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Author: Charles D. Taylor
13 h 16 min
Audible Enhanced Audio
Twenty years ago, the KGB planted an agent in the American Navy. Today, he is the commander of an American nuclear attack submarine! Wayne Newell is all navy, all American, all traitor. A graduate of the Soviet "charm school", Newell is captain of the nuclear attack submarine USS Pasadena, now patrolling beneath the Pacific. He's convinced his crew that the world is at war - and that the Russians have a deadly masking device that makes Soviet submarines sound exactly like the most crucial ships in the American fleet: the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines known as Boomers. The subs that the Pasadena detects may sound American - but they're the enemy and must be destroyed. The deception has begun.... In a world of darkness, super-sensitive listening devices and nerve-wracking tension, Newell's crew is being driven to the breaking point: cut off from communications and forced to destroy "enemy" subs in a war they can't confirm. And while the US Pacific Command scrambles to find out who is attacking their fleet, two American submarines must go to war - against an aggressor who knows their every move, and is rapidly destroying America's sea-based
strategic nuclear defense.
If you enjoy books about the military and the way it functions, specifically about the navy and it’s submarine service, then I think you will enjoy this. It’s long, and it gets technical, and there are a lot of details which, if carefully read will make the action on which this story hinges and the amazing climax of the book easily comprehensible and even more thrilling than it would be, otherwise.
However, this book is far more textured. It’s not just a military story, or a sea story (much as I love sea stories). It is, at its heart, about people; what motivates them, how they react, especially under extreme pressure, and where, and how strongly, they place their loyalties. Part of what makes this book so satisfying is that the author inserts his readers into each wardroom …and by the time the crunch comes, this reader, at least felt less like an observer, but a member of each crew. I found myself wanting the best for almost each and every character, even though I knew some would have to die, and it helped that I “knew” some of the families, as well.
I have read many books about ships and sailors, including submarines and submariners, but it was this book which brought home to me just how isolated, and how fragile, a submarine can be, and the courage it must take to submit oneself to an environment as hostile and dangerous as outer space.
Not only do we see the aspects of submarine warfare played out, but we also get to see political strategies and diplomacy on a grand scale, primarily from the viewpoint of the USSR. Again, the author is wise enough to humanize the players, so these aren’t automatons playing roles but believable characters who must gather information and make decisions in record time that will profoundly affect the entire world.
The writing is brisk, detailed, and yet sometimes thoughtful and even poetic. The author can handle human as well as technical details and interlace them in ways that make this book interesting for both military buffs and those who prefer to read about people and what drives them.
The narration was excellent, as well, in all areas. I did notice, and I am not sure if this is a narrator issue or a technical issue, that when characters were speaking, the voice was louder than when they were thinking. Sometimes, when a character was becoming introspective, or when something was being described, the volume became so soft that it became distracting. However, this did not affect my thorough enjoyment of this excellent book.
I give both book and narrator 5 out of 5 stars, as I expected to be able to do, having read another of this author’s books.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. The book is unique, suspenseful, and thought provoking.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Boomer?
When Wayne Newell's EO figures out what is really happening.
Have you listened to any of David Gilmore’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is my first listen.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When the Pasadena and Manchester met their fate.
Any additional comments?
This is a very complex Thriller. It develops into a 3 way cat and mouse between the traitor's Wayne Newel's submarine the Pasadena, the protector submarine The Manchester commanded by Ben Steele and the target boomer submarine The Florida commanded by Buck Nelson.This is a classic Greek tragedy set in modern times,
Viewed from the American perspective Wayne Newel is a traitor, however he is a Soviet sleeper agent, trained in boyhood in the Soviet charm school and then implanted in the USA taking the identity of a deceased only child orphan.
A long term plan finally aligns up and comes to maturity. Wayne Newell is now the commander of an American attack sub. He has an American family right down to family dog. He is now in position to be awakened. The communication equipment on his sub is altered to receive messages from a soviet spy ship which appears to be messages from sub-com. Wayne Newell convinces his crew that America is at war and that the Soviets have a masking device which imitates American boomer submarines, and he then begins to take out American boomers convincing his crew that they are taking out Soviet subs..
The Us navy sees something is amiss and sends out Ben Steel and his attack sub the Manchester to protect the Boomer sub Florida commanded by Buck Nelson.
There are flash backs with the characters as well as reminiscences which can be confusing at times, but which also serves to let the listener/reader know the character's make up, values, past life and personality.
Overall this is an excellent book which would make great movie. The theme is classic. The suspense is intense. And there is a heaping service of Biblical justice.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”
1 of 1 people found this review helpful