||July 2, 2008
Set in the near future, the United States has developed a new defensive system able to weaken and destroy tropical storms. A test of the orbiting system’s capabilities is being readied in an attempt to save Florida from Hurricane Edna’s lethal blow just hours away. Certain foreign powers and highly placed NASA and White House officials don’t wish for the test to succeed and trigger a sleeper cell to stop the test at all costs. A single three-member security team is all standing between success and failure of the test, and the destruction of the orbiting system and crew. Time is running out as the security team, surrounded by mayhem on all sides as well as being slowed by the murder of one of their own, uncovers the clues and unravels the mystery.
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Hurricane Edna is growing by the hour and Florida is squarely in her path. The United States has built the Storm Killer Project, a huge orbiting defense system, which may be able to destroy the hurricane before it reaches land. The station is operational and about to attack the hurricane, when acts of sabotage threaten its very existence.
The saboteurs inflict enough damage on the station that the technology designed to defeat the hurricane is actually strengthening it to a category five monster.
The three-person NASA security team, on board the station, is the only force available to thwart the saboteurs' plans, and prevent the failure of Storm Killer.
Kim Danby, a woman addicted to drugs, leads the team. The other members of team, Lieutenant James and Dan Hoch, also have flaws and black marks that make them vulnerable. Each must battle their own personal demons as they pursue the investigation.
Even when one of the team is murdered, the others continue to follow the evidence and unravel the clues that lead to the identity of the conspirators hidden within NASA's and Washington's highest-ranking command structures. They must arrest the perpetrators in time to stop the destruction of the station by a Russian nuclear missile.
As the conspirators are unmasked and arrested, their leader senses his plan is crumbling and flees by a well-planned escape route. He thinks himself safe from law enforcement.
Little does he suspect that he needs to fear his own kind more than the law!
The local sorghum farmers had tried everything to rid themselves of the destructive shoot flies. Insecticides were useless. Introducing genetically altered sterile flies had no impact.
This year’s hordes of shoot flies were the worst ever seen in the western African nation of Guinea. All of the farmers agreed, the sorghum harvest was most assuredly lost.
Nebo Kantonga owned a sorghum farm on the gentle lower slopes of Mount Nimba, the highest mountain in Guinea. He was standing on the creaking ancient wooden platform that served as a porch in front of his dilapidated tworoom house gazing at the heavily forested terrain below him.
His great grandfather’s had built the house with just a hammer and a handsaw. The outside had never seen paint of any sort. The inside had seen too much paint over the years and now lead poisoning threaten the health of his children. But that was the least of his concerns at the moment.
His home was situated so that from this vantage point he could actually see the border of Liberia twenty kilometers away today. Today was extremely hot. But it was still early in the day and the air had not filled with the haze normally hanging over the dense forest in summer.
While Nebo gazed at the awe-inspiring view with a vacant stare, his mind was focused on the fly problem. His crop was doomed. No crop, no money. He might be forced to sell the family farm. It had been in his family for ten generations and he knew no other occupation. He saw his wife and eight children in his mind’s eye as he thought sorrowfully. How will I care for my family?
He picked up his shovel and walked down to the field of sorghum that lay on the leeward side of the slope. This area received only ten percent of the rain of the windward side. Sorghum grass thrived in this more arid environment.
As he approached the field, he saw the plants were covered in the small tan colored shoot flies. He became almost hysterical when he saw this. He ran into the field wielding the shovel as a futile weapon. He swung and swung at the flies until his arms felt on fire and his breath came in ragged gasps. The flies would leap away from his shovel’s path only to instantly return to their feeding.
On his last futile swing, his shovel made contact with a single shoot fly that caromed from the shovel to ground. The fly, even though gravely injured, raised itself in the air and started flying higher and higher. This was made more difficult by the grains of sand that had attached itself to the fly’s sticky thorax where the shovel had cracked the exterior shell.
As the fly used its last reserves of strength, it began to fall back toward the ground almost eight hundred meters below it. It was suddenly caught in a tremendous updraft caused by the early morning sun’s heating of the air. Tumbling over and over, it was lifted higher and higher. Until, finally, it drew abreast of the summit of Mount Nimba where the upward current final ended.
A single grain of sand fell from the fly’s body as it struggled to right itself and fly again. What became of the fly will never be known. But the grain of sand was caught in another, even more powerful wind funneled upward by the very shape of the mountain. This updraft carried the grain all the way to the troposphere.
Along the way, a small negative electrical charge built up on the grain of sand. The attracted other grains of sand and debris being blown higher and higher into the atmosphere.
As the grains attracted and stuck together, liquid water formed around the still warm grains from the frigid water-ice vapor held aloft by the winds.
These grains, now inside a large water drop, began to fall back to earth. Another updraft caught the drop and blew it apart into two drops. These two drops,till warmer than the surrounding air grew in size as more water liquefied. This process was repeated hundreds of times with each drop splitting into two or more each time the updraft caught them.
Within a very short time, the single drop had become billions. These billions formed an ever-growing thunderhead. The sky blackened, as the billions became trillions. Soon the weight of the drops overcame the updrafts and fell to the ground. A torrential tropical rain shower was born.
Normally the clouds would be pulled apart by various factors like wind shear. But conditions today were extremely favorable for cloud formation and as more and more rain fell, the temperature variances became greater and greater between the upper atmosphere and ground. This led to even stronger updrafts.
Eventually, the storm turned into a tropical wave that thundered off the Atlantic coast of Guinea heading due west.
