Gerard Dion CUBA Unchained

ISBN 13: 9781503579545

CUBA Unchained

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9781503579545: CUBA Unchained

After wealthy business owner Nickolas Harvey becomes restless in semi-retirement from the defense industry, he decides to take the world community into his own hands. His action-packed scheme involves an aggressive and dangerous strategy to collapse the last Cold War vestigethe estranged U.S.-Cuban relationship. Working outside of slow-moving, traditional channels, Nickolas devotes the remainder of his public life to achieving change for the betterment of mankind. He calls this give-back program his Signature Event. FOLLOW THIS UNLIKELY CITIZEN DIPLOMAT, NICKOLAS HARVEY, IN A FAST-PACED POLITICAL THRILLER, AS HE RISKS HIS LIFE TO EXPOSE STATUS QUO POLICIES WITH TWISTS AND TURNS FROM DIFFERENT SIDESEACH SEEKING JUSTICE OR RICHESONLY 90 MILES SOUTH OF KEY WEST, FLORIDA.

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About the Author:

Gerard Dion is a self-employed marketing executive with an extensive background in the automotive industry. Dion writes in a fast-moving cinematic style, in his debut novel, Cuba Unchained, introducing a new, exciting character to the political thriller genre. You can learn more about Gerard and his book at www.cubaunchained.com.

Review:

Cuba Unchained Gerard DionPublisher: Xlibris Pages: 421 Price: (paperback) $23.99 ISBN: 9781503579538 Reviewed: November, 2015 Author Website: Visit » Cuba Unchained, a debut thriller by former Marine Gerard Dion, features an intellectual action hero à la James Bond who is working to "free the Cuban people" through his charitable organization, Americans for Reconciliation with Cuba.
Nickolas Harvey is a semi-retired businessman with a passion for the plight of America's Cuban neighbors. As the novel opens, he moves from San Diego to Washington, D.C. to become ARC chairman. He frequently visits Havana and the White House to meet with officials and tries to drum up layman support. However, many oppose his vision of open diplomacy with Cuba, and he faces security threats from unknown parties on both sides. Meanwhile, a group of desperate Cubans are planning an ill-fated voyage to Florida on a fisherman's boat, allowing the author to showcase a lifestyle far removed from the wealthy politicians and entrepreneurs.
The narrative has a few flaws to note: Long blocks are composed of dialogue and speeches; one sometimes wishes for more expository prose. There are so many characters and organizations that it can be hard to keep them straight. And while the author is well informed and sensitive to the nuances of American-Cuban relations, he makes an unfortunate gaffe in writing that "Nickolas couldn't read Cuban." In addition, the subplot concerning the would-be immigrants ends abruptly, in a way that makes them nothing more than an object lesson.
Still, such issues are minor overall and barely diminish one's enjoyment of this light-hearted thriller. The action scenes, which include Bond-like high-speed car chases and hand-to-hand combat, provide campy fun (as in: "the Lexus ... lifted the two shooters off their bike and spun them into the hereafter"). An assassination attempt on Raul and Fidel Castro is a particular highlight, blending real-life characters with a plausible fictional scenario.
Although the recent opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba renders this book somewhat outdated, fans of James Bond spin-off stories should enjoy this as a fast-paced thriller.

KIRKUS REVIEW In Dion's debut political thriller, an ambitious businessman takes it upon himself to fix relations between the United States and Cuba.
After growing restless in his retirement, successful businessman and former Marine Corp captain Nickolas Harvey sets out to realize what he refers to as his "Signature Event," an ambitious project he hopes will be his legacy. Enlisting several former business colleagues, Harvey creates a political organization whose main objective is to end the embargo against Cuba. Harvey's campaign quickly gains publicity; he garners enough support to become the point of interest for several major political groups. Harvey's success also makes him a target of rival organizations and those looking to maintain the current state of affairs. Fending off both political and physical attacks, Harvey takes his cause to the highest levels of U.S. and Cuban governments with the goal of ending their Cold War animosity. Dion delivers a complicated thriller that expands its focus to include the plight of those living in Cuba under the effects of the embargo, particularly those looking to seek asylum in the United States to escape poverty or political prosecution. The novel unfolds at a quick pace and uses the character's campaign to offer essential background information regarding U.S.-Cuba relations. Despite the fast pace of its plot, Dion's writing sometimes drags and falls flat; the more dramatic moments of the novel are treated with the same muted tenor as the more mundane. The novel also spends a great deal of time invested in the political and business elements of the plot, which may not satisfy those looking for a more action-oriented thriller, but these details do offer additional realism.
An interesting thriller that doesn't quite match the ambition of its protagonist.

Reviewed by Katerie Prior
January 4, 2016 From the first page, it's clear that Dion has extensively researched the plot, delving deep into Cuban history and culture.
Fidel Castro once said, "Men do not shape destiny. Destiny produces the man for the hour." It's a powerful idea that ordinary men can sometimes step out of everyday life to do something for the greater good. This idea is the centerpiece of Gerard Dion's latest novel, Cuba Unchained.
After years of building a successful defense contractor business, Nickolas Harvey is in semiretirement. A wealthy man with loving family and friends, he aches to make a bigger, more positive impact on the world. With the help of his colleagues, he launches Americans for Reconciliation with Cuba, an organization to reopen interests between the United States and Cuba. As Nickolas campaigns, his cause gains traction and attention, but not everyone agrees with him. Soon, Nickolas finds that leading a social cause can be a dangerous thing.
From the first page, it's clear that Dion has extensively researched the plot, delving deep into Cuban history and culture. Throughout Cuba Unchained, Dion crafts speeches where Nickolas talks in detail about Cuban political topics, such as the effects of the Cuban-American voting bloc in recent elections or how Castro came to power. He also builds a realistic side story where Cuban citizens Rose and Manuel Rodriquez discuss their plans to leave their homeland and make it to America.
The combination of details and sharp dialogue give this political thriller a realistic and cinematic feel. When Nickolas makes an impassioned speech, it sounds like it might be a clip from C-SPAN or another news network. That realism spreads into warm and engaging conversations between Nickolas and his wife or friends.
But sometimes that cinematic feel is too strong. As good as the dialogue is, the book relies too heavily on it, making is seem more like the work started as a screenplay before switching to a novel. This shows in some sections of dialogue where action or crowd reactions are written in parentheses and italics. The book also switches between present tense (which screenwriters use when writing action) and past tense within the same paragraph.
In the end, it's these small things that trip up Cuba Unchained. The book has the potential to be a political thriller in the vein of The Hunt for Red October
. Still, this novel may appeal to anyone who enjoys history or fiction centered on American politics. Maybe with a little more editing, destiny may yet turn Nickolas Harvey into the man of the hour.

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