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Cold Choices Hardcover – May 12, 2009

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A nuclear submarine can be one of the more dangerous places to be trapped, as shown in this suspenseful follow-up to bestseller Bond's Dangerous Ground. Capt. Aleksey Petrov has just taken command of Severodvinsk, the first nuclear sub to enter Russian service in years. His orders are to drive away any American subs observing Russian naval maneuvers in international waters. When a miscalculation leads to a collision with the USS Seawolf, the damaged Yanks can limp away, but Severodvinsk goes to the bottom. The Seawolf's commander attempts to help the stranded sailors, despite resistance from Washington and Moscow. Both sides will have to overcome their mutual suspicions if they are to make the rescue. If this techno-thriller lacks the geo-political sweep of The Hunt for Red October, its depiction of the bond shared by submariners, even those on opposing sides, makes it more intimate and, along with convincing portraits of men under severe stress, more human. (May)
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From Booklist

Jerry Mitchell, hero of Bond’s previous novel, Dangerous Ground (2005), returns in this exciting adventure. While on a mission in the Barents Sea, a ruthless Russian sub commander decides to play chicken with the USS Seawolf, a maneuver that results in a damaged American sub and the aggressor on the bottom of the sea with the air slowly running out. Mitchell and his crew now face a moral dilemma. Do you flee for repairs or do the right thing and rescue the enemy that tried to destroy you? Complicating matters is the very real concern that there may not be enough time for Mitchell to rescue the Russians and still repair his own sub. The reader can practically feel the frigid water as the novel kicks into high gear. The slow-starting setup could be shorter, but the tense story line from the collision onward more than makes up for it. Fans of military thrillers, especially those by Clancy and his ilk, should devour this one. --Jeff Ayers
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531875X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765318756
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Edwards VINE VOICE on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Let me say up front you would be hard pressed to find someone who enjoys submarine thrillers more than I do...unfortunately finding one that is really well written is easier said than done. I've been fortunate to have discovered what seems to be the majority of authors who actually have some talent in this area...Larry Bond comes with a writing history that rivals pretty much anybody, beginning with his co-writing credit (according to Tom Clancy) on 'Red Storm Rising'. Since then an impressive collection of military-themed novels have been produced, some great, some good and only a small number not worth mentioning...

Being the sub fan that I am, when 'Dangerous Ground' came out I picked it up rather quickly (I actually received an advance copy to be honest) and loved how it began...but as well told as it was, it simply grew slightly then entirely boring. I totally grew disinterested in the characters after about page 250, and it was sheer will that got me through the rest of the book. I was monumentally disappointed to say the least. Larry Bond had written some downright page-turners in his time, and was this a glimpse of what I could expect in the future? I am happy to say that the answer is NO.

'Cold Choices' has everything the prequel lacked--mainly an exciting and thrilling story that very seldom lets up. The title turned out to be amazingly fitting for just how difficult the job of sub commander really can be. What about the choices of a real-life submariner who (rarely) is involved in a mid-sea collision? Do they honor the decision from back home and leave immediately (or as quickly as the ship will allow), or do they stay and against direct orders do the RIGHT thing and stay and help, all the while risking the lives of every man on board? Cold Choices indeed.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Grandpa VINE VOICE on July 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I served in nuclear submarines back in the day, so I normally don't bother reading books about submarines. I can't get past the improper nomenclature, wildly inaccurate technology and bogus crew interactions to enjoy the story.

However, this book was recommended to me by a good friend so I took a chance. I am certainly glad I did. While Larry Bond never served in submarines -- I just checked his biography -- he did serve in the Navy and he gets it. I felt right at home aboard the Seawolf.

The story is about a US submarine, the USS Seawolf and a Russian submarine, the Severodvinsk. They collide and that's where the story gets really interesting. The people and organizations and their various reactions to the disaster are all extremely believable. As the story played out, a little voice kept saying, "it's all very plausible", and I kept on reading because the book is very riveting. Thanks for a terrific book! One wishes the real world would play out the way this one does. I can say for certainty that submarine crews would step up.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Kindler VINE VOICE on July 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read and enjoyed several other novels by Bond, including his first book with a submarine theme, I quickly picked up Cold Choices. Although reading the book jacket tells you that two submarines collide, with the Russian sub sinking to the bottom, Bond does a solid job to set up the event. Character development with the officers and crew of both subs is solid and clearly provide depth as the story unfolds. The real action, however, starts after the collision, when Bond leads the reader through the excruciatingly difficult choices facing both sub commanders who have to deal with the situation at hand while also being mindful of the bigger picture of the broad geopolitical context. While perhaps not a page-turning thriller in the traditional sense, Bond nonetheless gets the reader turning the pages in rapid succession. All things considered, Cold Choices is a very compelling story and definitely better than Dangerous Ground.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Nuclear Sub Captain First Rank Aleksey Petrov is ordered to drive out of the Barents Sea any American naval vessel; even those observing the Russian military exercise from international waters. However, due to a human error, the ambitious and overly zealous Petrov watches in horror as his state of the art vessel the Severodvinsk collides with the USS Seawolf, whose mission was to map the seabed below the Russian naval training maneuvers.

While the American vessel can somewhat move on, the Russian sub sinks to the bottom of the sea. Seawolf Commander Jerry Mitchell, (see DANGEROUS GROUND) assumes the Russians gleefully left to gloat at a nearby submarine port. However, he quickly realizes the Severodvinsk has sunk. The brass from both countries want the incident to stay sunk, but Mitchell feels strongly a rescue of his naval comrades is a must regardless of the Pentagon or the Russian equivalent proclaiming otherwise, however he also worries his damaged ship might not be up to the task and could result in the deaths of his crew.

Readers will feel a bit claustrophobic as Larry Bond provides an insightful look at life on a submarine especially during a crisis. The story line is loaded with action and overloaded with gizmos. Although the brass in both capitals act in their usual political expedient manners that have become too common in literature, fans will enjoy the dilemmas of the two captains. Mitchell could not care less what the fat cats several thousand miles away demand, as he must decide between the risks to his crew vs. a rescue. On the other hand Petrov does care what Moscow thinks so he must decide whether to accept help that will end his career but save some of his crew or die with them; the choice is not as easy as it sounds because he does not trust the Americans to rescue them if they collect what they came for.

Harriet Klausner
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