Hailed as “an extraordinary novel of men at war” (The Washington Post) this is the book that inspired the TNT television series starring Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin and Michael Bay as Executive Producer.
The unimaginable has happened. The world has been plunged into all-out nuclear war. Sailing near the Arctic Circle, the U.S.S. Nathan James is relatively unscathed, but the future is grim and Captain Thomas is facing mutiny from the tattered remnants of his crew. With civilization in ruins, he urges those that remain—one-hundred-and-fifty-two men and twenty-six women—to pull together in search of land. Once they reach safety, however, the men and women on board realize that they are earth’s last remaining survivors—and they’ve all been exposed to radiation. When none of the women seems able to conceive, fear sets in. Will this be the end of humankind?
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this apocalyptic novel of the sea is that Brinkley has been able to spin so slender a plot to so great lengthmore than 500 pages. Global nuclear disaster has struck, and the guided-missile destroyer Nathan James, short on food and fuel, its crew of men and women seriously depleted by desertions, sails the seas in search of an uncontaminated landfall. The Nathan James is apparently the only ship afloatuntil it meets a Russian sub and a little belated glasnost is arranged. The destroyer's captain, a man given to Conradesque reflections more often ponderous than illuminating, describes how he struggles to assert his authority and maintain crew morale, how he establishes a settlement on an unpolluted Pacific island, assigning to his female crew the task of ensuring the continuation of the human race (he has a steamy affair with one of them himself) and how he handles, among other problems, a case of multiple murder. Brinkley (Don't Go Near the Water, Quicksand) clearly knows the U.S. Navy, and his narrative has its moments. However, his style here is turgid and the story as a whole, unlike the sleek and deadly Nathan James, sits pretty heavily in the water.