Category Archives: Reviews

Book Review: Alaric Bond’s HMS Prometheus — the Fine Line Between Valor and Recklessness

Originally posted in gCaptain by Rick Spilman. Reposted with permission. In Alaric Bond‘s most recent novel, HMS Prometheus, the eighth of his Fighting Sail series, the Mediterranean is a dangerous place for the Royal Navy. In the autumn of 1803, the … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Podcast: “Captain Blackwell’s Prize” by V.E. Ulett

The Fictional Café is publishing three audio excerpts from V.E. Ulett’s Captain Blackwell’s Prize as a podcast.  The first went up last Friday and the will continue for the next two Fridays, followed by an interview with the author on the fourth and … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On the Anniversary of the Sinking — A Review of John Broadwater’s USS Monitor

As this is Thursday, which is to say “Throwback Thursday“, as well as the anniversary of the sinking of the USS Monitor, which sank off Cape Hatteras 153 years ago tonight, it seems a good time to repost our review … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Shantyman — Kindle Countdown, Starting at 99 Cents!

To celebrate The Shantyman being chosen as one of the Best Indie Books of 2105 by Kirkus Reviews, we are having an impromptu promotion. Here is how it works — today and tomorrow, The Shantyman will be available in Kindle … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Shantyman – One of Kirkus’ Best Indie Books of the Year 2015

I am extremely pleased to announce that my novel “The Shantyman” has been selected as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books for 2015.  From the review: With eloquent accuracy, Spilman’s novel captures the life of a 19th-century sailor…. Spilman’s colorful, … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

In the Heart of the Sea — A Movie Review

Today I saw the movie, “In the Heart of the Sea,” directed by Ron Howard and somewhat loosely based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s  In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.  How was it? The movie was … Continue reading

Posted in Critiques, Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories, Ships | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Maidentrip — A Documentary of Laura Dekker’s Epic Voyage

I recently watched Maidentrip, a wonderful, award winning documentary by Jillian Schlesinger about 14 year old Laura Dekker‘s almost two year solo circumnavigation on her Jeaneau Gin Fizz ketch, Guppy.  It is a fascinating tale about young sailor’s coming of age … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The French Prize by James Nelson — a Review

For fans of his “Revolution at Sea Saga,” Jame’s Nelson’s The French Prize is an introduction to the next generation. Isaac Biddlecombe, the Revolutionary War naval hero of the previous saga, has a son, Jack, coming of age in the … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Shantyman, A Kirkus Indie Book of the Month for August

I am very pleased to learn that my latest novel, The Shantyman, is being featured as one of Kirkus’ Indie Books of the Month for August. The Kirkus starred review from last June, called The Shantyman …a fabulously gripping sailor’s yarn. … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Water Ghosts by Linda Collison — A Review

In Linda Collison’s new novel, Water Ghosts, seven troubled teenagers embark  on a vintage Chinese junk on a Pacific “adventure-therapy” voyage, to either help them work out their problems or just possibly to get them out of their parents’ hair. … Continue reading

Posted in Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Kirkus Starred Review of The Shantyman

“A fabulously gripping sailor’s yarn.” The Shantyman was recently reviewed by Kirkus Reviews. I am pleased to say that gave it a Kirkus Star. What does that mean? (I didn’t know either.) “The Kirkus Star is one of the most … Continue reading

Posted in Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Shantyman, Quarterdeck Editor’s Choice, Reviewed by George Jepson

Yesterday we posted an interview by George Jepson from the May/June issue of the McBooks Press newsletter “Quarterdeck.”  Here is Jepson’s review of my latest novel “The Shantyman” from the same issue. The Shantyman by Rick Spilman   George Anderson, retired from a … Continue reading

Posted in Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shantyman, Reviewed by David Hayes

David Hayes recently reviewed The Shantyman on his Historic Naval Fiction blog.  Reposted with permission. If you want to be taken to the deck of a clipper in the mountainous seas of a southern ocean gale, Rick Spilman is the … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Recent Reviews, Old Salt Press Authors, Part 2 — McBook Press’ Quarterdeck, Spring 2015

As we mentioned in Part 1 of this post, two excellent nautical newsletters came out within the past few days — Astrodene’s Historic Naval Fiction Log Book and McBook Press’ Quarterdeck. Both feature news and reviews of nautical fiction and non-fiction … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Recent Reviews, Old Salt Press Authors, Part 1 — Astrodene’s Historic Naval Fiction Log Book March 2015

Two excellent nautical newsletters came out within the past few days — Astrodene’s Historic Naval Fiction Log Book and McBook Press’ Quarterdeck. Both feature news and reviews of nautical fiction and non-fiction and each also feature reviews of new books by … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eleanor’s Odyssey by Joan Druett — a Review

In 1799, Eleanor Reid was only 21 and newly married to Captain Hugh Reid, commander of the Honorable East India Company extra ship Friendship. It was her husband’s first command and he was under orders to carry a cargo of Irish convicts, the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Blackwell’s Homecoming by V.E. Ulett — a Review

In V.E. Ulett’s new novel, Blackwell’s Homecoming, Captain James Blackwell, his wife Mercedes and their family have returned to Great Britain, after an extended sojourn in the Pacific. Yet, is Britain still their home?  The family is quickly caught up in … Continue reading

Posted in Critiques, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Britannia’s Shark by Antoine Vanner — Review by David Hayes

David Hayes reviews Antoine Vanner’s Britannia’s Shark on his excellent Historic Naval Fiction blog: Britannia’s Shark by Antoine Vanner continues the adventures of Commander Nicholas Dawlish, serving in the Royal Navy as the Victorian Era draws to a close. The series so … Continue reading

Posted in Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Congratulations to Joan Druett — The Beckoning Ice Makes the Long List

Congratulations to Joan Druett! Her crime thriller, The Beckoning Ice, the fifth of her Wiki Coffin series of maritime mysteries, is one of the longlisted titles for the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award.   We reviewed The Beckoning Ice in December 2012. … Continue reading

Posted in Critiques, Lore of the Sea, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alaric Bond’s The Torrid Zone — A Review

In The Torrid Zone, Alaric Bond’s latest novel in his Fighting Sail Series, HMS Scylla is due to return to England. Her crew is weary and the ship is in serious need of a refit.  Yet, as soon as the ship reaches … Continue reading

Posted in Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment