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Deployed by Mel Odem

Title:  Deployed
Author:  Mel Odom                                                                                                                          
Pages:  405
Year:  2012
Publisher:   Tyndale                                                                                       
                Mel Odom has written a winner in Deployed as his first novel in the new series titles Called to Serve.  For those who like current military books, this one is definitely for you.  This is a modern day story beginning in a small town in Oklahoma to gain background on some of the characters.  Then, the story moves to war-torn Somalia.  There are several characters and subplots in this book, opening the door for them to perhaps be in a sequel.
                Bekah Shaw has a high school education, works part-time as a waitress and has signed up for the Marine Reserves to earn extra money to support herself, her son and her grandmother.  Her ex-husband is not paying child support and claims her son isn’t his, but someone else’s.  After trying to help a friend avoid a bar fight, she is arrested.  Soon after she is released from jail, she receives notification that she has been reactivated to Mogadishu, Somalia.  She hates leaving her son, but must do so to support them.  She is placed in charge of a small military team that becomes victims of an ambush.  She loses someone she actually knows in this fight for the first time.  She and her team are then sent to safeguard medicine and doctors to a camp set up outside Mogadishu for refugees.  She sees the terrible conditions of the children, women and men face every day—poor shelter, no food, no medicine, constant fear of dissidents and/or terrorists.  Her life up to now has been difficult and she feels God doesn’t see her.  While she is here, however, she begins to remember Bible verses her granny taught her.  She talks with one of the doctors who tells her God has put people in certain places at certain times for specific reasons.  She begins to believe that she indeed has experienced all she has in her life as God placed her here at this point in time.
                Rageh Daud has lost everything, but his life.  He grew up under an evil father, who lived as a bandit and pirate.  He taught his son everything he knew.  Just after his father dies, Rageh goes to college, graduates, marries and becomes a respectable businessman.  Then, Muslim terrorists kill his wife, and soon after his young son dies from infection.  Rageh suffers wounds and burns in the attack.  He is left with nothing so he goes back to what he knows with the intent on killing as many Muslim terrorists as possible before they kill him.  What ensues is a battle between Rageh as he tries to gather a small band of followers to help him rob and kill and the leader of the local Muslim terrorist group.  In the midst of this conflict, the Marines find themselves siding with one group in order to take down the other group.  Rageh has developed a friendship with a boy from one of the camps, and this boy is taken hostage by the Muslim terrorist leader.  Can he save the boy before it’s too late?
                There is plenty of action in the battle scenes of this story.  The battles are described in such a way as to appear all too real.  The author has provided an entertaining book that will leave you wanting to read the next story in the series.
                My rating is 3.5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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