In the pre-dawn hours over the Mojave Desert, 2 F-22 fighters take off from Nellis AFB and climb into the darkness headed for the Nevada Testing Range. The fighters are on a routine training mission but as they approach Area 51, they are intercepted by a large and unrecognizable craft. The alien craft catches the fighters in its slipstream and the smaller fighters must struggle to keep airborne. Capt. Jake Girard breaks free of the alien ship’s wake as he watches his wingman’s fighter enter a flat spin and crash. He lands and, before he can report what happened, he is confined to a sterile room and interrogated until evening. Jake has stumbled on to a top-secret project and before the week is out, he will be flying his own space fighter high above the atmosphere and fighting for the survival of Earth itself.
SECTOR 64: AMBUSH is a Sci-Fi thriller that takes place on earth as well as in space. The plot is fast paced and alternates between the space battle and the effects of that battle on the earth below. The characters are well defined and their actions are appropriate to the plot with no histrionics or overly heroic speeches. The physics is accurate and much of the alien technology is explained clearly. Where the plot shines is in the description of the F-22 fighter and its capabilities. The research into this part of the story line is quite detailed, a rarity with such a newly deployed fighter plane. The character of Capt. Sandra Fitzpatrick is particularly well done. She has her moments as a woman and as a daughter but throughout, she is an Air Force officer and flier above all. This is a hefty book but the plot moves quickly so this is hardly noticeable. In one or two scenes, the buildup in the plot was a bit long but this dissipates quickly as the action moves forward.
SECTOR 64: AMBUSH is an engaging book from the very first page to the final words of the Epilog. The fate of Earth is not determined by technology – it is in the hands of human beings who have chosen to defend its skies and the people below.