Rare Mettle


The Revised Edition is available in print and eBook versions at Amazon, and additional retailers and libraries worldwide. 

From Original Publisher, Balcony 7 Media & Publishing:

“Ann Bridges hits a bulls-eye in exposing the potential devastation of a Western world reliant on Silicon Valley technology, and ultimately taken hostage by a Chinese embargo of rare metals crucial to sustaining our way of life―and how we defend it. The sequel to Private Offerings, Ms. Bridges’ debut Silicon Valley novel, Rare Mettle is a no-holds-barred depiction of modern U.S. military weapons impeded by myopic political posturing, and double agents so deeply embedded, success dictates a monumental collaboration of unlikely partners―high-tech innovators and government agents―seemingly the only parties who realize the lethal potential of this new world order.

The reality that American military strength and technology prowess could come under attack if China decides to flex its political muscle, limiting exports of rare components vital to Silicon Valley and defense contractors, is brought to life through Ms. Bridges’ exhaustive research, finessed with input from government insiders. In Rare Mettle, politicians and CEOs busily protect their careers, while special agent Paul Freeman fights to rescue his assigned operative in China, who possesses inside intelligence vital to America. Unexpected alliances bulldoze the status quo with courage and conviction, leveraging state-of-the-art surveillance technology in a breakneck effort to defend and protect all they hold dear: their national pride, their families…and their futures.”


“Ann Bridges has written a gripping fictional account of a serious real world problem. Touching on contemporary issues of big data mining, drones, and human rights, she builds a plausible, and frightening, story about America’s absolute dependence on Chinese rare earth metals and the head-in-the-sand behavior of Silicon Valley elites and DOD bureaucrats when all the warning signals were flashing red. Ms. Bridges book, Rare Mettle, should serve as both an entertaining read and a cautionary tale about the lengths to which regimes will go to insure their survival.” Robert H. Latiff, PhD., Maj Gen (ret), USAF, Technology Consultant

“With great intrigue, Rare Mettle showcases the critical role that rare earths play in geopolitics and our lives, and how the seedy side of the metal trade could undermine the high-tech world we take for granted.”–David S. Abraham, Technology, Rare and Electronics Materials Center and author,The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age”

Rare Mettle offers the reader a chilling tale of a scenario which unfortunately has the potential to become reality. Written like a rare earth industry insider, Ann Bridges offers the reader a look inside the workings of the industry set against a suspenseful backdrop of characters caught in a web of political intrigue. Fast paced and energetic, Rare Mettle keeps the reader guessing as to the eventual resolution to a problem which threatens the essence of American technology.” Anthony Marchese, Chairman, Texas Mineral Resources Corp. 

Rare Mettle is actually a carefully crafted report on an important international materials situation. Posing as a novel, the book accurately explains why rare earths are called ‘conflict minerals.’  The ecological and emotional conflicts swirling around rare earths may already be transforming a pollution dispute into a deadly-serious matter.”  —Don Christian, Silicon Valley electric vehicle engineer & entrepreneur

“Ann Bridges’ Rare Mettle gives a fascinating insight into the real and complex world of the rare earth industry today. The fast-paced story is full of political intrigue, interwoven with the personalities that are scattered throughout this diverse industry. The book is well researched and will give the reader an understanding of how these metals impact our everyday life through personal appliances to major industrial and defence applications that are essential to the 21st century. As an active participant in the industry for more than twenty years it is great to see this hidden story being exposed to a wider audience.”–Ian Chalmers, Managing Director, Alkane Resources Ltd., Perth, Western Australia

“Rare Mettle is as fast-paced and exciting as a Dan Brown thriller, and kept me glued to the story to the very end. Ann Bridges delivers a very believable characterization of Chinese politics, plus mimics the behind-the scenes maneuvering of business dealings, too. A quick read, even for a very slow reader.” —William DeVincenzi, Executive in Residence, Director of Gary J. Sbona Honors Program and Thompson Global Internship, Lucas College of Business, San Jose State University

“I was motivated to read Rare Mettle after having read Private Offerings by the same author. I’m always attracted to books taking place in Silicon Valley where I have lived and worked for forty years. Most often non-fiction trumps fiction. Bridges’ stories, however, tend to be fast paced, full of twists and turns and feature good guys who are not always good and bad guys who are not always bad.

One thing is certain, the author does her homework.

In the context of a Venture Capital play book, behind the scenes of public diplomacy between the U.S. and China, and very sensitive and real issues like control of Rare Earth Elements, Bridges writes like she has “walked the walk.” Her protagonists become likable despite serious flaws and questionable personal agendas. The pace of the action keeps you turning the pages. In the end the problems are solved…almost. You are left wondering if complete resolution will be found in the next book or tomorrow’s newspaper.” —Stephen Tritto, award-winning author and retired Silicon Valley executive

“Author Ann Bridges captures the dragon spirit of both Silicon Valley and China–bold, ambitious, and intelligent. With attention to authentic detail, she moves the story through the perspectives of powerful, complex characters, all grappling with universal issues–power and control, love and sex, fear of failure and drive for success. Best yet, she understands how to communicate the delicate balance of two fast-paced cultures, each vying for supremacy in a high-tech, high-pressure world in an entertaining, captivating thriller.

My favorite aspects of Rare Mettle are the ways she weaves the Chinese traditions and social mores through the story line. Ann Bridges uses a common Chinese idiom as a metaphor for an aging female Chinese politician; describes the odd but revered profession of corpse walker; and challenges the political hypocrisy of women’s rights, environmental regulations, and religious freedoms. Well-researched, it serves as a great introduction to many issues facing America’s relationship to China today and in the future.” —Margaret Zhao, former Enemy of the State in Mao’s China, and award winning author, “Really Enough: A True Story of Tyranny, Courage and Comedy”

“Ann Bridges’ exciting, reality-based Rare Mettle is packed full of corporate and government agents engaged in an economic and geopolitical battle across cultures and vast geography. Based on extensive research, and including insider conversations, her story foretells America’s weaknesses and possible consequences of decades-long, compromising policies chasing China’s cheap manufacturing promises and stable global alliances.

But what adds an element of timeliness and relevance is that the underlying technical facts setting these fictional players into motion are true; therefore, her depiction of the current commercial and National Security situation is accurate, valid and deeply relevant to U.S. economic standing in the world. This, of course, impacts the lives of every American alive today, and will define the lives and futures of our children.

Through its compelling characters, “Rare Mettle” presents a frighteningly disturbing, first-hand account of institutionalized policy failure that has in fact taken place at the highest levels of the United States government.” —James C. Kennedy, President ThREEConsulting.com, St. Louis Missouri.

Read more about the facts behind the fiction:

Buy at  Amazon or eBook retailers and libraries worldwide 

Thank you, and enjoy! –Ann

2 thoughts on “Rare Mettle

  1. Thanks, Jack, especially for thinking I’m 50 years younger than you–NOT! But I do think that we all need to ramp up the public’s knowledge of such an important commodity. After all, if the kids of today thought their iPhones might be threatened, or not be able to opt for an electric car there would be such a cry of outrage the politicians would have to step up and deal with this issue on the front page, rather in back rooms. Let’s make that happen!

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