Book One: THE LEGEND OF BANZAI MAGUIRE. After US Air Force pilot Bree "Banzai" Maguire is shot down in Korean airspace, she awakens in the year 2176 to a romantic adventure everyone will love.
This book will appeal to women who love Tomb Raider, Charlie's Angels, and Alias.
Susan Grant won the 2003 RITA, Romance's highest honor
Read an Excerpt
The Legend of Banzai Maguire
By Susan Grant
Copyright © 2004
All right reserved.
Bree dropped her helmet bag by the front nose tire so she
could inspect the sleek, gunmetal gray F-16 that was hers for
the next few hours. To her, the fighter was breathtaking, like
a piece of modern art, all smooth lines and sharp
turns-beautiful in a deadly way, like a bird of prey.
She waved to the arriving crew chief, the airman who would
guide her through the engine start and taxi-out, and then
climbed up a ladder into the cockpit, high above the ground.
It wrapped around her snugly, that cockpit, as if the jet was
custom made for her.
Inside, she connected her G-suit to an air hose. Then, with an
assortment of clips and straps, she attached herself to a seat
that contained everything she needed for survival in the
unlikely event of ejection: more survival kits, a radio, a GPS
unit, a life raft, and, of course, her parachute. After her
seatbelt clicked closed, she donned her helmet, leaving the
mask loose for the moment.
With a flick of her finger, the powerful engine rumbled to
life. Then it was time to leave. Bree taxied out, Cam behind
her. She always looked over her wingman's aircraft, but she
stared at Cam's a little longer than usual as the feeling of
foreboding came over her. Cam was fine, she told herself.
Everything would be fine. It was aroutine sortie. Bree forced
her eyes to the runway ahead of her. The sky was turning from
gray to blue, clear and cloudless. You were born for this,
remember? Born to fly. Bree's spirits lifted with the rising
"Razor flight's ready," she told the control tower.
"Razor flight cleared for takeoff."
The tower controller's voice came through her helmet headset.
"Roger," she replied. "Razor flight cleared for takeoff."
"Two." Cam's response told her that she'd heard and understood
the tower's instructions. Clearance for their "flight" meant
clearance for them both. Cam would be rolling down the runway
within seconds of Bree's liftoff.
Bree pushed the throttle up. The engine didn't rumble to life;
it exploded-a multi-megaton kick in the pants. Acceleration
slammed her shoulder blades into the seat, and within seconds
she was above a hundred knots and heading for twice that. The
sheer force of the fighter never failed to awe her. All that
power, in her control.
At rotation speed, Bree wrapped a gloved hand around the
control stick of her F-16 and pulled back gently, sending the
jet skyward. A glance over her shoulder told her that Cam was
Soon, Cam fell back to a tactical position a mile-and-a half
behind her. Together, they headed to the airspace high above
the DMZ between North Korea and South Korea. Bree leveled off
at twenty-thousand feet. Somewhere high above her jet a
modified 747 airliner bristling with radar and intelligence
personnel eavesdropped on her radio calls to Cam. Iris could
relay warnings to the fighters, speaking to them directly, all
while coordinating with the region's military commanders-and
Washington, if needed. The integrated battlefield.
So far, so good. Bree thought of the bad vibes she'd felt
before takeoff, and blamed them on too much sugar for
A burst of random radio static yanked Bree's mind back where
it belonged: in the here-and-now, where she didn't have the
luxury of letting her thoughts wander. She rolled up on a wing
and turned back to the shore. Here, the landscape was very
rugged and remote. The forest came almost to the beach, what
there was of one: a narrow and rocky strip of sand, decorated
she'd bet with mines and barbed wire instead of Pepsi bottles
and empty containers of Coppertone. Another burst of static
caught her attention as the coastline rolled under the belly
of her jet.
Cam shouted: "Razor-two, Radar, RAW, hits bearing
Bree's pulse jumped with a surge of adrenaline. RAW was
shorthand for radar alert warning. Cam's threat warning system
had gone off. A radar site on the ground had turned on to take
a look, telling them that somewhere down there a North Korean
surface-to-air missile operator was tracking Cam as a cat
stalked a mouse. It might want to pounce ... or it may simply
want to play. You never knew. But you had to treat every blip
as a potential threat.
