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MARA DUNCAN

duncan_mara_bk_shockwar duncan_mara_bk_shadowswar duncan_mara_bk_edgewar duncan_mara_bk_bloodwar
 
Full Name: Mara Duncan
Series Name: Red Dragon Rising
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
Time Span: 2009 - 2013

ABOUT THE SERIES

Mara Duncan is an agent with the CIA.

The four recorded adventures we have of her activities for Langley are part of a bigger-picture series of global significance which would not normally be made part of this compendium but her role is of such importance that I felt she deserved her page. These activities take place a couple years in the future.

We first meet Duncan while she is assigned to the Agency's Thailand Station in Bangkok and has been there a short while; she was still getting used to live in that bustling metropolis that was 'home to hundreds of spies from nearly every nation on earth'. She is using as her cover there being "a local sales rep for an American medical-equipment manufacturer". When she is summoned to talk with the Head of Station, she is said to be fidgeting nervously "clearly anxious and probably excited at the prospect of a new assignment", an attiude that Head remembered from long ago when he too was new. Her record might disagree.

Tall and large-boned, Mara had an almost playful nature, a natural outgoingness that [her boss] always associated with jocks. Her personality would have made her an excellent recruiter, though it wasn't hard to guess why she had been moved into that area - she was far from ugly, but she wasn't a knockout either, and her height would be considered a negative by old hands, especially in Asia. Spies wanted to be seduced, or so the theory went; few men were attracted to a woman who could just as easily whip them as seduce them. As it was, she'd proven herself an excellent PM, or paramilitary officer, though at times a bit aggressive, as her last supervisor in Malaysia had written. Her boss did not agree with her review's "rambunctious" description.

In the ensemble adventures where Duncan is a primary participant, there are numerous other people who also play important roles but in Duncan's life, two that stand out at:

Josh MacArthus - a scientist and researcher sent to the Vietnam region to investigate, document, and later report on Chinese activities in the region.
Zeus Murphy - former Special Forces captain now a Major advising the Vietnam People's Army. Duncan and he met when she "had rescued [him] from the jungles of Vietnam after he'd been caught behind the lines. They'd fallin love during the ordeal".

BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2013

1 Shadows of War Shadows of War
Written by Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
Copyright: 2009

"In 2014, China must cope with widespread riots and a devastating drought; the U.S., where gas costs $14.39 a gallon, is suffering through a recession and a housing crisis; Europe has problems just as serious. When China decides to invade Vietnam in an effort to save its starving populace, the U.S. determines to aid Vietnam to insure the world order. Compelling characters include CIA operative Mara Duncan, who's based in Bangkok, Thailand; Maj. Zeus Murphy, who simulates a war game called Red Dragon (which pits China against the U.S. under code names) and proudly drives a gas-guzzling Corvette; and American scientist Josh MacArthur, who's on the run in Vietnam from a Chinese commando and martial arts master, Lt. Jing Yo."
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2 Edge of War Edge of War
Written by Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
Copyright: 2010

"CIA officer Mara Duncan is on assignment in bomb-torn Hanoi. Her task---get scientist Josh MacArthur and a seven-year-old witness to Chinese atrocities in Vietnam out of the country safely. They are pursued by a relentless Chinese monk turned commando who can call on the entire Chinese secret service in Vietnam for help. Their escape is further complicated when SEALs helping Mara, gun down Vietnamese soldiers, making them wanted by both China and Vietnam."
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3 Shock of War Shock of War
Written by Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
Copyright: 2012

"Under secret orders from the President, U.S. Army Major Zeus Murphy sabotages a Chinese invasion fleet on the eve of its assault against Vietnam. But after Murphy and fellow officer Win Christian are trapped behind enemy lines, Christian's erratic behavior gives them away. The pair shoot their way out of a Chinese airport terminal, hijack a bus, then barely escape two truckloads of soldiers before disappearing into the night."
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4 Blood of War Blood of War
Written by Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
Copyright: 2013

"As depression and drought wrack China, the country's new premier has launched a deadly war with Vietnam. The assault has left the world on the precipice of disaster....
U.S. Army Major Zeus Murphy disobeys his commander and plunges headlong into the conflict, leading the Vietnamese in a covert attack against the Chinese army massing on the border. If the gambit fails, China will roll over Vietnam-and Zeus will lose the only woman he has ever loved, kept prisoner in a secret base north of Hanoi."
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MY COMMENTS

This entry in the compendium is interesting not only because of the terrific writing that Jim DeFelice does and the awesome plotting that Larry Bond does (assuming I have that correctly which is never a sure thing), but because the star of this page, Mara Duncan, would not be considered the 'star' of the series.

Her roles in each of the adventures is vital to the storyline but she is not the main character. However, she warrants membership herein because it is a series and she is a key participant in each portion and she is so darned fascinating.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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