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Dan Lenson Books In Order

Publication Order of Dan Lenson Books

The Med (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gulf (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Circle (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Passage (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tomahawk (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
China Sea (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Storm (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Command (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Threat (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Korea Strait (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Weapon (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Crisis (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Towers (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cruiser (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tipping Point (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Dan Lenson series are some of the best novels by David Poyer, an American author who is a Navy retiree. This is a series of 16 naval fiction novels published between 1988 and 2016. Most of these novels are set in the present day, starring Dan Lenson and his career in the US navy. The novels takes one through the life of Dan Lenson as a navy officer. In most instances, Lenson’s ethical reasoning conflicts with his duties.

These books are timely, exciting and respectful of the naval men and women. Dan Lenson’s career is summarized right from his first tour of duty and his growth and development in his career is admirable as he learns to supervise his men who try to test his orders all the time. His courage and determination is seen through the vivid shipboard life and climaxes during the first Arctic storms and the catastrophe that culminates into a court martial.

If you are a fan of these series, the best book to start with is The Circle. After that you can read the Med, The Passage and Tomahawk, in that order. The Gulf, China Sea and Black Storm can follow, followed by The Command, The Threat, Korea Strait and The Weapon. You can then read The Crisis, The Towers, and The Cruiser last. Having read these books in that order, you will encounter all the scenes that build Captain Daniel V. Lenson as a compelling leader and a protagonist. He faces nuclear weapon threats several times, hunts known terrorists and he is also hunted at some point. However, these books will give you a comprehensive summary of his life whichever order you read them, as long as you read them all and you can connect a scene from one book to a scene in another comfortably.

Some of the books in these series include:

The Med

This is one of the oldest books in this series. Here, there is war in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Navy-Marine Corps are on a mission in this region and are armed to teeth-a fully-fledged operation involving Task Force 61 with tanks, aircraft, and above 5000 Marines sets out to face the enemy

Dan Lenson’s wife is among the 100 victims who have been taken hostage by terrorists from Syria. She had flown to Europe with her daughter but she ended up in the hands of the terrorists at the Cypriot embassy. The corps’ mission is to rescue these 100 hostages alive, but Lenson’s commodore is a coward and thus incompetent. To add an insult to the injury, the vital destroyer of his middle-aged Chief Machinist’s Mate breaks down when it’s needed most. Everything however goes well as the sailors deal with flawed diplomacy, broken machinery, and the usual conflict between domestic and naval life to carry out their operations.

Overall, the book is themed around international crises, emotional struggle and personal valor. The choice of technical details and naval jargon give the reader a real picture of the US Navy in the 1980s. Even to non-sailors, the well-handled naval adventure is irresistible. This is so especially if you read The Circle first. The authenticity of characters and ships is unquestionable. Perhaps that is why the book is still popular today, several years after it was published.

The Circle

In The Circle, David Poyer continues with his mastery of storytelling by painting Dan Lenson as a young naval officer from Annapolis who gets his first ship assignment. A navy officer reading this book will agree with me that this is one of the Dan Lenson’s books which are closest to the real naval life. It offers true-to-life scenes of the long periods of watch and work in the navy, mistakes being reprimanded and generally everything that takes place while on board, not forgetting the perilous sea that forms the naval life’s environment.

Young ensigns normally have a difficult time dealing with the challenges of their work and advancing their careers, and it is the same for Dan Lenson. He prepared for this task for four years at Annapolis, but it is still a great challenge. He meets an old World War II destroyer, Reynolds Ryan. Proud but nervous, Lenson plunges into the words most dangerous waters, as Ryan heads for the Arctic Circle during a stormy period.

Lenson’s crew face a difficult enemy, but he finally discovers that Ryan is his greatest enemy. His ship approaches disaster every passing minute, and Lenson’s life and his loyalty to the Navy is put to test. He however comes out strongly and his determination deserves plaudits.

Ryan’s crew has its own problems as well. His Captain has domestic quarrels with his wife and his career is on the rocks. The executive officer treats academy grads with contempt and the crew is generally incompetent.

Just like most of the others, the scenes in this book depict the details of life aboard a destroyer of the pre-computer generation, and the operational dynamics of the Cold war are well explained. The authority, responsibility and accountability commands at sea come out quite strongly

Given the number of people reading Dan Lenson series, some of these books will soon be made into TV shows and movies. That is why these books are highly recommended to anyone who loves naval fiction, as their non-ending action scenes will keep you entertained. Reading the books will also make it easy for you to follow the TVshows and movies that will finally follow them, as David Poyers artistic painting of characters and scenes is consistent throughout the series.

In summary, this series is highly recommended to a lover of naval fiction. You get a real idea of life at the sea. We see ships being refueled, sailors navigate through zero visibility and the conflicts between characters. The complexity of characters goes a long way in fully engaging the readers mind. Being a navy veteran, David Poyer has a real feel of how life is at the sea. It is no surprise thus that his Dan Lenson series have been praised by great writers such as Stephen Coonts and Vince Flynn. You don’t want to miss these original contribution to the naval fiction genre.

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