The Otissito Review

Category: Military

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Book Review: "The Seafort Saga: Fisherman’s Hope" by David Feintuch

Fisherman's HopeI am determined to see Nicholas Seafort become a changed and dare I say, happy individual by the time I’m finished reading this entire series. Fisherman’s Hope is the fourth of seven books, and while Nicholas is not where I want to see him yet, this book gives the largest glimpse that he might find peace yet. He is still a very complicated and emotionally damaged individual, but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel for him by the time the series is finished.

Fisherman’s Hope picks up about two months following the events of Prisoner’s Hope. Nick has been given the position of Commandant of the Naval Training Academy and as can be expected, he is completely out of his depth. He is well aware of the rules and regulations that all of the young cadets should be learning and following, but he lacks the empathy to oversee the cadets during their most vulnerable moments. This causes a major problem as the book progresses. There are several cadets that find themselves directly connected with whatever Nick is involved with, and try as he might, Nick just cannot manage to find the right balance between discipline and care.

A lot of Fisherman’s Hope follows a similar tone as the previous three books. Seafort has a hard time relating to the needs of his cadets and the other officers serving underneath his command. He also finds himself overridden with guilt and fear at times, but he does begin to make progress towards the end of this book. There is a bit of an interlude in the middle of the book when Nick travels down to the surface streets of New York City to where his wife Annie is from to find her after she runs away from the mental health facility that was helping her recover from the events on Hope Nation. Nick is desperate to find her, so desperate that he actually strong arms the Admiralty into reassigning Eddie Boss to assist him on the streets. That’s a big deal after he sent Eddie away in the previous book after he and Annie had an affair under Nick’s nose.

Nick does eventually find Annie, but he knows she’s too damaged to ever love him again, so he arranges for her to stay at his old boyhood home with Eddie Boss to watch over her and then returns to the training academy.

The final act is where Fisherman’s Hope really shines. The fish aliens have arrived in home system and being to decimate Earth with falling rocks much like they did with Hope Nation. The Navy is on its heels and nobody is making good decisions, leading to the fish overpowering most of the remaining ships. Nick makes a daring gamble and loads cadets and midshipman into the training ships from the academy’s orbiting station and plots out a plan to caterwaul their drives to attract the fish so close to the sun that they won’t be able to escape. There is just one problem. It means sending the brave cadets and midshipman to their deaths, something Nick knows is necessary, but hates himself for doing nonetheless.

I think the final action in Fisherman’s Hope is the best I’ve seen in the series to this point. It provided the catalyst for Nick to truly begin to change when he survives after thinking there really was no chance for any of them. It was the first time I really felt like Nick as a character understood the things others were going through in a way that made sense and that he could process. I’m very interested to see what that means for the last three books in the series I’ve yet to read.

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Looking Back at March 2014

A fourth of the year has passed us by which means if I’m to stay on track with my reading goal I need to be at 25 books finished. It was close this month sneaking in a ninth book to stay on track, but I managed it. This month featured a new author or two, making progress on a series, and reading my favorite author’s newest book.

The books I read in March 2014:

Out of that list my favorites were Words of Radiance and Half Way Home. I was waiting nearly four years for the Brandon Sanderson book and it was fantastic. Half Way Home was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting it to be good because I like Hugh Howey as an author, but it ended up being my favorite book of his I’ve read to date. I was also very impressed by Michael J. Sullivan’s Hollow World, which he sent me an advance copy of in return for a review. I had a hard time putting it down after I got started.

The only book from March that really didn’t do much for me was Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak. I just didn’t connect with it very well, but that’s okay, if I only have one book out of every eight or nine that I don’t connect with perfectly I think I’m doing pretty well. I also made it through books four and five of the Seafort Saga, which should allow me to finish up the series in April with little trouble.

Speaking of April, I’m looking to get the Seafort Saga finished by reading the last two books. I’m also going to read the two newest David Dalglish books I’ve been waiting for and I’m also going to drive through a few more random novels on my Kindle in my continuing quest to clean it out entirely.

Up Next: "The Seafort Saga: Fisherman’s Hope" by David Feintuch

Fisherman's HopeThe end of the month is fast approaching and now that I’ve pushed my way through almost all of this month’s reading list it’s time to dive into the next two books of The Seafort Saga so I can be that much closer to finishing the series. Fisherman’s Hope is the fourth book in the seven book series and it seems that it’s the first one where Nick Seafort is in charge of his own destiny.

I’m hoping that Nick is going to continue to exhibit more growth as an individual as he works to understand the place for strict obedience in contrast to empathy for those under his command. I think this fourth book is going to be a turning point for both Nick Seafort and the series on the whole moving forward.

 

 

Nick Seafort returned to Earth expecting a court martial but instead he’s tapped by the Naval Academy. This is no ordinary desk job . . .

Luck has always run in both directions for Naval Commandant Nicholas Seafort. While he has managed to save the Hope Nation colony from alien attack, he and his friends have paid a heavy price. Most recently, his exploits have earned him a dignified position as an instructor at the United Nations Naval Academy. But, as Seafort suspects, trouble isn’t far behind.

