This book was great. It was a sit-down-you're-going-on-a-thrill-ride! Wow! The plot kept moving, and it was definitely a great story. Stephen Coonts is a great author, and this is another one of his great books.
Steven Coonts' books are detailed enough to enjoy listening to without being so detailed you get lost. I listened to this during my commute and am glad that I stuck with it through the slow middle part. If you are familiar with the characters, it's always fun to hear how the reader/performer voices them. I highly recommend this to anyone with many hours on their hands.
First, NASA's SuperAegis satellite vanishes. Then the USS America, the world's most technically advanced nuclear submarine, is pirated on its maiden voyage by terrorists. Jake Grafton saves the day again!
The America, our newest, high-tech, nuclear submarine carrying her crew and a full arsenal of weapons is being launched for her maiden voyage. But before she evens get out of port waters, she is hijacked by armed men from a tugboat leading her to sea. Killing more than half of her crew, launching missiles at Washington, DC and New York City, Admire Jake Grafton is called to duty to find out where the sub is, who is behind the hijacking, and how to stop them.
I was expecting an action book more along the lines of The Hunt for Red October, which I love. However, this book falls so short, I just couldn't take it anymore and halfway through the final disk, I stopped listening, not giving a crap if the hijackers get caught or what happens to the submarine. The story jumps around from person to person without any lead up to it and I found myself thinking, "Wait. What just happened and where in the world are we now?!" I got confused and lost several times with all of the multiple characters and, to this day, am still not sure what role they were to the plot. And finally, Jake Grafton, who is supposed to be our hero and solve everything, seems to be just wandering around, not really doing much at all.
Long story short, if you love action and submarine stories, you'll want to sail right past this one.
From back cover: "Dispatched on a trial run, NASA's SuperAegis satellite has been created as the foundation of an international antimissile defense system. But moments after dispatch, it vanishes. Rear Admiral Jake Grafton fears something worse than a grave malfunction - he suspects sabotage..."
From Publishers Weekly:
What could possibly go wrong if Congress manages to approve the ICBM missile defense shield being pushed by the White House? This master of the techno-thriller spins a bone-chilling worst-case scenario involving international spies, military heroics, conniving politicians, devious agencies, a hijacked nuclear sub, lethal computer hackers, currency speculators, maniac moguls and greedy mercenaries that rivals Clancy for fiction-as-realism and Cussler for spirited action. Rear Adm. Jake Grafton is shocked, as are his fellow Russian and European observers, when a satellite for the SuperAegis missile shield goes out of launch mode and is lost in seconds. Moments later, the state-of-the-art nuclear submarine America is hijacked on her maiden voyage. The sub is armed with Tomahawk missiles with "Flashlight" warheads capable of frying all unprotected electronics within miles of detonation, crippling target cities. Jake suspects Janos Ilin and his Russian bosses, and forms a shaky "alliance" to test Ilin while digging for info. Meanwhile, Tommy Carmellini, a convicted felon with a talent for burglary that got him "recruited" by the CIA, tumbles onto a dastardly agency plot and secretly cues Jake. When American Tomahawks launched on Washington paralyze the city the whole East Coast lapses into chaos, the dollar plunges, and Jake's team, led by streetsmart black marine Gen. "Flap" LeBeau, goes into overdrive. Perennial bestseller Coonts (Hong Kong; Flight of the Intruder) never lets up with heart-racing jet/missile combat, suspenseful submarine maneuvers and doomsday scenarios that feel only too real, providing real food for thought in his dramatization of the missile-shield debate.
From back of book: OUR FIRST WARNINGDispatched on a trial run, NASAs SuperAegis satellite has been created as the foundation of an international antimissile defense system. But moments after dispatch, it vanishes. Rear Admiral Jake Grafton fears something worse than a grave malfunction he suspects sabotage OUR WORST NIGHTMARE The USS America the worlds most technically advanced nuclear submarine is launched on its maiden voyage. Then shortly after steaming out of harbor, the unthinkable happens. Pirated by terrorists, America disappears beneath the roiling waves of the Atlantic, its Tomahawk warheads aimed directly at the United States OUR LAST HOPE An ingeniously calculated war has been waged but the rogue enemy is far more insidious than Jake Grafton ever imagined. His mission: ferret out the core group responsible, overtake the stealth sub, and destroy it. But time is running out, and the race is on for Grafton to blow the covert operation out of the water before an entire nation is brought to its knees.