This was done as a throwaway and that's a common element of the Weird World genre, so I won't kick too hard.

There are three major female characters in the cast - two of which get development - and I was worried they would fall into the Central Casting slots of Possible Wife, Loving Wife, and Dead Wife. I'm happy to say the first two had enough other elements to keep them out of this territory.

Having been wordy about the quibbles, let the emphasize the good as well. The author genuinely does a good job of balancing explanations without getting into heavy exposition, an easy and common trap in this genre. None of the characters were reduced to comic relief, although one will appear to be early on. Both the former US and Japanese soldiers read like men of the era: still bearing the scars and prejudices of the war they just fought, but knowing they have a job to do and knowing the job is more important. There's a particular point which would have been REALLY easy for the author to have a ham-fisted resolution to this and it's to his credit he didn't

The author does a great job with the kaiju elements. Two of the 'good' daikaiju are given clear personalities and make decisions based on them. The other two seemed a bit too Central Casting for me but at least they weren't depicted as raw beasts just destroying things. We were only given a brief insight into the villainous daikaijus' point of view, but that's to be expected. The author leans into the anti-humanism elements of the kaiju drama, a welcome reminder of why these creatures are a threat.

Bottom line? I enjoyed it, and I'll be picking up Part Two when it comes on Audible. There are two other books by the author that apparently share the same world but their genres don't interest me as much so I'm unlikely to pursue them.

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good listen

Would make an awesome anime or film, animated naturally.. hope this tale continues, looking forward to more...

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great kaiju action!

This is a must read for kaiju fans and addicts alike. The story is full of imaginative and quirky characters that bring you a story reminiscent of the Showa and Heisei eras of Godzilla films. This one does not disappoint when it comes to the storyline, while at the same time filling the book with plenty awesome kaiju action. This one is for fans of Godzilla, Pacific Rim, Marvel Comics movies, and the like.

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Fun: Kaiju, Sci-fi

If you enjoy kaiju, aka Godzilla type movies, then you'll probably appreciate this book. It's fun, and there will definitely be a sequel ( although the story stands on its own).