Read Coral Hare: Atomic Agent by Clive Lee Online


Selected as one of the Best Indie Books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, America's number one book magazine. Additional Recognition: - Also selected as a recommended book on Kirkus Reviews' 2014 Indie Summer Reading List - The Japanese American Veterans Association published an article praising the book in their Summer 2014 newsletter. An intrepid teenage OSS agent goes behind eSelected as one of the Best Indie Books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, America's number one book magazine. Additional Recognition: - Also selected as a recommended book on Kirkus Reviews' 2014 Indie Summer Reading List - The Japanese American Veterans Association published an article praising the book in their Summer 2014 newsletter. An intrepid teenage OSS agent goes behind enemy lines to stop the Japanese atomic bomb project during World War II. Sweet-yet-sassy, Mina was once your average 1940s teenager. She watched Saturday afternoon serials, slurped cherry Cokes, and delighted in Frank Sinatra and big band swing. Then she watched her father die trying to save a U.S. Navy sailor from the burning wreckage of Pearl Harbor, as he is strafed by a Zero fighter plane. And oh yeah --- Mina is Japanese American. Fighting racial prejudice, Mina joins the OSS (the precursor to the modern-day CIA) to avenge her father, and this Hawaiian-born schoolgirl becomes embroiled in a war she never thought she would be part of. Her life becomes a whirlwind odyssey of redemption, loss --- and vindication. Codenamed "Coral Hare," this undercover doe-eyed, gun-toting firebrand is Uncle's Sam's secret weapon against the Empire of Japan. But the Empire of Japan has an ace up its sleeve -- the development of a devastating new weapon that will usher in a new era -- the atomic bomb. Armed only with her wits and a handful of real-life gadgets, Mina must venture alone behind enemy lines to stop the Empire of the Rising Sun from extending its rays across the face of the globe. With details woven together from actual historical events surrounding Japan's World War II atomic weapons projects, the journey follows this pint-sized Hawaiian princess from the streets of Tokyo, to the rustic outback of Korea, to the malaria-infested jungles of the Pacific in her mission to prevent atomic annihilation. Seamlessly blending poignant moments of heartache with blast-from-the-past, high-octane derring-do, Coral Hare is an elegantly woven tale of perseverance and courage that everyone from our Greatest Generation to Millennials can savor....

Title : Coral Hare: Atomic Agent
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780991480005
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 450 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Coral Hare: Atomic Agent Reviews

