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30 review for Cuba

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jd

    Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, chooses his successor on his deathbed, but other people have different plans in mind. In the book Cuba by Steven Coonts, America and Cuba are on the brink of war, with a collapsing communist government and the reign of power up for grabs. The book is geared towards readers that are interested in a thrilling, military fiction type of story. People who like adventure and conflicts would enjoy reading this book. I say this because there are many struggles within Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, chooses his successor on his deathbed, but other people have different plans in mind. In the book Cuba by Steven Coonts, America and Cuba are on the brink of war, with a collapsing communist government and the reign of power up for grabs. The book is geared towards readers that are interested in a thrilling, military fiction type of story. People who like adventure and conflicts would enjoy reading this book. I say this because there are many struggles within the story, including political conflict and bio-warfare. Also those whom like series should read Cuba along with the other Jack Grafton novels. Grafton is Rear Admiral in the United States Navy who conquers many fictional challenges. I would rate this novel in the medium difficulty level, due to the detailed military descriptions and the historical references. The style of the book is realistic, as the story is basically a second Cuban Missile Crisis with the death of long time leader Castro set on the island of Cuba. Many references throughout the book to Guantanamo Bay, the military base and detention camp. The location of Cuba, only ninety miles from the southern part of Florida, makes for some intense moments and possible ramifications to Americans. The theme of the book is a political downfall of communist Cuba with the removal of biological weapons located in Cuba. The weapons were from the Soviet Russia before the communist party fell. My first impression of the book was this will be an interesting political and military story. The way Coonts writes the story, and side stories, you see the different views through the eyes of multiple characters. He details both the American and Cuban sides. I look forward to reading other novels by Coonts with the character Admiral Grafton.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Bratell

    I've really enjoyed some of the books in Stephen Coonts' Jake Grafton series. This is not one of them. Sometimes you have the benefit of hindsight but I want to believe a younger me would also have seen through all the macho jingoism talk in this book from 2000. Talking about the Iraq war as a proof that only military power can prevent weapons of mass destruction is now cringe-worthy. The author clearly had not understood how asymmetric warfare works. That it is not about grinding down armies, es I've really enjoyed some of the books in Stephen Coonts' Jake Grafton series. This is not one of them. Sometimes you have the benefit of hindsight but I want to believe a younger me would also have seen through all the macho jingoism talk in this book from 2000. Talking about the Iraq war as a proof that only military power can prevent weapons of mass destruction is now cringe-worthy. The author clearly had not understood how asymmetric warfare works. That it is not about grinding down armies, especially when the enemy welcomes American bombs. Indiscriminate American bombs becomes the best recruitment argument the enemy can get. So instead of realizing that he’s doing the enemy’s job, Coonts proudly lets characters talk about how many (civilians) to kill if any American dies. Is it possible that the author intentionally inserted these fallacies to provoke the reader? Not very. Remember that this book was written just as America reached for George W. Bush and was about to enter 2 wars where civilians keep dying without America ”winning”. The total death count is around half a million, 1% of those being American military. I think most will agree that the original plans for the real life wars were unrealistic, and with that hindsight it is easy to say the same about the views in this book. Even without the political weirdness, the book is not that enjoyable. Grafton has been stuck in some kind of position that strangely both allows him to command a carrier group and fly around for hours on end in an F-14 and personally execute special ops. Either carrier group commanders have nothing to do, or he’s a very incompetent commander. If Coonts can’t change the story from military action, it would have been better if he had not kept promoting Grafton in every book. Or he could have done what Clancy did, insert new action characters. An example from the book (loosely quoted): Side character #1: Do you think Jake Grafton is big enough for this? Side character #2: He’s big enough. If a book needs to add such parts to prop up the hero, then it is not very good. Did I mention the constant need to bash politicians (while everything military is God sent)?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This Coonts novel is in the Jake Grafton series, but takes place before the Grafton/Oregon Files series. It gives us the back story on the characters from the Oregon Files and is a typical Coonts military thriller. I enjoyed the fast-paced story and learned a lot about the history of Cuba under Fidel Castro in the process. My one complaint is that it's not very easy to separate fact from fiction in his books. While that does make for a realistic story, it can be somewhat confusing. This book is This Coonts novel is in the Jake Grafton series, but takes place before the Grafton/Oregon Files series. It gives us the back story on the characters from the Oregon Files and is a typical Coonts military thriller. I enjoyed the fast-paced story and learned a lot about the history of Cuba under Fidel Castro in the process. My one complaint is that it's not very easy to separate fact from fiction in his books. While that does make for a realistic story, it can be somewhat confusing. This book is a fictional account of the death of Castro, events leading up to it, and the hypothetical effects on the U.S. I must give Stephen Coons props as I never would have thought that I would be reading military thrillers, especially with all the technical details of nuclear weapons and fighter planes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Koppelmann

