Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II
By Jeff Shaara

Unfortunately this book was not one of Shaara’s better efforts. It may be that the span from the North African campaigns through the allied push into Italy was just too great a period of time to attempt to cover in one book.  The characters of Patton, Eisenhower, and Montgomery were like cardboard cutouts and the two characters he did develop in the story were far from notable. Jack Logan is captured early in the book and makes one final appearance upon his liberation – he did nothing to move the story forward and in fact, the whole story was driven by a wooden narration as though Shaara was setting the stage for the story but couldn’t wrap it up.  Not on par with “Rise to Rebellion” or “Gone to Soldiers”, where the characters were believable, well grounded, and the story fast paced and enjoyable.

The second character developed by Shaara, Sgt Jesse Adams, carries the reader through the second part of the book on the way to Sicily.  The character is poorly developed and somehow, though contributing very little to the unit’s efforts in battle, is attached to the general’s staff. He will be the eyes and ears for the reader in what will undoubtedly be a D-Day Book. Hopefully that next book will focus in on the seminal event of the war in Europe, develop Adam’s character to a point the reader can identify with him, and be a more entertaining read.