Bree answered quickly so Cam would know that her own jet
hadn't picked up anything. "Razor-one is negative." She hated
surprises like this. She'd read the intelligence briefing that
morning, and it had been clean. Then she remembered a recent
report on the North's shoulder-launched missiles. It was
impossible to keep track of those. They could be loaded in a
car and driven anywhere. Worse, an actual visual sighting of
an aircraft wasn't necessary, as it had been in the old days.
All anyone needed to complete the deal was a cooperative radar
operator to help find a target. Then everyone with a personal
missile launcher could fire away.
"Iris, what have you got for Razor flight?" The surveillance
plane would have heard Cam's radio call.
"Stand by. We're checking it out."
"Checking it out," she muttered to herself. They could afford
to sound that laid-back; they were sitting in a safer place
than her wingman. But Bree tried to be patient. The
intelligence gatherers were good, very good, and they'd saved
her butt plenty of times, but they weren't perfect. They
couldn't possibly keep track of every stray missile battery in
Bree's threat warning system light illuminated. A swell of
adrenaline froze her concentration into absolute focus. Her
voice was calmer than she felt. "Razor-one has RAW. Nine
She glanced from the warning light to her HUD, and then to the
sky. It had been only seconds since Cam had reported her
warning. Now someone was looking at Bree also. But radar alone
didn't pose a threat. Every fighter pilot knew it. The guys on
the ground could aim all they wanted, but unless they were
close enough, anything they lobbed over would fall short-and
Bree was going to take care of that right now.
She accelerated, climbing to a higher altitude, eager to put
distance between her and the unknown threat before it became
more than that. Cam followed, a half mile behind her. She'd
rather go south than farther north, and she hoped Cam realized
that, but the people on the ground checking them out were in
that direction, keeping them on the northern side of the
border. It almost smelled like a set-up. But what could the
North hope to gain by shooting aircraft engaged in operation
Keep The Peace? With tensions as high as they were, it didn't
A loud alarm filled Bree's headset. She warned, using the
"Talley ho!" Cam shouted back.
Bree looked over her shoulder, craning her neck. There!
Telltale white plumes of launched SAMs.
The ice in her veins surged like an arctic dam breaking.
"Counter, counter," Bree's threat warning system suggested in
a female voice. But Bree was already releasing chaff and
flying evasive maneuvers. Missiles came at you at supersonic
speed. Confusing the little buggers was the only way out.
Bree gripped the control stick, wrenching it sideways, and
pulled. Her vision narrowed. The sudden onset of Gs was almost
too much for her suit and body to fight. She tightened her leg
and stomach muscles to squeeze the blood pooling in her lower
body back up to where she needed it most-in her head. Her
oxygen mask slid down her sweaty face. Harsh breaths roared in
her ears as she sucked air into her squashed lungs.
Radio chatter filled her headset. Bree realized belatedly that
Iris was transmitting something about confirmed reports of
SAMs in the air. Well, duh. Sorry, no time to chew the fat.
Gotta get rid of this missile on my ass.
The aerial battle exerted tremendous forces on her body,
alternating between the bone-crushing force of gravity and
negative Gs that propelled her insides upward and out. The
missile streaked past. Woo hoo! It had missed! Thank you, God.
But the missile passed her by only to lock on to Cam.
Bree's mood changed instantly. She was in a position to have a
good visual on both of them. "Razor-two-Missile at eight
o'clock, low!" But Cam wouldn't have a visual. The SAM was in
her blind spot: underneath and slightly behind. "Break right,"
Bree directed. "Break right!"
Cam flipped over on her right wingtip. The missile followed.
On Bree's HUD, Cam's jet was one of many shapes, whirling in a
dizzying video-game battle. With her naked eye, she saw two
birds of prey, one guided by mindless, mechanical technology,
the other by human hands.
The missile looked as if it would miss, fooled by
countermeasures and some amazing evasive flying. But then it
came around, its plume of white vapor sweeping in a graceful
arc. Bree stared in horror. "Razor-two, reverse left-reverse
left!" Sweat stung her eyes. "Missile in your six, closing
fast." Come on, Cam, come on.
