Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Bottom of the Barrel Book Reviews — Special Operations Team Raptor 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the could-be-worse dept.
If you like stories about maverick billionaires, cliche mercenaries, government sponsored super hero teams, leading edge technology and the ultimate evil of an alien human resources dept. then Special Operations Team Raptor The African Incident, by Daniel A. Dawson, just might be for you. Weighing in at a mere 103 pages, SOTR will only waste a few hours of your life. While it may be as fresh and creative as a crafts class at summer camp, it's not a complete waste of your time. Keep reading below to see if your mom would like it as much as your macaroni art.
Special Operations Team: Raptor: The African Incident
author Daniel A. Dawson
pages 103
publisher iUniverse, Inc.
rating 2/10
reviewer samzenpus
ISBN 0595393233
summary a good mercenary is hard to find
It all starts when maverick billionaire, Adrian Garland, finds a mysterious sphere composed of an unknown metal at one of his mining sites. He orders his men to drill into it. They try and the drill breaks. At this point Adrian decides what any sane person would. The sphere is from an alien civilization. He has his secretary, Mrs. Whisper, contact his personal mercenary team. He wants his team to break into a DARPA research facility, codenamed Mind Shaft, to steal a top secret laser called, The Lighthouse project. You're never quite sure how he knows about this super secret laser. Perhaps at some point he needed to tarnish the reputation of a professor by popping a massive amount of popcorn in his house from space. In that case, it would make sense that he knew all about the Lighthouse project but the book is a bit unclear. What is clear, is that even with a billion dollars the quality of mercenaries in this day and age is quite poor.

Adrian's team is led by Frank Edwards, a professional thief who suffers from a bit of a Fezzik complex. Frank only steals from countries or very large corporations. When he tries stealing from just one person or a single bank he fails miserably. It was one such bank heist in Atlanta that has Frank down on his luck. He can outwit countries but not the local FBI who did such great work in the Richard Jewell case.
Miguel is the tech guy. He is on the run from the Cuban government after they caught him double crossing them. He lives in a shack. The fact that the people's computer defense network, were able to gather around their 486 and track him doesn't seem to worry anybody. Undoubtedly Miguel simply updated his Facebook page with, "Right now, Miguel is ripping off the Cubans." by accident.
This leads us to The Darkness. The Darkness is an amalgamation of every cool, bad-ass killer in every movie you have ever seen. He tracked down 241 secret agents across Europe and killed them in 70 days. He is the leading cause of death in Africa. He walked up to a CNN reporter one time and the reporter died of fright. The Darkness is in every nightmare Chuck Norris ever had. While he is a genius at killing, he isn't very discreet. German agents found his family and killed them all. When we meet him, The Darkness is very dark indeed.
Finally we have Lisa Johan. She is a cute little Swedish woman who can control the minds of the weak willed and unfocused. She is not a regular part of the gang. Lisa is being held captive in the basement of Gina's Sex Plex, a strip club. Her captors are auctioning her off to the highest and most unsavory bidder. Since strip clubs are known for being bastions of order, good judgement and iron will she is unable to control anyone's mind and escape. The team decides to recruit her even though they are wary. As Miguel so cleverly puts it, "Women can't be trusted. A woman with mind control means you can't trust anybody and everybody trusts somebody."

This B team makes some fake Id's and attacks the DARPA facility. It only takes a few minutes for all of the Keystone Cops guarding our nations secrets to be killed, tricked and humiliated. Then the sex starts. Being such a predictable book, I was surprised that it had taken so long for the cute Swedish psychic and The Darkness to get it on. I had hoped for something a bit more exotic than sex on the getaway plane. Something involving mind control induced fantasies of dragons flying into the sun or at least a clever catch phrase but it wasn't to be.

