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What Distant Deeps [Mass Market Paperback]

David Drake

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Book Description

May 31 2011 RCN (Book 8)
Master and Commander in space!   Brilliant and brave starship captain Daniel Leary and ace spy Adele Mundy confront a pirate plot and once again save the Republic of Cinnabar despite itself. 

#8 in the best-selling RCN military science fiction series.

Master and Commander to the stars.  Captain Daniel Leary and master spy Adele Mundy must once again save the Cinnabar Republic despite itself.  The jackals are moving in!  The barbarians of the outer reaches intend to play both Cinnabar and Cinnabar’s sworn enemy, the totalitarian Alliance, against each other and bring both empires down like an enormous house of cards. The barbarian pirates have commandeered and hot-rodded starships that can outmaneuver even Captain Leary’s trusty RCN corvette.  But speed and tech don’t count for everything.  The Princess Cecile has the incomparable Daniel Leary and his trusted aide and friend Adele Mundy in command.  Faced with such grit, bravery and intelligent misdirection the pirates might find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.

About David Drake’s “RCN” series:
“[R]ousing old-fashioned space opera.” –Publishers Weekly on the “RCN” series.

“The fun is in the telling, and Mr. Drake has a strong voice.  I want more!” –Philadelphia Weekly Press

“[S]pace opera is alive and well.  This series is getting better as the author goes along…character development combined with first-rate action and memorable world designs.” –SFReader.com

About David Drake:
“[P]rose as cold and hard s the metal alloy of a tank…rivals Crane and Remarque…” – Chicago Sun-Times

“Drake couldn’t write a bad action scene at gunpoint.” – Booklist

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reprint edition (May 31 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439134456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439134450
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 10 x 16.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #317,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Drake was attending Duke University Law School when he was drafted. He served the next two years in the Army, spending 1970 as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th armored Cavalry in Viet Nam and Cambodia. Upon return he completed his law degree at Duke and was for eight years Assistant Town Attorney for Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has been a full-time freelance writer since 1981. His books include the genre-defining and bestselling Hammer’s Slammers series, the RCN series including In the Stormy Red Sky, The Way to Glory, and many more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latest in an enjoyable series - a good light read Sept. 20 2010
By Kiwi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have to say I've enjoyed the entire Leary/Mundy series, including this latest. The books are a good light read, nothing particularly profund, but well-written, an engaging plot and characters that I personally enjoy. "What Distant Deeps" is no exception to the rule altho there's perhaps not quite as much outright action as in some of the other books. The first half's rather slow, mostly plot development and setting the stage for the action in the last half of the book. And the last couple of pages do a good job of setting the stage for the next book in the series. The only real con for me was, I do enjoy Mundy in action shooting people down and there wasn't quite enough of that for my tastes in this book. But it's not a complaint, just a personal preference and hey, I'm not writing the book - I'll take whatever Drake comes up with and enjoy it.

A pro - I do like the way Drake takes historical, largely classical historical, events and places and uses them as the basis for a plot. In this case Palmyra, which was a desert principality located between Rome and Parthia that was more or less aligned with Rome.

All in all, if you've enjoyed the other books in the series, you should enjoy this one. If you haven't read any of the other books in the series, I'd more or less recommend not starting with this one as it does assume a little background knowledge.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable Leary/Mundy space opera Oct. 17 2010
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Peace has broken out between Cinnabar and The Alliance. Good news for most, but trouble for beached naval officers trying to get by on half pay. Still, the war has nearly destroyed Cinnabar's economy--and it looks as if this peace, unlike past truces, may actually survive.

Daniel Leary doesn't have to worry about half pay. One of the navy's most successful young officers, he's flush with prize money. Still, a charter to take an envoy to a distant planet is an attractive offer, especially as Leary's communications officer (who's also a spy with Cinnabar intelligence) has work there as well. What Leary finds, however, is that a Cinnabar ally has ambitions in the area that just may break the peace and launch Cinnabar and the Alliance into a new war that neither of them wants. Even allying with the local Alliance navy, however, doesn't give Leary nearly the naval might needed to confront the ambitious Palmyrens.

Author David Drake continues his Daniel Leary series with another enjoyable story. The relationship between Leary and his comm officer, Adele Mundy, continues to develop, but with neither admitting that anything close to sexual attraction exists. Drake does an excellent job both with political intrigue and with intense naval battles.

Maybe it's just me, but I found I was hit over the head with Adele's otherness. We know she's a bit of a sociopath, but I'd like to see this expressed in different ways, not by her repeatedly wondering whether her 'contentedness' equates ot other people's 'happiness.' And spare me another of Adele's smiles. This seems to be the only expression she has... I was particularly amused by a mention that she rarely smiled. Uh, read over the text, Drake. I also expected Drake to do more with the alien dragon race found on the planet Zenobia. Shouldn't evidence of other races traveling between stars have been a huge deal? Instead, it was mentioned, then forgotten.

