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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite gripping
Difficult to put this book down. The characters have depth and whilst the story seems at first far fetched the uncanny way it mirrors real events since the book was written gives much food for thought. In the days since I read this book the tragic events of missing plane MH370 have been gripping the headlines. Two days ago there were at last sad reports of wreckage...
Published 12 months ago by Deepthought

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Submarine thriller becalmed shock
Nice story - shame he loses the plot halfway. For a while it's what Robinson fans have come to expect. Lots of slick writing with cardboard characters (and why not -- characters can afford to be two-dimensional when the action's coming thick and fast).

However, while Robinson starts very well indeed in this his third novel of Big Men Doing Stirring Stuff On...
Published on 10 April 2000 by Tim62


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Submarine thriller becalmed shock, 10 April 2000
By 
Tim62 "history buff" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
Nice story - shame he loses the plot halfway. For a while it's what Robinson fans have come to expect. Lots of slick writing with cardboard characters (and why not -- characters can afford to be two-dimensional when the action's coming thick and fast).

However, while Robinson starts very well indeed in this his third novel of Big Men Doing Stirring Stuff On The Briny -- he loses it by the end. The only good point is the return of the wonderfully heroic anti-hero Commander Adnam - in my view the only really likeable character in the book. All right he may be a terrorist, he may have blown up lots of hapless air travellers -- but - nobody's perfect! You can't help but like him.

The US characters in the book are strangely unsatisfying, because in this book they have to be particularly slow for Adnam to do what he does. Especially the laughable US admiral -- no I'm sorry, to get to the top of any country's national intelligence agency you need more grey cells than this guy can muster.

Of course I'm over-reacting in one sense. Because you wouldn't read this book for it's subtle delineation of men and women under fire, or how relationships shift and warp under pressure. No you read it for Action - with a capital A.

Trouble is when Robinson stops and has his loveable villain start thinking about the distress and anguish he's caused -- it stops the novel. Dead. I won't give away the final ending, except to say it was anti-climatic and came far too late.