  • Werner
    2019-03-26 02:30

    Most people who've read very much at all about World War II are aware that Germany, as well as the U.S., had an active atom bomb development program. Not many, however, are aware (I wasn't, before encountering this book!) that Japan did too --and indeed, that information was only declassified relatively recently. First novelist Lee draws on this new historical information to create a riveting espionage thriller --and the adjective "high-octane" in the description, for once, isn't just hype!After a blood-drenched prologue set in Tokyo in 1937, our story focuses on Mina Sakamoto (b. Nov. 6, 1927 --so she's recently turned 14 at the time of Pearl Harbor). Born and raised in multi-ethnic Honolulu, she's a Nisei, an American-born offspring of Japanese immigrants, who's largely Americanized and sees herself as American. The smart and precocious daughter of a medical doctor, she's been unofficially trained to function as a practical nurse; she's also good at languages (in that setting, a pretty crucial social skill) and something of a tomboy, good at roller skating and hunting rabbits with a slingshot. This background is going to come in handy, because the events of Pearl Harbor will propel her into becoming, before she's 15, a full-fledged field agent of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services --nicknamed "Oh So Secret" by its initiates), the World War II-era predecessor of the CIA. ("Coral Hare" is her coded radio callsign.) Out of 64 chapters, the last 50 focus on the spring and summer of 1945, when the now 17-year-old goes up against Japan's A-bomb program.Despite the teen protagonist, this is definitely NOT YA fiction as such (though some teen readers would eat it up with a spoon). There's no sex (except for a rape scene, but we thankfully don't get a graphic description of the whole incident); while it's noted in passing that Mina wants to marry and have kids one day, that's an aspect of her life that's understandably on hold in the face of other priorities (like staying alive). But there is a LOT of violence. I'd say that 80-90% of the book consists of fighting action, in which absolutely no punches are pulled by the combatants or the author, or of horrific descriptions of the effects of bomb blasts, both conventional and atomic, on human beings; the mayhem is very graphic, gory and grisly. There's also a noticeable amount of bad language; much of it is of the d, h, and s-word variety, but there's some actual profanity too, and I counted eight uses of the f-word. (For the speech of U.S. soldiers, that's arguably not unrealistic --but would Japanese-language speakers have been very apt to use it, especially before the U.S. occupation?)The author's obviously extensive research and historical accuracy is a significant strong point for this novel; but he does a good job of not shoe-horning all of his research into story-slowing info-dumps. This is accomplished partly by the use of footnotes, which the reader can read or ignore, a device that works well here, IMO (I personally wasn't interested in things like the identification of models of military hardware, but World War II buffs or gun enthusiasts, for example, might be; and other notes were quite educational) and through several fascinating historical appendices, which make it clear how much real-life history (TONS!) was incorporated into the narrative, as well as added bonuses on things like real Allied female spies in the war, and an honor roll of real Japanese-Americans in the OSS. (Lee shows a clear and commendable respect for the courage and sacrifice of the "Greatest Generation," to whom the book is dedicated.) Mina's age poses some credibility problems (the biggest one, that Lee mostly ignores, being parental consent for her going off in the first place!); but a doctored birth certificate and some string-pulling help to address these, and the description of her grueling OSS training provides necessary believability for her transformation into a kick-butt warrior. Lee handles the intervening years between this and her climactic 1945 missions very adeptly. The story arc in general is constructed artfully, with personal growth on Mina's part, and a nice depiction of the relationship between her and her mentor.For the most part, Lee handles language and diction capably; unlike some self-published works, the prose here is always clear and readable. (While there are a few typos that slipped through, it also appears to have had some conscientious effort at proofreading.) There are a few cases of sentence construction that's incorrect, and misuse of a couple of words (a character lying "prone on her back" when prone means face down, and a confusion of "flanking" with approaching from behind), isolated instances of redundant language, and sometimes details that don't ring true in the context --for instance, Mina being at a diner for two hours, and still not being done eating a hamburger. But these aren't big problems.Mina is definitely a remarkable literary creation, who takes her place immediately in the pantheon of unforgettable characters in the pulp action tradition. She's definitely a well-drawn, round character, with an industrial-strength level of indomitable spirit and courage, and fighting prowess that's second to none. Allowing for differences in their setting and weaponry, she has enough similarity to Billy Wong's Iron Rose (at least, in Iron Bloom) to make comparison and contrast between the two girls instructive: they're both teens who've had to grow up quickly (but who yet retain touches of the teen), both super-lethal fighters with massive kill counts, and both possessed of endurance and recuperative powers that amaze observers. But while Lee is by far the better stylist, Wong actually creates the deeper and more personally appealing (to me, at least) character. Rose's motive for picking up the sword as a career is desire to protect innocents from harm. That plays into Mina's motives in her final missions here (as does patriotism), but she's originally and mainly motivated by desire for revenge. She's got good reason, and I can respect it; but she's on a darker journey than Rose's. And while Rose is bothered by killing, even when she knows it's necessary, Mina not only clearly isn't, but more darkly, she at times appears to enjoy inflicting mayhem. That makes her harder to like at a deep level.Related to this, there's also a certain sense of missed possibilities for serious moral reflection here. Most obviously, Mina is on a mission to stop WMDs from being built and deployed --and any time you try to stop that, you're doing something constructive. But while she doesn't harm any civilians herself, she also knows about the U.S.'s mirror-image Manhattan Project (which a field operative like herself probably wouldn't have in real life) and doesn't appear to have any problem with it. She's also present for the firebombing of Tokyo, in which more civilians died than in both atom bomb attacks combined (the "justifying" excuse was that the breadwinners of the massacred families worked in defense plants --which the U.S. would have rejected out of hand if the Japanese had been able to bomb, say, Detroit for the same reason); but if it causes her to think about anything but her own survival in the situation, it's not apparent. What comes across is sort of an "us against them" mindset that can translate into "Japnese WMDs and atrocities against noncombatants = bad; U.S. WMD's and atrocities against noncombatants = good;" like the Japanese villains running the A-bomb program (who operate with the same equation, but flipped around), the impression is that anything you do to the "Enemy" is okay because they're the enemy. Certainly, that's realistic for the time and place; it's exactly the attitude that characterized most people on both sides of the war. (Mina, at least, doesn't have the racism that fueled that attitude, on both sides.) And just as certainly, tainted actions by one's co-belligerants don't justify inaction in a war against great evil. But I missed the more substantial kind of moral reflection that would have lifted this into five-star territory. True, the depictions of human suffering from both conventional and atomic bombs here certainly might inspire some of that kind of reflection in some readers; but I don't think that was Lee's direct intention. (I'd also argue that by the summer of 1945, Japan could not have won the war even if they'd built the A-bomb; and I have serious doubts that the OSS ever used torture to interrogate prisoners. We know the Germans and Japanese did --and probably the Soviets too; they certainly used it to force "confessions" in the Stalinist purge trials of the previous decade-- but apart from the ethical issues, I think U.S. intelligence realized how unreliable it is as a way of getting honest information.)All of that said, though, whatever it isn't, this novel is a very good example of what it is: an unabashedly pulpy, edge-of-the-seat thrill ride through hell and back, with a take-no-prisoners heroine who's in a new mortal jeopardy every time you turn around, and who'll keep your heart in your mouth every minute. (Remember, this isn't a series book; there's no guarantee that our gal's going to make it home, even if we want her to!) If you're an "action junkie" (as one of my Goodreads friends describes himself) you'll for sure get your fix here, and then some. :-) This would have real possibilities for an action movie adaptation (which would definitely be rated R for violence); and if it's ever made, it's going on my to-watch list!Added note, April 26, 2014: I almost forgot the required full disclosure: the author gave me a free review copy, just because I'd called the book "intriguing" in a comment. No guarantee of a good review was asked or given! (And yes, Mina does take a prisoner on one occasion; "take-no-prisoners" is a figure of speech. :-) )

