Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on 23 April 2013
This is S.A.M. here on the down low; let's meet at the LZ, Stat. Does that make any sense to you? If not, then best avoid `The Devil's Waters' by David L. Robbins, as this is a book that will stretch your knowledge of military jargon, to the point where a glossary is included to help. I for one do not mind the use of language that in keeping with the characters, and when these characters are a special unit who are sent in to handle a tricky situation with some pirates, it sounds about right. Robbins creates some very realistic feeling military characters, all bluster and professionalism, but also a little daft at times.
The issue with the book is not the authenticity of the military characters, but in the other part of this two handed book. As well as seeing the action from the POV of the US Air Force, you also get a glimpse into the tribalism of being a Somali Pirate. It is these elements that don't ring true to me; they seem almost blasé and cliché in nature. Has Robbins done as much research with pirate groups as he did the Air Force? If he did, this has not some across on the page and you get a book that feels half authentic and half fake.
The lack of realism would be no issue at all if Robbins was not adept at writing military fiction. The clash between what feels real and what feels fake is made more obvious by the quality of half of the writing. The action is intense and you get the sensation of being there, it is just a shame that in other parts of the book you feel you are reading a bunch of undercooked stereotypes.