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The Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary) Hardcover – May 6, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews
Book 10 of 11 in the Lt. Leary Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Drake was attending Duke University Law School when he was drafted. He served the next two years in the Army, spending 1970 as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th armored Cavalry in Viet Nam and Cambodia. Upon return he completed his law degree at Duke and was for eight years Assistant Town Attorney for Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has been a full-time freelance writer since 1981. His books include the genre-defining and bestselling Hammer’s Slammers series, the RCN series including What Distant Deeps, In the Stormy Red Sky, The Road of Danger, and many more.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lt. Leary (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; 1st Printing edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476736391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476736396
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After the last novel in the series, which I thought was not as good as the first three or four, this one is back to my high expectations. In this volume, spoiler alert, there is much more negotiation and political infighting then there is continuously blasting spaceships or forts on various worlds. The two protagonists are as usual very interesting in how they react with each other and complement each other. The various minor characters are extremely well written and thought out. It was interesting to note also that some of the minor characters especially the two servants have changed and progressed instead of remaining the same book after book. I was glad to see that the RCN series is back on track to what it originally was a grand way to spend some time reading an adventure book. So you Sissies out there get ready for a fun ride through space.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lt. Daniel Leary and his RCN Sissies and accompanying satellite characters--a group that worm their way into your affections and stay there!
I just think Adele Mundy is a thoroughly interesting person, introvert and socially inept, or maybe ignorant, though she is. Given her history how can we expect anything else. She has become stronger as the series has progressed and in this book she is more central than Daniel Leary.
Her continuing reflections about her life and place in her ongoing world open her up to us even more than before. I really enjoy her interaction with and views about Miranda, Daniels fiancé.
Adele's thoughts in particular about her inevitable death, something she seems to almost welcome as a penance for those deaths she's caused that haunt her are revealing. As are the various facets of her friendship with Daniel, a friendship that has become her lifeline, her touchstone back to her humanity.
Her views about Tovera her bodyguard cum servant are intriguing, delivered as they often are in a one dimensional reflective tone. Yet Adele or 'the mistress' as the spacers call her is anything but one dimensional. She is extremely focused and highly motivated especially with anything that touches on Daniel or the work that her other employer Mistress Bernis Sand, head of Cinnibar Intelligence Service, hands her.
It was fascinating to me when Adele, stepping outside her comfort zone does something that humans normally do, that is, wave a friend [Daniel] over, simultaneously telling Tovera that she, Tovera is a good role model.
'By now Tovera was better at pretending to be a normal human than her mistress was.
But then, Adele had never seen the point of the exercise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Between my Dad and me, we have collected everything David has written. My Dad passed several years ago, but our passion for Drake's writing continues. This is another well-considered effort. No mindless bloodletting ... reality governs the actions. Sorry Holly wood ... special effects won't give this tale wings. Acting and directing will be required.

The historical antecedants described in the preface (5th century BC) are the basis for Drake's tale, but there's nothing that doesn't translate into today. The existential problem that seems to overwhelm Drake is entropy (everything dies in the end,) but his characters work out of an ethic that seems to honor individual effort, despite it's ultimate futility. Which is exactly as should be.

The plot is complex. Leary and Mundy seem to be working towards a confrontation, but it is neatly resolved. There are no utopian dreams, and the level of bloodshed is minimized. Which is characteristic of Drake's works despite their focus on warfare. Presumably, hopefully(?) the waring factions will spend a couple of generations avoiding "peaceful" genocides once the external military forces have been removed.

I think a little too much is made about Tovera (Mundy's body quard,) where in the past David let actions speak for his characters. In fact, I suspect that the "sociopath" profile Drake struggles with is more a modern fiction than anything substantial. Which might be why he has trouble portraying her. It's not too hard seeing Tovera in any number of our recent cabinet officers. But they employ others to do their dirty work and probably can't shoot worth a darn.
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Format: Hardcover
This series began with With the Lightnings, published more than 15 years. A well-written and nicely plotted military SF novel, it was followed a couple years later by Lt. Leary, Commanding, not quite as good as its predecessor but still rewarding. From then, through eight additional installments including this one, the series had its hits and misses while generally spiraling downward in a confused mess of formula, repetition and very odd sentiment. This is the first one I can say I actively did not like.

Daniel remains a likable character, with a few self-admitted, endearing flaws around the edges but retaining all the qualities one expects in the standard hero. Adele, however, has grown increasingly repulsive. In one instance, she regards an enemy captive who happens to be a farmer recruited for the opposing side as a contemptible fool, but why? She knows nothing of his personal characteristics -- only that he is a farmer. Does that, by itself, make him a fool? A fool, by the way, who is expendable without second thought. And, while dismissing her fellow humans, she constantly reminds herself that she is, after all, Mundy of Chatsworth. One hoped at the beginning of this series that this intially awkward, scarred being would find redemption. Instead, she has become a self-absorbed fascist. Her personal servant Tovera, meanwhile, has always been a cartoon character of sorts -- a psychopath who jokes about killing while being slavishly devoted to Adele. Indeed, everyone in the crew dotes on "the Mistress" to a rather ridiculous extent.

The plot of this novel is thoroughly confusing. I found it difficult to keep every faction straight in my head, and it didn't take me too many pages to simply not care anymore.
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