Since our government looks down on people attacking us, The Secretary of Secrecy, Teresa McDonald and other officials activate the Special Operations Teams. Team Raptor is a collection of super-hero like caricatures that you have seen in a hundred other bad books and movies.
Colonel Sam Reed is in charge of Team Raptor. He's a hard-nosed military man who lost his Family in the 9/11 attacks.
Suzie Matthews is ex-CIA and leads the team missions. She doesn't have any powers, which makes her an interesting choice as mission leader.
Stephen Pachinko is an angry Russian with the power to heal from his left hand.
Sgt. Kim Maddox is a tiny Korean woman with superhuman strength.
Tom Bane can alter the flow of time.
Kelly Burke is the colonel's secretary. She can read minds in a 100' radius but falls on the floor convulsing if she is around more than 20 people. This makes her a lot of fun at parties.
Finally we have Dale Winston, he's in charge of gadgets. Miguel has a run for his money when it comes to worst tech guy, thanks to Dale. With all the funding of the US government, Dale has come up with infra-red glasses that can tell when someone is lying and a gun that has two clips. That's a whole extra clip of ammo people, think about it.

It takes the government a few seconds to figure out who stole the laser and even less time to figure out where it is being held. Finally, the collection of cliches and the team of caricatures face-off to decide once and for all who is the most predictable. Frank, Miguel and Suzanne die immediately, proving that normal people aren't very good at fighting people with super-powers. Everyone who survives the initial fight scatter, in the hopes that something interesting will happen. It does.

The Laser finally burns through the sphere. Three Aliens walk out. They try to communicate with the assembled scientists, researchers and technicians. When it becomes apparent that the humans can't understand the strange visitors, the aliens become frustrated and turn all the metal in the room into dust. When the dust settles they kill everyone, including Adrian. The aliens now have some privacy to talk things over. We learn that they have been trying to fix their ship, the sphere, for the past decade. They were almost done when the humans burned through the magnetic drive shields. Now they are stranded. Although their people have mastered interstellar flight and have created atomic and phase disruptors, they haven't invented roadside assistance. My new favorite characters in the book decide that their best bet, is to find someone with a knack for diplomacy and make a deal before more humans show up and dissect them.

Everyone knows the best way to get people who hate each other to cooperate, is to introduce something else they can hate together. The aliens serve this purpose. Team Raptor joins up with Lisa and The Darkness to fight this new and more interesting foe. Kim and one alien are killed in the melee that follows. All the rest of the humans are on deaths door so they escape. The Aliens re-group and stumble upon Mrs. Whisper, who has been hiding this whole time. She doesn't try to stab, shoot or set them on fire, so they take an instant liking to her. At this point they remember that they have a translator in the ship, which makes the murder of the scientists earlier seem like a waste that could have been avoided, if the author could have known what he was going to write a chapter ago. In any event they strike a deal with Mrs. Whisper, who has all of Adrian's bank account info, and escape before more humans, who would actually shoot an alien and not try to fight him hand to hand, show up.

A few months later we find the survivors of Team Raptor's first mission training hard with a new purpose, to destroy aliens. They even have a few new recruits, a clone, a woman who shoots fire from her fingers and one Lisa Johan. The government, having forgotten that she can't control alien minds, has pardoned her. (To be fair to our fictitious elected officials, I believe this is due to the author forgetting what he wrote earlier again.) Team Raptor is going to need everybody when they see what the aliens have been doing with their free time. Not being the kind of aliens who are content to sit on their laurels, our aliens have hatched the most diabolic plan mankind has ever seen. With the help of Mrs. Whisper, they are making a corporation that hires only felons, single parents and the uneducated. They are building company stores, schools and housing for their employees. This way they can pay someone $15k but give them benefits that equal a $60k job. They plan on placing officials in government with the voting power of their employees, covertly teach the children to fly spaceships and offer a laser in the face severance package to anyone who won't toe the company line. They plan on using the power of an alien human resources dept. and intergalactic socialism to rule the world. Their studies show them that it will take less than a decade. SOTR ends here but not before Daniel A. Dawson threatens to write a sequel, Special Operations Team Raptor, The Alien Plan.

I have mixed emotions about this book. It belongs in the barrel but I get the feeling Mr. Dawson doesn't take himself or this book too seriously. You might want to waste a couple hours of your life and read it before you throw it away.