  • J. Calvin
    2019-04-18 21:32

    James Bond and Jason Bourne need to step aside. A new spy is on the loose, and she isn’t holding anything back. Clive Lee’s novel, Coral Hare, follows the dangerous missions of WWII, Japanese-American spy, Mina Sakamoto. Mina and her father were there on the fateful day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Mina barely survived the encounter, but her father was not so lucky. Determined to makes his death mean something, Mina devotes herself to the war effort in order to put a stop to the atrocities that are occurring. With her skill in languages, she easily finds a place amongst radio translators, but a job such as this is not what she signed up for. She wants to fight and exact revenge on those who took her father. With this in mind, Mina joins the Office of Strategic Services, a training ground for spies. From this point on, everything is different and her life is in peril. Her journey will take her to the bomb blasted streets of Tokyo, into the heart of the Japanese atomic research labs, and will force her to face some of America’s most brutal enemies. Clive Lee creates an exciting story with a strong and inspiring heroine in his novel, Coral Hare. I have honestly never read a book that was so action-packed yet still maintained a heartfelt story quite so well. The action scenes are hard-hitting, immersive, and have a bit of quirky humor mixed in to balance out the equation. I liken it to reading a Tarantino film or one of the Lethal Weapon movies as a novelization--lots of explosions, cool weapons, chilling villains, unflinching bravery, and a whole lot of fun. If you are an action junkie, then this book is for you. However, once you break through the shiny surface of the action-packed storyline, then you see that the author has done an amazing amount of research to write this story. Clive Lee has made a keen effort to be specific with the details of WWII battlegrounds, and he has made it easy and entertaining to educate readers on these facts. While I am not an expert on the era, I can tell that Lee has done everything he can to make this fictional account as accurate a portrayal of the time period as he possibly can, regardless of the over-the-top action and espionage that takes place within the novel. The effect this has on the immersion of the reader is quite impressive. When things got tense, I had to actively remind myself that this was a fictional account, but the poignancy of some moments remained, because I knew that much of this story has been derived from real-life experiences. Whether you are a history buff or looking for the thrills of fast-paced action, Clive Lee’s book, Coral Hare, should definitely find a place on your reading list.

