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BROWSE BOOK REVIEWS:

"Freedom's Light" by Robert J. Saniscalchi

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, December 6, 2019 Under: Book Reviews


I’ve read three books from this author now, and all are tagged as “Rob and Tex” adventures, which, in this case, to some extent, is a touch confusing, because despite sharing the names, the characters of Freedom’s Light are not the same characters of the first two books – at least, apparently not.  Set over thirty years later than Bullets and Bandages, Rob Marrino is now once again a young man, and part of a Special Forces unit sent to fight the Taliban in Iraq, following the 2001 World Trade Center attack.  Still, this is fiction, and there is no reason why it can’t be the same Rob Marrino; if James Bond and Jack Ryan can transcend time and generational progress, there is no reason why Rob and Tex can’t, too (at this point, I should mention that Tex has a different surname in Freedom’s Light, though is basically the same character). 

In many ways this instalment is written far better than its predecessors (prequels?), as Saniscalchi appears to have improved considerably as an author, maturing with each new title, as we all do.  There are still one or two issues with the grammar, though not considerably notable.  One thing which did stand out for me, though, was that this book was crying out for scene breaks, or asterisk dividers, as the story jumps from one locale or scene to another, within a paragraph or two, without any warning or establishment – it does take a little getting used to, as we are in Iraq in one sentence, then New York in the next.  That said, there is a nice, easy pace to this simple tale of terrorists and a desert mission to hunt them.  The story doesn’t delve into much deeper than that - they go, they carry out the mission; they return home – but, its simplicity is what made it so easy to read; I myself stormed through it in one night – much like those guys in the desert.

You feel this is a very personal book for Saniscalchi.  The language is emotive and subjective throughout, both on the part of the author and the characters, as the anger, disbelief and nauseous realization of man’s propensity to inhumanity are perused over and over.  Saniscalchi reminds us unambiguously of the way we all lost our innocence that day, and how the sadness at this loss has lingered in the background ever since.  But Western society’s success is rooted in its resilience, and he wittingly turns this despair into channelled purpose, as Freedom’s Light is fundamentally a celebration of the brave U.S. forces, for whom this author undoubtedly has nothing but the utmost respect and pride.  Back-slapping and air-punching fill this book, with lots of talk about “payback” and “kicking terrorist butt” – and, when eradicating the scum of the Earth, I agree with Robert that these men deserve to feel good about themselves.  A simple shot of excitement and patriotism, and a pretty entertaining one, at that.

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Tags: robert-j-saniscalchi  terrorists  military  action  special-forces 
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Profession: 
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Science degree, Diplomas in Education and Professional Communication. Edited Masters Athletics magazine for three years. 
MARGARET WALKER
Publications:  
One novel, His Most Italian City, published by Penmore Press and half a dozen published short stories.
Author Matt McAvoy
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