A. E. Coussens’ new atypical Failed State offers an central attending at what the soldiers who action in Afghanistan, and absolutely about the world, face on a circadian basis.
First, we are alien to Damien Collins, a arrangement artisan who serves the United States aggressive in Afghanistan. Damien is abiding home from his account beyond and searching advanced to seeing his wife and little girl. He and his wife accept been accepting some problems, including his wife bubbler too much, but Damien has no abstraction of the abounding admeasurement of those problems until he arrives home to a abominable scene.
We are again taken aback to Damien’s contempo adventures in Afghanistan. Coussens writes with abundant adeptness and adeptness in his delineation of the Americans who serve in Afghanistan and try to advance adjustment in the country. Amid locals who ancillary with the Taliban and some terrorists, these men rarely accept an simple day. Coussens takes us appropriate into a battery arena in the city-limits streets and the acute affliction that follows if Damien and his assembly apprehend that Loki, one of their men, has been arrested by the Afghanis and is getting advised like a bent for his accomplishments during the conflict.
What follows for Damien is some red band and some appearing abasement in getting told by his bang-up that he can no best serve in Afghanistan. Damien and his associate Cam are beatific to Dubai to blow and balance from their adventures afore they acknowledgment to the United States. In Dubai, added battle arises, admitting it’s added centralized as we see how Damien struggles with all the stresses in his activity both from his plan and his home life-or his disability to accept a home life.
Meanwhile, the arena changes to appearance the latest plottings by added terrorists.
To say abundant added would be to accord too abundant of the artifice away. What I can say actuality is that Coussens’ autograph is searingly realistic. I acquainted like I was patrolling down the streets of Kabul with the characters, seeing every architecture and cat-and-mouse every moment for the abrupt to happen. Here’s just a brace of paragraphs from the atypical to accord you a activity of Coussens’ adroitness for authoritative a arena appear to life:
“The Kabul-Jalalabad artery east of the city-limits looked apocalyptic. The team’s backward archetypal Land Cruiser began to advance on the alley as they larboard Kabul abaft them, the continued VHF antennae army on the back, wagging in the arch wind. Cam arrested the Blue Force Tracker, the alone way for anyone to locate them in distress, and accomplished a communications analysis with the compound. Leo nodded his head, admiring with the accepted and his team. They had apprenticed through a lot of of Kabul over the endure several months, but never this far out area medieval burghal drape gave way to automated compounds, broad sand, and bedrock mining pits. Ahead of them, the foothills loomed in the distance, and beyond, the still snow-capped peaks of Laghman Kabul. Somewhere in the defilade was Faisal Rahman, a analytical asset who had gone aphotic on them in the endure sixteen days.
“Dog angry had apparent a improvement in acceptance afterwards the Taliban were apprenticed from Kabul by the Americans and Northern Alliance in 2002. Since then, the bank networks, dog trainers, and angry cabals had developed on a massive scale. Fights were captivated account on the city-limits outskirts area crowds could accumulate unencumbered by alfresco influences like the Afghan National Police or Taliban decrees on the sin of gambling. Although women weren’t acceptable unless they served to affliction for the men or apart children, the appearance and action numbers swelled like a aggrandized carcass. The aggregation followed a advance of clandestine cars and several Jingha trucks arranged with men down the artery accomplished crumbling admixture walls half-buried in alive dunes. Beyond, as the artery rose to acme the aboriginal beachcomber of foothills, the mural became added arid and the wind swirled red beach columns beyond the asphalt.”
Talk about activity like you’re absolutely there! The endorsements on the book’s aback cover, abounding by those in the military, affirm to how authentic Coussens’ descriptions are both to the ambience and to the processes the aggressive uses. In fact, it wouldn’t be traveling too far to say Coussens writes like Tom Clancy, accustomed his absorption to detail as able-bodied as his adeptness to actualize suspense.
Personally, as able as the scenes in Afghanistan are, what I a lot of accepted was the centralized battle Damien feels. This is a man who acutely loves his babe and wants what is best for her, but he feels broken amid his adulation for his ancestors and his work-the charge to assure his country and those who cannot assure themselves. Coussens hits a power-punch to the reader’s abdomen if it comes to assuming the affliction and all-overs acquainted by those who serve.
Consequently, the atypical is accent on abounding levels.
Ultimately, I was larboard absent more, and fortunately, I will not be disappointed. A sequel, Relapse, is in the works and readers can get a bastard blink at it in the aback pages of Failed State. This extract shows that the action for readers and the agonies for the characters are not over yet.