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Thunder in the Deep: A Novel of Undersea Nuclear War [Hardcover]

Joe Buff
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 31 2001
In his electrifying first novel Joe Buff instantly established himself as the ultimate chronicler of 21st-century warfare by taking military fiction and submarine combat to a new level of authenticity, vision, and power.

Thunder in the Deep picks up where Deep Sound Channel left off, bringing to life a frightening seascape where technology pushes warriors to new extremes, and warriors push technology to the max. This time the difference between victory and defeat hinges on the two most advanced nuclear attack submarines in the world.

The Challenger is the weapon of the future, a ceramic-hulled nuclear attack submarine whose electronic eyes and ears are the most advanced ever created. It is commanded by acting captain Jeffrey Fuller, a former SEAL turned submariner whose aggressiveness has made him a rising star — and sometimes scares the hell out of his crew. Fuller’s mission is to rescue the Virginia-class fast attack sub Texas, now lying on the bottom of the Atlantic just off the Azores.

But the enemy — a newly resurrected and fanatically militaristic Germany — knows where the Texas is, too, and knows the Challenger is coming. It is Challenger the Germans want, dispatching their own high-tech supersub, the Deutschland, to destroy her.

In this war your enemy is a blip on a console hardwired into an integrated nuclear weapons system. Ships are vaporized off the surface of the sea, nuclear shock waves unleash deadly tsunami waves, and smart submarines do battle with smart aircraft sent to hunt them down.

For Jeffrey Fuller and the Challenger, for the men on board the Deutschland, the race beneath the ocean’s surface across a horrific underwater war zone will demand every bit of courage and skill they can muster just to survive.

Before it’s over, the Challenger’s mission is radically redefined: Fuller, his SEALs, and freedom fighter Ilse Reebeck are sent into Germany itself — to plant a nuke right in the gut of the enemy’s power structure.