    I thought it jumped around too much from story to story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nigel

    An excellent Geo-political thriller set in Cuba at the time of Castro’s death and its aftermath. For me, one of the signs of a good geo-political thrillers is a believable plot and this certainly ticks the box as it is easy to distinguish the fiction introduced by Coonts to real world historical events. Grafton now a rear-admiral is overseeing the removal of biological weapons from the Guantanamo Bay base when Castro dies, and the head of the secret police forces his presidency on the Cuban peo An excellent Geo-political thriller set in Cuba at the time of Castro’s death and its aftermath. For me, one of the signs of a good geo-political thrillers is a believable plot and this certainly ticks the box as it is easy to distinguish the fiction introduced by Coonts to real world historical events. Grafton now a rear-admiral is overseeing the removal of biological weapons from the Guantanamo Bay base when Castro dies, and the head of the secret police forces his presidency on the Cuban people. Disaster occurs when the transport ship travelling from Cuba to the US with the first shipment of weapons goes missing and it is believed to have been raised by the Cubans. Do they have access to US biological weapons? Have the got the means to launch them. To add the mix intelligence suggests that the Cubans have their own biological weapons program ongoing. Can Grafton and his men remove the threat of a biological attack on the US whilst at the same time minimise the risk of exposing the local population or causes large number of civilian casualties? Only time will tell. I restricted the book to 3 stars for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I found the scene setting a bit long winded as it took at a quarter of the book before anything really started to happen. Secondly, I would have preferred to have had more action /battle scenes than were included. Whilst those that were there were done brilliantly as always I just wanted more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve

    Good concept, inconsistent result. The first 1/3 of Cuba is the usual character introduction/development, and it is slow but sure. The middle 1/3 of Cuba is, to me, the best. Multiple plot lines unfold and motives are exposed. The final 1/3 of Cuba is a sequence of modern warfare, and frankly, much of it is far-fetched and the material starts to wear thin fairly quickly. Plus, the numerous plot holes rear their ugly heads. How can a soldier go deaf in battle, after riding, get this, a missile a Good concept, inconsistent result. The first 1/3 of Cuba is the usual character introduction/development, and it is slow but sure. The middle 1/3 of Cuba is, to me, the best. Multiple plot lines unfold and motives are exposed. The final 1/3 of Cuba is a sequence of modern warfare, and frankly, much of it is far-fetched and the material starts to wear thin fairly quickly. Plus, the numerous plot holes rear their ugly heads. How can a soldier go deaf in battle, after riding, get this, a missile and then regain his hearing to have a conversation with his wife moments later? How can a pilot crash a $72 million aircraft one night and be given clearance to fly the next day with no questions asked? All of that aside, I found the characters of Ocho, Rita and Toad fairly pointless to the overall crux of the book. While Coonts has military expertise and has a unique way of building tension, I found his “tech speak” to be a general distraction to the storylines. While I know that fans of he Jake Grafton series may take me task for much of this, I just feel that this book tried to do too much for its own good. Three stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    CUBA is Stephen Coonts fictional account of the final days of Fidel Castro and the struggle among his inner circle for control of Cuba after Castro's death. Woven into this intrigue is Jake Grafton, Tommy Carmellini (introduced to readers in this novel) and the US Government's attempt to stop Cuba from sending missiles carrying deadly bacterial agents from reaching the US. Wonderfully written, entertaining, and exciting, CUBA draws on drama, humor, and human interest, creating a most satisfying n CUBA is Stephen Coonts fictional account of the final days of Fidel Castro and the struggle among his inner circle for control of Cuba after Castro's death. Woven into this intrigue is Jake Grafton, Tommy Carmellini (introduced to readers in this novel) and the US Government's attempt to stop Cuba from sending missiles carrying deadly bacterial agents from reaching the US. Wonderfully written, entertaining, and exciting, CUBA draws on drama, humor, and human interest, creating a most satisfying novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hans Brienesse

