REVIEW: ‘Commando: Operation Arrowhead’

J.M. Aucoin . Book Reviews 968 No Comments

COMMANDO: Operation ArrowheadNot a swashbuckler by any means but Jack Badelaire’s pulp action novel COMMANDO: Operation Arrowhead is still a great read for someone looking for a short, action-filled story.

The novel takes place during World War II. France is occupied by the Germans and the English are fearing an all out German Invasion. We follow the story of Corporal Thomas Lynch who has seen his share of victories and defeats in the War. He’s itching to take another shot at the Germans and gets his chance by joining the No. 3 Commandos. Their mission is simple: sneak into France, rendezvous with the Partisan army and make hell for the Germans. But things don’t go according to plan after they meet the partisans, and lots of blood shed ensues.

Operation Arrowhead is exactly what you hope for and expect in a WWII action novel. Fun, bold characters, tons of firefights and an easy to follow plot. There’s never a dull moment and when the Commandos aren’t fighting they’re prepping for one. Corporal Lynch is our main protagonist. He’s got a bit of that quiet badboy sense about him. My favorite character has to be the large, loud and bawdy Scotsman, Sergeant McTeague. McTeague is a blast to read and is a character that can really make the COMMANDO series shine above similar titles. We don’t get a ton of him in this book but Badelaire has promised a lot more of the Scottish Commando in the book’s sequel, Operation Bedlam.

For the most part you know exactly who the good guys and the bad guys are in this book. Hell, it’s a WWII novel in the POV of the British. These British Commandos were assigned to the unit because they’re just drooling to “fight the Jerries” so although they’ll kill Germans without batting an eye, things are still pretty black and white to them and the reader. But questions do arise that bring some characters and their motivations a little bit more into the grey area

When it comes to history, the 16th through 18th century is more in my wheel house, but it’s obvious Badelaire has done his homework when it comes WWII. He specifically names certain types of guns and vehicles so if you’re not boned up on your WWII weaponry having Google open might be helpful. But even if you don’t know a MP-38 from a Thompson the story is still quite enjoyable.

I give bonus points to this book for having cover art that actually looks like the characters in the book. I feel like we rarely see that in a lot of covers. Ah, the benefits of self-publishing.

Recommended for pulp fiction fans, WWII history buffs, people who like a little ass-kicking against the Nazis, or those hoping to take a chance on a quick read by a new author.

COMMANDO: Operation Arrowhead is available in paperback or Kindle. Be sure to visit Badelaire’s blog — The Post Modern Pulp Blog.

J.M. Aucoin

Author. Fencer. Sometimes actor. Full-time nerd. I write swashbucklers & historical adventure novels.

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