Mild spoilers ahead
A fictional account of a military history about a war between China and the US and allied forces over Taiwan set in 2028.
I generally enjoyed this book (the narrative was compelling) and found it to be an easy way to develop a feel for the general geography and challenges that a come with a Taiwan conflict.
The device for this book is really clever. The actual book is obviously about events that haven't yet happened and are in the future. But within the book, the author mentions the decision to write this as a narrative history a la Killer Angels as a way of bringing the "historical" people within it to life for a new generation. This confusing to recount but is quite clever within the book.
As of the end of 2023 (and I guess early 2024), the book feels remarkably current. There's lots in it about Ukraine and Russia that feels like it could've been written ~a week ago.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book to me was the degree to which fooling the other side's AI through feeding it false data is the key to victory. You can't beat the algorithm, but you can misdirect it.
Space Force features prominently. I wonder how true to life this part is.
For about the first ~1/3 of the book there's a lot of discussion about "bespoke algorithms", which made me chuckle. What does that even mean?
I wish I had as much faith in US industrial capacity as the author does!
The ending felt like the author decided he was done. It made me think that the most likely equilibrium for such a conflict was a stalemate where China can't quite be pushed off the island but also can't quite control it.