A return to Earth means a return to his roots, some of which he wishes would remain buried. He’s uncomfortable with fame and can’t always restrain his temper as the political machine shifts around him. But when the fishlike aliens mount an attack, Seafort is the only man Earth can count on. Now he must decide whether he has the courage and fortitude to make a terrible choice . . .

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s the start of a new season and that means it’s time to take a look at the books I want to read most during the Spring months as they roll past. I’m trying really hard not to buy any new books for a little while until I manage to empty my Kindle of the 27 books it currently holds, so this list of ten is going to come from those books available to me that way. The top ten books for my Spring as determined by my Kindle if you will. Will these be the next ten books I read? Probably not, but they are the ones I’m most excited about reading that I have in my possession at the moment.

first-set

Dawn of Swords by David Dalglish and Robert J. Duperre
This is the newest book by David Dalglish and I’ve read all of his others and loved them. The world Dalglish has created through his entwined series fascinates me for a variety of reasons and this book takes the reader back to the dawn of that world to see how some of the history mentioned in other books came to be.

Unfettered by Shawn Speakman (Editor)
I’ve made it a goal to read a couple of anthologies this year and if I’m going to do that I definitely need to read this one because it features short fiction by some of not only the best fantasy authors in the world, but a majority of my favorites.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
There are a lot of books on my list to read someday and Brent Weeks is one of those authors that it seems like everyone recommends at some point. I figure I’m going to have to read a book or two of his at some point just to see if everyone really knows what they are talking about or not.

second-set

The Seafort Saga by David Feintuch
(Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope)
I’ve read the first three books in this series and I want to see how everything ends. I’ve had the books on my Kindle for a long time now and I think I’ll feel pretty accomplished if I can get the entire series finished in the next few months. I really want to know what happens with Nicholas Seafort as he gets older and gains more experience with interpersonal relationships and with command. His character has real potential.

third-set

The Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch
(The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves)
This is another trilogy that I’ve heard absolutely rave reviews about from every corner from friends, co-workers, and the authors and publishers I follow on social media. Apparently Scott Lynch has got something seriously good going for him with these books and so when they were on sale recently I grabbed the entire set.

Book Review: "The Seafort Saga: Prisoner’s Hope" by David Feintuch

Prisoner's HopeHeading into the third book of The Seafort Saga I was a little hesitant. I wasn’t sure what would be in store for me after two straight books of ship-centric action. Would the series be based on a naval ship for all seven books, or would some new settings be introduced? As it turns out, at least for this book things don’t happen on board of a ship scene after scene. Instead, they take place on the surface of Hope Nation.

Following the events of Challenger’s Hope, Captain Nicholas Seafort has been sent to Hope Nation to serve orders to the commanding officer there that the Admiral responsible for all of Nick’s trials on board Challenger is to be relieved of duty and returned home to Earth to answer for his actions. Following the departure of that Admiral Nick is given command of Hibernia once again, the ship he so valiantly kept operational after losing all of the officers in Midshipman’s Hope. Unfortunately, events transpire that keep Nick from properly assuming command. Events involving the arrival of a fleet of fish aliens that attack the planet. Nick is left trapped on the surface, unable to assume command of his ship and is then appointed as a liaison between the Admiralty House and the local plantation owners in a dispute over taxes and procedures.

Nick attacks this new responsibility with all the gusto he attacks every assignment he’s given and immediately begins to cause a stir by relieving a chief officer of his duty, reorganizing the staff at the laser cannon station, and a variety of other things. The Admiralty House backs him up though and he does his best to get things back in order. However, he then suffers an accident that takes him out of commission for a little while and as he returns to his duties he’s taken captive by a rogue plantation owner who is staging a rebellion against the naval forces.

The fish aliens attack more and more frequently and ultimately the commanding officer is forced to remove the navy ships back to Earth in order to protect the home planet. With his departure he leaves Nick in charge and Nick has ultimate power over everything happening on the planet. With this power he successfully pulls off a counter-rebellion of sorts, establishes a working governmental structure, and works towards dealing with whatever may come as a result of the aliens driving off the fleet.

While all of this is going on something changes in Nick. He’s still the Captain with no social graces, possesses an inability to connect emotionally with his officers, and acts rashly and harshly to the smallest breaches of protocol, but he’s also someone different. The weight of being left behind yet again to fend for himself with meager resources finally takes too much of a toll and he is forced in small ways to back down from his ever-present need for perfect obedience. He allows Midshipman Tolliver to reprimand him as long as it’s in private to keep him on the right path. He forgives civilians of their protocol breaches more easily. He even apologizes for his actions at times.

All of this is a drastic change for Nicholas Seafort, a change that I think the author had planned all along to follow the first two books. While reading Prisoner’s Hope I began to realize that Nick is a damaged, frail, desperate figure who needs help. The problem is, he doesn’t know what kind of help he needs, nor does he know who can provide it and so he’s scared. He’s scared of failing, scared of losing his soul because of his actions. There is a lot more humanity in Nick during this book and it intrigues me to see what comes of him in the fourth book when I make time to read it.

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