06 September 2015

Book Review - CSS Appomattox

(image from Goodreads.com)

Once you get past the whole Confederate victory in the Civil War the story isn't bad.

Set a couple of decades after the Confederate States of America won their independence. The book starts out as a military fiction the crew of the airship Appomattox have a number of adventures. This leads them to becoming part of a military intelligence unit.

The USA agrees not to intervene in a war the German Empire starts with Spain to gain territory in the Caribbean. The CSA gives support to the Spanish Empire including military aid. The CSS Appomattox is a Confederate airship, under the command of Thomas Devareaux, is patrolling the Atlantic searching for German naval groups.

The Appomattox bloodies a Germany battle group, destroying some enemy airships that were flying cover. As the Confederate ship is being repaired much of the crew is drafted into intelligence operation in the Caribbean including infiltrating the jungle on occupied islands taken by the Germans. Devareux's personal life and traitors withing the Confederacy get drawn together in the backdrop of the war.

There is good pacing and a variety of action. The story itself is self-contained but has a number of loose ends and seems ready for a sequel.

Thomas Devareaux is of the standard heroic mold. He does have a romantic backstory with the daughter of a higher ranking officer. The bumps in that long-distance relationship add some chaos to Devereaux's life and have a further connection to the story. Most of the other crew members of the Appomattox are likable enough despite being Confederates.

Some of the technological innovations developed by the Confederates seemed a bit far-fetched, while airships are cool and all the CSS Appomattox seemed pretty advanced for the time. Technology-wise the CSA seemed to be keeping up with the USA. Given the difference in population and industry between the two nations the CSA would eventually fall behind relying on stealing technology from their northern neighbor. Then again the old Soviet Union was able to project a pretty good illusion about their technology and capabilities back in the day.

The battles with the German airships were entertaining. The portions of the story set in the jungles of occupied territories were interesting as well.

Overall the book was fun. I enjoyed the story and look forward to future chapters in series.

4 or of 5 stars.

Author: Chris Stoesen
Print Length: 273 pages
Available for Kindle at Amazon.com

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