Title: Day of Wrath (Taking Shield #5)
Author: Anna Butler
Publisher: Glass Hat Press
Release Date: June 28th 2018
Genre(s): Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: 370 pages / 106,470 words
In less than a week, Bennet will finally return to the Shield Regiment, leaving behind the Gyrfalcon, his father, his friends… and Flynn. Promotion to Shield Major and being given command of a battle group despite the political fallout from Makepeace the year before is everything he thought he wanted. Everything he’s worked towards for the last three years. Except for leaving Flynn. He really doesn’t want to leave Flynn.
There’s time for one last flight together. A routine mission. Nothing too taxing, just savouring every moment with the best wingman, the best friend, he’s ever had. That’s the plan.
Bennet should know better than to trust to routine because what waits for them out there will change their lives forever.
My main MC, Shield Captain Bennet, is a real clever clogs.
I like brains, you see. I like smart people. It’s sexy and invigorating to be around someone who uses their brain for more than just running a few autonomic functions like breathing. Bennet is a brilliant strategic analyst, and that has me almost drooling.
But on top of that, he also fights for his living. He’s a professional, very competent soldier, as well as a strategist. A mix of brain and brawn that I, personally, find very attractive. There’s the reason my heart was lost to Bennet years and years ago!
The key thing, though, was to make sure he isn’t too clever. Yes, he thinks through the problems and challenges he faces throughout the Shield saga and, because he also works for the Military Strategy Unit (MSU), he’s in on some of the most crucial issues facing humanity in their war with the Maess. But he has his blind spots. He’s not nearly as good with thinking through his relations with other people as he is with thinking about abstract principles. He isn’t at all of the Sherlock Holmes level of disassociation with people, mind you—he isn’t cold and closed off. It’s more that people and what they do tend to catch him by surprise, and he often tends to think his way is the only way. Much to the detriment of his relationships with friends and lovers, as an aggrieved Lieutenant Flynn will attest.
It was important, too, to show that he isn’t the only person in the Shield universe with a brain, the only one to see what’s coming and find solutions to save humanity. He’s not some omnipotent superman. I showed that by making sure that things happen when he isn’t there and can’t influence them. Through the MSU, Bennet has access to the highest military and political leaders—he briefs them on his bit of the war—but at the end of the day he’s relatively junior in the military hierarchy. He’s not the decision maker here. He’s the advisor. He can say ‘My analysis says this and this’, but it’s his superiors and the politicians who will make the strategic decisions. He doesn’t have a lot of real power. Realistically, he can’t have, not at his level.
Finally, there have to be consequences to his cleverness. The very first book, Gyrfalcon, sets the story running, when Bennet is involved with the work the MSU’s techs have done to create a link to Maess technology, which leads eventually to his analysis of the data, which leads to Makepeace and the discovery of just what the Maess are doing to human prisoners, which leads to Day of Wrath and… well, no more because that would be giving away the plot. But in each book as the main arc of the series unfolds, Bennet’s thinking power is a major theme in the plot.
Intelligence is sexy and exciting. But I hope what I managed to do is something more complex than just saying “Hey, smart man here!” I hope I’ve made him a credible, rounded human, not just a brain on legs
Very sexy brain, and very sexy legs, but still…
Taking Shield series
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.
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