Adventure at Sea

By Pat Gaines

In a three month period of time, I was asked for sea adventure stories from several of our male patrons. They would say that X, Y, and Z were their favorite authors writing sea stories and would appreciate recommendations for similar writers. Lucky for me, their favorite authors were not all the same so I was able to come up with a list for armchair sailors looking for the next good read.

  • At the Edge of Honor

    2012 by Robert N Macomber

    Robert Macomber’s Honor series follows the life and career of Peter Wake and US Navy actions in Florida from 1863 to 1901. A classic novel of intrigue at sea, with skilled descriptions of tactical strategies in the background of Florida's Civil War sea battles. Robert N. Macomber is an internationally recognized, award-winning maritime writer, lecturer, and television commentator.

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  • Dangerous Ground

    2005 by Larry Bond

    This is the first of Larry Bond’s Jerry Mitchell series; a techno-thriller about life in a submarine and in the armed forces. The story is enhanced with well-crafted descriptions of leadership styles, how a great leader can affect a crew, and the devastation a poor leader can cause. Larry Bond is a former Naval Intelligence officer, warfare analyst, and anti-submarine technology expert.

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  • China Sea

    2000 by David Poyer

    Poyer's sixth novel about US Navy surface warfare puts series protagonist Dan Lenson in command for the first time. The book is fast-paced, filled with suspense, battle, and unforgettable descriptions of the sea's beauty and violence. China Sea continues Dan Lenson's star-crossed career in what Booklist calls, "One of the outstanding bodies of nautical fiction during the last half-century." David Poyer's naval career has included service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, Caribbean, and Pacific.

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  • The Commodore

    2016 by Peter T Deutermann

    A story of courage, disaster, survival, and triumph in the sea battles that raged around Guadalcanal during World War Two. The protagonist is complex, and must fight the Japanese as well as political US Navy staff officers who appear to disapprove of his innovative tactics. Booklist says "[Deutermann's] experience and his deep knowledge of WWII naval warfare illuminate every page... The Commodore is a top-shelf naval adventure." Deutermann spent twenty-six years in military and government service, as a captain in the Navy and in the Joint Chiefs of Staff as an arms-control specialist.

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  • Golden Lion : A Novel of Heroes in a Time of War

    2015 by Wilbur A Smith

    This 1780s historical adventure includes pirates, betrayal, revenge, and courage. Bursting with action and suspense, this novel is an epic adventure spanning land and sea. Smith is described by Stephen King as “the best historical novelist.”

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  • HMS Ulysses

    2007 by Alistair MacLean

    A classic novel of heroism at sea in World War II and a voyage that pushes men to the limits. In fiction form, this is the compelling story of the Murmansk run, an Arctic oceangoing convoy of World War II which sailed from the United Kingdom, Iceland, and North America to northern ports in the Soviet Union. MacLean's HMS Ulysses is a classic book of man against man and man against the sea—a constant battle with the sea in all its forms.

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  • The Keeper's Son

    2003 by Homer H Hickam

    This is a fictional story of World War II on the Outer Banks reflecting Hickam’s nonfiction account of the U-boat war off the American coast in 1942. Publishers Weekly says “Hickam provides a vivid and convincing portrayal of life under the sea in a U-boat, as well as on the surface in a fragile patrol boat. Well-crafted characters, gripping naval warfare, and colorful island life come together in this dynamic and exciting tale.”

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  • Midshipman Bolitho

    1998 by Alexander Kent

    The Richard Bolitho series is a slice of navy life in 18th century Great Britain. This series fits into the genre sea tales of ships at sea during the age of wooden sailing vessels. Starting off with a young man reporting as a midshipman, you can follow his adventures as he undergoes a severe initiation into the dangerous world of the great sailing warship and continues his rise in the ranks. Alexander Kent, pen name of Douglas Edward Reeman, joined the British Navy at 16, served on destroyers and small craft during World War II, and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant.

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  • Pacific Vortex! : A Novel

    1982 by Clive Cussler

    The Dirk Pitt series chronicles the death-defying adventurer and deep-sea expert. Pacific Vortex is an entertaining, fast-paced, and suspenseful thriller on the sea. Dirk Pitt is not always lovable, but is true to his friends and ideals. Clive Cussler is an accomplished marine archaeologist.

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  • The Terror : A Novel

    2007 by Dan Simmons

    This horror novel is inspired by the true story of two ice ships that disappeared in the Arctic Circle during an 1845 expedition in which nearly 200 men sailed in search of the Northwest Passage. The story is told from the viewpoints of several members of the ships' crews. The novel's main supernatural element: a giant bear-like entity (the crew call it the Thing) that preys on the explorers and appears invulnerable to their weapons. A compelling narrative builds tension as the men struggle to survive.

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  • The White Guns

    2004 by Douglas Reeman

    This book takes place after World War II ends and the commander of a vessel is sent to take over a German war port. The action involves refugee vessels, the tenuous relationship between the British and the Russian allies, and the difficult transition many characters have to make from war time to peace time conditions. Douglas Reeman has written over thirty novels under his own name and more than twenty best-selling historical novels featuring Richard Bolitho under the pseudonym Alexander Kent.

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