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The Command Hardcover – June 1, 2004

Book 8 of 14 in the Dan Lenson Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[An] explosive climax...the reader takes a well-informed cruise on a U.S. destroyer. Poyer knows the ship intimately. Vivid descriptions cover everything from knee knockers to combat information center, radar to computers, wardroom to enlisted quarters. Battle scenes in particular come alive with authenticity...and all that, and more, is in this latest chapter of Commander Daniel Lenson's contentious career."-Proceedings

"Poyer packs story with both dense technical info and welcome local color. Unique Aisha merits a spinoff series."-Kirkus Reviews

""Plows fearlessly-though with hair-raising effect on occasion-through today's stormy international and social seas...the salvos of nautical expertise also lend flavor and authenticity...the author provides believable insights into Muslim thinking...Poyer's genius for description impresses on page after page. The vividness of his scene-setting grabs you."
-Virginian-Pilot

"Lovers of procedural military fiction wait for David Poyer's next installment of the career of Dan Lenson."-Roanoke Times

From the Back Cover

Praise for David Poyer's novels of the Modern Navy:

Black Storm
"No one writes gritty, realistic military fiction like David Poyer. No one."
- Stephen Coonts, author of America

"A gripping, gritty novel that reads like the real thing. You're with the marines every step of the way. Poyer knows his stuff."
- Vince Flynn, author of Separation of Power

"Exceptional...a straight-ahead adventure yarn, a frontal assault on the bestseller lists."
- Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe

China Sea
"Vivid descriptions...an exciting story."
- John Garst, Virginia Times

Tomahawk
"Imaginative, thought-provoking."
- USA Today
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Product Details

  • Series: Dan Lenson Novels (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312318367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312318369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer's thirty-plus books include THE DEAD OF WINTER, WINTER IN THE HEART, AS THE WOLF LOVES WINTER, and THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN, literary novels set in Pennsylvania; THE MED, THE GULF, THE CIRCLE, THE PASSAGE, TOMAHAWK, CHINA SEA, BLACK STORM, THE COMMAND, THE THREAT, KOREA STRAIT, THE WEAPON, THE CRISIS, THE TOWERS, and THE CRUISER, best-selling novels of the modern military; WHITE CONTINENT, STAR SEED, THE SHILOH PROJECT, and STEPFATHER BANK, science fiction; and FIRE ON THE WATERS, A COUNTRY OF OUR OWN, and THAT ANVIL OF OUR SOULS, historical novels about the Civil War. His work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, and Italian, and rights have been sold for films, audiobooks, Nook, Kindle, etc. Poyer has taught or lectured at University of Pittsburgh, Cape May Institute, ODU, Joint Forces Staff College, UNF, The New College, Elizabethtown College, and other institutions, and been a guest on PBS's "Writer to Writer." He was a founding editor of THE NEW VIRGINIA REVIEW and is currently a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University.

Customer Reviews

On the other hand, the plot is not so skillfully executed.
zorba
He brings realism to his characters and many of his books will survive the test of time to become classics.
L. Boots McMacon
Many of the characters developed in this book simply went away with no closure as to what happened to them.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dan Lenson finally gets command, but it is a mixed blessing. He takes over from a captain, who did his best to do nothing, and he is handed an experiment - the first integrated crew (male/female) on a warship.

Does Poyer have an opinion? I think so, and he tends to hammer it home through out the book.

Does the ship and crew sail into danger? Do they take casualties? Is there a bad guy out to get them?

Yes, yes and yes - why else would we read a David Poyer book.

Is it realistic - for the most part. I could have done without the four-letter diatribes and the knuckle-headed excesses engendered in a mixed crew, but that is also part of the story.

