Monday Book Review – Nathaniel Philbrick Does it Again!

Philbrick is on top of his game with Sea of Glory.

I finished a great book a few weeks ago, and I just haven’t had time to post my review until now.  The book? Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition by Nathaniel Philbrick.  If you’re a frequent visitor to this blog (Hi, mom), you’ll know that I loved Philbrick’s book, In the Heart of the Sea.  He’s great at spinning a maritime tale and making it relatable to the non-seafaring types like me.  I wouldn’t know a yardarm from an octopus’s leg, but I found myself totally immersed in these two books.  There is no one better at taking nonfiction and making it read like a fast paced novel than Philbrick.

His real talent is vividly painting multi-dimensional characters that compel you to read until your eyes cross with anticipation. Sea of Glory is full of real life sailors that you pull for and hate.  But Philbrick brilliantly makes this a book about two men.  One motivated by blinding ambition, Charles Wilkes  and another motivated by a sense of adventure and duty, William Reynolds.

The U.S. Exploring Expedition was a massive undertaking by a young country in 1838 to map the entire Pacific Ocean.  It required six sailing vessels and hundreds of men and would capture the imagination of the entire nation.  Uncharted islands would be explored.  The Antarctic Continent would be discovered and countless specimens would be brought back and serve as the building blocks for the Smithsonian Institution.  But the hardship of the expedition drove its commander, Charles Wilkes, to unspeakable acts of cruelty towards his own men and the peoples of one island nation in particular (although most would see it as a justifiable act).  At the conclusion of the expedition in 1842, instead of returning a hero to the country (something he desperately longed for), Wilkes was brought up on charges and court marshaled.  William Reynolds, a fan of Wilkes at the outset of the voyage, would spend much of his life after the voyage trying to make sure that Wilkes paid for his deplorable behavior during the expedition.

Philbrick is a supreme storyteller, and I can’t recommend this book enough.  If you want to learn about probably the most important event in US history that you’ve most likely never heard about, this is a fantastic way to soak it and enjoy an excellent writing in the process.

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I’m Officially Bad Today!

Where my evil half lives!

Where my evil half lives!

Jeremy Robinson’s first book in his Chess Team Series goes on sale today. The book is called Pulse and it sounds like you may raise your pulse rate just by reading it. It features an evil scientist named Richard Ridley. I ordered my copy yesterday. You should buy a copy and see just how despicably evil a guy who shares my name can be. Also you should buy it because of what these reviewers and authors say about the book:

“Robinson’s latest reads like a video game with tons of action and lots of carnage. The combination of mythology, technology, and high-octane action proves irresistible. Gruesome and nasty in a good way, this will appeal to readers of Matthew Reilly.”
Booklist

“Raiders of the Lost Arc meets Tom Clancy meets Saturday matinee monster flick with myths, monsters, special ops supermen and more high tech weapons than a Bond flick. Pulse is an over-the-top, bullet-ridden good time.”
Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of CONTAGIOUS and INFECTED

“Jeremy Robinson’s latest novel, PULSE, ratchets his writing to the next level. Rocket-boosted action, brilliant speculation, and the recreation of a horror out of the mythologic past, all seamlessly blend into a rollercoaster ride of suspense and adventure. Who knew chess could be this much fun!”
James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST ORACLE

“PULSE contains all of the danger, treachery, and action a reader could wish for. Its band of heroes are gutsy and gritty. Jeremy Robinson has one wild imagination, slicing and stitching his tale together with the deft hand of a surgeon. Robinson’s impressive talent is on full display in this one.”
Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of THE CHARLEMAGNE PURSUIT

“Here’s a neat twist: a young adventure thriller writer – whose heroes save the world – saves the world of adventure thrillers. In a genre glutted with popcorn gimmicks and tired rip-offs, Jeremy Robinson dares to craft old-fashioned guilty pleasures – far horizons, ancient maps, and classic monsters – hardwired for the 21st century. There’s nothing timid about Robinson as he drops his readers off the cliff without a parachute and somehow manages to catch us an inch or two from doom.”
Jeff Long, New York Times bestselling author of THE DESCENT and YEAR ZERO

“PULSE is Jeremy Robinson’s best yet. A really intriguing premise, frightening consequences, wrapped up in roaring adventure.”
Stel Pavlou International Bestselling author of DECIPHER

“An elite task force must stop a genetic force of nature in the form of the legendary Hydra in this latest Jeremy Robinson thriller. Yet another page-turner!”
Steve Alten, N.Y. Times best-selling author of The Loch & MEG: Hell’s Aquarium
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“A pulse-pounding adventure genetically engineered to mythic effect.”
Thomas Greanias, New York Times bestselling author of THE ATLANTIS REVELATION

“Greek myth and biotechnology collide in Robinson’s first in a new thriller series to feature the Chess Team… Robinson (Antarktos Rising) will have readers turning the pages…”
Publisher’s Weekly

“Combining mythology with Jurassic Park, PULSE is an over the top action-packed thriller that will have readers hooked from start to finish as one escapade leads to another and another, etc as the story line never takes a breather.”
Harriet Klausner, Amazon’s #1 reviewer


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