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bottom of the Barrel Book Reviews — Special Operations Team Raptor

Comments Filter:
  • maverick billionaires

    That must be a McCain endorsement, right? That might explain why I can't click on anything without seeing a McCain ad on slashdot anymore...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by db32 (862117)
      I had wondered about that myself. How is it that Slashdot has so many McCain ads?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ByOhTek (1181381)
        Slashdot has ads?
        • by db32 (862117)
          I'm not a rich Republican that can't keep track of how many websites he has paid subscriptions to...

          In all honesty I am pretty sick of all the politics. Newsflash, everyone in office, running for office, or visiting the offices are all self serving, lying, overpaid scumbags. With nearly every branch of our government with elected officials having alltime lows in satisfaction, incumbants will still be winning. People thing "it's not my self serving asshole representative that is the problem, its all tho
          • by jcgf (688310)

            I'm not a rich Republican that can't keep track of how many websites he has paid subscriptions to...

            It seems you also don't just block ad servers you come across in /etc/hosts either.

          • Everyone makes jokes about the McCain housing thing

            Actually, I specifically picked McCain because of the phrase

            maverick billionaire

            From the article here. We can pick on both sides for being wealthy if we want, but only one side has one (or two?) candidate(s?) running as a "maverick".

            Feel free to pick something out of there to pick on Obama or Biden if you like.

            • Sooo hopeychangey isn't considered maverick?
            • To be fair he's a maverick politician who's married to a billionaire heiress. A great deal less sexy.

              Actually I don't see what makes him such a maverick. He still votes for FISA, unconditional war spending, offshore drilling, faith based initiatives, and military commissions. He is bought and paid for by big business in nearly every conceivable way despite the fact he doesn't really need their money and he'll die before retiring so they can never pay him back with a cushy board placement.

              So what if h

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            I don't really disagree with you except that I wanted to point out the incumbent might not be wining this time.

            Most of the time the polls show a not my guy sentiment when approval ratings of congress goes down. What I have been seeing lately is that the people who are disapproving of government are blaming their own guy for once.

            Let me explain that a little. historically, it's ben the other senator's and congressman's fault for whatever the people don't like. Now, they are claiming it is their senator and c

            • by db32 (862117)
              Halfway competent meaning what? The Dems got lucky with Obama catching on. When faced with the trainwreck Bush administration, with almost a sure victory for a Dem candidate... When they could have run a pet rock against the Republican and won... They picked a woman and a black guy, two presidential firsts that will be difficult to deal with for many people. It is almost like they are trying to lose. In the meantime the Republicans run Bush 2.0.

              I can't believe you would even dare to mention even h
              • by sumdumass (711423)

                Halfway competent meaning what? The Dems got lucky with Obama catching on. When faced with the trainwreck Bush administration, with almost a sure victory for a Dem candidate.

                Quit your knee jerking defense of your messiah. Bush isn't up for reelection which means I'm not talking about Obama or the dems in particular. I'm talking about incumbents holding office on a federal level that will be up for reelection. Do you understand what that means? To everyone else it should have been obvious with the comment

                • by db32 (862117)
                  Kneejerking defense of a messiah? You certainly are an interesting one. I have no love for Obama either, nor did I imply that I did. I simply mentioned his name and you went flying off the handle. I only pointed that insane mess as an example of why "campaign half compentently" is a damned joke.

                  What is really telling here is that at the mention of Obama you leap into a explitive laden tyraid about how stupid I am and so on. And I have looked at McCain. He espouses the same failed policies of Bush.
                  • by sumdumass (711423)

                    Kneejerking defense of a messiah? You certainly are an interesting one. I have no love for Obama either, nor did I imply that I did. I simply mentioned his name and you went flying off the handle. I only pointed that insane mess as an example of why "campaign half compentently" is a damned joke.

                    Lol.. Trying to save face huh. Actually, you shaped your entire reply around the defense of Obama for president when I was talking entirely of congress.

