Friday Review: Operation: Hail Storm by Brett Arquette

Operation Hail Storm (Hail, #1)Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Marshall Hail is a billionaire with a mission. His wife and twin daughters were killed in the terrorist attack known as The Five. Since then, he has combated his loneliness and depression by vowing to use his fortune to develop advanced technology that will allow him to hunt down and kill the FBI’s top ten terrorists. He begins with the current leader of North Korea, successfully using his sophisticated arsenal of drones to poison the North Korean. Mission accomplished, but he also got the attention of the FBI and the President of the United States. Marshall wants the FBI to aid him in tracking down the rest of the terrorists on the list, and the US wants Marshall to use his tech to destroy the ICBM missiles North Korea is buying in pieces. The FBI sends its top female agent, who has been tracking the arms dealer involved for years, to help Marshall in what becomes known as Operation: Hail Storm.

Sounds pretty decent, right? The basic idea is good, and the tech is impressive, from the fleet of virtual floating cities Hail uses as his bases of operation to the super sophisticated drones he uses as his information gathering tools and weapons.

The problem? Once again, this is a decent story wrapped in a bad book. Characters are flat, with little to pull them out of their stereotypes. Hail is the tormented genius, driven but wallowing in self-pity and anger. Kara Ramey, the FBI agent, is beautiful, cunning, and has a secret. Most of Hail’s crew is underage boy and girl geniuses who also lost family in The Five. Nothing breaks any of them out of those neat little cages. There are attempts at humor, but the characters have so little personality, they fall flat.

The writing itself is forced and full of superfluous technical terms and science-y words that seem to just have been thrown in there to impress. Awkward sentences, redundant phrases, and long, rambling info dumps make reading difficult. One example: “I think the first parameter is silence; however, if we intend to breach the warehouse, it has to be silent.” Things like that just kept popping me out of the story.

Again, the idea was good. The tech was mostly impressive. The conclusion had its tense moments. But there was just too much predictability and less than polished writing to make this a recommended read.

View all my reviews


Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition. Artificial intelligence, corporate plots, spaceships, a heroine with an attitude. More details soon!

Available now :

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.


In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

Five and Daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.