  • Eric Mesa
    2019-04-21 04:58

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free for review purposesLet me just say this up front: I believe Clive Lee deserves high praise for his writing in Coral Hare for maintaining a balance of spy thriller tropes and historic realism. So, yeah, Mina (our main character) is going to somewhat improbably meet up with certain nemesis at nearly every turn and somewhat more improbably continue to fight after having endured grave bodily harm. At the same time, the novel maintains its historicity; Mina is brave, but has moments of weakness; and the spy gadgets are grounded in reality.When I was at Baltimore Comic-Con 2014, I was attracted to a booth that had a man in a panama hat, a woman in a sailor fuku, and a woman dressed as a WWII nurse. Just what was going on here? Well, I spoke to Clive Lee and he let me know about the premise of the book. (And after reading the book, I now know that the women were both cosplaying different aspects of Mina while Clive appears to be cosplaying Lockwood) I am a geek on many subjects: computers, language, psychology, politics, and history. I really love World War II and the Cold War era history as so much was going on there at the nexus of politics and technology. It's such a fun era to read about with the hindsight that everything turns out OK. (At least from a Western Democratic point of view)Mr Lee tackles so much in this book and does such a good job of it without, I feel, beating us over the head with any kind of message. The book conveys the distrust of Mina for being of Japanese descent. But it also shows the difference in how the OSS viewed it (because they needed Japanese help) vs the American public (who needed to be whipped up into a war frenzy) The firebombing of Tokyo scene and the aftermath with a high-ranking Japanese soldier going through his destroyed city display Clive's masterful ability to make us feel sympathy for both sides of the cause. World Wars I and II were the first time civilian targets became a large part of the war strategy (because conscription made it necessary to attack everyone, not just the military) and, to some degree, they are victims. Clive does a great job of depicting this.As a story-teller, I really enjoyed that Clive takes Mina, has her go through basic training, and then jumps forward three years. We end up knowing that Mina is battle-hardened without Clive wasting time on story beats that don't have to do with the premise of the book - the Japanese efforts at the atomic bomb.One last thing - Clive's style is incredibly cinematic. When the book started I found it distracting the way he was describing things that normally don't get attention in a book - you could almost literally see the camera angles in your mind's eye. (It's no wonder, when I got to the author's bio he's a film-maker) However, the more I got used to the style, the more I really, really enjoyed it. In the end, the book ended up proceeding like a movie in my head. More than once I even found myself thinking - Mr Lee needs to get this made as an anime or as an HBO show. I think a movie would destroy the subtleties that make this book so great and would have to lose at least half of the missions to stay under 3 hours. But a premium cable show could do so much justice to this book; A nice - one-season show. Anime would allow the budget to remain smaller, but look at Game of Thrones - budget doesn't appear to be an issue for premium TV.Really only two negatives I can think of:1) I'm reading v1.021 and the lines that separate the footnotes from the main text sometimes cover up main text - annoying formatting error.2) The epilogue really killed it for me. I think Clive put it after all the historical notes because it's a lark; a tribute to the campiness of James Bond movies. If it'd been right at the end, I would've subtracted a star because after how great the book walked the line of realism and tropes, it was too much.So, definitely read this book if you like WWII and spy thrillers. I know I'll be on the lookout for Clive's next book.

  • Tom Stall
    2019-04-08 01:34

    Excellent WW II spy thriller. I've been looking for a good read on this topic, and it's really a treat to find one about the Japanese takeover and the history behind it. It's intriguing from start to finish and the like the part on the Pacific Front. Definitely worth a look.

  • Clive Lee
    2019-03-27 03:35

    Two thumbs up! ^_^ (Hey, it's my own book, what can I say?)

  • Jason Logan
    2019-04-19 03:57

    Enthralling World War 2 spy thriller. It's a female James Bond; reminds me of Nikita mixed with a little Kill Bill. Two thumbs up!

  • Lissibith
    2019-04-09 22:32

    Looking for a bit of 007-style historical fiction set in WWII with a young woman as the hero? Then you may want to consider this story, but I cannot recommend it unequivocally. On the good side, the action here is pretty awesome. It sometimes gets a little easy on the main character, but like with Bond stories and other spy-action stuff, you probably won't care. If you're along for the ride, you're already on board with a girl on roller skates snapping every neck and avoiding allll the gunfire. An when it gets going, the momentum can really carry you along. The author did a LOT of research and it shows in the level of detail used in this book.But this book really could have stood a good edit from a professional. There's a bunch of repetitive descriptions (get used to ebon hair and many a sable-colored thing in the early going), a lack of characterization, awkward phrasing and some pacing problems. I would probably be reccing this a lot harder if it were a tighter, more flowing read. Really, I think the biggest of these flaws for me is the characterization thing. I never really got a feel for who our main character is. I know she chose to become a special agent in the war after the death of her father during Pearl Harbor and she seems to have been fond of him, though she never really talks or thinks about him afterward. She... has a mother. Not really sure about the relationship there. What exactly does Mina want? I guess... for the war to end? What's her motivation? To do... good... for her boss? I know she doesn't like swimming (and that definitely does pay off in the story, so props there!)Don't get me wrong, a lot of the time you don't really care. It's all action and that's solid, as I said before. So if you think the idea sounds good, and the issues don't sound like deal-breakers, I can say there's definitely an enjoyable story here. :)

