The Chosen One
Battles are fought and lives are lost as our armed forces risk their lives in order to secure our freedom and safety. Marine Lieutenant Sam Erickson and his entire company in the thick of combat as his forces, teams and strategists must combat the unthinkable. Strategies are well planned but the unexpected happens and key personnel are sacrificed, and burg sides are fighting for control but only one would win. The men are tired , worn out and have won the battle but losing so many makes it hard to declare victory. Fighting against these forces ruled by the Mahdi or the chosen one, who unleashes his men, their weapons are many , forces so dedicated to his ideology and ideals we are angered, fearful and determined to understand the hidden truths about this man as the author flashes back to his childhood and we learn just who he is and how he became The Chosen One and why.
Life handed Mahdi some serious curves and turns. His primary goal was to work hard for his father and make him proud. But what drew the scholar’s attention and created dissenting attitudes towards him from the other students was the fact he was so much more intelligent and his comprehension of the Koran more prolific. His father insisted that he would have to endure what was being dealt out and his mother was there to sooth his pain until one day his world ended. When the people wanted a pure Islamic government, the military came in and massacred the people not realizing he was buried alive and would later be their most powerful adversary and force. When the shelling settled, and the world was calm he lived an isolated life until his uncle found him and here is where another story begins. Life at first was wonderful yet different in Algeria. Things went on for a while until his uncle demanded that he leave and learn the ways of the outside world which would drastically change him . The author allows reader to understand the ideology of the Islamic believers and when Mahdi is grown and must decide on his future he is presented with a choice and an unusual journey. Sent to a university and meeting Sharif the whirlwind courtship and the marriage would sustain them for more than 20 years until the unthinkable happens. Once again, the military decides to decimate any in their way and those that believe in a pure Islamic world would be eradicated and that included his family.
His studies enhanced his mind and education but the anger within him created the man called The Chosen One: Deadly, dangerous, merciless and unyielding. Nations around the world in the Middle East would feel his wrath as Cairo, Iran, Iraq and other major Middle Eastern countries would have to whether battles, carnage and deaths in order to elude his iron hand.
Erickson’s platoon and others would spend days, weeks and months hoping to take down his men but within that time thousands would be sacrificed, his own platoon much smaller and the voices we hear from the President, Homeland Security and Secretary of Defense and a general will alert you to the fact that what they plan in order to take Pan Arab down is nothing short of miraculous if it works. Power is everything and the President will take charge of all airline aircrafts, boats and any means of travel that will get more troops where they are needed mainly in Cairo to prevent the Chosen One from totally victory. Lives are more than at stake our economy will suffer and before the end and final battles are won will there ever be a real winner? Will they find this man and take him down because he is the catalyst behind this raging storm? Erickson is injured, his men are more than exhausted and the platoons that will assist him and the manpower and firepower coming will it be enough? The Pan Arab coalition is led by Muhammed Mourad/the chosen one, an Algerian cleric. Erickson leading the platoons and going into enemy territory lines in the North African Desert. With support from Lt. Cmdr. Bradley Mitchell, a pilot who flies missions from a carrier off the coast of Egypt, will he be able to rescue Erickson and his men on their way to battle the forces to Cairo. Even with the most expensive and elaborate weaponry, it takes strategies, planning, and military tactics and coordination to succeed. Erickson is wounded, the agony of those hit fully described in descriptive passages and the reader endures and experiences the same anguish, horrors and fears along with the men that are fighting the battles.
Both sides were fighting for control of the skies and the Chosen One had his own plans but not everything went according to their plans and thousands of lives were lost on both sides. Battles were fought and the Eisenhower was downed and the men would have to deal with the crew that was gone, the families that would suffer the losses and the Chosen One would realize that he would have to win but lost the battle of the skies. The heroics of the Marines really proves how well they were prepared but with the amount of enemy forces and the lack of enough backup the count would go higher but in the end when it’s a battle for control, taking over several countries and making sure they adhered to the will of Allah and the Chosen One, is there really a winner?
Erickson is down and, in a foxhole, Sanders is alone and is nursing a young girl named Reena who is injured and may not live. Food is practically scarce if there is any at all and the battles are waged, and Gunny must take over the platoon as the author paves the way for more battles. The Chosen One thinks he has a perfect plan; the Marines do to but, in the end, there are deaths on both sides, but the Mahdi has a lot to learn if he thinks the Marines are going down without a huge fight.
Lauren Wells is a reporter that seems concerned about Erickson and remains with him in his hospital room after interviewing him against his better judgment. Their interactions let you know that they might have more than just a friendly relationship, but Sam is a Marine and she is a reporter and their lives will probably do in different directions until there is no need for fighting and the Mahdi is history. But Sam stated he’s a Marine and that’s his life will there be room for her?
We get to know more about Blackhawk and Mitchell and their lives beyond the war and Mitchell’s turmoil and relationship with his wife Brook that is only concerned about herself, her fun and has little feelings for taking care of her children and emails him or writes him demanding a response. Fortunately, he refrains at least until he can get a clearer sense and head for what he might face if he gets home alive. Relationships are at the heart of this novel whether it’s the company and the platoons and how they interact and work together, family members at home and commanding officers in battle each requires the ability to deal with others and the difficulties come through even the enemy have their own relationships to deal with. But, the most horrific plan that the Mahdi inflicted on the Marines was using small children as decoys and in battles and forcing them to eliminate to so many. Just how cruel can he be?
When news from home centers around family issues one receives something needed to be processed where another realizes the selfishness behind the messages. Blackjack must deal with his concerns; Walton received a shock from his wife and Mitchell must decide on his future if he remains with Brook which seems to unfortunately be the case.
While they reflect and the fireworks slow down the Mahdi is meeting with his general and those in charge planning their next attack . But the likelihood of securing Egypt is not liking great and The Chosen One is advised to look to taking down Israel which looks like a better option. Plans are discussed and thoughts related but, in the end, The Chosen One prevails. Will our side realize that Israel might be in trouble and how long before reinforcements are in place to secure Egypt?
Battles are numerous and lives are lost on both sides and Lauren Wells and her cameraman are taken hostage by the Pan Arabs and it takes quite a bit of persuasion for them to stay alive.
The ending is quite remarkable and the fate of everyone will be revealed as not all our brave Marines will survive but what about The Chosen One?
Told in many voices and from many viewpoints the author includes an omniscient narrator who at times lets us know what might come next. Graphically depicted battles and highly skilled plot lines this novel draws you in from start to finish. Lives are sacrificed and the tables are turned as Iraqis vs Iranian pitted against each other and the Marines come to an outcome. Does anyone really win ?
With a plot that aligns it’s with what’s happening in the news this novel makes you take a hard look at the world today.
Which side would claim victory? In the end what is the final fate of the Marines and The Chosen One?
Fran Lewis just reviews