by Susan Grant

April 2004
ISBN: 0-505-52542-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Lovespell
Mass Market Paperback

The year is 2006 and Bree “Banzai” Maguire and her wingman Cam “Scarlet” Tucker are preparing for a routine mission over North Korea. This is expected to be a piece of cake for these two experienced pilots. As the duo enters Korean airspace the unthinkable happens - they are both shot down. Bree soon finds herself in the lab of a scientist intent on using her in his experiments with suspended animation. Bree has no idea what’s become of Cam. All she can remember is being in the truck that delivered her to the scientist’s lab. Finding out what happened to Cam is Bree’s last thought as the needle is inserted into her arm.

Ty Armstrong is on a secret unofficial recovery mission. He has entered the Kingdom Of Asia (formerly North Korea) looking for the legendary Banzai Maguire. The year is now 2176 and much has changed in the world since Banzai’s time. One thing remains the same - the legendary pilot has been a hero to Ty for as long as he can remember. He has grown up with stories of this extraordinary woman and (if he were to admit it to himself) has fallen in love with the woman and is captivated by the legend.

Much to Ty’s surprise he does find Bree but just as he is about to depart with her he is captured by Prince Kyber and thrown into the dungeon. Bree is taken to the best hospital to recover from her ordeal and is later moved to the palace of the Prince. The prince finds himself drawn to Banzai. He is captivated by her and desires her for himself.

As Bree becomes accustomed to this new world in which she has awakened she has one mission in mind, finding her wingman Cam and returning to her home in the US. Bree slowly finds that the world is not how she remembers it the United States is now The United Colonies Of Earth and what she knows as North Korea is now the Kingdom Of Asia.

One more thing soon becomes clear - freedom, as Bree knew it, no longer exists. She must sort out her feelings about the new people she has met and the surroundings she finds herself in. Who will she chose, Ty or Prince Kyber? It seems that The Legend Of Banzai Maguire has just begun and the reader is in for a delightful journey to experience what the future has in store for all the players in this fascinating series.

I have been excited about the 2176 series since I first heard about it late last year. The Legend Of Banzai Maguire is a tremendous start to what promises to be a remarkable event in romantic story telling for 2004. Readers have been asking for this kind of heroine for a long time and the talented Susan Grant does an outstanding job on the delivery. This book is action packed and impossible to put down. Banzai is a heroine you will long remember after the last page has been turned.

This is one of those stories that may be classified in many categories. I prefer to think of it as action adventure futuristic. Ms. Grant has created a fascinating world in the year 2176. She has made the changes subtle enough so as not to confuse the reader with too much scientific information which turns many readers off. I have classified this story as a contemporary because that’s what it is a contemporary set in the future year of 2176. If this were classified as Sci-fi then many of you would not be reading this review based on that fact alone. This would be a terrible shame because I guarantee if you give this book a chance you will be drawn in by the character driven fast paced plot and will be eagerly awaiting the next 2176 fix.

There is good news and bad news as I bring this review to an end. The good news is the second installment of the 2176 series Day Of Fire by Kathleen Nance will be available in May of 2004. The bad news is that the ending of The Legend Of Banzai Maguire leaves the reader with several unanswered questions and you will have to wait until the December 2004 release of The Scarlet Empress to have those questions addressed.

I highly recommend you locate a copy of The Legend Of Banzai Maguire and start your journey into 2176 today. Susan Grant has penned a classic and the first in what promises to be a series for the keeper shelf. You, the reader have been asking for this kind of book for a long while. Set back and enjoy the amazing results and a fascinating story by a gifted writer.

Reviewed in March 2004 by Barbara.

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