I'd been looking forward to this book coming out in July and just finished reading it. Unusually, the Author Peter Singer is a National Security specialist with four other, non fiction books to his name and this is his first novel. I heard him speak at the Naval War College earlier this year and his Biography (here) states:
Dr. Singer is considered one of the world's leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He has consulted for the US Military, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI, as well as advised a range of entertainment programs, including for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal, HBO, Discovery, History Channel, and the video game series Call of Duty, the best-selling entertainment project in history. He served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign's defense policy task force and was named by the President to the US Military's Transformation Advisory Group.
Ghost Fleet is a techno-thriller very much in the tradition of Tom Clancy, Larry Bond and Harold Coyle. Set in an unspecified year a decade or two from now, China has thrown off its Communist regime and traded it for a co military-business tycoon presidium known as "The Directorate". In a bid to secure economic security, resource access and achieve hegemonic power they launch a blitzkrieg style offensive against US assets throughout the Pacific. Chinese cyber capabilities are a key part of these attacks and in scenes reminiscent of the Battlestar Galactica pilot, many US systems are shutdown or severely degraded as the offensive operations. America, left with very few allies, then tries to claw itself back from the devastation wrought upon it.
The book is Singer's vision of how current and emerging technologies will be utilised in future conflicts. As an example, autonomous drones play a large part, both in an armed capacity operating with manned systems, as well as for remote surveillance and even working in close conjunction with SF team and ground forces. At the same time, Singer makes some not so subtle commentary about strategic decision making and acquisitions programs in the US military.
Overall, its well worth a read and has some interesting aspects though some felt to be a bit of a stretch At the same time, Singer is clearly a newcomer to fiction and his style is not as developed as others in the genre. Its good, but not great. 3 stars.