Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
Brilliant, well-paced, engaging read
on December 26, 2012
As an ex-submariner and a lifelong fan of Heinlein, Asimov, and Doc Smith, I find it difficult to actively dislike a story that focused on a naval space vessel and the men crewing it. Then again, it's fairly easy for me to dismiss a story out of hand when it is grossly inaccurate, or uses poorly drawn military caricatures, when describing the challenges of shipboard life on a vessel surrounded by a hostile atmosphere, and to whom Stealth is Life.
These gents did it right; I got a warm, fuzzy feeling as soon as they introduced the COB. The only caricature is the hostile alien force, and I thought that eventually their motivations were explained well enough, at least for the first novel of a series, to make them believable. Many of the elements in play here could have been off-putting had they been handled poorly: Max's "cajun-ness", the extra-extra-ordinary competence and compatibility of the command team, the many throwback references to traditions born in the age of sail and salt-water navy (and Star Trek) when some of them seemed almost prohibitively dated. But I believe they were all handled with an exceptional amount of humanity and humor, which prevented things that could have been cliche from distracting from the main points, and in no way prevented me from thoroughly enjoying the progression of the Captain and crew of the Cumberland.
If any of the previous reviews mentions a story or author you're keen on (Heinlein, O'Brien, Foster, Horatio Hornblower), I believe you'll have a good time here. Can't wait for the sequel, and I'm hunting for the paperback right now so I can pass a copy around to friends. Highly recommended.