A series of explosions around the globe has two Chinese rivals at each other’s throats and a launch of a plutonium-powered foreign-made Chinese satellite looks to be the next target, but which one and why is the question a suddenly restructured Op-Center must answer. War of Eagles is the twelfth and last book of the Jeff Rovin authored Op-Center series’ original run as Paul Hood is suddenly replaced by a three-star general as Director of Op-Center but as newly appointed intelligence troubleshooter for the new President, only to find himself working with his old command in the middle of China.
Explosions aboard a freighter in Charleston, a sugar refinery in Durban, and then at a night club in Taipei reveals a battle between the head of the Chinese secret police Chou Shin and the top general Tam Li. Yet early in the emerging situation, Paul Hood is called to the White House to become special intelligence envoy for the new President while his replacement General Morgan Carrie is on her way to takeover Op-Center. Both Hood and Carrie quickly assert themselves in their new positions much the consternation to the White House Chief of Staff and the remaining personnel of Op-Center especially Bob Herbert. After learning from Mike Rodgers that his company helped build a new Chinese communications platinum-powered satellite, which would benefit the military, the President sends Hood to China to speak with Prime Minister Le Kwan Po and expects Op-Center to help him in every way. Le, whose main job is keeping political factions at peace or the President will find someone who can, has a meeting with Chou and Tam that Chou leaves early makes Le think the Chou might target the satellite which happens to be the working theory that Hood, Rodgers, and Op-Center have as well. However, Tam plans to blow up the rocket killing Le and other Chinese ministers and bureaucrats as ruse to attack Taiwan then later “learn” it was Chou’s fault. Chou notices the unusual military activity Tam ordered and goes to investigate only for Tam to burn Chou’s plane on the runway. After meeting with Le, Hood goes with the Prime Minister to the launch while Rodgers meets with a team of Marines undercover in China to infiltrate the facility as a security team for his company. Upon learning of Chou’s death, Le becomes suspicious of Tam and decides to talk with his soldiers at the facility only to be conned by the General only to learn they’ve fled the facility. Outside the facility Rodgers helps capture the soldiers and relays where the bomb is that’ll destroy the rocket which Hood and the Marines help destroy preventing disaster. Le orders Tam arrest while Hood’s success gives the President a victory that upsets General Carrie’s superior who orders her to fire Herbert who worked outside the chain of command.
After a nice, arguably slow, setup at the beginning of the book Rovin quickly got the plot off and running along with some interesting subplots that complimented the main plot. Given this was thought to be the final Op-Center book, it was necessary to get the three big players of the organization fully out and the solutions to get Hood and Herbert gone were interesting to say the least. The three main Chinese point-of-view characters were well written and creating an intriguing counterpoint to the America POVs. Though only a secondary character, General Morgan Carrie was well written and would have been an interesting character to have led the series if it had continued, though to be honest if it had she wouldn’t have existed. While one of the better written books there were several big miscues that couldn’t be forgiven. The first was Mike Rodgers independently going after Tam escaping soldiers and not getting shot by other Chinese soldiers chasing after them as well and the second was the decision that Dr. Liz Gordon, Op-Center’s psychologist, to be a creepy lesbian—she starts formulating a plan to seduce a married General Carrie—instead of just simply a lesbian which had been hinted at earlier in the series.
War of Eagles wasn’t the best book in the original Op-Center run that was mostly lows with occasional highs, but after the awful previous installment at least Jeff Rovin sent it off well.