Kandahar Moon

M. L. Strong

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION

    Core Theme

    AFTER EXHAUSTING 20 YEARS OF WAR, TWO AMERICANS ARE STILL WILLING TO RISK THEIR LIVES AGAINST AGAINST ISIS AND THE TALEBAN IN ORDER TO FIND ANOTHER AMERICAN CITIZEN LEFT IN AFGHANISTAN.

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    12 STRONG

    CHARACTER LIST

    • MATT BARRETT, 40’S.

    • SAMANTHA CRISP, 30’S, 30’S., CEO TO BE RESCUED FROM AFGHANISTAN;

    • FARID SHER, 20’S, VILLAIN AND LEADER OF AFGHAN FIGHTERS;

    • STAVROS ARITI, 39, MISSION PARTNER; DOC, MISSION PARTER;

    • CARA FLANAGAN, 30’S, MATT’S LOVE INTEREST;

    • JAX, RETIRED FBI AGENT, MATT’S BOSS.

    Logline

    Ex-Navy SEAL Matthew Barrett is tired. He’s lived a hard life of pain, suffering, and sacrifice without end. When he’s sent on a minimal risk job to find and bring back a corporate executive, Matt is tested yet again. His skill, stamina, and intellect will be challenged like never before!

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Male Leaning

    Setting

    Miami, UAE, Afghanistan

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Amazon

    Year Published: 2022

    Starting Description

    The United States has had enough of war. With the evacuation clock winding down, a small elite team of former special operators is inserted into Kabul to find one special American. What should have been a simple in and out job, turns into the fight of their lives!

    Ending Description

    Shot up and weary after enduring a three-day running gunfight, the elite team of former special operators struggle to reach the Kandahar airport, their last chance to get out of Afghanistan alive. However, ISIS, the Taliban, and a Chechen gun for hire, will do whatever it takes to stop them!

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1735050188

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Matt Barrett

    Age: 40 years old

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Badass,Confident,Decisive,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Strong Moral Code,Skillful,Selfless,Patriotic,Masculine,Complex

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Samantha Crisp

    Age: mid thirties

    Gender: Female

    Role: Skeptic

    Key Traits: Confident,Complex,Educated,Naive,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Sarcastic,Outspoken,Blunt,Sexy

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Farid Sher

    Age: late twenties

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Leader,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary,Secretive,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Stavros Ariti

    Age: 39

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Patriotic,Selfless,Skillful,Strong Moral Code

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, POLITICS, WAR

    Brief

    Even after serving during exhausting 20 years of war, Matt and two other American veterans are still willing to risk their lives against ISIS and the Taleban in order to rescue an American citizen left in Afghanistan after US withdrawal from the country.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: EXCELLENT

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is fair.

    Draw of Story

    What drew me into the story at first was the ability of the author to create a warzone plotline that is both engaging and eventful.

    Possible Drawbacks

    There are a few points to be highlighted regarding the development of the protagonist, Matt, and his story arch. As the character Sam has pointed out during the narrative, and by this we can assume the author is aware, Matt may be regarded as a cliche outdated macho hero protagonist. As Sam, depicted initially as a smart and strong woman, takes a very passive position during action scenes, it seems that her views and (valid) points are eclipsed by Matt’s actions.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch this movie because it brings an interesting point of view regarding US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan for people who are not familiar with the subject to understand how it happened. Also, it creates a broader understanding of what happens inside the country, which is a massive matter in contemporaneous society – all combined with great action scenes and a satisfying resolution.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase if adapted, especially more depth is provided to Sam, a key character in this narrative.

    Awards Potential

    This adaptation would enable many awards as the author manages to create beautiful and poetic scenarios even if action happens in a place chastised by destruction and war. There is an interesting dichotomy between Kandahar moon and the horrors of the place that can be explored by art direction.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    12 STRONG

    What’s New About the Story

    More depth to Samantha’s character is key in order to make this story more interesting and engaging for general audience. Also, protagonist’s arch requires a clearer challenge, one that is not physical – perhaps this could be related to his relationship with Sam.

