I enjoy reading many different genres of books. I have always been a fan of military history. I enjoy fiction but good military fiction is not easy to find. Larry Laswell, however, has quickly become one of my favorite authors. He has written two novels about the United States Navy that are amazing.
Vows to the Fallen is based in World War Two in the Pacific theater. Laswell takes us aboard a navy destroyer where we get to know a young officer named Patrick O’Toole. He is thrust into a leadership role that he wants but does not feel that he is ready for.
The writing is good and the action is fast-paced. The combat sequences are exciting and put the reader in the middle of the action. The center of the story, though, is O’Toole’s evolvement into a leader of men. One of Laswell’s strengths as a writer is his understanding of human nature and what it takes to lead others. After a shaky start, O’Toole becomes a great leader.
Laswell continued the series with The Marathon Watch. This story is set in 1971 and again features O’Toole as one of the main characters. One of the main focuses of the story is on good leadership versus weak leadership and bad leadership.
Even though there is no combat in The Marathon Watch, it is still a riveting read. There is enough action to satisfy any reader. This story centers around the plan of an unscrupulous admiral. He has a plan to show that the “modern” navy is being led by outdated methods.
Another young leader is caught in the middle of this plan and he has to make some very difficult decisions. How can he protect his men and obey the orders that he has been given? How far does loyalty extend? Laswell again shows himself as the master story-teller. I can’t wait to see what his next book will be!
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