3 out of 4 stars
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“Aye, Aye, Captain!” is a salutation that heralds a clue to the storyline of the book the SSN Seadragon: The Crucible of Leviathan by J.P. Ronald. It is a fast-paced book listed under the C/T/M/H genre and targets an audience of young adults and adults alike. Although the story is fictional, it surrounds the events of World War 2, the Vietnam War and the Korean War. Readers will be stunned by the jaw-dropping experiences of the naval officers as they perform their duties aboard the assigned submarines.
In the scenario, there are secret operations carried out by the United States Navy. These are in their defense against the Chinese and Russian enemy forces during the Korean War. The story also features the supernatural attacks of the “Leviathan spirit,” on the Cold War which is influenced and controlled by Satan himself.
The three outstanding protagonists for me, are CDRs Danny O’Kean, David Heidelman, and Thomas Henry. Danny O’Kean is a young American CIA specialist and World War 11 veteran who has miraculously escaped death. It was only his faith in God that has propelled him to withstand the perils of “Leviathan.” David, on the other hand, is a submarine commander, who has joined forces with LCDR Renzo MacKenna to dismantle a plot by the Soviet who intends to stop America’s involvement in Vietnam’s affairs. Will the venom of “ Leviathan”, however, spew to prevent this from occurring. I especially admire CDR McHenry for his part in the capture of Russian KGB agent Sveltana Seraivich , who had seduced and killed CDR Joseph Levy and Robert Alwyns.
It is easy to detect the author’s great spiritual insight on how the Cold War was influenced by the supernatural attacks of the “Leviathan spirit,” This is a demonic spirit which is used by Satan himself to create mayhem and confusion. This spirit can only be stopped by God. It was, therefore, the American officers’ faith in God that caused them to withstand the menacing attacks of this beast that can take any form. I must also add that I love the black and white illustrations of the submarines used during these historical time spans.
What disconcerts me about this book are the abbreviated titles of the naval officers and their offices that I am not familiar with. To get the full understanding of these titles, I had to stop and research the meanings of them from the glossary of terms at the back of the book. I must make the point that these titles are necessary for the story. It is only the fact that I am not familiar with naval terminologies why they bother me during my reading of this book.
Regarding the topic of the characters, these are very strong and well developed. I especially love the distinctive character of CDR Rubash. Although he is a naval officer, he is also a prophet who is able to see into the future of the world’s affairs and warns of impending dangers and how to divert from them. For example, he warns of the possibility that America will no longer play a role in aiding Israel from the Conglomeration’s attack in the war of Gog and Magog. This is because America has committed many sins and is no longer qualified in the sight of God to aid Israel in this war.
The author who hails from Pennslyvania is the holder of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering. However, his love for military history and engineering comes through his family involvement with the United States Navy. The flow of the story is smooth and understandable as the diction used by him is precise, frank and mature. He is also able to use prose to capture brilliantly the scenes of war and the activities performed aboard the submarine and its surrounding space. The author is able to emit easily to the readers, the lucidity and coarseness of the language used by the characters in their interactions. The mood throughout the book is faith, and the narration is done in the first person. The author has also interwoven pathos within the story to captivate the readers’ emotions. Faith, teamwork, and courage are promoted in this book.
There are many usages of coarse language made by the characters throughout the book’s passages which is appropriate based on the circumstances and the environment. Apart from that, I have not detected any relevant errors in the book. I, however, was somewhat daunted by the many abbreviated titles and some of the languages used, therefore, I will award the book a 3 out of 4 stars rating. I will recommend this 559 pages naval book to lovers of war stories aboard submarines and those who wish to have their faith in God strengthened. Persons who have experienced traumatic situations should desist from reading this book.
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