Anti-heroes, like heroes, deserve to go out with a bang, not a whimper. My vote is that when next Mr Robinson writes about submarines -- as I hope he does -- he sticks to slam-bang action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 4/5 for the first half, 2/5 for the ending, 19 May 2004
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
"HMS Unseen" follows on from "Nimitz Class" & "Kilo Class". Basically master terrorist Commander Benjamin Adnam returns, steals another submarine & starts waging war against the US. This is great... much as you should deplore Adnam he's a bit like the "hero" in "day of the jackal"....he's bad, but secretly you want him to get away with it. The opposition, especially Admiral Morgan are so wooden that Adnam is the only interesting character featured.
Sadly, half-way through the book Adnam suffers a total personality change & starts stalking his ex-girfriend. It all seems totally out of character & leads up to a very weak & anti-climatic ending. The book is rather padded out- the main characters can't have a meal without Robinson gushing praise over their choice of wine. Likewise he bulks out the book with overlong (if very accurate) descriptions of the west coast of Scotland. This does nothing for the plot & if anything slows down the pace of the story.
There's several minor, but irritating continuity errors- at one point Adnam stops for "egg & chips" at a service station, but half an hour later "the sausage & chips he just ate were laying heavy on his stomach". It doesn't spoil the story, but it does make you wonder how quickly Robinson rattled off the book.
I did enjoy the book & it is still worth reading, but it doesn't quite match up to the earlier books. It's still much better than Dale Brown or Tom Clancy's recent books though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a let down, 2 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
Having read a couple of Robinson's previous books, I thought this one would be worth a try. However, this one was nothing like the quality of e.g. Kilo Class. For "technological" thriller, read "culinary", as Robinson spends half his time detailing the meals his characters eat. Is he completely unaware that sticking a large metal housing on the back of a sub will disrupt its flow characteristics- which it depends upon for remaining silent and undetected. For his story the Unseen would have to be renamed HMS Look At Me. Move over Tom Clancy? I don't think so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying, 25 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
I have to agree with many of the reviewers of this book, in that it loses its way badly in the middle, and never really recovers; Adnam is by far and away the most interesting and thought provoking character; and that its 500 pages could easily be reduced to 150 pages.
The plot changes were signalled pages before they actually happened, which resulted in my skimming pages of filler (food, wines, deaths) until I could get to the next plot thread.
Readable but very dissappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An absolute howler!, 21 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
The blurb suggested it was better than Tom Clancy and being a big Clancy fan that was enough to persuade me to buy - but unfortunately this poor effort falls far short of the great man's output. A ridiculously far-fetched plot, stereo-typical characterisation and a poor narrative style mean that I won't be back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Nimitz Class...., 7 Aug. 2009
By 
Stephen Bishop (Darlington, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
which it is a sequel to. The first half of the book is quite good; I quite enjoyed the detail of the escape from Iraq and later from the submarine.but it's difficult to believe in the protagonist's behaviour in the second half, especially that such an accomplished spy and terrorist would forget that his ex-girlfriend had a gun which she was used to handling and could train on him while he talked to her husband. Another point of unreality - that the Vice-President would be allowed to fly on a semi-public departure across the Atlantic when two airliners had just been shot down - surely he'd have been put on a secretly timed anonymous military flight? Also the language in this book is unnecessarily coarse.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tired and unoriginal, 4 Mar. 2002
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Patrick Robinson's first couple of books, but he seems to have lost the plot somewhat. He has forced himself down the route of reusing characters that are past their sell by date where perhaps he should revert to writing his thrillers based on the Carriers rather then at the power centre of the White House.
This book is dull, loses the plot too often and signposts itself towards a very unsatisfying ending. Best avoided.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice sequel to Nimitz Class, 27 July 2005
By 
Rory Morty "Rory Morty" (Giessen, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: HMS Unseen (Paperback)
HMS Unseen is Robinson's third book on an exciting theme: hijacked or stolen submarines waging war against the US. It was great to see the return of the old villain Ben Adnam, still up to his tricks. However, one gets the distinct impression that Robinson is trying to cash in on the astounding success of Nimitz Class and Kilo Class, and certainly appears to have written this in a bit of rush, and at times, didn't seem to know where he wanted the story to go. The book starts very well, and initially, I enjoyed it a lot more than I did Kilo Class. However, the bizarre twists in the career Ben Adnam just go overboard, as does the character of Arnold Morgan, who by now is laughable, and doesn't radiate the patriotism that he used to, but rather idiocy. Robinson shold rather have ended the Morgan line in this book, not the Adnam one!
I enjoy Robinson's books, and I enjoyed this one, but I fear he has started a downhill run.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite gripping, 27 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: HMS Unseen (Kindle Edition)
Difficult to put this book down. The characters have depth and whilst the story seems at first far fetched the uncanny way it mirrors real events since the book was written gives much food for thought. In the days since I read this book the tragic events of missing plane MH370 have been gripping the headlines. Two days ago there were at last sad reports of wreckage spotted but not yet conclusively identified. Yesterday more wreckage was seen. As I write it is clear that something very unusual has occurred, it is not known why or how the aircraft was lost and we are told the mystery may never be solved. We all share some of the agony of friends and relatives of those who are missing.
We tend to think that real life is much more prosaic and ordinary than works of fiction. This book has made me look very hard at recent and historical events to try and identify logically what may be behind the headlines. I suppose the lesson is that we only know what we are told, but I think it is fun to speculate.
Beyond that I suppose all you want to know is if the book is worth the money. All I can say is in thinks so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick Robinson is my kind of writer, his knowledge ..., 3 July 2014
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This review is from: HMS Unseen (Kindle Edition)
Patrick Robinson is my kind of writer, his knowledge of the workings of Submarines is exceptional, his books flow along very smoothly with plenty of action, and incidents to keep you on the edge of your seat.
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