                    If it was meant as a joke, I'm sorry I didn't get it.

                    What is

                    • by db32 (862117)
                      You really are entertaining. Let me break it down for you in simple concepts, because apparently anything complex is terribly difficult to register for you. You said campaign half competently. As evidence of their inability to campaign competently I offered Democrats running a black man and a woman in an election that should have been a sure win by any less "radical" choice of candidate. Republicans facing a tough election chose to put up McCain who supports most of the same failed foreign and domestic
                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      You really are entertaining. Let me break it down for you in simple concepts, because apparently anything complex is terribly difficult to register for you. You said campaign half competently. As evidence of their inability to campaign competently I offered Democrats running a black man and a woman in an election that should have been a sure win by any less "radical" choice of candidate. Republicans facing a tough election chose to put up McCain who supports most of the same failed foreign and domestic pol

                    • by db32 (862117)
                      Actually I can sum this up for you. You mention halfway competent campaigning of Senators, I make a joke about how incompetently the groups of Senators running for President have campaigned so there is no reason to believe any of it will be done half competently. I say bad things about your trophy Republicans and you go into a weird rant about Obama worship while insisting McCain isn't a total sellout. The funny thing is that when I dared insult the precious Republicans it somehow turned my insults of th
                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      Actually I can sum this up for you. You mention halfway competent campaigning of Senators, I make a joke about how incompetently the groups of Senators running for President have campaigned so there is no reason to believe any of it will be done half competently. I say bad things about your trophy Republicans and you go into a weird rant about Obama worship while insisting McCain isn't a total sellout. The funny thing is that when I dared insult the precious Republicans it somehow turned my insults of the D

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Kingrames (858416)
      ad? get firefox.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        ad? get firefox.

        I have firefox. I'm just not running adblock right now. The ads don't usually bother me that much, though the barrage of McCain attack ads gets annoying quickly.

        But its nice to know that at least he isn't running a negative campaign or anything...

        • by Kingrames (858416)
          ". I'm just not running adblock right now. " then that's not firefox! sheesh, that's like dual-booting linux just so you can say you run it instead of windows.
          • by mhall119 (1035984)

            No, that's like showing your appreciation of the service Slashdot provides (idle excepted), and deciding to allow ads on it's websites so it can continue it's revenue model. At least, that's what I use my whitelist for.

        • by lgw (121541)

          I was in Florida in 2004. The ttack ads (from both sides) were so bad that the morning radio DJs (hardly the prtectors of moral values in any market) were apologizing to listeners for the ads, and begging listeners to stop calling to complain about the ads.

          Give me McCain's "Obama is a nice guy, but ..." ads any day! At least the ads haven't gotten viciously personal yet.

          • Granted, I don't know just how bad they were down there - I'm one who still hasn't forgiven Florida for the 2000 election debacle.

            But I consider McCain's "unconditionally talking to foreign leaders" ad to be weighted, misleading, and highly negative. And I thought McCain promised he wouldn't get involved in negative campaigning and attack ads, didn't he? Well, he's endorsing attack ads right here on slashdot...
            • by lgw (121541)

              Surely you're not surprised by what a politician's promise is worth?

              Still, the tone of this election's ads are (so far) orders of magnitude more positive than the past two elections in which His Satanic Magesty, Dark Lord Karl Rove was involved. In the 2000 primary, the Bush campaign push-polled the idea that McCain had an unacknowledged black bastard son in areas where racial sensitivity was high. As with any Dark Lord, you can't fault his effectiveness, but it was quite unpleasant to be in a battlegroun

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @02:16PM (#24847109) Journal

    I cannot turn off the damn idle section. I go to preferences, I say I don't want the damn thing, but I cannot save. There must be another section, but I cannot scroll down to see it.

