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Wolf Star: Tour of the Merrimack #2 by R.M.  Meluch
Review by Madeleine Yeh
DAW Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0756403243
Date: 03 January, 2006 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

I loved the first book. John Alexander Farragut is a captain in the tradition of Jack Aubrey, bigger than life, exuberant, relishing combat and conflict. I liked the other characters too; Kerry Blue, Commander Calli Carmel, Colonel Steele, Lieutenant Hamilton and Augustus. This book gave me a chance to meet them all again and sort of back fill on their history. Only sort of back fill as this is an alternative universe and the history has changed from the last time.

This book is structured less as a novel than as a series of short stories which happen sequentially in time. Its hard to describe a short story without giving away far too much. It starts with the Merrimack bravely attacking a Roman convoy only to find that this was a trap, and continues with the rescue of a captured ship and attacks on a Roman outpost. This is interspersed with legal problems, the introduction of swords, and the discovery of the truly horrific monsters. This structure allows the various characters to shine in different parts of the book.

The first part starred the gallant captain, the second story feature the beautiful, competent Calli Carmel, the middle section featured Kerry Blue, while another story showcased Glen Hamilton. There are different styles of military battles from convoy attacks to assaults on fixed positions to single ship actions and ambushes and theft.

I don't think this book stands alone, the characters and universe were first introduced in The Myriad and there are several references to that book. It's a lovely sequel with excellent writing and wonderful characters. The characters are stereotyped but they are drawn so well with such color and style that they are completely enjoyable. This is a great read for people who liked Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey and Daniel Leary.

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