Salina, a short story by Ben Coes

Three and a half stars (of five)

Coes offered this short story up to readers who pre-ordered his latest novel, Independence Day, due out in May. It is set as a preface to the entire Dewey Andreas series and gives the reader a glimpse into how Andreas got the impetus to begin fighting terrorists, as he emerges on the scene in Power Down.

Andreas is in Columbia, on the run from the world and in need of a way to leave the country in a hurry. He scores a ride aboard the Salina, a ship headed for Miami, and begins revealing some of his past. The reader sees the rough exterior of Andreas, as he uses his fists to get what he wants, as well as the heartache he’s endured in the loss of his wife and son. Coes also creates the backstory for why Andreas left America and is so reluctant to return. Towards the end of this short story, the reader receives the bridge that connects this short story to the beginning of the Dewey Andreas series, the explosions off the coast of Canada and down in Columbia, energy conglomerates brought to their knees. It is only then that Andreas decides to return to his native land to fight a st of terrorists and make the most of his independent nature, 

Coes wrote that this backstory fell onto the cutting floor in an early draft of Power Down. It is well-written and seems to offer that view of the character that places all actions in order. Coes has a wonderful writing style that flows so effortlessly and keeps the reader wanting more, as I did thoughout. While nothing stellar, it was an entertaining read over a cup of coffee and I look forward to Coes’ net major work.

Kudos, Mr. Coes for this teaser into the life of Dewey Andreas. I hope Independence Day is as captivating.