  • by abigor (540274) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @02:21PM (#24847197)

    Note to "samzenpus": when writing reviews about terrible books, it's a good idea to be grammatically correct. You don't put, commas in the middle of sentences, like this one. Nor should you misuse apostrophe's like I just did there. I hate to be so preachy, but what could be quite funny was rendered practically unreadable.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      also, this is a summary as
      if we are getting the cliff's
      notes version. I did not
      want to read this book, but
      i felt like I already have. I
      was hoping for some
      stinging commentary, or
      at least some zany insults,
      but it was the same old
      "predictable, stock"
      complaints. If your
      main complaint is that
      the book delivered what
      you expected, you'll
      have to be more specific.

    • by lgw (121541)

      Hey now, the review was far more entertaining that the book likely was! I'll overlook a comma or two given the sacrifice the reviewer made for us all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sumdumass (711423)

      Well,
      if he,
      is trying,
      to write like Captain Kirk talks,
      his comma,
      usage was pretty good.

      At least better then mine.

    • by xorm (847210)
      I read through the entire article and didn't notice the misplaced commas until I read your message and looked back over it. Consider becoming a proofreader.
      • by abigor (540274)

        I know you were joking, but I'd actually love to get into proofreading as a means of supplementary income. However, I have no idea how to get into it, exactly. Suggestions?

  • 104 pages. 70 minutes, and I'll still feel hungry.

    I need more Stephenson.

  • Google Books! (Score:1, Informative)

    I am going to read this, it sounds rad as hell. Google Books! [google.co.uk]
  • Please stop! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @02:32PM (#24847355)
    Welcome to the Diggocracy.

    Bow to your lolcat overlords.

    Here's just yet another libelous juvenile review. This, despite the overwhelming evidence that /. readers don't want this crap.

    When will it all end?
    • by x1n933k (966581)
      When we and the un-maverick Billionaire types, rid the world of the scum of Libelous Juvenile! Muhuhahaha!

      [J]

    • Re:Please stop! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @03:23PM (#24848317) Journal
      It will end when you'll remove "idle" from your preferences.
    • by istartedi (132515)

      When will it all end?

      When people stop posting replies. Zero replies, zero page hits, zero ad revenue, zero profit. Then, it will eventually be cut since it's a cost sink.

    • Here's just yet another libelous juvenile review. This, despite the overwhelming evidence that /. readers don't want this crap.

      Just a tip: Slashdot looks at the comment count, too. When their threads start getting a whopping 10 posts, then we'll start seeing fewer of them. But when everybody complains...

    • Overwhelming? I do not think it means what you think it means.

      I like the occasional idle item. And if I didn't I would just skip over them, much like I do when seeing things I'm not interested in. You know, you don't have to read everything on Slashdot - it's ok to pick and choose.
  • Why isn't the quote tag rendering properly in idle?

    Am I the only one not seeing this text properly set for the quote tag?

    This other, non-quoted, text looks exactly the same as the quoted text above!

  • The review makes it sound better than (or at least as well thought through as) Twilight.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Look at the credit for this book - it was published by iUniverse. From iUniverse.com:

    iUniverse makes it possible for writers to achieve the dream of becoming a published author. Together with the selling expertise provided by a strategic alliance with Barnes & Noble, iUniverse offers a unique mix of self-publishing products and services and the skills of a professional team dedicated to enabling authors to see their books in print. By offering a variety of affordable publishing, editorial and marketing

  • RPG log? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Sounds pretty much like a GM's recollection of a (sloppily run?) role-playing adventure. The internal inconsistencies and fanciful but less than coherently planned characters and plot would be par for the course in many RPG sessions.

  • Book review? (Score:1, Insightful)

    Since when is a book review just a detailed recounting of the entire plot? I'm not going to read any more of these for two reasons: 1. Book reviews aren't why I some to \. Frankly I'm having trouble remembering why I *do* come here. 2. I might want to read one of the books "reviewed" and don't want the whole plot told to me beforehand, spoilers and all.
    • by basscomm (122302)

      This isn't a book review, it's a book report. With the super-short sentences that I'd expect to see coming out of a middle school English class:

      "The Laser finally burns through the sphere. Three Aliens walk out. They try to communicate with the assembled scientists, researchers and technicians."

