Fight Fight by Kevin Miller – Book Review

Fight Fight by Kevin Miller book cover featuring an F-18 hornet targeted by a crosshair.

Fight Fight is the third novel in Kevin Miller’s, Raven One, military fiction naval aviation series. In this novel, Carrier Air Group Commander, Flip Wilson is being deployed to China after a Chinese ship accidentally poisons and kills the crew of a passing US ship. A miscalculation by a Chinese captain leads to a war of escalation that nearly destroys the economies of several world powers.

It is a shame that my readers are not naval aviation nerds like me because this book . . . was . . . awesome.

If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know that I have read and reviewed Miller’s previous two novels, Raven One and Declared Hostile. Long story short, I loved Raven One and disliked Declared Hostile. In fact, after Declared Hostile I was worried the series would lose its focus.

Fight Fight proved me completely wrong and is an outstanding return to form.

Once again we’re thrust back into the cockpit of an F-18 taking off from a United States aircraft carrier. Under the guidance of Kevin Miller’s excellent prose, your imagination is transported to the tumultuous South China Sea. There, enemy missiles hide within the hulls of fishing trawlers, and even innocent civilian passenger aircraft threaten to expose the location of the US naval forces.

Fight Fight, is a nail-biting thrill ride. A visceral, action-packed roller coaster ride for your imagination.

What struck me the most about Fight Fight by Kevin Miller, is how pride and nationalism caused two nations to go to war. One man’s quest for glory and recognition within his party set off a catastrophic chain of events that set two giants against each other. China vs. the United States.

Unlike Declared Hostile, where the antagonist was an inferior Venezuelan military force, China is portrayed as a formidable foe. The previous novel made it feel like the US was bullying a smaller country. In this novel, China has more than enough resources and man power to hold its own. Therefore, when these two brutes clash, it leads to an incredible conflict.

Fight Fight, like Declared Hostile, is written in third person omniscient. This allows Miller to jump into the minds of not only our protagonist Flip Wilson, but also his squadron mates and the enemy Chinese Admirals and pilots.

Therefore, you get to see what went through the minds of the Chinese when they accidentally crashed into a US plane. You also get to hear the backdoor discussions on how the conflict needed to be resolved with minimal loss to life and resources. I was also relieved to see that the Chinese were NOT portrayed as bad guys. Just as a country with different values than the US.

However, despite getting a fascinating view from different viewpoints, I did not fully enjoy the omniscient point of view.

There were many instances where the POV would switch from one character to another without any indications of an incoming switch. It was common to have a paragraph where we’re flying with Flip Wilson and then the next paragraph we’re suddenly flying with Bai the Chinese fighter pilot.

These jarring transitions needed a bit more breathing room and smoother writing, but overall this is a minor nitpick in an excellent novel.

Unlike Declared Hostile and Raven One, the characters are a little bit more one dimensional this time around. Flip and Bai get the most fleshing out, but a lot of the supporting characters are there to simply move the plot forward.

This isn’t a bad thing or a detriment to the novel. There’s more than enough conflict and high stakes action to keep this novel riveting.

And by high stakes action, I mean that I was literally gobsmacked by the precise and devastating defense the Chinese unleashed on the US forces. Kevin Miller doesn’t allow you to believe, even for a second, that any of the characters are safe. Several main characters died in previous novels and I had no idea who would survive or bite the bullet in this one.

When I tell you that this book had me on the edge of my seat, this is not an exaggeration. My eyes were darting left to right, desperately eager to find out what was going to happen next. Now that I’m writing this review, I realized something I hadn’t thought about after finishing the book.

I don’t think they ever found one of the pilots.

I’m also wondering if the marine captain was permanently reassigned.

If you read this book, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

My only regret with this book is that I can’t figure out how else to tell you to READ FIGHT FIGHT.

Personally, I hope Flip retires after this one. My fear is that if a fourth book comes out, Flip might not make it back home to his wife and kids. Ugh, I really just can’t say enough good things about Fight Fight. Please support this indie author and read his book.

If you like naval jets, action, and military fiction in general, then you can’t afford to miss this novel.

I give Fight Fight by Kevin Miller . . .

5 stars.

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Wilmar Luna
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