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Publisher's Summary

Charles Hayden returns in the thrilling new naval adventure from best-selling author S. Thomas Russell, today’s "Patrick O’Brian for a new generation" (Kirkus Reviews). Master and Commander Charles Hayden has received fresh orders that take him and the HMS Themis to the Caribbean, with instructions to meddle with French shipping to the colonies. While en route, they rescue two Spanish castaways who beg for help fleeing from a vengeful family situation - Hayden agrees to do what he can, though it’s soon clear his two new guests aren’t exactly what they seem. Arriving in the lawless Caribbean seas, Hayden and Themis find themselves torn between the forces of reckless English captains, conflicts between royalist and revolutionary Frenchmen, and Spanish ships that are enemies to both England and France. And when someone very dear to him is kidnapped, Hayden may sacrifice everything in a reckless pursuit to save her...

©2014 Sean Russell (P)2014 W.F. Howes

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 11-13-14

Absorbing

This is book four in the Captain Charles Hayden series. It is a high sea adventure historical novel. The story is set toward the end of the 18th century at the beginning of the Napoleonic wars.

The opening of the story has the Captain and Crew of HMS Themis stationed in Bridgetown Barbados. HMS Themis comes upon a pair of half dead shipwreck survivors, a young Spanish nobleman and his beautiful sister. They are fleeing to the New World for safe harbor. HMS Themis rescues a cripple slave ship and tows it to Barbados. The Themis is ordered out on patrol in a squadron of three other ships under command of Captain Jones. Two other ships in the fleet disappear leaving just the two ships. Then the fun begins.

There is lots of tactics and age of sail strategizing, hand to hand combat, dangerous harbor raids, ship to ship battles, suspense, action and of course, superiors who are more interested in glory than survival. The book is easy to read, period accurate in every detail and well written. If you are a fan of the British Navy in the days of sail you will enjoy this series. Daniel Philpott does a good job narrating the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Did someone else ghost write this?

What did you like best about Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead? What did you like least?

I liked the first three books by this author in this series, but this one not so much. The plot was disjointed and had many scenes that causes this sailor, who has experience on a square rigged ship, to roll his eyes in disbelief. However, my biggest disappointment in the book was the ending...it was both abrupt with unnecessary sadness as well as lacking in closure. Finally, the author choose a new narrator for this book whose performance paled when compared to his predecessor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Narrator errror

Would you try another book from S. Thomas Russell and/or Daniel Philpott?

Yes with Thomas Russel, probably not with Daniel Philpott.

Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Philpott’s performances?

No.

Any additional comments?

Nothing kills a good book like a bad narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Hayden is on a sinking ship

Would you try another book from S. Thomas Russell and/or Daniel Philpott?

I will not try another Charles Hayden story. It is not the narrator, but the story itself. The first two books were quite promissing, The third a bit less so. This one is a disappointment.

What was most disappointing about S. Thomas Russell’s story?

The characters, instead of developing seem to get flatter. They are not lovable. I want to love the persons, at least the main characters in the books i read. Not meaning they have to be perfect people, but certeinly MORE human than the ones that inhabit this book. Charles Hayden seemed to be quite a lovable person, but turned out into a pittable sissy.

Which character – as performed by Daniel Philpott – was your favorite?

None

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, growing while reading. The last chapter was just horrible. All inspiration must have left mister Russell.

Any additional comments?

It cannot be avoided that stories set in the Napoleontic era and with a British sea officer as the main character get compared with those by CS Forrester and Patrick O'Brian. The Hornblower series is splendid but with a lack of psychology. The Aubrey Maturin series is simply awesome. In fact the only things that the Hayden stories have in common with the Aubrey Maturin ones are "Napoleontic era" and "British naval officer". I had to give it a lot of efford to finish the book. The O'Brian series i have reread/relistened at least 8 times (narrator Patrick Tull) and it still isn't boring. The people in it are alive and real, the books give lots and lots of accurate information about that time's science, music, sociology, naval and other etiquette, food... PLUS, Patrick O'Brian is very very funny which makes his books extra good reads.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nate
  • Kennett Square, PA, United States
  • 03-10-15

Disappointing narration

While starting out a bit slow, the plot picked up and the second half was a lot of fun. Having listened to the other books in this series, I thought Hayden's quick marriage was somewhat out of character, but the action scenes made up for that. The reader, however, just didn't meet my expectations. Simon Vance is my favorite narrator and his performance in the first book was as stellar as usual. I was disappointed that he didn't continue with the series, but pleasantly surprised with Nick Boulton's performances in the second and third books - very well done. However, Daniel Philpott's performance in this book just doesn't measure up to the other two. Example: On several occasions I couldn't tell who was talking: 24-year old post-Captain Hayden or 16-year old midshipman Wickham. There's no excuse for those two sounding alike!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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entertaining enough

not a bad read but not a good one either. S. Thomas Russell is NO Patrick O'Brian. There is no comparison, the only similarities are the era and the ocean. If you like sea-going adventures this will satisfy. However it lacks the depth of O'Brian and the entertainment of Sabatini. Better reads out there...worse ones too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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What classic adventure!

Would you consider the audio edition of Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead to be better than the print version?

I have not read the printed version of this tale.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead?

When Hayden experienced the epiphany that the young man he had rescued was really a young woman.

What three words best describe Daniel Philpott’s performance?

miscast<br/>distracting<br/>talented

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

In a world of uncertainty, only courage may be relied upon.

Any additional comments?

I absolutely loved this series and am sad to come to the end of it, as I usually am. Philpot is a very talented narrator but he was miscast for this adventure. I never bought into most of the voice characters that he created, which is quite unfortunate. His voice had an unmasculine quality which was distinctly out of place with most of the manly characters of this tale. It was so noticeable that I often found it distracting. I also feel that there needs to be at least one more installment for Captain Hayden. If the tale truly ends here then there are many loose ends that seem to go untied. I would love to see one more story that allows Hayden to go out on an upswing, rather than the anti climactic heartache that he experiences at the end of the fourth book. There are women to be wooed still and villains who require some serious come-upance. But then I have always really loved a happy ending. What do you think Mr. Russell? Will there be one more?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing

I liked the first three books, but this one was not as well written and the action was repetitive and overly wordy. The love story part was uninteresting and ultimately unmoving.

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  • Bret
  • Westlake, Ohio
  • 09-18-17

If you like Hornblower, you may like this

I've really enjoyed British Naval history in the period from 1680-1860. I've listened to Everything I can find. Nothing beats The Master and Commander series. However I take what I can get and this series has potential. I thing the books are too short, have some difficulty in establishing a sense of time span. Nothing happens rapidly in this era except when battle was finally commenced and even then, nothing like the book makes it seem. Patric O brien and CS Forester did a much better job in conveying the passing of time in their books.
All in all, I can recommend these books IF you are willing to take a little time to learn some of the nautical terms. When I'm listening , I use google earth to help me track movement of cruises and I have a diagram of sailing ships of this era that name the rigging and parts of the ship. I also use a couple of sites that have information on British ships of this era that give hull size, engineering drawings of the builder and artist renderings of similar ships. Ive also researched the uniforms, diets and medical knowledge of the time. All of this has made reading or listening to such novels more enjoyable, and of deeper meaning.

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An Excellent Continuation of the Series

S. Thomas Russell continues to knock it out of the park with his Charles Hayden series in "Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead." This is not my normal genre of books to read (or listen to). I happened upon the first in the series, "Under Enemy Colors," on audio in a used book store for very cheap, and have never looked back.

Twists and turns, engaging from the start, I cannot recommend all of the books in this series enough, even if naval books aren't your thing.