    No updates while I was reading this as the story was in an edition of three of which I could find no example on this site. The tale I found quite absorbing within the confines of a thriller. Some of the exploits suffered from the general gung-ho trait of invincibility especially nearer the end. Licence was taken with quite a few of the facts pertaining to the setting but the operations from ALL sides were set out in a satisfying manner. All in all a rollicking good read and a necessary bit of es No updates while I was reading this as the story was in an edition of three of which I could find no example on this site. The tale I found quite absorbing within the confines of a thriller. Some of the exploits suffered from the general gung-ho trait of invincibility especially nearer the end. Licence was taken with quite a few of the facts pertaining to the setting but the operations from ALL sides were set out in a satisfying manner. All in all a rollicking good read and a necessary bit of escapism that is sorely needed these days. Four stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ken Schloman

    A solid techno thriller. Just in hindsight, it also can be classed as alternative history. As with many of the books in the series, the author takes current events and spins a well thought out yarn that follows one "possibility". Castro's death did not result in events similar to the story line, but at the time written it was a possibility. Still if you like the genre, it's worth the read. Personally, I like the way the key characters have evolved throughout the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    JR Carroll

    Military thriller that deals with the transfer of power in Cuba after Fidel Castro’s death, with the US invading the rid the island of biological weapons and to help install a leader that is friendly towards the States. In my view, the author gets too bogged down at times with the details of the military operations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Military is not my usual genre but I was drawn in and intrigued from the first page. Although, towards the end, the military descriptions got a bit much for me, I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. An interesting interpretation on Cuba's "future"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Great drama and interesting plot and location An interesting plot and significant cast of interesting characters. Was good to have different story other than the typical jihadist genre. Realistic people with realistic goals and motivation.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Parsons

    Admiral Jake Grafton now heads up an effort to prevent Cuba from using biologic weapons aimed at the USA. Another good story putting a different spin on the events in Cuba as they might have been with the death of Castro.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason Brewer

    Definitely a believable back story of politics in Cuba, and hero's and anti-hero's for which to root. Some excitement as the story builds.

  15. 5 out of 5

    H. Brandon

    Another enjoyable Jake Grafton with more character development for Toad, Rita and Tommy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Anderson

    Just never made me care about the storyline a bit, took a long time to get through this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Fast paced military action, spies, etc. But, hard to get to care about the characters with too many sub-plots.

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Bullen

    thoroughly enjoyable

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ted Waterfall

    Stephen Coonts at his best! A fascinating, page-turning international thriller that will keep any reader who enjoys this genre up at nights wanting to read more. He creates numerous subplots, each of which are equally interesting and important to the outcome of the story. He is truly a literary mastermind with a vivid imagination. As the title suggests, the action centers around developments in Cuba. As it turns out, Cuba has six missiles left over from the 1962 Missile Crisis they weren't suppos Stephen Coonts at his best! A fascinating, page-turning international thriller that will keep any reader who enjoys this genre up at nights wanting to read more. He creates numerous subplots, each of which are equally interesting and important to the outcome of the story. He is truly a literary mastermind with a vivid imagination. As the title suggests, the action centers around developments in Cuba. As it turns out, Cuba has six missiles left over from the 1962 Missile Crisis they weren't supposed to have and have remained undetected by the United States - until now, that is. Furthermore, the United States had been storing biological weapons at Guantanamo we were not supposed to and the new American presidential administration wanted them removed undetected. But the best laid plans of mice and men go afoul and an American ship containing some of these weapons goes missing. Guess who acquires them? Things get worse. I don't want to reveal too many spoilers but let me just say that Fidel Castro dies, an rabidly anti-American takes over, and Cuba now has biological weapons and missiles. Also, as it is revealed, the technology and manufacturing facilities to produce more. Cuban Missile Crisis #2. What to do. What do we do?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Armando Escajeda