    Lead Characters

    Lead characters are strong, driven and are courageous.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Narrator has a very engaging style, however one thing that could be noticed about the narrative is that, especially in the beginning, third person narrator embodies the point of view of characters he is narrating. Limits between characters impressions and third person observation should be clearer.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    The premise is interesting and sure to attract its target audience; however there lacks a bit of character development in terms of depth, challenge/motivation and personality layers; in order to better structure protagonist’s arch and the main female character. With proper changes, this story would enable relatable plotlines for a broader audience.

    Brief

    Even after serving during exhausting 20 years of war, Matt and two other American veterans are still willing to risk their lives against ISIS and the Taleban in order to rescue an American citizen left in Afghanistan after US withdrawal from the country.

    What We Liked

    Apart from this book being an undeniably pleasant page turner, it brings an interesting point of view regarding US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan for people who are not familiar with the subject to understand how it happened. Also, it creates a broader understanding of what happens inside the country, which is a massive matter in contemporaneous society – all combined with great action scenes and a satisfying resolution.

    Film: This would be a great adaptation for film because the author is a master in creating exhilarating action scenes that are not disconnected from the story and with surprising outcomes.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV because all the detours and frustrated plans involved in the mission could be set up for several episodes, all with varying turns and surprising outcomes.

    Key points: Masterful action scenes; Relevant historical background; Contemporaneous subject; Charismatic side characters; Driven masculine protagonist.

    Synopsis

    The story begins with Matt in Miami exercising and trying to come to terms with his new regular life as a retired SEAL. He is in good shape, recovering from a low point in his life and working in small missions with Jax, a retired FBI agent. Watching the news, Matt remembers his two times serving in Afghanistan – where soon Jax would assign him to the very dangerous mission of retrieving a promising Fortune 50 executive, Samantha.
    Samantha got stuck in Afghanistan during the sudden withdrawal of American forces. At first, she was helped by Arzo, a mid-age woman who worked in the Hotel she stayed.
    Samantha stayed in her house in Kabul, which was an even more dangerous mess than usual at the moment, while Taliban is conducting house-to-house searches.
    Matt, Stavros and Doc set up to Afghanistan in their mission is to sneak into a country in turmoil, save Samantha and get out alive. Plan A is quite simple, and it begins with the help of Halim, an Afghan that joins the team in hopes he also gets to escape. The team finds Samantha and Matt is impressed with her strong figure. From the beginning and due to different points of view, they hate each other.
    During the escape, the team is hit by a suicide bomber, Matt is injured and they have to get to plan B. Many adventures and detours follow, and many of this brings Matt’s traumatic memories back to surface. As the protagonist faces his own demons, the team has to escape ISIS, Taliban and Quds Forces, led by Farid and jihadist Amir. Things seem to be coming to a happy ending when they head to Kandahar, even with three of them wounded, where another plane would pick them up at midnight, set up by Jax. At the same time in Kabul, tension due to USA withdrawal reaches its peak.
    Clock ticks and the plane supposed to rescue them is arriving but they have a hard time getting to the airport. Sam gets caught, as well as Stavros. They are later retrieved, but they fail to get to the plane. Pessimism and exhaustion sets in, but the team goes on, with no help from US government. Jax gets Seamus (an old friend of Matt and brother of his love interest, Cara) to fly a plane into Afghanistan and rescue the team, with or without airport. When they get close to the plane, Stravos gets shot, but they manage to get on the plane with the help of Seamus and are out of Afghanistan. After the whole team: Matt, Doc, Stravos, Sam and Halim are safe and sound, they realize that Seamus is the one who is not going to make it out alive.

    About The Author

    M. L. Strong is a twenty-year combat veteran officer of the elite Navy SEAL Teams. He is the author of two fiction series: The Time Warrior Sagas (4 novels) and the SEAL Strike series (5 novels). Kandahar Moon is the fifth book in the SEAL focused stories.