Review of ‘Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead’ by S. Thomas Russell

Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead is the fourth novel by S. Thomas Russell featuring Charles Hayden, captain of H.M.S. Themis. Sent to the West Indies to “take, burn, or destroy” French ships plying those waters, Hayden and his crew come upon two castaways, survivors of a collision at sea. Or so they say. As the voyage continues, Hayden begins to realize that neither the men’s story nor identity is what they say it is. How will Hayden respond? And in the midst of these questions, will he survive the Royal Navy’s war against the French, given the inherent dangers of battle at sea, not to mention the rash actions of glory-seeking superiors?

I picked up my copy of Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead on the remainders aisle at my local Barnes and Noble. Back cover blurbs compared Russell’s stories to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels. That is true in certain regards, though O’Brian is the superior stylist, in my opinion. Still, Russell spins a good yarn and is well worth reading, especially if you like historical fiction.

Although this is the fourth novel in a series, it can be read alone. Normally, I like to read series in order from the first book to the last. There were a few incidents in the book that alluded to previous books, so I felt that I had missed out on the backstory. Regardless, the book was good enough that I’ve ordered the first novel to rectify that problem.


Book Reviewed:
Thomas Russell, Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead (New York: Putnam, 2014).

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