A Book Spy Review: ‘Onslaught’ By David Poyer

61a18rlz8ll-_sx328_bo1204203200_Captain Dan Lenson returns in David Poyer’s latest military thriller, and this time he must find a way to save the USS Savo Island, so America can save her allies.

A global war with China is well underway, and things are really starting to heat up.  Dan Lenson, captain of the USS Savo Island, the navy’s first anti-ballistic missile-capable cruiser, is stationed in the East China Sea and awaiting orders.

Among Lenson’s early difficulties are several cyber attacks which, together, have knocked several key computer components offline–including the ship’s GPS and Global Command and Control System. Unsure whether the Chinese have shot down their satellite or are somehow just jamming them, Lenson is ordered to link up with a Japanese destroyer nearby.

In the meantime, Lenson has another issue to deal with. In a carryover plot line from last year’s Tipping Point, someone onboard the Savo is sexually assaulting female officers. Now a full NCIS investigation is underway, adding more drama to the story.

Things come to a halt, though, when China begins attacking several of America’s allies. As they continue their war plan, it becomes clear that Lenson, his crew, and the Savo are the only things standing between the People’s Empire and early victory. 

Instructed to hold the Atlantic at all costs, Lenson sets his ship in a defensive position and prepares for battle. But between the harsh sea conditions and malfunctioning computers, against an onslaught of incoming enemy torpedoes, the Savo‘s odds of survival look rather grim.

While Poyer does a fantastic job introducing readers to Lenson and his crew, taking readers right onboard the Savo, there are a few drawbacks to the author’s writing style. For example, those who aren’t familiar with military acronyms and terminology will struggle to pick up the lingo.

Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but Poyer doesn’t always explain things in layman terms. The first few chapters might feel a tad overwhelming to some readers, as the dialogue comes fast and furious. Eventually, though, things settle in, and most readers should be able to pick up what’s happening, even if you’re not completely sure what SOSUS is or what it means when someone asks, “What’s it look like ASW-wise?”

In some ways, part of the plot feels like a real-life version of the game Battleship. When the Savo‘s defense capabilities are hindered by their malfunctioning computers, including their threat-detecting radar, Lenson knows there are enemy vessels before him–he just can’t pinpoint them. Those pages are full of tension and suspense, and very well-written, making them a treat to read .

It’s all hands on deck as the crew of the USS Savo Island attempts to pull off the unthinkable and stand their ground against a high-powered, aggressive enemy fleet.

Written with the authenticity of someone who’s been there, Onslaught, David Poyer’s latest high-concept military thriller is a fantastic addition to his long-running franchise that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Book Details

Author: David Poyer
Series: Dan Lenson #16
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250056314
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: December 6, 2016 (Order Now!)

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