Fire Storm

Richard Hardaker [Ethan Ross]

Book Cover



    Core Theme



    1980s & '90s











    The inauguration of a joint space programme between the USA & Russia was heralded as the landmark in the advancement of space exploration. Russia had a different agenda and Special Forces Commander, Jack Copeland now seconded to the CIA was brought in to minimise and eliminate the threat.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal


    Moscow, JSC Houston, Kazakhstan, Pentagon, CIA Langley, Tashkent Uzbekistan, Washington DC, Fort Mead Maryland, White Sands New Mexico, KSC Florida, ISS, White House, Naples Italy

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Shield Crest

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    Story begins in Kazakhstan with the launch of the Proton rocket with US and Cosmonauts heading to the ISS in a first for space exploration.

    Ending Description

    The ISS was critically damaged by the rogue Russian agents from a ground based firing point and recovery began in earnest. The Russians were killed in the ground and air assault in New Mexico and the trail pointed back to a Russian Federation government official.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available




    Mature Audience Themes


    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Jack Copeland

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Masculine,Decisive,Leader,Sexy,Patriotic,Confident,Skillful,Seductive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Elisabeth Young

    Age: 43

    Gender: Female

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Charming,Aspiring,Confident,Educated,Sexy,Patriotic,Seductive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Vladimir Popov

    Age: 54

    Gender: Male

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Secretive,Villainous

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sergei Grigorev

    Age: 48

    Gender: Male

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Skillful,Patriotic,Desperate,Complex




    Jack Copeland is an agent under Scorpion working under the US Government. When Jack learns of the Joint Space program between the USA and Russia involving the International Space Station and its self-guided laser missiles, Jack smells danger and decides to investigate, gradually uncovering a sinister conspiracy that threatens the whole world.

    Overall Rating


    Point of View


    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    FIRE STORM is a thrilling, propulsive read reminiscent of Tom Clancy’s many novels focused on espionage in the US government and political conspiracy. The writing is clear and fairly concise, and does what it needs to in order to immerse the reader in the experience. Immediately setting an epic stage by opening the book with a prologue which describes in detail the launching of the “space laboratory” of this new International Space Station, a Joint Space Program between the USA and Russia, the book features a particularly globe-spanning, epic tale of conspiracy at the highest levels. Such high stakes help to push the story forward as Agent Jack Copeland digs ever deeper into just what is really going on. Full of twists and turns, the result is a fun read.

    Possible Drawbacks

    FIRE STORM suffers from many problems common to many books published these days, namely errors of presentation, such as typos, poor formatting, and an overall lack of editing. There are lots of areas in here which could have been condensed or cut altogether in service of a more tight, focused story that would race ahead as its plot winds tighter toward the climax. The dialogue can be long-winded and overly explanatory, often a little too on-the-nose in terms of illustrating what the characters are feeling or thinking. Though the story is well told, it is a story we have seen a thousand times over in various forms, and Copeland is just like every other “Jack Surname” protagonist we’ve seen before in this genre (Jack Reacher, Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer, etc.). There is no fresh twist on the material.

    Use of Special Effects


    Primary Hook of Story

    There isn’t really a hook other than this is a story about global conspiracy among powerful nations and people and the man to investigate and fight for the rest of us. Fans of Tom Clancy adaptations will enjoy an adaptation of this.

    Fanbase Potential

    It would be on part with the fanbase of Tom Clancy adaptations.

    Awards Potential

    No, because the awards community tends to ignore action films.

    Envisioned Budget


    Similar Films/TV Series


    What’s New About the Story

    There is little original about it but it is a well-done story in the style of contemporary political thrillers/action films. It could be made more unique by vastly deepening its characters, particularly protagonist Jack Copeland. How can Jack become a character we have never seen in films like this? How can his relationships deepen this film? Is there another perspective that could help to tell this story in a fresh way?

    Lead Characters

    Jack Copeland is the quintessential action-movie protagonist: Tough, laconic, darkly witty, courageous, impulsive, and highly capable. Elisabeth is a little side-lined but she contrasts well with Jack when she’s around, and is a smart, capable woman herself.

    Uniqueness of Story

    No, it needs to become more unique and less similar to Tom Clancy stories, with something powerful of its own to say about the world/life, before it can be called a rare gem.

    Possible Formats

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

    Analyst Recommendation



    It could use some editing—both in terms of story and presentation—as well as more complex characters and a more original plot.

    Tips for Improvement

    A draft focused more deeply on character and relationships, with something more unique to say about the world, could potentially become considered.


    When Jack Copeland, an agent under the US Government’s specialized task force Scorpion, suspects foul play among the new Joint Space Program between the USA and Russia and the self-guided missile system they share, he decides to investigate, uncovering a sinister conspiracy that threatens the whole world.

