Not too long ago I reviewed ML Buchman’s THE NIGHT IS MINE, the first book in a four-book series (because there’re four seats on a Black Hawk helicopter) featuring “women pilots who fly for the immensely secretive, real-life U.S. Army SOAR.” I loved it and eagerly anticipated book two in the series.
Book two, I OWN THE DAWN, revisits the sunbaked, forward SOAR operations in Pakistan and doesn’t disappoint. I may actually like it even better than book one. Sergeant Kee Smith is an immensely flawed and very human character. A volatile firecracker always on the verge of explosion, she is wonderfully offset by cool and collected First Lieutenant Archie Jeffrey Stevenson who can’t believe his luck when Kee strolls into camp.
At first, their relationship is a turbulent, hot, hotter mess, but they navigate it like they navigated everything else in their lives: with 100% “Night Stalkers Never Quit” commitment.
I love Buchman’s warrior women. He has an undeniable way with them; they’re tough, capable, oh so deadly, and yet completely female (not feminine so much). His men are often exasperated by their chosen mates, a very endearing trait that robs them of none of their masculinity.
Fair warning: I OWN THE DAWN is a military romance set in the world of a forward deployed group of elite fighters, but there’s nothing romantic about the setting of war. People die. Lives are in constant danger. Love is a luxury. I loved all the technical, military details that dealt with SOAR, the helicopters and Kee’s job as a gunner, but if you’re not a closeted military enthusiast, the technical aspects of the novel could become a tad bit overbearing.
If you enjoyed book one, you’ll love book two. If you’re hesitant to jump into a new series, don’t worry about needing to know previous events; I OWN THE DAWN can be thoroughly enjoyed as a stand-alone.