    Half way through this book I wanted to put it away, but after a few more pages I could not put it down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Great as always!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Very slow to start but time flies once things start kicking off.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Washburn

    Interesting story. Just can’t picture an admiral leaving his ship to lead an attack.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    This is another good gook in the Jake Grafton series. I've enjoyed all of the books I've read by Stephen Coonts and this is no exception. Good read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    P

    Reading Stephen Coonts for the first time. Plot was okay, a quick read for those who enjoy military thrillers. At least it wasn't more "Islamic Terrorists Attack" (part 6)! I blame my knowledge of Latin American history, but I had to suspend disbelief quite a bit to go along with this storyline. It seems more alternative history--the second Cuban Missile Crisis. CIA finds out that Cuba is working on prepping ICBMs from the 1960s to be fitted with biological weapon warheads aimed at the southern U Reading Stephen Coonts for the first time. Plot was okay, a quick read for those who enjoy military thrillers. At least it wasn't more "Islamic Terrorists Attack" (part 6)! I blame my knowledge of Latin American history, but I had to suspend disbelief quite a bit to go along with this storyline. It seems more alternative history--the second Cuban Missile Crisis. CIA finds out that Cuba is working on prepping ICBMs from the 1960s to be fitted with biological weapon warheads aimed at the southern United States (and they are still going to work?). U.S. Marines and CIA ops invade the island with air support from F-14s (what are those? :)) and F-117s. One of the book's heroes grips an ICBM--as it is taking off and going through a barn--so he can try to disable it AND SURVIVES; right! His wife gets shot down in an Osprey--with a head injury--and is cleared to fly another vital mission within 24 hours; cheap way to keep her in the vital scenes of the story! As for Ocho Sedano, why did Coonts feel the need to write pages and pages of his ill-fated voyage from Cuba? So readers could appreciate the plight of Cuban migrants?? Lots of superfluous description that could have been cut--did not contribute to the story that much.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Traveling to Cuba is like going back in time. This book was written in 1999, probably on the cusp on when everyone thought that sooner rather than later, Fidel would die and the place would become a free for all. Well, it's now 2012 and if he's dead, they've done a bang up job of hiding it and even though some travel and some minor free enterprise is allowed it's not yet the new Cancun. They deserve the most basic human rights, but do I want to get off the plane and see Starbucks and McDonalds? Traveling to Cuba is like going back in time. This book was written in 1999, probably on the cusp on when everyone thought that sooner rather than later, Fidel would die and the place would become a free for all. Well, it's now 2012 and if he's dead, they've done a bang up job of hiding it and even though some travel and some minor free enterprise is allowed it's not yet the new Cancun. They deserve the most basic human rights, but do I want to get off the plane and see Starbucks and McDonalds? Absolutely not. When change does to Cuba, I hope it comes over time and they take the time to preserve the character of the island that has gotten them this far. I had just returned from a trip to Cuba when I bought this for $2 and no dust jacket so I had no idea what it was about. If alternate historical military fiction is your flavor, you'll probably like it. I thought the latter half was weighed down with too much military jargon and technical phrasing so I pretty just skimmed over what was supposed to be the most exciting scene. Almost like an action movie, too much build up and the "battle" still went way too long. Plus there are too many characters who get introduced who are not always relevant.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nik Markevicius

