Reviews of Timothy S. Johnston’s Fatal Depth


SFCROWSNEST: “Mac’s mission: To sink the unsinkable, a massive submarine unlike anything they’ve ever encountered before … With the city of Trieste once more in danger, it’s a ‘do or die’ mission …

Timothy S. Johnston is also a man on a mission. With every new novel, in this series and ‘The Tanner Sequence’, he seeks out not only a new story to tell and the right way to tell it, but new technology to examine, explain and exploit. For me, one of the delights of picking up one of Johnston’s novels is the tech. He has a knack for creating not only what feels possible but explaining it in a way that makes sense and then further using that technology in a way that rivets the reader. The deeper into one of these novels you get, the faster you will turn the pages.

The excitement factor in ‘Fatal Depth’ is no joke. You could almost compare it to a tsunami plow. The threads in the story culminate in an almighty push that will carry you all the way to the end in a dizzying rush. I read the second half of the book in one sitting …

I especially appreciate the way Johnston writes women. They’re as tough and strong as his male characters but also read as female. They’re allowed to be scared and unsure and emotional, as are the men. They’re allowed to be women. It’s a fine distinction and not always easy to carry off. But it’s part of why all the characters in this series matter and why I look forward to catching up with them in each new novel.

Then we have Truman McClusky, the hero who never stops. I especially appreciate the time taken to get inside Mac’s head now and again so the reader remains fully in touch with the awesome cost of what one man will sacrifice to achieve what must at times feel like an impossible dream.

I almost don’t want to see what he’ll have to give up next and, in fact, hope he might gain something instead. Thankfully, the wait won’t be long. We can expect to see ‘An Island Of Light,’ the fourth novel in the series, later this year.” — SFcrowsnest


AUTHOR MICHAEL LIBLING:  “Sink the unsinkable! Anyone who knows the story of the threat posed by the Bismarck — Germany’s super battleship of WWII — will find even more to appreciate in Johnston’s latest entry in his Rise of Oceania series. It’s an SF techno-thriller that opens with a tidal wave of action (literally!) and never lets up. Indeed, Fatal Depth is an unpretentious, hugely entertaining read set in a vividly realized and all-too-plausible future world. Mix one part Tom Clancy with one part Ian Fleming and the result might well be Timothy S. Johnston — an author with a command of science and technology, and the rare skills to bring it all to life on the page.” — Michael Libling, author of Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels


READERS’ FAVORITE: “… heart-stopping action! Timothy S. Johnston is an incredible writer, word perfect, and so imaginatively creative one has to read his books to truly experience the cinematic aspects of his beloved underwater world. He builds tension with every chapter as his plot twists and turns throughout, and even the last page jolts us with an unexpected shock. Yet, somehow in the midst of all the dangerous excitement, his readers find themselves caught up in the emotional pasts and presents of his characters, but never at the loss of momentum or suspense. There’s a reason Johnston was the winner of the 2018 Global Thriller Award. Discover that reason for yourself when you read his entire Rise of Oceania series of books.” — 5 Stars at Readers’ Favorite


AUTHOR J.J. MARTIN:  “Johnston’s evocative style is here, used well for the high science detail of this underwater thriller. Is it okay to learn something while you’re having this much fun? I feel like I know how to pilot a 22nd century submarine fighter, or at least I know some physics behind the very cool supercavitating drive …

The story torpedoes forward with blood-wet battles, swaggering navy dudes and plenty of technical complexity. Imagine being in a deep water air-bubble moving at 400 km/hr – you’ll get enough detail to see it in your mind’s eye clearly. Underlying it is a satisfying story with ticking clocks, desperate politics and enough water pressure to compress a human body into a lacrosse ball.

TSJ brings you along into the kinds of tense scenarios he’s written about in the previous two books of the Oceania series, but this story has strong momentum because of its simple focus – stop the Dreadnought. This is the second trilogy TSJ has completed now, and it fits nicely with his first – different enough for novelty, but similar enough that you can imagine it being in the same universe. Would love to see the whole series on Netflix as binge-worthy TV. It’s certainly binge-worthy reading.” — J.J. Martin, Author of Father Sweet


AUTHOR J.J. DUPUIS:  With Fatal Depth, Timothy S. Johnston takes readers to a future so fully-realized and nuanced that it feels like he must own a crystal ball. The undersea world of the novel, its science and politics, at once harkens back to the golden age of sci-fi, while seeming so prescient that it’s like a glimpse into tomorrow. Johnston handles the action as masterfully as he does the world-building. Fatal Depth is a whirlpool of a novel that sucks the reader right in and doesn’t let go. — J.J. Dupuis, Author of the Creature X Mysteries


Book Trailer:

FATAL DEPTH from Timothy S. Johnston and Fitzhenry & Whiteside is available to purchase at these links.

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