  • James Bowman
    2019-03-26 23:54

    One would have expected this novel - about a Japanese-American teenager who becomes a superspy and battles against Japan's atomic program during World War II - to be a light and young-adult-aimed adventure story. Instead, Coral Hare is a very different sort of tale, and very definitely not for teens.The novel is actually rather hard to classify, as its tone keeps shifting throughout. Sometimes, it's like an 80s action film, with obvious heroes and villains, disposable minions, and scenes of gory yet near-cartoonish violence. Other times, it's a gritty historical thriller, graphically detailing mass destruction, torture, and other wartime horrors perpetrated by both sides. And then there are the scenes where the protagonist becomes an anime caricature, ferociously slaughtering enemies while dressed as a schoolgirl - and sometime wearing roller skates.Don't expect much from the writing - which is average for the most part - or the characterization - which is extremely straightforward. It does the job, but that's all. However, the author did do an impressive amount of research, which is well-reflected in the novel... to the point that the text is peppered with footnotes. (These footnotes even appear when they don't add anything to the narrative.)That all said, I will admit that the book can be surprisingly compelling, quite a page-turner. And the author's obvious enthusiasm can be infectious at times. If you go in expecting lots of spy-fi action - and you have the stomach for some nasty scenes in the middle - you may get something out of this. (C+)

  • John
    2019-03-21 00:30

    The author draws you in from the beginning. I found it hard to put down. An ultimate spy novel.Coral Hare is a very action packed novel, based on fact, taking you into the WWII Japanese Nuclear program. Follow the young Mina Sakamoto from Hawaii to Japan and Korea in this adventure as she is recruited into the OSS sending her into Japan and Korea chasing the bomb. Everywhere she goes she runs into Col. Tetsou Matsui or "Rain", the man in charge of it all. Her rival and archenemy.This book is based on facts about the Japanese Atomic Program and the race to produce the first atomic bomb. Many of the facts used in the book were not released for thirty years after the war. The book has footnotes covering the real Japanese Atomic Bomb Project and other secrets of the Imperial Empire.

  • Franklin Odo
    2019-03-24 00:57

    This is a genuine page-turner. Good WWII research, well-written, kick-ass young woman protagonist - Japanese American from Hawai`i! She is recruited by OSS [precursor to CIA] and rockets from incident to incident in mission to destroy Japan's little-known atomic bomb project. Good show!

  • Jason Logan
    2019-04-04 21:50

    Enthralling World War 2 spy thriller. It's a female James Bond; reminds me of Nikita mixed with a little Kill Bill. Two thumbs up!

  • Clive Lee
    2019-03-24 21:31

    It's my own book, of course I'm giving it five stars! =P

  • Leonard
    2019-04-19 02:55

    Two words. "Aloha, b**ches!" (unleashes flamethrower)EPIC.

  • Mary
    2019-04-12 02:58

    Review to come

  • Adrian
    2019-03-23 05:40

    Trashy and pulpy, but I actually liked it! Could do with another proof read (there was at least 1 jarring error), and someone to sort out the British accents though. I read it as part of my trip to Pearl Harbour, which is probably the best way to do approach it, as the many historical footnotes are only interesting to the wider context, they don't add anything. But a decent pulpy spy thriller which is worth checking out if you are also interested in the history of the WW2 Pacific conflict.

  • K.F.
    2019-04-16 21:37

    Love the concept, got bored with the follow throughI mean basically this book is awesome as a concept and would. Be amazing either if it was shortened or turned into a tv show but as a novel this long it's tedious at times and super technical. But probably the most educational book I've read in a while. Plow through it. It's worth it.

  • Michelle Carrell
    2019-04-03 22:29

    An interesting topic choice to say the least. Mix that with a 007-esque main character and a storyline set during WWII and you get one hell of a thriller!

  • Peter
    2019-04-05 23:41

    This book reads like a screenplay and was a little too comical for me to take seriously.