Cruise of the Albatros

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" a bit like "Back to the Future" meets Horatio Hornblower..."

Centuries in the future, mankind struggles to survive after the "Troubles", a generation-long series of catastrophes that caused the largest population crash in the history of the human race. Everywhere, humanity has regressed to a paleolithic level of technology, hunter-gatherers eking out a bare subsistence -- everywhere except for a single barren sub-Antarctic island where a small group of refugees has managed to preserve some pre-Troubles technology and a semblance of civilization. Against all odds, the Kerguelenians not only survive, but build a maritime culture with settlements throughout the Southern Ocean. As far as they know, they are the only surviving fragment of literacy and technology in the world -- until they begin to expand northward into the Indian Ocean, and encounter a mysterious and hostile people, also seafarers, they know only as "the pirates", who seem determined, for motives unknown, to destroy Kerguelenian trade and settlements. In book one of the Westerly Gales saga, Captain Sam Bowditch has led the creation of a tiny Navy to defend Kerguelenian settlements against the depredations of the pirates, and finds them a fanatical and adaptable enemy. In this, the second volume in the series, Bowditch and the Republic of Kerguelen Navy continue the war -- and are tested to their limits by the enemy. Bowditch is beset by storms in his personal life, as well, torn as he is between two women -- one of whom is his ship's medical officer..

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SO NOW I’VE FINISHED ALL THREE OF READER E.C. WILLIAMS’ BOOKS, Westerly Gales, The Cruise of the Albatros, andInto Uncharted Seas. Quite enjoyable and, as I said, sort of like a cross between Steve Stirling’s Change novels and Horatio Hornblower, with maybe a hint of Taylor Anderson’s Destroyermen.

- Glenn Reynolds - Instapundit