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Lieutenant-General (Retired) Ricky Lynch

5-Star Review by Lieutenant-General (Retired) Ricky Lynch, Former Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division During the Surge in Iraq:

“This is an absolutely amazing book by Lee Jackson. I found the book to be riveting, and couldn’t put it down once I started. I am a student of history, and I found this book to be an excellent rendition of what actually happened in Cuba starting in 1959. It was also very entertaining, telling the story in a believable and fast paced fashion with some well developed characters. As a graduate of West Point, I was very interested in the West Point connection. Lee’s version of the strength of relationships formed at the Academy is exactly right. I also enjoyed the focus on Family, and the wonderfully detailed relationship between Atcho and his daughter Isabel. Atcho’s love for his daughter, and his country, were his driving passions. This book has my highest recommendations. Read it, enjoy it….and learn from it.”

Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

5-Star Review by Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

Curse The Moon: Atcho Rises centers around a West Point graduate and guerrilla fighter (code named Atcho) who leads revolutionaries at the Bay Pigs during the early days of Castro’s Cuba, and opens with his imprisonment and subsequent release, where his political encounters with Moscow and the U.S. become key to his brand of warfare – and to a mystery overshadowing his struggles.

Trained to overthrow Castro and his regime, Atcho seems to hold the upper hand; but Soviet agent Govorov is equally determined not to let this happen, and holds Atcho’s young daughter hostage. Now it’s a personal as well as a political struggle that tests Archo’s limits and commitment.

Curse the Moon is loosely based on the life of Jackson’s Cuban-born father-in-law, who fought during the rise of Fidel Castro. The history behind Atcho’s struggles is impeccable, weaving facts and insights based on a pivotal point in history and injecting the characters of Atcho, his comrades, and his oppressors with realistic components that personalize the struggle.

A quick overview of the novel’s cast of characters, an explanatory prologue of history, and a map of Cuba deftly introduce background and setting, paving the way for a survey steeped in political intrigue and the atmosphere of 1960s Cuba.

It’s this attention to the details of atmosphere and setting that contribute to Curse the Moon’s realistic, you-are-there feel: “Atcho could still scarcely believe that he was cutting sugarcane by hand with a machete. He had been in the fields many times here at the family plantation in Camaguey, on horseback, racing with his father through the rows of cane, even while field laborers swung their sharp, steel tools during the harvest. Fidel Castro, worried about losing the crop while the country was still in chaos since his coup, had issued an edict that all citizens would go into the fields to help harvest.”

Combine this with a dual focus on how personal lives become entwined with political purpose and social change and you have a historical novel packed with not just intrigue and tension, but with the ability to understand social change, the roots of revolution, and how one insider’s struggles can affect not just one nation, but the world.

Curse the Moon has it all, packaging its tense thriller in the cloak of understanding motivations both political and personal. Interplays between protagonists assume chess-like proportions as goals change, obstacles rise and fall, and emotions run deep.

It’s all about danger, sacrifice, and how even would-be romance bows to the pressure of a covert operator’s obligations. In the end the personal moves into political realms and comes full-circle to promise Atcho a life he could barely have imagined at the novel’s beginning. The warrior’s façade may soften, but can it transform to something more than constant struggle and fighting?

Curse the Moon charts this change and promise and is a powerful read for any who enjoy political intrigue tempered by personal transformation.”