More electronic gimcrackery than you can shake a MAD (magnetic-anomaly detector) at in this debut thriller about submarine warfare in the year 2011. Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey Fuller is executive officer of the nuclear-powered USS Challenger. He's fearless. So is Ilse Reebeck, a civilian oceanographer on board to assist with a special mission. It seems Germany and South Africa (“the Berlin-Boer Axis”) have formed an evil alliance threatening world peace in a variety of virulent ways. Notable among these is through the establishment of a formidable bio-weapons lab from which deadly microbes are meant to emanate. Brave Jeffrey, dauntless Ilse, and some intrepid Navy SEALS are sent to blow it up—and they do.
Flat characters, mounds of high-tech detail. One needs more than just a fondness for gadgetry fiction to stay the course here: One needs to be addicted.