The SAM was a half-mile behind. And then a quarter-mile. Dread
tightened her throat. "Harder left!"
Bree jerked, startled as smoke and debris made sudden daytime
Ah, God. There couldn't be a worse thing to witness than
watching your best friend take a direct hit.
In the seconds that followed, Bree searched the smoky sky,
fighting the emotion that if let loose would shatter her
concentration. Then she saw it, an open parachute, and it was
the most beautiful sight in the world. Even better was the
glimpse of Cam's long legs dangling beneath the silk. Her
wingman plunged down toward hills bordered by a U-shaped
swatch of darker trees, a crescent of green in a vast sea of
grey-blue conifers. At the speed of light, Bree committed the
sight to memory.
A warning alarm trilled in her headset. She wrenched her
attention back inside. Lights in the cockpit flashed at her. A
stoic computer-generated voice urged: "Counter, counter."
The other missile was locked on her!
Cam's ejection had sidetracked Bree-for only a few dozen
heartbeats. But that distracted fraction of a minute might
have been a fatal mistake. She gritted her teeth and hauled
back on the control stick to bank away from the threat.
Massive forces crammed her into her seat. Not enough. Need
more. After what she saw happen to Cam, she knew it'd take
every countermeasure, everything in her bag of tricks to
Bree shoved the stick the opposite way and forward. Her seat
belt and shoulder harnesses kept her bottom pressed firmly on
the seat cushion, but negative Gs thrust her insides upward,
as if she'd just crested the highest hill on the world's
biggest rollercoaster. But her tactics weren't working. She'd
have to reverse course, fly into the missile, and then hope
her angle and speed would be enough to throw it off her tail.
Her threat warning alarm blared. She flew wildly. Ground
became sky and the sky ground. Then, a painfully intense flash
of light half blinded her. For one infinitesimal slice of a
tick of the clock, Bree thought that the missile had missed,
and that she was watching its flamboyant suicidal finale from
the front row. But when something unimaginably powerful
slammed her jet from underneath and threw her forward into her
shoulder harnesses, she knew better.
The second missile had found its target.
Excerpted from The Legend of Banzai Maguire
by Susan Grant
Copyright © 2004 by Susan Grant.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I hadn't heard anything about this one, but after loving all of Susan Grant's books in the 'Star' series, I was willing to take a gamble. Forget the gamble --- this is a winner! I couldn't put it down. It's been a while since I stayed up until 4:00 A.M. to finish a book, but there was no way I was going to be able to get to sleep without getting to the end of Banzai's story. Only,unlike some books in a series, this one doesn't finish the main character's story at the end of 'her' book. I know it drives some readers crazy to be left hanging, but if you go into it knowing this is a series, it just lengthens a great story that you don't ever want to end! I hope all of the books in the series are as good. (Susan Grant is only writing the first and fifth books.) I look forward to seeing more of Bree and Ty as (hopefully) main characters in the future books.
Banzai, an Air Force pilot in present day, crashes into enemy territory, is cryogenically frozen and wakes 170 years later to a different world, where the USA is now a WORLD power and almost a dictatorship. The love story is a bit of an afterthought. I might check out the next in the series, but only to read more about the revolutionaries.
I liked it when I read it but I barely remember it now. I did want to read the rest of the books in the series so I guess that is a positive and I also wanted to read other books by Susan Grant.
I so totally loved this book! Read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Loved the characters, the excitement and tension. I really enjoy reading Susan Grant's work! I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I save 5 stars for books I read more than once, and enjoy immensely, and find new things in, each time. I am not usually one to re-read books. That being said, this is my second time reading The Legend of Banzai Maguire. I read it first as a paperback not long after it originally came out. When it was re-released I was offered a copy of the e-book, and told it had been updated, and now there would be just 2 books instead of 5 in the series, which really caught my eye, in part because the author is part of what had drawn me to Banzai originally. (She had a series of books that I had read and enjoyed, that were all out of this world Alien stories, and I was curious to see what she would do on Earth.) I was drawn to this book primarily because of the intriguing idea of someone "missing out" on 160 years of a planets evolution, and waking up to have to rediscover political alliances, boundaries, and the world in which they live. It is not just about having to adept to new technology, and the modernization of life, but Banzai is a fighter pilot, a patriotic American, who awakes in a world in which there is no longer an America to be patriotic to. Trying to figure out who to trust, who to believe, to redefine home in this new world kept the story interesting for me at every turn. I found my second reading of this to be just as much fun as my first -- and I am definitely looking forward to reading Scarlet Empress.
