- Fridge Horror - The novel ends with a coup overthrowing the existing Soviet regime, and replacing it with a triumverate who immediately sues for peace before NATO can destroy what's left of the Red Army in West Germany. Which, of course, is exactly how World War I ended....and set the stage for World War II. Not to mention the fact that the wealthiest parts of Europe were destroyed in the war, and hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment were consumed in the fighting, while the East Asian nations were unaffected, and the post-war situation does not look bright.
- It should be noted that none of the triumvirate has any interest in revanchism, just getting their nation's economy back in order. But then again, one member of the triumvirate is a very old man, and who knows who will replace him?
- Moral Event Horizon - Soviet soldiers in Iceland break into a civilian farmhouse, kill the parents and dog, and rape the pregnant daughter. The Soviets as a whole are portrayed as decent and honorable men throughout the novel, but it's hard to feel the slightest bit of sympathy towards the soldiers in this incident.
- In that case, it was the KGB officer leading the men who seemed to have been assigned the most blame. In fact, most of the negatively portrayed Dirty Communists in the book (aside from the callously self-serving Politburo members) seem to have been members of the KGB.
- Blowing up kids in the first place to "create" a casus belli. Which comes back to bite Director Kosov spectacularly in the end.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: Handily averted, surprisingly. You might expect Edwards and Vigdis' relationship to bog down the story. It doesn't, and it is quite clear that the war is the focal point of the story, not the ex-weatherman and the farmgirl.
- Tear Jerker: After bringing the crippled Pharris into New London, Commander Ed Morris takes it upon himself to visit the families of each of the men he lost. At the last one, a little girl playing in a half-finished backyard playhouse tells him that her daddy (a petty officer who was killed by the torpedo hit) promised to finish it when he got home. Morris only barely maintains his composure until he gets back into his car.
YMMV / Red Storm Rising