Ghost Fleet…A Review

Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer and August Cole

A review of the Novel:

By: Garland Davis

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by [P. W. Singer, August Cole]

I just finished reading this book. My assessment of the novel.

The book is written in a manner reminiscent of Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin.  With each chapter telling the events of differing protagonists all leading to the conclusion.  This method of writing tells the story of each character in a manner that supports the overall plot and story.  Clancy often left the reader hanging by not finishing a particular character’s storyline.  The writers here also leave some of the character stories untold.

Of all the books I have read since I caught the reading bug at age six or seven, this is only the second work of fiction that I have seen with footnotes or as the authors label them “end notes.”  The other was State of Fear by Michael Crichton. The reader  almost constantly has to refer to the endnotes to establish continuity between the present and the time the events in the book occurred.

The story line of the book is World War Three in the near future.  The authors never really define the exact decade.  It could almost be classified as a futuristic Science Fiction novel.  A Chinese/Russian alliance eliminates American resources in Space and attacks and occupies the Hawaiian Islands due to their superior technological abilities.  Out modern communications, radar, and other sensor technological innovations have all been hacked by the Chinese.  They manage to locate and destroy all Pacific Fleet Nuclear Submarines and almost the entire Pacific Surface Fleet.

The only ships free of Chinese hacks are those in the Ghost Fleet at Suisun including the USS Zumwalt.  A program is developed to recommission these ships and a fleet of disparate ships is assembled on the west coast while an east coast fleet transits the northwest passage opened by an Ice Breaker owned by the Country the was once Iceland.  The only non-nuclear Submarine is a Polish Diesel Boat.

In the meantime, U.S. service personnel and civilians conduct insurgency operations against the Chinese occupying Oahu.

A fleet of Auxiliaries, an LPH, and a Guided Missile Cruiser cobbled together from the Reserve fleet and led by the USS Zumwalt defeat a Chinese/Russian fleet of four carriers and other capital ships and with embarked Marines retake the island of Oahu and accept Chinese surrender.

None of the characters seemed to sleep and all were taking issued “Stims” or stimulated drugs to perform their jobs.

One passage of the book that appealed to me and I quote a female Marine Major, “Longboard, this is Nemesis, you are cleared hot…and may all our enemies die screaming.”

My final assessment of the book.  I will never get back the time I spent reading it.

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A native of North Carolina, Garland Davis has lived in Hawaii since 1987. He always had a penchant for writing but did not seriously pursue it until recently. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where he majored in Business Management. Garland is a thirty-year Navy retiree and service-connected Disabled Veteran.


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