The Legend of Banzai Maguire (TLoBM) is a re-release of what I consider a terrific Susan Grant novel. This was originally a part of a series of novels by different authors, with Susan Grant writing two: this one and The Scarlet Empress, which is a continuation of the story started in TLoBM. After reading this re-release, I went back and skimmed over the original story. It was amazing to see how little updating the story needed! Still incredibly relevant and fitting! And the jet piloting descriptions in the first couple of chapters are awesome and make you feel you are there in the cockpit with Banzai! TLoBM is, in brief, about a female USAF jet pilot that gets shot down and captured in North Korea. Her captor is not the expected North Korean government however, but a mad scientist who puts her into a suspended animation, only something goes wrong and instead of being revived within a couple of weeks, Banzai is awakened 160 years later! She is quickly embroiled in a struggle between the United Colonies of Earth (including the former USA) and the Asian Empire, embodied in the two men responsible for her rescue – handsome Tyler Armstrong, UCE commander and treasure hunter who located and revived her, and the very charismatic Crown Prince Kyber, ruler of Asia, who is responsible for getting her the medical care necessary to bring her back to full health and reintroduce her to the ‘world of tomorrow’ in which Banzai finds herself. The shape of global borders may have changed, but the game of politics seems familiar! I won’t say anything of the story because I don’t want to give away spoilers. I will say that I think Banzai has the potential to be one of the strongest female characters Susan Grant has written. I say potential because I really don’t think she was given enough opportunities in this story to show what she can do – it needed to be a longer story! While she does eventually show her metal, I think her healing process and adjusting to the world of 2176 takes a little too long – in terms of how much of the book involves this because storywise it happens fairly quickly really. A little less figuring out what’s going on and following along with what others tell her and a little more kicking butt and taking names would go a long way to showing her potential. Bottomline: While the 2176 Freedom Series isn’t my favourite of the many series Susan Grant has written, The Legend of Banzai Maguire is a classic (in every good sense of the word) Susan Grant story that you can’t go wrong with! Highly recommend it. I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The book did not grab my attention from the beginning it took a few chapters for it to pull me in. I thought that the ending was rather abrupt. When I got to the end of the book I was expecting more. It seemed like the book was missing part of the storyline. I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
US Air Force pilot Bree “Banzai” Maguire is shot down along the North and South Korean border and wakes up in a future with a very different political climate. She and her strange situation draw intense interest from two men, a powerful world leader, and a fellow soldier/treasure hunter. Grant has written a fine military romance from the point of view of a soldier who is forced to question where her loyalties lie as she mourns the loss of her old life and tries to make sense of the new world in which she finds herself. Although a good part of the middle of the book slows down and takes place in one location and quite a bit in Banzai's head, it does not stall. Instead, it is a steady build up to the climax. The more I got to know Banzai, the more I rooted for her no matter what difficult decision she made. Grant's writing flows and creates a balance between action, suspense, and romance. There was much to like about this book, and I did truly like it. However, it is not without flaws. The idea of Banzai Maguire being a legend in her own time seemed implausible. Why would an air force pilot shot down over enemy territory become a legend and still be remembered more than 150 years later while so many other missing and killed soldiers are not remembered? There is not an adequate explanation as to why she was remarkable or as to why a major world power would have any interest in her. Tyler, the navy seal turned treasure hunter, is obsessed with finding Banzai only to lose her again to the enemy. As a treasure hunter, she was the ultimate “treasure”. I know it's quite romantic to have the hero tell the heroine that he's been waiting for her his whole life and that no other woman compares to her after only interacting with her for a short time. But I couldn't help thinking in the back of my head that something was “off” with their interaction. If Ty hadn't been such a likable and honorable character, he would have given me creepy stalker vibes. In the end, I ended up rooting for Ty almost as much as Banzai. The book ends with a “happy for now”, but leaves many loose ends ready to be tied up in the next book. Now that I am vested in the characters and setting, I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. *I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Intelligent and audacious scify I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Susan Grant once again sweeps the reader into a believable futuristic world, earth in the year 2176. Through a plucky, intelligent heroine, Banzie Maguire, Grant draws the reader into the unfolding development of world tensions insidious to this 2176 world. This well-written book captured my attention at the outset with an eagerness to see “what next.” With suspense, strong intelligent characters and sexual tension Grant takes the rider on a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns. I appreciate Grant’s writing strengths that create intelligent, audacious women and rational futuristic worlds...both which keep me coming back for more. As such, I am eager to read part 2, The Scarlett Empress.
