Undersea Fleet

by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson
Series: Undersea Trilogy 2
Reviewed date: 2007 Mar 29
Rating: 2
180 pages
cover art
cover art

Undersea Fleet is a worthy sequel to Undersea Quest, which is to say it's a plodding, predictable juvenile. Cadet James Eden, having been reinstated at the Sub Sea Academy, must qualify in deep sea skin diving before he can graduate. He qualifies at nine hundred feet. His friend David Craken goes for the record and tries to qualify at 1300 feet. David never comes back.

David Craken is assumed drowned, and it's with a heavy sense of loss that James and his fellow cadets finish out their year at the Academy. But of course, David has not drowned. He turns up months later to ask James for help. David's father is trapped in his hidden deep sea fortress in the Tonga trench, under threat of attack by sea monsters. The only hope of rescue is for James to buy a submarine and bring help as soon as possible.

The last name of Craken is too much to be a coincidence, and it turns out it's no coincidence. David's father changed his name to Craken after he met the ancient sea serpents that live in the Tonga trench. It's not the sea serpents that threaten Mr. Craken, though, but a race of amphibious men that Craken had oppressed and forced to work as his slaves in his deep sea prospecting. These men have rebelled, seized control of several sub sea ships, and are willing to kill to protect their turf.

It's all quite fantastic, and possibly might be interesting to a young reader. But I'm not twelve years old anymore.

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