    Cuba is a solid action novel for people who like the genre. I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but it's not trying to be. That's gotta factor in the way, say, a couple looking for a romantic comedy to see in the theater wouldn't consider something like The Expendables. The tension and suspense are almost always at the forefront of events, and for this kind of novel, that's exactly what a fan wants. Counts knows how to take bi, world-changing action and bring it down to the people involved, on all Cuba is a solid action novel for people who like the genre. I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but it's not trying to be. That's gotta factor in the way, say, a couple looking for a romantic comedy to see in the theater wouldn't consider something like The Expendables. The tension and suspense are almost always at the forefront of events, and for this kind of novel, that's exactly what a fan wants. Counts knows how to take bi, world-changing action and bring it down to the people involved, on all sides of a complex situation, and that, along with the intense action, is where the novel really shines. I cared about the characters, the angles, and I believed that they believed in what they were doing - even the bad guys. Nobody is cardboard here, and for plot-driven fiction, that's one of the major separators between the wheat and the chaff. Bottom line: not bad. Fun. It's a good distraction, even if the author's version of events doesn't quite match up to the realities of current American events.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dark-Draco

    It's funny, but the last Coonts book I tried to read, I couldn't get into - this is in the same series, with the same heros, and I loved it. Go figure! In this one, Fidel Castro is about to die of cancer. Alejo Vargas wants to take his place as dictator of Cuba and has few scruples about how to go about this. Meanwhile, Jake Grafton has been given the task of clearing some biological weapons from the Gitmo base, except one of the ships unloading the stock goes missing and winds up grounded just o It's funny, but the last Coonts book I tried to read, I couldn't get into - this is in the same series, with the same heros, and I loved it. Go figure! In this one, Fidel Castro is about to die of cancer. Alejo Vargas wants to take his place as dictator of Cuba and has few scruples about how to go about this. Meanwhile, Jake Grafton has been given the task of clearing some biological weapons from the Gitmo base, except one of the ships unloading the stock goes missing and winds up grounded just off the one of the Cuban islands. Then America finds out that there are a battery of Russian missiles that are pointed at America ... and each one could be refitted with the biological agents stolen from them. So as Castro dies and Cuba erupts into violence, Grafton is left with few choices but to send in the marines and destroy the lot. Fast paced, fantastic characters and an authentic feel to the whole thing. I really enjoyed reading this and couldn't wait to go on break so I could open it up again. Well worth reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    Good thriller plot overcomes other issues Just so you'll know, I am reviewing Cuba as an audiobook - I listened to it as an audiobook and as an audiobook it was pretty good, meaning that I never really wondered if there was something else on the radio that was better. As to the plot - I found it to be especially interesting to have the book focus on the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Cuba, considering our current situations in Iran and North Korea and the ongoing search for WMD in Good thriller plot overcomes other issues Just so you'll know, I am reviewing Cuba as an audiobook - I listened to it as an audiobook and as an audiobook it was pretty good, meaning that I never really wondered if there was something else on the radio that was better. As to the plot - I found it to be especially interesting to have the book focus on the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Cuba, considering our current situations in Iran and North Korea and the ongoing search for WMD in Iraq. The descriptions of the power of these weapons and the reasons that tin-pot dictators and superpowers possess them was informative. As always, Coonts writes wonderful action sequences. His characters are sometimes... Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2010/...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I haven't read any books in this genre,spy/action. I decided to read this one 'cos of the talks between the Cubans and Americans to ease relations between the two countries. I wanted to see how an American writer of this genre would treat the subject. Just as I thought. Rah! Rah! America! We can beat those nasty corrupt commies. None of the Cuban characters are trustworthy, either plotting to take over from Castro,or against each other or acting as agents for the Americans. The book is full of a I haven't read any books in this genre,spy/action. I decided to read this one 'cos of the talks between the Cubans and Americans to ease relations between the two countries. I wanted to see how an American writer of this genre would treat the subject. Just as I thought. Rah! Rah! America! We can beat those nasty corrupt commies. None of the Cuban characters are trustworthy, either plotting to take over from Castro,or against each other or acting as agents for the Americans. The book is full of an alphabet soup of military acronym, not surprising since the author is a former member of the military. The book did not have the finesse of British espionage spy thrillers like those by Le Carre. Now I can say I've read one but I don't think I will read anothe unless it comes VERY highly recommended.

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