Thunder in the Deep plunges the reader into the middle of some of the fiercest and most thrilling depictions of underwater warfare ever written. It is an electrifying novel of military strategy and action, a powerful tale of technology and humanity that will have you breathlessly turning pages until the explosive climax.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Deep under the sea, U.S. submarine captain Jeffrey Fuller is still at it, dodging depth charges, launching torpedoes and otherwise foiling a reinvigorated Nazi Germany from taking over the world. Buff's latest breathlessly paced thriller, set in the year 2011, starts out where last year's Deep Sound Channel left off. The world has been overtaken by a Germany-South Africa alliance. France has fallen. Great Britain is starving. It's up to the United States to prevent nuclear destruction and restore order. Fuller, fresh off victorious duty in the South Atlantic, has now taken over command of the Challenger, the most advanced American sub. His mission is to rescue a disabled sub on the ocean floor near the Azores, then proceed to the Baltic, where he is to lead a secret strike force and destroy a German missile laboratory. Never one to fail, Fuller has only one worry. He knows Germany's high-tech supersub, the Deutschland, is lurking out there. And his arch rival, the ruthless Kurt Eberhard, is at the controls, eager to send Fuller and the Challenger to the bottom of the sea. Long-winded at points and weakened by a silly love affair, the second in the Fuller line nonetheless provides satisfying action for battle lovers. Buff's admiration for submarines and their crews comes across from the start. His meticulous attention to the details of life aboard the Challenger and the obstacles it faces help heighten the drama, particularly during the final fight scene in the Norwegian Sea. The jargon flies fast and heavy, but even readers unfamiliar with the terminology will be able to catch its drift after awhile.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is the second in Buff's series of technothrillers devoted to a near-future war in which the United States and England are allied against Germany. As in Buff's first novel, Deep Sound Channel (LJ 5/1/00), two highly sophisticated submarinesAmerica's Challenger, again commanded by former Navy SEAL Jeffrey Fuller, and Germany's Deutschlandare the focus of the story. Despite almost nonstop action, however, this novel fails at several levels. The characters are not well developed, and their dialog is stilted. Worse, Thunder and its predecessor include premises that stretch plausibility. The first is that the fossilized Hohenzollerns could somehow regain control of Germany and reinstate both the monarchy and the militaristic Prussian aristocracy. The second is that both sides could explode tactical nukes like popcorn without any real concern about escalation toward mutually assured destruction. The book just doesn't work. For larger collections only.Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Thunder In The Deep' is Joe Buff's 2nd novel of undersea submarine warfare after 'Deep Sound Channel' -- which was superb, by the way. I so much enjoyed his first book that I just could NOT wait for the sequel -- but lucky for me, I hadn't discovered Buff until just before 'Thunder' was released, so my wait wasn't long.
Captain Jeffrey Fuller, Now in charge of the Challenger, the United States most sophisticated undersea weapon, we get a more detailed 'insiders view' of what life in a sub is like. Although I MUST admit that the plausibility of sending the Captain out on a raid is far from acceptable fiction -- it might work for Jim Kirk in the science fiction world of Star Trek, but a REAL Navy sub captain? Sorry, but I'm not gonna swallow that one. Now this may seem overly critical of Mr. Buff, but hear me out on this: his novels have the ring of authenticity to them SO MUCH that when I come across something SO off the beaten path of reality (yes, even in a fictional novel), well I can't help but scream FOUL. However, all that aside, this is simply put a fantastic adventure yarn. If you were hooked on submarine warfare because of Tom Clancy or Michael DiMercurio, give in and pick up 'Deep Sound Channel' and 'Thunder In The Deep' today. Exceptional thrills and chills in a near-future war with a brand new threat provided by Germany and South Africa. I echo another reviewers worry about the trivial love story jammed in between a classic war story -- it didn't work for the movie 'Pearl Harbor' and it doesn't work too well here, either. But again, I enjoyed the overall novel SO much that I was able to overlook these small problems in favor of the all around 'thriller factor' that the book gave me. Can't wait to read 'Crush Depth'!
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2.0 out of 5 stars good yarn with an unlikely premise Nov. 7 2002
By A Customer
This book is fast-paced action stuff, quite suitable for a Hollywood movie or for feeding the fantasies of would-be soldiers of fortune. But it's extremely improbable that a Navy SEAL would be an effective nuc-boat skipper. Even Navy fighter pilots selected for a path to commanding a nuclear powered aircraft carrier find mastering the intense math, chemistry and physics necessary to understand nuclear propulsion to be a nearly impossible task. God help the ground-pounder/swimmer who tries to do the same in the nuclear submarine force. Nuc boat skippers have to understand everything about the boat and its power plant, 'way down into the nitty, gritty, quantum-mechanical detail, thermo-goddammics and all, so they know what risks they can take with the boat and what risks it won't survive. It isn't enough just to know what test depth is, believe me. There are lots and lots of other subtle mistakes that will also let gobs of water into the people tank and keep the ship from making it through a mission. And--believe it or not--the Navy tends to select nuc boat skippers chiefly for their ability to accomplish the mission without loss and bring that extremely expensive chunk of cold iron (or titanium) home in one piece, so it can be used again for another mission, even in wartime. Which is why there are SEAL Team Leaders and there are nuc-boat captains, and the Nav isn't about to let the the same individuals try to be both. Pure pragmatism.
Being a SEAL and being a nuc boat skipper demand two very different--and nearly incompatible--skill sets. Trying to mix them in the same character undermines this book's credibility.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Secret Weapons of the Kriegsmarine March 31 2002
"Thunder in the Deep" is the sequel to "Deep Sound Channel", the first of a series about nuclear submarine warfare in the near future.. Both books follow the adventures (and sometime misadventures) of Jeff Fuller, the commander of the next-generation submarine "Challenger". Composed of a new age ceramic hull (something like the chobham armor they use on tanks), blessed with high tech sensors that can detect submarines because they are quieter than the surrounding waters, and armed with nuclear torpedoes, Challenger fights an undersea war against incredible odds. Only, the enemies aren't Russians, but a German-dominated Axis that seems to borrow the worst traits of the Nazis and the Kaiser eras, and seems to posess the technical know-how to hold the future. United with South Africa (where the war began in "Channel") and ruled by Kaiser Wilhelm IV, the new German empire dispatches fleets of U-boats into the Atlantic to cut off England. Now possessing nukes, and not afraid to use them, the 21st century Kriegsmarine turns whole convoys into irradiated dust on the sea. While most of the new U-boats are either merely potent but otherwise disposable (much like the ones in WWII - they all but insure death for their prey and crew alike) or ships stolen from fallen European nations (mostly France) "Deutchland" possesses the weapons, sensors, ceramic hull and reserve of the Challenger, and is commanded by the thoroughly ambitious, brilliant and evil Eberhard. Fuller, not entirely comfortable with his ship, finds himself tasked with one seemingly impossible mission after another. A rescue mission for a crippled sub turns into a covert deep-strike mission on a Baltic coast research facility. Between Fuller and his objectives are fleets of U-boats unleashing swarms of nuclear-tipped torpedoes. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Going Deep"
Thunder In the Deep by Joe Buff is a fasinating fast pased undersea military techno thriller.The is the second installment of the WWIII battle started by the new axis powers of... Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by James Ross
2.0 out of 5 stars Grim,puerile fantasy
What a pity that so talented a writer reaches so deep into his imagination and comes up with only crumbs of credible narrative. Read more
Published on July 7 2003 by lrrosen
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story!
This writer is without doubt one of my favorite writers! I enjoy all of his great stories and I know you will too! This is one book you won't want to miss!
Published on April 25 2003 by Neme Kizer
2.0 out of 5 stars Reads Like an Arcade Game!
This was my first (and last) Joe Buff read. Picture yourself playing a submarine "shoot 'em up" arcade game. Now put that game into print and this is the final product. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2002 by 007Magnum
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting and frightening
In the world of the 21st Century where warfare can erupt anywhere and in many different forms, Joe Buff brings a frightening scenario of undersea nuclear warfare to the reader. Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2002 by david e. meadows
5.0 out of 5 stars Hate to read, but I had the time, happy I did.
I was at a supermarket looking for a book to eat up some extra hours before I fell asleep. Im not a big one to read war books. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2002 by Vincent M Toney
4.0 out of 5 stars A Credible Thriller of a future Undersea War
Joe Buff is a worthy successor to the young Tom Clancy in his second novel forecasting an undersea war between a resurgent militaristic Germany and the United States. Read more
Published on May 7 2002 by John Kwok
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunder in the Deep
It was satisfying to read more about the undersea experiences of Jeffrey and Ilse and the crew of the USS Challenger. Read more
Published on March 9 2002
Excellent plot, excellent premise, excellent characters, excellent action. Mr. Buff has really done his research, and the tactics and technology depicted in his work are totally... Read more
Published on March 4 2002 by Scarface
5.0 out of 5 stars Frighteningly Prescient
Buff's second book is even more powerful then the first. The concept of a future surprise attack buy an evil enemy axis using weapons of mass destruction has been rendered even... Read more
Published on March 1 2002 by A Patriot
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