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @02:55PM (#24847721)

    Yeah, i liked it more when it was Alpha Squad Seven: Lady Nocturne, a Tech Jansen Adventure.

    When ridiculing the stupid, there's a fine line between wit and snark versus being every bit as stupid as the object of ridicule. Given that this has shown up in Idle, I think we all know which side of the line the writer came down on.

  • If ever there were a book to support book burning, this sure as hell sounds like that book.
    • by Chyeld (713439)

      This is the first and only book I've ever regretted buying: The Guardsman [amazon.com].

      Compared to it, SOTR sounds like just your average wannabe blog writer's vanity book.

  • How I envy samzenpus the ability to get paid for mocking books that he apparently writes at a lower level than.

    Superior airs don't work when you come off as an illiterate jackass.

    • I'm not terribly averse to some sort of humor type stuff on /.

      (I'm not saying it's a great idea either)

      However, I think it should either be done well or not done at all. This really doesn't reflect the sensibilities or intellect of your audience, Taco. And no, I'm not new here.

      I say again, hire a funny, geek-centric comedy writer or pleasestop.

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @03:35PM (#24848509)
    This review was pathetic. It wouldn't make it through a high school English class, never mind a competent editor. I would be ashamed to have my name associated to it. Seriously Samzenpus, you need to take classes. You need to improve your craft. You will never survive by your writing outside of Slashdot. By taking the time to craft well written sentences, you impart respect to your audience. It shows that you have invested your own time to say something important (no matter how silly) and it is that effort ... that commitment to the written word ... that makes people listen to you and ultimately, respect you. Whether they disagree with you or not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mi (197448)

      never mind a competent editor.

      To be able to afford a competent editor, /. would have to run Obama-ads [yahoo.com], rather than McCain ones.

    • by madprof (4723)

      You are kidding right? There are print jouirnalists who make a living out of articles just like the one Samzenpus wrote.

  • by julesh (229690)

    Oh, look. iUniverse.

    So it's a self-published novel then. Nothing to see here, move on. They're all like this.

    If you're after more, my I recommend my dissection [absolutewrite.com] of the first few paragraphs of PENITENTIARY PACIFIC ("The action-novel[sic] of the year!!![sic]" - its author), a novel published by PublishAmerica (a company that claims to vet submissions for quality). The following comments are also worth reading. :)

  • I think the phrase "maverick billionaire" is so absurd that it doesn't even qualify as a cliche.

  • I don't understand why people complain about idle, the last few times I've seen it it's brought something outstanding to my attention. This is a great example of what I'm talking about, reading this was like a classic somethingawful review, fabulous.
  • I feel like I just read a poorly written book.

    But all I read was marginal plot summary of a poorly written book, spoilers and all.

    Maybe that's why I feel like I read a poorly written book...

  • The a violent reaction against Idle is something I haven't seen on /. since the days of Jon Katz.

  • (To quote Blackadder). How much negative feedback does it take to change before you remove this plonkers ability to put stuff on the front page. Alternatively, can you enable the following option www.slashdot.com/index.html?samzenpus=false BTW you can't remove idle from the front page on the mobile version.
  • Now, I'm not a professional editor by any means, but here's my small attempt at making this thing readable. Disclaimer, everything I know from the book I gleaned from the review, so if I screwed up any of the details, I'm sure it just increased the 'review's readability, and blame the whacked out Idle CSS for the formatting not working properly:

    -----------

    If you like stories about maverick billionaires, cliche mercenaries, government sponsored teams of super heroes, leading-edge technology, and the ultimate

  • Usually I agree with the saying that you can't judge a book by its cover, but this design [buy.com] gives us mere mortals a glimpse of supernatural genius.

  • from the could-be-worse dept.

    Is this department heading intended to be ironic, like "Fair and Balanced?"

  • This is just a plot summary. While reviews typically discuss the plot they do more than that. They, well, review the book. This doesn't do that.

    Although, while the book may stink, the cover is pure awesomeness [google.com]!

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

Working...