The ocean waters had been heating all summer. It had been an exceptionally hot summer and now the waters contained the maximum amount of stored energy and heat. The upper winds were calm. Conditions were favorable for the metamorphous of the tropical wave into a tropical depression.
Conditions continued to be advantageous for the now serious but still fledging storm. It fed on the stored energy of the water. Growing in size and intensity until, finally, it achieved tropical storm status and was named Edna.
Another three days found Edna achieving hurricane status as she continued her way west by north west.
Nebo Kantonga, the simple farmer, would have never been able to grasp the fact that his single act of frustration against the pesky shoot fly had caused Hurricane Edna to be born.
This book is like chocolate!, August 15, 2008
By poetrylover (New York)
When I first sat down to read this book, I thought, well this isn't really sounding to be my cup of tea. (Honestly, I make a lot of purchases on the recommendations of others.) I figured I would do the book and author justice and read the first Chapter.
Needless to say, about 8 hours later I looked up and this book had given me great entertainment with a story that left my stomach in knots. The passion and drive Mr. Blue has painted the words on the page began to bleed into my veins.
It was creative! It was orginal! It opened my mind and had me asking. Could we really control storms? This story is crafted with the knowledge of a veteran writer! For a first novel, I suspect Mr. Blue could be the next Tom Clancy. No kidding.
After all is said and done, this book touched my emotions, and left me wanting more. Like chocolate.
Rated: Thumbs Up! - Premier Book Reviews
Technology is the world's biggest blessing. It is also can be the world's biggest curse as we find out in Storm Killer.
Benjamin Blue weaves a story of mystery, action and intrigue that will keep you guessing until the end. Earth's weather is getting out of control and a group of scientists find a way to harness the power of the sun to combat hurricanes. This technology is intended to save thousands of lives but has a darker side in its ability to take millions of lives.
In true intrigue, countries around the world have agendas regarding this new space station. Countries against the project want it to fail and fail big. They don't care how many lives will be affected. They just want the project to go away and if they make the US look bad in the meantime, it's bonus!
A group of dedicated employees aboard the station must figure out who is responsible for the sabotages, find the perpetrator and neutralize the threat. When the space station's technology is taken over and is beginning to kill people, nuclear warheads are pointed skyward and the survivors aboard the space station have only 30 minutes to fix the problem or get out.
This debut novel has twist and turns that will leave you wondering. If you like sci-fi and thrillers, this is a book to consider!
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Reader Reviews for "Storm Killer"
|Reviewed by dennis batchelder
|An out-of-this-world adventure
Benjamin Blue unveils a cool technology that's strong enough to stop a hurricane. "Storm Killer" is the name of the satellite that can reflect a concentrated, super-heated ray of light into the top of a storm, stopping the vicious cycle that powers hurricanes.
Unfortunately, a super-heated ray of light can also be used as a weapon. And some of the Latin American countries aren't too thrilled with the possibility of hurricanes being diverted their way. Plots thicken and tensions brew as the three-person security team on board the satellite figure out who's sabotaging the system while fending off a trigger-happy US President ready to blow them out of the sky.
Blue sets his book in the near future, after several Katrina- and Ike-like storms have devastated the Gulf Coast. I found the book interesting, the story line engaging, and the stakes high enough to keep me reading it through in two big gulps. Blue's writing reminds me of early Dan Brown - and I'm looking forward to following him as he grows into the remaining two books in his "Killer" trilogy.
|Reviewed by michael Worswick
|I have read every Clive Cussler. Storm Killer is based on more believable technology than Cussler’s technology so I hesitate to call this story science fiction. The story is about a U.S. space station that can alter weather patterns on earth. The author blends enough believable science into a mystery adventure story line to make it all seem plausible. Blue’s writing reminds me of some early Dan Brown novels. Like many adventure books the first few chapters set up the proposition. After the first few chapters, I had a hard time putting the book down. Storm Killer made me want to keep on reading just like Robert Parker and Lee Child make me stay up late. There are plenty of twists, turns and subplots in this book. I will be looking for another book from this author.|
|Reviewed by D. Blankinship
The “Storm Killer” is a space station designed to end hurricanes. I began reading “Storm Killer” as hurricane Gustav was crossing Haiti, building into the ominous storm that lead to the evacuation of New Orleans and the neighboring areas. A few days later, I finished the book as the upper south was being drenched in the remnants of the hurricane’s last fury. The read was timely, topical, and engaging.
Benjamin Blue creates a believable future firmly grounded in one of the growing threats facing the Gulf Coast region, Florida, and the Eastern seaboard. He takes us into the design, construction, and activation of a massive space station, and then launches his own intrigue as the “bad guys” begin their plan to wreck havoc on the effort.
He also provides the moment-by-moment details as a hurricane builds and begins its destructive trail. I have been in five hurricanes (one in South Carolina, two in Key West, Florida, and two while at sea in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the USS Howard W. Gilmore). The author is fully credible in his description of these violent storms crossing the oceans and making landfall.
With a cast of characters that includes scientists, technicians, security forces, and politicians. Blue sounds that ever-present cautionary tone that great evil can come from the effort to achieve great good.
Get this book and read it before this hurricane season ends.
D. A. Blankinship
Author, “The Scoloderus Conspiracy” and “Newton’s Legacy”
|Reviewed by ellen george
|I have this book and what I know is Benjamin Blue is an excellent author. I look forward to reviewing Storm Killer soon.