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The Silent Service: Seawolf Class [Mass Market Paperback]

H. Jay Riker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 11 2002 Silent Service

The attack on America has changed everything. And the new war has sparked another -- igniting a devastating fire that could consume the world.

In the chaos of the first major conflict of the twenty-first century, an old enemy sees the opportunity to strike. Seeking to exploit America's preoccupation with its foes in the Middle East, the People's Republic of China sets out to "reclaim" by force the territories it considers its own: the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea...and Taiwan. China's arsenal is awesome and deadly, including a pair of Akula nuclear-powered subs purchased from a cash-hungry Russia. As Chinese missiles fly across the Straits of Taiwan, the casualties mount at an alarming rate-with American servicemen numbered among the many dead.

World War Three now seems inevitable. And the fate of the Earth suddenly rests with the commander and crew of the U.S.S. Seawolf, lead boat of America's newest class of ultrasilent attack submarines. For this battle can only be won beneath the surface of a turbulent sea -- where the enemy rules in firepower and numbers...and will not relent, even at the cost of the future.


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About the Author

H. Jay Riker has written ten books in his bestselling military fiction series, SEALs The Warrior Breed. In addition he is the author of a second series of novels dealing with submarine warfare, The Silent Service.


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Lieutenant John Calhoun Morton, "Jack" to his friends, turned the hatch release and pushed, easing the round hatch of the forward escape trunk up and out. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "Silent Service" Outing Yet. Fun Read! Oct. 3 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was a very fast, engaging, enjoyable story from beginning to end. I have read all of the Silent Service series books by H. Jay Riker and they just keep getting better. I am really eager for the next one, which -- I won't give anything away -- the epilogue suggests will be called VIRGINIA CLASS. At least I hope so. I am a real fan of submarine novels and this one stands up well compared to the rest of them. Read it soon!
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adventure Oct. 23 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book from the start is action action. Some sub books that I have read get way into the techinical aspect of the sub. This book could be read by both a novice or an exeprienced sub reader and still be enjoyed. The ending is a spectacular display of tactical writing that could easily compete with Tom Clancy. High recommendations
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down July 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tense and thrilling, but without a lot of the artificiality of many submarine books/movies. Riker's story kept me glued (I won't say "riveted") to its pages.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "Silent Service" Outing Yet. Fun Read! Oct. 3 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was a very fast, engaging, enjoyable story from beginning to end. I have read all of the Silent Service series books by H. Jay Riker and they just keep getting better. I am really eager for the next one, which -- I won't give anything away -- the epilogue suggests will be called VIRGINIA CLASS. At least I hope so. I am a real fan of submarine novels and this one stands up well compared to the rest of them. Read it soon!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is one star. I bump it to two for a few reasons. Nov. 15 2011
By Nate74 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has an authentic ring to it...this must be what modern sub combat is like March 15 2006
By James J. Bloom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first Riker novel I've read. Had Tom Clancy continued featuring thesilent service in his fiction, he could have done no better. First the few minor glitches: there is some confusion in naming characters in the parallel SEALS and submarine events. Submariner Garrett somehow intrudes in the meeting between SEALS commmander Morton and his Taiwanese counterparts, when it is clear that he could not have been present. Some other person is meant here. Also, although Riker likes to use authentic jargon, he uses the terms "Get out of Dodge" (for vamoose) and "clusterf***" ( 21st century variant of SNAFU) repetitively.

That said, the political as well as the techno-naval aspects are handled deftly, and sound quite convincing. The book provides a painless and dramatic primer on how modern attack subs operate in a combat situation. Ditto for the SEALS. The motivations and reactions of the men....and women...are not caricatures, as in too many techno-thrillers. I look forward to following Commander Garrett to his Virginia class boat.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adventure Oct. 23 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book from the start is action action. Some sub books that I have read get way into the techinical aspect of the sub. This book could be read by both a novice or an exeprienced sub reader and still be enjoyed. The ending is a spectacular display of tactical writing that could easily compete with Tom Clancy. High recommendations
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sub novel Oct. 2 2004
By S. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Seawolf was a very interesting read - from the action to the political situations. The characters were well developed and the plot well paced. There were a few technical things, character name mix-ups (i.e. Garrett named in place of Gordon), and a few odd Chinese phrases (though it could have been Cantonese he was using instead of Mandarin). These little things did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

I find Riker's take on the Taiwan issue interesting; though it might have been just for the plots sake that he presented it the way he did. It's an interesting scenario for the future.
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