While this was the first book of series I’ve read, it’s not the first book in the series. Didn’t seem to matter to following the story though, and I’d picked this one because it sounded more interesting than the others.

The author builds a detailed and believable world, one in which the US is divided by fighting factions and Texians control New Orleans. A group of pro-confederate supporters are hoping to tip the balance in the stalemate by smuggling a submarine out from its last resting place at the bottom of a lake, where it drowned its crew.

While the locations are densely described, and the characters are far from two-dimensional, that’s all the book seemed to offer, for first two-thirds at least. Finally, after a huge amount of build-up, we get some action, but it’s over and gone in no time, with little in the way of obstacles faced by the protagonists. In fact, there are too few of those throughout the novel, everything just flows along like the Mississippi. The florid descriptions did seem to get caught up in their own bounding similes on occasion as well.

As such, the book felt slow, with little to keep me hooked and turning pages, at least until the Ganymede actually set sail.

It’s not a bad book, and I’ve not read the others in the series, but I won’t be making a bee-line for them based on this.

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Reviewed: 13th April 2014