I swallowed this one in 2 sittings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rottenberg's rotten book review on April 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "Command" DC Poyer has finally elevated Dan Lenson - the luckless but never feckless USN Career officer-hero of his books - to a genuine command. Previoulsy, Lenson had near commands of other ships and, in "China Sea", center-seated an obsolete destroyer on a covert sea war against modern-day pirates of the Pacific. In "Command", it's 1992, and Lenson masters a Tomahawk-armed missile destroyer, the USS Horn. With a mixed-gender crew, the Horn is something of a social-experiment at sea. Sent to mideastern waters to enforce the post-Desert Storm blockade against Saddam Hussein, Lenson will contend with smugglers and terrorists as well as more internal threats - vague ROE, friction caused by the presence of women aboard and outright hostility from colleagues. Unfortunately for Dan, his immediate supervisor is Admiral Niles - his boss from "Tomahawk". Though African-American, Niles has some intolerant views on women in combat - and considering the bad terms with which he and Dan parted ways, Niles's position bodes poorly for Lenson & The Horn. Following form from his other books, Poyer adds depth to his depiction of sea-life by creating a coterie of lower-echelon crewmembers whose lives will run parallel the intrigue of the larger story - from women sailors aboard the Horn to an American Muslim who runs investigations for NCIS in Bahrain. Departing from the other books, Poyer also gives us the terrorists themselves - especially a Sunni doctor who constructs especially deadly bombs for a certain, never-named organization (though we can guess) that cut its teeth driving the Soviets out of Afghanistan, and now may have Dan's new command in his sites. Lenson must balance these threats/issues while running Horn on a mission that includes blockade enforcement and possible attacks on Iraq.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Winter on June 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
You want to cheer for protagist Dan Lenson, but the author has made his flaws so overwhelming you keep thinking, "this guy is a schmuck!" On the other hand, Commander Dan, toiling in a Navy so flawed you wonder how they can float a conoe, always comes through in the crisis. The writing is compelling, however dark, and I continue to read every novel in the series.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Boots McMacon on May 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of David Poyer for years, reading nearly all his books. He brings realism to his characters and many of his books will survive the test of time to become classics. Read Poyer today and you'll be captured for life.
Read David E. Meadows forthcoming book DARK PACIFIC due for release September 2006.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CDR USN (Ret) on February 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Have followed the career of Dan Henson, the protagonist in this novel, since he arrived on the scene some years ago. I'm retired Navy, and let me say that I would never want to serve with this guy: his ships always get hammered badly, or worse, sunk. Now about this book: once again we have a pretty good story line, but the character development beyond Henson is minimal. It would be a stretch to call some of them even two-dimensional, more a collection of stereotypes. The jargon is credible, with a couple of notable exceptions that fairly scream off the page. Similarly, especially for us nautical types, sometimes the terms are just ever-so-slightly misused. Not a big deal, but inconsistent with the otherwise solid approach. I felt that the subplot of women on combatants was never really developed to the extent that it deserved. Most of the women were cartoons, with little convincing explanation of their motivation. In fairness to the author, there are a lot of times in the service when one never learns much about his shipmates other than name, hometown, married status, and expected rotation date: that's due to the transient nature of the military, with 50% rotation annually. However, there are always some people that one gets to know intimately: for example, those who share the same GQ station, the same underway watch section, etc. In my experience, even the Captain, lonely though he is in command, normally has a pretty close relationship with three or four people (XO, Navigator, Chief Engineer, Ops Officer). Also, for anyone who's a first time reader of this series, there was little to provide background as to why Henson is so fiercely disliked by some of his seniors in the command chain. A bit more exposition would've been helpful. Overall, not as good as some in the series, but worth a read. Can't wait to see what Henson does next...career-wise, he'll be about due for a deep draft ship or a squadron command. Wonder what he'll do with that?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Dan Lenson now is a commander of a vessel -- a Spruance-class destroyer which has been designated as a lab for an integrated crew of men and women. The book is essentially a tale of how the experiment worked out and, oh by the way, how it managed to tangle with some bad guys. The book is a mixed bag. Like all Poyer books, there is a lot of tension and suspense and you truly cannot put it down. On the other hand, the plot is not so skillfully executed. There are a lot of loose ends -- characters that just disappear, characters that are introduced with great fanfare and then kinda go back into the woodwork. I also found the ending unsatisfying. There is an exciting climax (no pun intended, given the subject) -- but then the author just abruptly ends the book without giving the reader closure on some items -- which I won't try to describe here so as not to spoil it. There's also an excess of naval terminology which is not always explained or understood by non-Navy folks. All in all, this is an okay Poyer book, but he's done a lot better.
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