Ocean Strike by Damien Lewis

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Guns, Mar 5, 2013.

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  1. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    Here goes my first review.

    Ocean Strike came as an e-book, of sorts, in a word document. Which is appropriate as overall this feels like a A level English Lit essay for marking.

    Firstly it is obvious that Mr Lewis has had some exposure to the military and possibly the SF. Throughout the book there is an annoying habit of sprinkling terminology then explaining it. For example, with no context to the story, he uses 'Stan and then explains it is about Afghanistan. It just does not sit well with the narrative flow and adds nothing to the story. In fact it starts to break the flow and for us on ARRSE the occasional mistake really let the whole thing down.

    To the story, it revolves around the SBS taking down various ships and boats to avoid some form of terrorist plot. Now this is not plot spoiling as you can guess that by Chapter 2. It starts with a short and limited value back story about the SIS uncovering a plot (over the weekend the whole of SIS seems to be over it like a tramp on chips and have the whole of government up and running). Then we move to Poole where apparently some random Sgt in the mess, hungover from a Xmas party, is forced to russell up a whole MCT Sqn as no one is available. This leads to a whole segment filling in back stories that have no relevance to the story.

    This leads me to the main issue I have with this book. It can't make its mind up if it a short story or a full novel. Now if the author went with short story he could have been on to a winner. Something easy to read in commuter chunks and being and e-book something you could do on a phone or tablet. But instead the work is puffed out with stuff that is just not import to the narrative.

    But on the story goes, and it does move at a pace once the action kicks in. However, again the random use of jargon slows things down, only for it to ramp up again. If he stayed with the action it would be fine.

    As I said this whole thing just feels like an essay, a good A level essay, and could have done with a really good edit.

    Would I recommend it? If it is a couple of quid to download, yep as I said it will fill the time on the train. But if Mr Lewis wants to run with a series of these he would be best to cut it down, go with the action and market it as a commute read.