    What We Liked

    FIRE STORM is a thrilling, propulsive read reminiscent of Tom Clancy’s many novels focused on espionage in the US government and political conspiracy. With clear, concise writing, the story propels the reader into a fast-paced suspenseful thrill-ride into the murky waters of powerful nations always a moment from war, and global conspiracy.
    Fans of the many highly successful Tom Clancy adaptations, such as Amazon’s recent WITHOUT REMORSE, will find much to love about the twisty, complex plot as tough, ultra-capable special agent Jack Copeland digs ever deeper for the truth, letting nothing stand in his way.

    Film: Film is the ideal medium for adaptation of FIRE STORM as the well-structured novel follows classic three-act structure in a manner that would help provide a framework for a feature-length screenplay, including a propulsive act one which sets the stakes and story world, and a powerful climax which pays off the clever, winding plot. Striking a fine balance between action, suspense, and some light drama, a feature film adaptation of this novel could become a real hit with the right money and talent behind it.

    TV: As TV series are so popular now, an adaptation of FIRE STORM for the “small” screen may be exactly the right idea. The story certainly provides more than enough threads for subplots and characters to spin more from, while the shadowy figures lurking in the background of this story—some of the most powerful people in the world—provide much potential for the same. Jack Copeland, like 24’s Jack Bauer or Amazon’s eponymous Jack Ryan, is the ideal character to bounce multiple seasons off of as he fights against enemies new and old in his attempts to keep this world ticking on as it is.

    Key points:
    1) Fast-paced and propulsive.
    2) A well-told story in the vein of many Tom Clancy adaptations.
    3) Balances action, suspense and drama to great effect.
    4) Full of twists and turns.
    5) Strong franchise potential.


    JACK COPELAND (30s) is an agent under Scorpion working for the US Government. His girlfriend, ELISABETH, works for CNN as a reporter. They are at the peak of their love life, but everything changes when Elizabeth gets posted for a job in Russia. Jack uses this as an opportunity to step out of retirement and makes a call to the US PRESIDENT, who officially welcomes him back into Scorpion. Jack soon receives news of the Joint Space Program and the astronauts who will be tasked with taking the International Space Station (ISS) to space, where it will be used as a platform to seek new worlds and neutralize any incoming threats like asteroids. The ISS is self-contained with laser-guided missile-defense systems and life-support facilities. Therefore, it can sustain life for a prolonged period. The Joint Space Program is an association between the US and Russian Federation.

    Although the ISS is a valid technological advancement, Jack is worried that a US laser in space will be seen by other countries as a threat, causing them to create missiles and lasers as a means of neutralizing the ISS. Jack is also concerned that, if the ISS falls into the wrong hands, it may be used to instigate war in different regions of the world.

    Lastly, he is concerned about the two Russian mission specialists, VLADIMIR POPOV and SERGEI GRIGOREV, who he thinks would sabotage the mission as a way to honor their country. However, the Nasa Director, HARTMAN, and the US president are both confident in the mission and urge Jack that measures were placed to ensure that all the astronauts were fit for the job and the mission would advance without a hitch (Ross, 2018). Jack is skeptical and insists that he should investigate the astronauts and ensure that nothing was missed.

    Meanwhile, Elisabeth is followed as she moves from the US into Russia. She is concerned, but her worries are put to rest when she stops seeing a grey SUV following her. She becomes more relaxed after two CIA operatives are tasked
    with ensuring her safety at all times. Under Jack’s request, Elisabeth interviews the wives of the two Russian astronauts to get information on whether they planned to compromise the space mission. She also tries to contact GENERAL IGOR SYROMOKOV. However, she is unable to secure a meeting with him, denied permission by the Kremlin. Elisabeth eventually meets with Syromokov discreetly, who informs her that he has sensitive information about the ISS. He states that he will only share the information if he can defect to the United States.

    In the White Sands Missile Range, a security supervisor, MIKE REYNOLDS, was concerned about the nature of two guests. DIAZ and RAMIREZ claimed that they were the guests of BRADLEY HERNANDEZ, an equipment specialist missile engineer. However, Bradley had not provided any notification to request the two guests, which was rather suspicious. He allowed the two guests to enter the facility but remained quiet about their visit. Later, a janitor informs Mike that Bradley had been snooping around in the office earlier than was allowed. He seemed to have been looking for restricted information in a paper from the US State Department. This paper was flagged as TOP SECRET. Mike became more curious about what Bradley and his two friends were up to and decided to observe them.

    Having saved the day, Jack is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by the US president, who calls Jack a true hero. Jack tells the president he’s taking Elisabeth to Italy.

    About The Author

    Richard Hardaker served 23 years in the British Army in specialised roles for the government and the NATO alliance. Serving alongside foreign forces in hostile locations, Richard has been able to capture some of those moments and replayed some in book format. He's currently written 3 novels under his pseudonym with a 4th currently in progress. When not writing, Richard works for a foreign royal family as their Head of Personal Protection. He enjoys keeping fit, travelling and delightful cuisines.