Stand Down Stand Down by Zack Emerson
Publisher: Scholastic
Year: 1992
Pages: 323

I paid $25 for this $3.95 paperback. Why? It’s that out of print; or, at least, it was in the relatively early days of e-commerce for small businesses, before Amazon zShops or Alibris or Powells were such forces to be reckoned with.

If you recall, books 1-3 in this series dealt with Mike and Rebecca; this one finally deals with both. Actually, Mike, who has become smitten with Rebecca during their chance encounter in ‘Tis the Season (the details of which I won’t reveal), spends the first half of the novel continuing his job as point man in an increasingly sick and grumpy battalion. The second half, which involves a stand down at Chu Lai, where Rebecca is a nurse.

I was struck—again—at Emerson’s incredible gift for convincing dialogue; also, for realism. At times, the relationship between the two characters was so awkward that I cringed while reading. The book is considerably “happier” than its predecessors, and ends on a particularly light note (to be destroyed in the unofficial followup).

At a little over 300 pages, it’s the bulkiest so far, and Emerson spends most of that time painstakingly developing Mike’s character, and later qualifies it in his attempt to pick up Rebecca—awkwardly.

While it’s something of a happy ending, it is not particularly satisfying, which is why I was thrilled when I learned that Emerson (real name Ellen Emerson White) wrote a fifth book, sans pseudonym, that further focused on Rebecca. More on that later.

§845 · November 17, 2005 · Tags: ·

2 Comments to “Stand Down”

  1. duffy says:

    I have been checking out your blog for a little while, and really have enjoyed your book reviews. The only reason i am commenting is because i used to read these books awhile ago, back when they came out. i had completely forgotten about them untill now. thanks.

  2. Ben says:

    Oh wow, another fan? I thought there were maybe 10 people in the world that have actually read these things.

    Did you read The Road Home, too? It’s the 5th and unofficial closer to the series. I’ll be reviewing it in the next few days.

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