What books do I recommend, other than my own? Let’s have a look…
My favorite non-submarine-centric naval novels:
- Red Storm Rising. Some have said Tom Clancy’s follow-on effort to The Hunt for Red October is too long. Whether it is or isn’t, I’m giving credit to the book that wowed us three decades ago with “what ifs” when heavyweight navies slug it out.
- The Seventh Angel. Jeff Edwards’ second naval novel is his most harrowing with respect to danger to America, and it takes only one madman antagonist to make it happen. I enjoyed the simplicity of the bad guy’s motivation (i.e. a power grab) and how he toyed with America at least until… No. I’m not spoiling it for you!
- Tomahawk. David Poyer cranks out naval warfare novels like a machine, and Tomahawk marked my entry point into reading his Dan Lenson novels. Though I read it forever ago, I remember the excellent writing, the credible technical data, and a plot twist I found jaw-dropping but won’t mention for fear of ruining it for you.
- Raven One. Kevin Miller’s first air-combat novel has grown on me. The plot develops slowly, introducing the antagonist and main conflict later than most stories, but it does so in exchange for crafting the most impressive presentation of characters I’ve seen in a military combat novel. This, of course, requires strong narrative, which the author delivers in spades.
- Nimitz Class. I thought about ranking this under submarine novels, but it’s a bit more than that, as the title implies. Patrick Robinson’s first naval novel includes an unforgettable first battle scene and a very cool undersea navigation challenge through dire straits. Although the author didn’t make a long-running series out of it, this debut kicked off his still-thriving career writing naval thrillers.