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Ghost Fleet

A Novel of the Next World War
Narrated by: Rich Orlow
Length: 14 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2,327 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The year is 2026. China has taken over as the world's largest economy, while the United States, mired in an oil shortage, struggles to adjust to its diminished role. Then, a surprise attack throws the US into a chaos unseen since Pearl Harbor. As the enemy takes control, the survival of the nation will depend upon the most unlikely forces: the Navy's antiquated Ghost Fleet and a cadre of homegrown terrorists.

Ghost Fleet is unique in that every piece of technology featured in the novel already exists or is in the works. Peter W. Singer is Senior Fellow and Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution and a consultant for the US Department of Defense and FBI. August Cole is a journalist and writer specializing in national security issues and is an Adjunct Fellow at the American Security Project.

©2015 P.W. Singer and August Cole (P)2015 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An unusual war story

When I bought this book I expected a somewhat standard World War III novel and was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was much more interesting and complex than I expected. I found almost everything about this book to be a surprise from the first death of the war (which took place on the International Space Station, of all places) to the action at the end of the book. In between I found a book full of interesting characters, unexpected acts and an unplanned resistance to occupation.

Much of how this book played out was unusual. For example the start of the book covers the initial actions that start the war and the reader might well expect descriptions of how the war progressed, but finds instead that the book moves immediately to a world in which part of the US is occupied, NATO has dissolved itself so US allies would not have to actually provide any help to the US and very little organized military action by the US has taken place. Instead the US finds itself having to resist in the way the occupied have resisted for all of recorded history - guerrilla action - and with a very disorganized and ad hoc fashion.

There are many parallel story lines, many of which seem to have no real start and no real end, and we are treated to isolated and uncoordinated resistance to the Chinese who are occupying Hawaii. Added to this is the interesting conflict between the Russian advisors and the Chinese Army, each of which has its own idea of how the occupation should proceed. Even at the end, where military action does take place, it does not follow the pattern that most people would expect and there are many surprises when the loose ends are finally tied up at the conclusion. This book could easily have been a series since so much ground could have been covered, but the book is complete as it is.

The narration is quite good and well suited to the contents of the book. All in all a very nice, if a bit different, World War III story. While not great literature it is a pleasant find. While the book is complete the one thing I would have liked to have seen was an epilogue covering the political results of most (but not all) of the US allies deserting the US. While not strictly part of this book it would have been an interesting read.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 07-07-15

Good read

A good solid techno thriller that accurately forecasts many of the complicated elements and risks created by our multinational economy and reliance on technology

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

Very well written and exciting. Reminded me of Tom Clancy before he got rich and lazy. Those this book is better written than the ones Clancy did.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Involving, Intricate, slow in the middle.

If you could sum up Ghost Fleet in three words, what would they be?

I guess the title of the review sums it up: Intricate, Involving, Slow. The plot itself is very complex, with a number of moving parts. I like that the authors flesh out the details of even short-lived side plot events, so the listener is able to see how any why they flow into the main plot. However, in the middle of the book, I feel that all the chessboard manuvering slows the plot perceptibly; where the beginning and end are both full-throttle freight trains, the middle of the book seems to stumble on just how intricate the plot becomes. A little selective trimming would help to move it along much faster.

What other book might you compare Ghost Fleet to and why?

I feel that it is like some of Tom Clancy's works such as (most directly) The Bear and the Dragon. They all share that same feeling of depth and involvement, and the same pacing at the end of the book. Incidentally, they also share the same plot somewhat (US war with China and Russia)

What about Rich Orlow’s performance did you like?

Pacing was good, and pronunciation of military phrasing was good as well. Often I find that it's when I really have nothing to say about the narrator that they do the best job, as (for me) they seem to tie into the story and disappear. That's what Orlow does: just disappears into the story.

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

"Future warfare hits home".

Any additional comments?

As much as I disliked the perceptible slowdown of the plot in the middle of the book, I greatly enjoyed it and look forward to future works by these authors. It really feels like Clancy brought to the bleeding edge of technology, with stealth drones and computers being the preferred tools of war.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good listen

I enjoy a good techno thriller and this doesn't disappoint. I'd recommend for anyone who enjoys reading Vince Flynn and Michael Crichton.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Difficult...

I do not know if it's the story itself or just the reader than has turned me off from this story. The only difference in the readers voice for different characters is he tries to sound a little deeper for certain male characters. Very very difficult for me to follow. I am also used to Tom Clancy stories so I am not sure if I have my expectations to high or if the readers voice just cause me to feel like I miss entire chapters. Maybe I'll try actually reading the book instead. I recommend others try that.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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certainly not at the Clancy level

I didn't really get into it until the end. Voice acting was poor. it was hard to tell who was speaking at any given time. it was hard to follow where events were taking place. it took effort to finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ghost Fleet does not disappoint

The setting is the near in the near future with some political change. It begins with a string of battles that go terribly wrong for the United States. The cause is cyber warfare by an Advanced Persistent Threat (a very big one). The book is fiction but the situations seem very real. Despite the realistic tech, the book is not dry at all. The action is excellent and there is a lot of cloak-and-dagger intrigue.

I'm not quite through with it, but I recommend it for both personal and professional reasons. The technical issues seem well-researched, but this does not detract from the thrilling action.
You will especially like this book if you are in Information Technology and/or have ever spent any time in Honolulu.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

worthwhile listen to alt future war

credible description of successful first strike. optimistic and Hollywood ending shaved a star. but worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator needs to go back to "narration school"

What did you like best about Ghost Fleet? What did you like least?

Overall a decent story marred by a weak performance.

What did you like best about this story?

The plot was fairly good, but followed several storis. Some were better tha others. One story line seemed to be disconnected from the other lines with no necessary connection to the rest of the book. The main character in that line did not have any clear motivation/

Would you be willing to try another one of Rich Orlow’s performances?

Only if he NEVER EVER tries to pronounce a Hawaiian word again within my hearing. The Hawaii setting for the book made it interesting to me (I lived there for 20+ years), and I have deep love and respect for native Hawaiian people and their culture. Hearing him butcher the names of places I fondly remember really distracted me.Also, he sometimes inserted pauses in the middle of phrases or expressions -- as if he read to the end of a printed line and then found the rest of the expression on the next line. I do not think he had rehearsed the material, or he had a lousy sound editor.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably. It's the kind of escapist Techno sci-fi action stuff I like.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful