First, I did read the earlier book in this series, 'Silent Service: Los Angeles Class' and, while it had problems, was far better than this book.
Given that books problems, it was still a good read and had merit. I expected this to be at least the same--or better. It was not.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a former submariner. So these books are a form of narcotic to me. I'll take my fix any way I can get it. Unfortunately, were it not for this, I would have never made it past page 50.
I could nitpick things all day but technical accuracy is not what my review is based upon. This book suffers from either a complete lack of editing or one performed in the most lazy, inattentive manner. A few non-spoiler examples.
In this book:
--the Seawolf went from four to eight torpedo tubes.
--the wrong character was inserted in the wrong scene.
--a character's rank was repeatedly misstated. (From CAPT to CDR to CAPT)
--numerous grammatical errors, missing words and various mistakes that one would expect in a draft but that should never have made it into a final product.
These are just a few. There are pacing issues as well. The Seawolf spends a huge middle-chunk of the book tied at a pier. It gets a little spoilery from here:
Regardless of the political situation and the US desire to 'show the flag', they would not have sent any submarine, much less the newest, secretest, most special and most expensive, submarine to dock in Hong Kong as a show of force. That is what carriers and surface ships do. Not submarines. Not the Seawolf in this context.
I said earlier that I wasn't nitpicking on technical details and, up to this point, I sincerely have not. However, I have no shortage of those and I will list just a few of the not-even-so-nitpicky.
I will credit the author with having put a lot of thought and research into many things in this book. It is because these things are evident that obvious and easy technical problems are so surprising. A few examples:
-- course and speed change orders are given to the Helm station. Not 'Maneuvering'. Maneuvering is a station in the engineering spaces which controls all things propulsion and power-plant related. The Bridge/Conn would almost never communicate directly with them and they are located in a completely different part of the boat.
-- most speed orders are given as 'ahead one-third' or 'ahead standard' and not, 'set speed for 15 knots'. The latter does happen but much more rarely.
-- Signals contacts are monitored by ESM and not the Radar station. If there is an aircraft or a ship out there that has a radar that may pick up the sub, it is the ESM station that is looking for that stuff. The Radar is almost never used except for when navigating near land on the surface.
-- the sail of a submarine is supposed to flood. It is normal and desired for it to fill with water when the submarine submerges. It is called a free-flood area. There are multiple references to the opposite of this in the book which I really find interesting.
Well, I could go on and on. My point here is that I find it surprising that these very basic things are not understood by the author who has clearly put much thought and work into this and these things would have been discovered by anyone who had ever spent even a week or two on a submarine.
In summary, I frankly am not even certain if I will/can continue the series.