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Friday, March 9, 2007

Hunters of the Dark Sea by Mel Odom

Hunters of the Dark Sea is not an easy book to categorize. It is a historical novel set during the War of 1812. It is billed on the cover as "A Whaling Novel of Suspense." That is both an oversimplification and innacurate. This novel is historical adventure, horror and sci-fi rolled into one.

Aboard the whaling ship Reliant, Ethan Swain must overcome his haunted past and a cruel captain. During his tenure as first mate, he must follow his own code of honor while saving the crew from the perils of the sea.

Those perils include an uncaring and avaricious captain, an evil and viciously vindictive pirate, a British Man-of-War captained by England's worst and a horror never before seen on the high seas. Ethan must walk a tightrope of danger and mistrust while saving his men and himself from the worst that the dark seas can throw at him.

I was surprised by how much I liked it. Once I started erading it, I could not put it down. The setting was superbly done. Mel crafted an incredible story of sailing ships and the untamed sea with characters that are beatifully done. The story is a compelling read with plenty of action and high adventure. He captures the history and hardships of the whaling ships in great detail, it gives you the feel of being there. His telling of naval combat is equal to Master and Commander by Aubrey Maturin.

This book is one of the absolute best that I have ever read. I would recommend it to anyone.

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