Review: Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

Posted: September 14, 2015 in Random Thoughts

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P.W. Singer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book definitely made me think of Tom Clancy, although without some of the flair and skill Clancy built up over so many years.

I enjoyed it and it really sucked me in after a while, with its really cool tech (much of which is possible now or is expected to be possible soon) and its smooth build-up to a brilliant climax, but I do have a few quibbles:

The characters. Some of the characters are wonderful people, some of them are flat and lifeless carboard cutouts. There aren’t that many of the latter, which is why I managed to finish the book, but they’re all the more noticeable for being rare. I also found it annoying that some characters seemed to appear only long enough to do their bit for the plot. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but what I mean is: When you read a story, and it’s 100% obvious that Plotpoint McHasajob only exists at all to say one or two lines, then it’s a fair bet that the author is being lazy.

Annoying textual ticks. Look, when you give someone a cool full name, you don’t have to repeat it every time we meet him. Commander Bill ‘Sweetie’ Darling is referred to that way the first time his name is mentioned in every scene where he appears. It’s a small thing, and if he has ten chapters it’s a lot, but it annoyed the living daylights out of me. It actually annoyed me more than Captain Jamie Simmons, who was mentioned almost every chapter for the last half of the book – at least with Jamie I didn’t feel like I was in a Jane Austen novel hoping not to offend anyone.

Ends like running into a wall. BAM – the end. I could have used a bit of a slower build-down after the climax (which was beautifully done). More time with the characters, a bit more fleshing out…I’d have liked that.

I also didn’t approve of the treatment one of the best characters in the book received, but that’s just me, and it was a deserved ending…

View all my reviews

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