From Publishers Weekly
Outstanding maritime action sequences are the high points of McCain's otherwise naïve-feeling debut. Max Brekendorf, a young German naval officer during WWII, serves on a battleship in the Atlantic, a merchant raider in the Indian Ocean and, after being adrift in a lifeboat and a convalescence in Paris, he volunteers for the U-boat force. As the war wears on, the navy, an institution that once forbade officers from joining political parties, becomes overrun with Nazi loyalists, creating tensions on Max's submarine that will eventually force him to choose between his moral sense and party directives. Unfortunately, the numerous good German/bad German scenes sustaining this uncomfortable premise are clownish at best. However, the action sequences are undeniably stunning, and McCain is no slouch with details, such as a ship's teakwood deck planks (which don't splinter when hit by shells) or the smell of petroleum in a submarine that permeated even the canned food. Fans of naval fiction couldn't ask for more authentic action, even if the novel falls short of its ambitions to salvage the reputation of the German navy. (May)
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"Novels of naval warfare have long captured readers' attention and imagination, perhaps because many of them, in addition to simply being great yarns, illuminate the moral dilemmas of command, offer glimpses of social and political history, and describe life at sea. An Honorable German does all those things... A gripping and eye-opening first novel."―Booklist
"The action sequences are undeniably stunning...Fans of naval fiction couldn't ask for more authentic action."―Publishers Weekly
"A fast paced, old fashioned naval yarn that crackles with authenticity, AN HONORABLE GERMAN will leave the taste of salt on your tongue as you breathlessly turn the pages. A first-class tale that afficionnados of the Second World War will find especially satisfying. I enjoyed it immensely!"―Christopher Reich
"A truly epic and stirring tale of war, love, and the sea. AN HONORABLE GERMAN is a remarkable debut novel by a writer who has done his homework so well that it seems he was an eyewitness to the history he portrays in such vivid detail. An original and surprising look at World War II from the other side. "