Overall, WHAT DISTANT DEEPS is an enjoyable read. Fans of this series will certainly want to add it to their reading list.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series Sept. 22 2011
By Dan P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The latest continuation of the RCN series, this book moves past the constant Cinnabar-Alliance warring into a setting of uneasy peace. Outright, aggressive political and strategic maneuvering between the major powers and their pawns (for example, Leary's mission to the Bagarian Cluster in a previous book, the Alliance setting up a base on Yang further back) has been replaced by chaotic situations where seemingly minor border powers pursue their own objectives heedless of the risks that renewed war might bring. Unfortunately, a lot of the wild, desperate action so beloved in previous books has been replaced by rounds of meetings between a sometimes endless array of representatives, commissioners, and displaced former royalty. Far more care is required in the reading to catch all the subtlety of the plot, especially in the first half, and even so it somehow falls a little short of the usual standards of excitement. The second part of the book, dominated by a space combat action, is reasonably exciting fare with a few of the over-the-top moments and even gives Officer Mundy an absolutely hilarious one-liner in the middle of an absurdly tense situation. You'll know it when you see it.

Although, in a broad sense, Drake makes an attempt to develop and mature his two leading characters over the arc of the last 7 RCN books, little of that is apparent here except in the negative. Leary, the responsible, womanizing, charismatic young officer, has through his long-term relationship with Dorst turned into... a charismatic, responsible young officer, minus the womanizing. It may be natural for him to grow older but it's somewhat less interesting as well. Mundy continues to be, well, Mundy- sometimes, it's hard to tell if she is slowly becoming more accepting and connected to other people, through her friendship with Leary and almost sometimes maternal relationship to Cory, Cazelet, and Tovera. Or, if she is headed towards complete meltdown via a suicidal addiction to dangerous combat actions (which seems to be the opinion of her intelligence agency mentor). To compound this lack of character development, several minor plot points, such as the possible pre-human settlement, are introduced, briefly expounded on... and then lost. The "plot twist" (that might be an Extremely Obvious segue into the next novel) comes literally out of nowhere right at the very-very end of the book, and is simply delivered straight as an "Ok you RCN types are honorable so here is this thing I heard" deal. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but then again, Mundy didn't see it either.

Like many of the other RCN books, 'What Distant Deeps" is calling to me to reread, slower, when I have more time to pick out as much of the detail rather than get to the next chapter for the immediate pleasure of What Blows Up Next. I have a feeling it will be better on a second reading at the cost of a small lack of excitement the first time through.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drake's Best Sept. 18 2010
By J. Scarborough - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just finished "What Distant Deeps." I truly enjoyed the reading. David Drake is perhaps best known for the Hammer's Slammers. Yet in my opinion, the RCN series (i.e., the Leary-Mundy books) are Drake's best work. I look forward to reading future books.

The inevitable comment on Drake's books is the use of history as a basis for the story. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... He just writes interesting stories. Stories I look forward to reading. Keep up the good work.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good book in the series, with some large issues Oct. 23 2010
By Gary Bartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was really looking forward to this book in the series. There is a lot of back story, so I would start with the first book and work your way forward.
Our two heros, Daniel the super combat naval officer shiphandler, and Adele the super hacker and info librarian and pistol shooter, are sort of out on the beach after the recent war turned into peace.
They are sent on a trip to deliver a new commissioner to a world on the border, through Adele's contacts, by means of Daniel's private corvette (he is from a rich powerful family, and got much richer because of prize captures).
The first half of the book drags. There are some class based scenes that explore the social structure of the setting more, something that goes into each book so far. However, most of the first half seems to be a way for the two heros to be dicks.
Daniel, in past books, had as his faults seducing and leaving women quickly, and overindulging. Drake seems to have dropped the overdoing it and made Daniel a one woman man (with the woman off screen this book)--and instead brought in a stiff necked hatred of former enlisted men serving as officers. It is not a good change up, and drives Daniel downward in my eyes. It is odd that this trend just seemed to have jumped out of nowhere. In past books Daniel had issues with former Land Forces NCOs who are not good officers in third world services, but he just jerks out here for no good reason. Daniel is still the super ship handler who does the greatest things to win great victory, though.
Adele is just as messed up in the head as ever because of the deaths of her family many years before, and her great skill--which she uses a lot--at killing by means of her pistol. Here in this book, though, Drake started telling us about her issues instead of showing. Also, she seems to have gotten the same 'I hate the lower classes' illness as Daniel. There is a scene where low status intel staffers on a nearby planet try to brief her into something being wrong, and she is so busy being socially chilled towards them she doesn't do anything. The character who loves info so much she steals data invoices for buildings and organizes how many people are living there based off the comsumption rate--just lets it go? Really? Nice work, Drake.
Also, Daniel's big love (other than loose women, food, and booze) has always been natural history. Drake drops him in the middle of a complete natural history puzzle, that may involve an alien race with super powers that existed thousands of year ago--and Daniel yawns and trashes the site. Really?
The rest of the book is still so good that I left it at three stars, but these are big cracks.

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