What a refreshing change, this is not a "cookie cutter" book. It does keep you guessing, it doesn't rely strictly on romance to keep the readers interest. I love a book that I feel an attachment to the characters, a feeling of investment and the need to follow them further. I can't wait to read the next installment. This book has added Susan Grant to my favorite author list. I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved the book, and the writing style.
A page turner from beginning to end! Banzai is a fighter pilot who gets shot down along with her wingman/woman, Cam. Banzai wakes up 160 years later in a fabulous palace but later learns a revolution is brewing. Hmmm. Luxury or fighting... Guess what she chooses?! I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a great introduction to this new sci-fi romance series. The fact that the girl name was Banzai is what caught my attenion. It hard for me to find a futuristic sci-fi romance I like but I'm glad I brought this one. The book is a little slow at first but once I read the first few chapters I had to know what going to happen to Banzai and couldn't put it down. Keep in mind that it the introduction book and meant to create the world of the year 2176. This series is a might have at least for me.
Shot down over enemy territory, Bree 'Banzai' Maguire is placed in stasis for one hundred and seventy years, waking to find herself in a new world. Everyone she knew is dead and the world is totally different. She is now a legend, kept as an honored guest by Prince Kyber, the ruler of Asia. Or is she a prisoner? Although Kyber is attractive, it's another man who wins Bree's heart. Ty Armstrong has dreamed of Banzai since he was a boy. Rescuing her and joining her cause seems only natural. However, Kyber might not agree. ........................ **** The premise of this series has been used before, but never has its execution seemed so logical or possible. It is easy to imagine the world becoming as pictured in this new series. The love triangle has just enough tension, and there is a fair amount of action to keep the pace moving. ****
This one rates up there with Contact. Susan Grant's greatest strength is in how realistic she presents her futuristic novels. As a reader, I could see how this premise could happen in the future so I felt more immersed in the story. And the personal chemistry between Banzai and Ty is very moving and sexy. Yumm!
In 2006 Captain Bree ¿Banzai¿ Maguire and her wingman Cam ¿Scarlet¿ Tucker fly a sortie over North Korean when both of their F-16 jets are shot down by surface to air missiles. A fanatical scientist apparently not associated with the North Korean government captures both American aviators. He injects the duo with some sort of experimental elixir. In 2176 United Colonies of Earth SEAL Commander Tyler Armstrong tries to rescue two Korean War pilots allegedly still alive due to a cryobiology experiment. Tyler knows the danger of entering the Kingdom of Asia, but firmly believes the credo that the military never leaves anyone behind. An added impetus is that he is already half in love with the legendary Banzai. He succeeds in finding his Sleeping Beauty, but not her wingman Scarlet. Before Tyler can flee with Banzai, soldiers of the Kingdom of Asia¿s ruler Prince Kyber catch him. As Kyber and Tyler compete for the affection of a now awake Banzai, the two men reassess their values and patriotism influenced by the twenty first century legend that will soon shake a world. This is an exciting military science fiction romance tale that readers will enjoy immensely. The story line is action packed yet allows the audience to see deep into the personalities of the romantic triangle. The superpower rivalries (there is at least one more) are cleverly designed, but the key to this terrific tale is Ms. Grant enables readers to observe life in 2176 as fans along with Banzai will know what its like to fall through the rabbit hole. Hopefully Scarlet¿s tale is told shortly. Harriet Klausner