Fast-Paced and Realistic, March 12, 2009
By Tim H. Rasmussen
I usually confine my reading in this genre to books by Clancy, Brown, Baldacci or Flynn. However, the topic of this book seemed timelier than many other current military fiction novels, so I purchased a copy of Depth of Revenge.
At only 192 pages, the book was a quick and easy read. The author included only the relevant details about the workings of the submarine, its systems and weapons, without the minute detail featured in other novels of this type. Since the book was written in the first person and almost entirely took place aboard the submarine, it gave me the unique perspective of a commander having to make decisions based on limited outside information. Near the end of the book, the reader finds out more about what happened outside the submarine, than the commander knew at the times of the various important events.
The plot was straightforward and didn't involve wild assumptions about future technology or unbelievably skilled secret agents. The commander ended up in a position where he is cut off from communication with Israel, after it is attacked with nuclear weapons. After the authorities outside Israel are also killed, he had to rely on a letter written by the Prime Minister to decide the extent of retaliation to pursue. The decision was further complicated by realistic events, such as an attack by an enemy helicopter, an onboard fire, and the need to obtain additional food and fuel. He had to also see his crew's unity and discipline suffer, as the mission lasts many months without the prospect of ever returning home.
The novel was hard to put down. The fast pace helped me to stay focused on the plot, where other books of this genre can side track the reader with subplots and too much minute detail. I also found the first person perspective worked well, as it let the reader see the submarine captain's decision-making process. I recommend Depth of Revenge to anyone who is interested in books that deal with realistic military fiction or current world events.
Please check out thePress Roomsection for Ron Rosenbaum's Slate article regarding Depth of Revenge.
Read SubSim.com's review of the book