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Silent Service Books In Order

Publication Order of Silent Service Books

Grayback Class (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Los Angeles Class (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Seawolf Class (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Virginia Class (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ohio Class (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Silent Service is a series of military fiction novels written by H.Jay Riker. The books could be more accurately described as submarine fiction because submarines are a central aspect of all the stories.

+The Story

The Silent Service series is every military fiction fan’s dream, especially if those fans love submarines. These books take the tropes of military fiction and they submerge them several feet below the world’s seas and oceans as readers are treated to an array of heart-pounding stories about the men and women who serve on America’s Submarines.

As with most military fiction novels, these books revolve around the security of the United States and the steps that its military takes to protect American citizens. H. Jay Riker uses each Silent Service book to highlight a different enemy that the United States has faced.

Grayback Class, the first book in the Silent Service series, focuses on the Soviet Union. That particular story takes place in 1985, a point when the tensions between the world’s biggest superpowers were at an all-time high.

The United States reacts to news that the Soviet Union has assembled a Submarine whose technology trumps anything they have in their arsenal. They assemble a team of SEALs to go behind enemy lines and collect data about the new Soviet Sub that could be used to protect the United States from the oncoming threat.

Grayback Class relies heavily on the animosity between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1980s to stoke up the tension in the story. There is also a greater emphasis on the activities of the SEAL team that has been assigned the task of invading the Soviet Union.

The sequels to Grayback Class change things up. New enemies emerge ranging from an al-Qaida faction hell-bent on plunging the world into chaos to a Chinese government that is prepared to use deadly force to reclaim its territories.

Riker attempts to explore America’s conflicts with some of its most notable enemies; however, this time each conflict comes down to the power of the submarine. Riker seems to relish in his descriptions of the submarine action that eventually consumes each story.

The author depends on research as well as his own personal experiences with the military to simulate as accurate a submarine battle as they come. Audiences have commended the Silent Service books for their ability to make them feel like observers on the submarines as Riker recreates the atmosphere that manifests when one is serving on a large metal tube submerged in water.

The books are normally brimming with characters that bring their respective roles on the submarine to life and give readers an idea of what serving in such a capacity might entail.

The commanders of the submarines are normally the protagonists. Riker enjoys throwing personal drama into the mix to keep readers engaged with multiple plots. There is almost always a romantic aspect whose length and importance will vary with each book.

In some books, the hero has just exited a relationship that couldn’t last because of the time-consuming nature of his naval duties. In other books, the hero spends most of the story struggling with the notion of balancing his military and romantic life.

It is generally accepted that Riker understands submarines. He doesn’t always get the details correct. But most readers are satisfied with Riker’s ability to immerse them in the world of submarines, especially if they have never served on one and, thus, are unlikely to pick up on every tiny technical error.

The silence service only suffers when it comes to the cast. H. Jay Riker’s characters are very thin. They have no personalities to speak of and none of them ever really stands out.

But it should be argued that fans of military fiction and techno-thrillers rarely raise such issues. And that is another aspect of the Silence Service series. The books are a fusion of military fiction and techno-thriller.

Sure, the emphasis is given to America’s servicemen and women and the struggles they face as they strive to protect their homeland. But at the heart of each story is a submarine of considerable technological capabilities that the Americans must either overcome or which they will use to get a significant edge over their enemies.

And fans of techno-thrillers, readers who just want to get lost in the minutiae of a submarine’s operations, they do not care that the characters are not properly developed. They only care that Riker does an effective job of inserting them into the submarine once the underwater action begins.

+The Author

H. Jay Riker is a pseudonym for William H. Keith. Born in 1950, William served in the Vietnam War as a hospital corpsman. He did some work as a civilian medic as well, though it was as an illustrator that the author first began engaging his creative side.

Riker started out as a writer of Science Fiction. That was his first love. His work was distinct because of the grounded military edge he injected into the mix.

+Grayback Class

It is 1985 and the U.S. and the Soviet Union are engaged in an arms race. When the Soviets develop a prototype attack submarine that far exceeds America’s own arsenal, it falls on the shoulders off an obsolete Grayback class submarine and its platoon of SEALs to save the day.

The seals must penetrate the U.S.S.R, infiltrate the submarine home port and acquire data on the new sub that America’s own technicians can use to develop the appropriate countermeasures.

The mission is dangerous but there can be no room for failure, not if the United States wants to stall the Soviet Union’s plans for dominance over the planet’s waters.

+Los Angeles Class

The Russian-patrolled seas of the Kamchatka Peninsula are now a very dangerous place, especially if the rumors are true that the Soviets have a sub the likes of which the West has never seen.

It is 1987 and the U.S. must act quickly if they want to safeguard their waters. Even with the risk of a shooting war, the powers that be see fit to send Tom Gorden and a team of Navy SEALs into hostile waters.

They must face the phantom boat and prevail for the sake of their homeland. Unbeknownst to everyone, the Soviets have a spy in their ranks that could be leading Gorden and his crew to their doom.

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