Cover image for China Sea
Title:
China Sea
Author:
Poyer, David.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
337 pages : map ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
Genre:
ISBN:
9780312202873
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

David Poyer's cycle of modern Navy tales ranks among the finest nautical fiction of our time. With China Sea , his self-doubting protagonist Daniel V. Lenson faces for the first time the unforgiving challenge of command at sea.Ordered to relieve an alcoholic skipper, Dan finds he has inherited a damaged ship, an untrustworthy crew, and an ambiguous mission. He is to take the USS Oliver C. Gaddis, soon to become the PNS Tughril, on her final voyage to be donated to Pakistan. But in Kirachi, Dan gets new orders: take Gaddis still further east, and operate against modern pirates preying on commercial shipping in the remote, dangerous South China Sea.Pursuing an elusive and shadowy foe into an exotic, isolated world of hazardous reefs and tropical islands, Dan gradually discerns a larger purpose behind his supposed objective. Who are these "pirates?" What expansionist cunning supports them? Abandoned by the Navy, threatened by a mutinous crew, a murderous shipmate, and an approaching typhoon, Gaddis struggles to survive without crossing the shadow-line herself.Filled with suspense, battle, and unforgettable descriptions of the sea's beauty and violence, China Sea continues Dan Lenson's star-crossed career in what Booklist calls, "One of the outstanding bodies of nautical fiction during the last half-century."


Author Notes

David Poyer, 1949 - Writer David Poyer was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania, in 1949, and grew up in the towns of Brockway, Emlenton, and Bradford in western Pennsylvania. He graduated from high school and then attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating in 1971. He received a master's degree from George Washington University.

Poyer's active and reserve service have included sea duty in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, Caribbean, and Pacific and shore duty at the Pentagon, as well as other commands. He has served on the USS Bowen, Comphibron Eight, USS Charleston, USS Antrim, Surface Warfare Development Group, U.S. Atlantic Command and as Captain for the U.S. Naval Reserve at Joint Forces Command. Poyer has taught or lectured at Annapolis, Flagler College, University of Pittsburgh, Old Dominion University, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the University of North Florida. He's been a guest on PBS's "Writer to Writer" series and on Voice of America.

Poyer has written the Navy novels "The Med," "The Gulf," "The Circle," "The Passage," and "Tomahawk." He has also written the historical thriller "The Only Thing to Fear" and the comic novel of Annapolis "The Return of Philo T. McGiffin." "Thunder on the Mountain" is a historical novel set in 1936; and set in the Pennsylvania hills, are the titles "The Dead of Winter," "Winter in the Heart" and "As the Wolf Loves Winter."

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Poyer's sixth novel about U.S. Navy surface warfare puts series protagonist Dan Lenson in command for the first time. That command, however, is at first only of the caretaker party aboard an obsolete frigate that is to be turned over to the Pakistanis. After a bizarre voyage with a mixed crew, during which Lenson carries out a rescue at sea over the objections of his Pakistani counterpart, the frigate is suddenly repossessed by the U.S., at least nominally. Short of supplies and unacknowledged by any official U.S. agency, the frigate sails with a scratch crew into the China Sea to exploit "plausible deniability" in an attack on communist Chinese-backed pirates. Lenson survives understaffing, obsolete or nonfunctional equipment, a mutiny, and a serial killer among the crew to engage the Chinese in a climactic battle that ranks high among single-ship actions in maritime fiction. Readers who can meet Poyer halfway with knowledge of modern seafaring stand to be especially richly rewarded. --Roland Green


Publisher's Weekly Review

An American frigate clashes with a Chinese pirate warship in Poyer's latest nautical adventure, which begins innocuously enough when Dan Lenson takes command of the USS Gaddis, an embattled vessel that has just been donated to Pakistan. Lenson is supposed to captain the ship only to its final destination, where his onboard Pakistani counterpart is scheduled to take over, but a disastrous emergency rescue of an Egyptian vessel near the Suez Canal reveals the tension between the American and Pakistani crews and their unease with the terms of the donation. Saddled with a ragtag, mutinous crew, Lenson is further plagued by an unidentified serial killer on board, who continues to elude capture. The voyage takes yet another strange turn when the captain gets new orders to head for China, and finds his ship involved in an international mission to curb a Chinese pirate operation while the rest of the world watches the U.S. take on Saddam Hussein. As the operation progresses, Lenson realizes he is being steered toward a final confrontation with a Chinese warship, knowing full well that if he loses the battle, the existence of his mission will be disavowed by his superiors. Poyer displays a fine sense of pace and plot when the focus is on seagoing affairs, and the battle scenes are scintillating and satisfying. But several nagging problems surface: the author occasionally gets caught up in nautical jargon; the writing veers toward cliche when the narrative drifts from the ship's maneuvers; and several plot machinations involving a relatively insignificant incident strain credulity. Poyer is a master of the genre, but this title lacks the consistency of his best work. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In his latest book, Poyer (The Circle) has brought back Dan Lenson and given him first command. It is 1990-91, at the start of the Gulf War. The navy, ready to discard the U.S.S. Gaddis, has asked Lenson to ready the ship for a final voyage. Accompanied by a crew of misfits and brigrats, Lenson endures a journey filled with bungling allies, hurricanes, a cronic supply problem, and piracy. THe crew is ready to mutiny - the vagueness of his orders and a disgruntled executive officer have undermined Lenson's authority. And to top it all off, Lenson soon realizes that one of his crew is committing murders in every port. Poyer's characters are as good as ever, and the action scenes are lively, but the book's lulls - passages filled with characters repeating themselves and to command - make for painful reading at times. Still, this is recommended for larger fiction collections.-Patrick J. Wall, University City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.