Ghost Fleet - P. W. Singer & August Cole

Ghost Fleet

By P. W. Singer & August Cole

  • Release Date: 2015-06-30
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 224 Ratings


"A novel that reads like science fiction but bristles with rich detail about how the next World War could be fought." —Vice

“A modern-day successor to tomes such as The Hunt for Red October from the late Tom Clancy.” –USA Today
What Will World War III Look Like?
Ghost Fleet is a page-turning imagining of a war set in the not-too-distant future. Navy captains battle through a modern-day Pearl Harbor; fighter pilots duel with stealthy drones; teenage hackers fight in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on who can best blend the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future. But what makes the story even more notable is that every trend and technology in book—no matter how sci-fi it may seem—is real.
The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, Ghost Fleet has drawn praise as a new kind of technothriller while also becoming the new “must-read” for military leaders around the world.
“A wild book, a real page-turner.”The Economist
Ghost Fleet is a thrilling trip through a terrifyingly plausible tomorrow. This is not just an excellent book, but an excellent book by those who know what they are talking about. Prepare to lose some sleep.”—D. B. Weiss, writer of HBO’s Game of Thrones
“It’s exciting, but it’s terrifying at the same time.”—General Robert Neller, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps


  • A solid beach read

    By Sam148723
    It kept my interest and moved quickly. There were some neat moments and some contrived ones. If you’re looking for really crunchy WW3 strategy discussion, you’ll be mostly disappointed. Huge factors, and indeed most of the geographical world, are handwaved away to focus on a narrow set of rather uninteresting characters. But it’s fun and sometimes cool.
  • Potential Here

    By DW103
    Good first effort. It's a long way from being a modern Tom Clancy but the amount of research and attention to detail was impressive. Hopefully we'll see more from them and the story telling part will improve.
  • Fascinating thought experiment

    By ben754
    If war gaming hypothetical conflicts out is your thing, you're going to love this
  • Great concept; good start, but rushed ending

    By Asha lee33
    This novel starts with something that many of us suspect, but rarely discuss - the victor of the next Great War will be the one who can rule the air, sea, space and cyberspace. Also, reliance on new technology makes life easier but less secure. It seems as though the authors spent much of their time developing the story, but rushed to provide some sort of satisfactory ending. It jumps a short time in the future, but doesn't explain how you got there. It doesn't really tie up the loose ends for all of the characters we've been introduced to. Multiple characters should have died, but surprise they magically live. I suspect that its because of their intention for the novel, but I believe it could have been done better. A good reminder that old technology isn't bad. When the power goes out pen and paper can work. In a major disaster ham radios work whereas mobiles don't.
  • Too many subplots

    By slowmojo
    It took a bit for this story to actually get up to cruising speed, being weighed down by so many subplots and juxtapositions in the action. It finally starts moving in the last 100 pages, but then almost feels like it wraps up too quickly and, conveniently, too tidy.
  • Where is the U.S. Army?

    By Ygtdjsivnvysgsncj
    As a soldier who's deployed nine times to Iraq and Afghanistan and see fighting from the heart of Sadr City to the deserts of Kandahar to the mountains in Wardak. A Paratrooper assigned to Korea I can tell you the U.S. Army in Hawaii would not have rolled over like it is implied to have done. While Guam has less forces to defend the author ignore completely the Army units stationed in South Korea. He also assumes that he also equates drone aerial superiority to true jet fighter superiority. Even with the lack of armor assists on the island tank warfare would have been crippled do to the terrain and with the soldiers stationed there training the environment would have had an advantage to fend. The cheese would had to pour in a two to five to one force to even take the island. As for the rest of the book it has a good premise and reads well (minus the needless black window). I wish he they had fleshed out some of the characters better and not rushed the end of the book. Worth a read and a good idea of how easily theUS hubris can settle in if no one challenges the order.
  • Good Sea Tale Scuttled by PC

    By Super Crow
    This book has a great premise and is based on very plausible sounding extrapolation of current technology trends. I thought it was well paced and quite interesting. Unfortunately after all the glowing reviews my expectations were very high, and I was a bit let down to see some of the mistakes mentioned in other reviews. What disappointed me the most though, was to be bludgeoned over the head with Political Correctness from the outset. It would probably be less irksome if more care had been taken in sketching out the characters and their back stories, unfortunately though they are typically just thrown into the pages like cardboard cutouts of a PC stereotype. From the smoking hot serial killer babe who cuts herself and slaughters men because of sexual abuse by her father as a child, to Conan the Destroyeress, to the alternative lifestyles and deep-seated racist sexism (sexist racism?) of the Navy crew members, the PC parade just goes on and on. It was like being beaten over the head with a VHS tape of "The View". I wanted a technological thriller, not another Social Studies lesson.
  • Ok

    By Ddsssaop
    This book is generally well written, but it is ponderous and very chopped up, shifting from scene to scene with too much frequency and it moves slowly. Particularly annoying is the frequent use of footnotes with a font even bigger than the text. This a novel, not a textbook, and it is beyond arrogance to assume that the reader wants to constantly shift to the very back of the book to see what some obscure footnote says. If it is important, then put it in the book. Or maybe have an index at the back. Footnote numbers are annoying and distracting and uncalled for. The author wants us to impressed with his knowledge. Fine, write the book so that we are.
  • 3.5/5 Good, quick read with some flaws

    By schroeders12
    I thought it was a good, well thought out story backed with actual evidence. However, I felt that the constant back and forth switching between stories and characters left gaps in the story. This could be a person preference, but I'd rather read a book that sticks with the same character rather than cycles through multiple plot line.
  • The real Ghost Fleet is the Aegis ships...

    By QZAKY
    OK, I was hoping to like this book. I loved Red Storm Rising and have an interest in defense subjects. I wasn’t expecting great character development; I was expecting an insight into the next world conflict that could be. Here I was disappointed. Early in the book the enemy activates a super weapon in space. It's mentioned that it only has 45 minutes to be used once activated, then it's dead. The same weapon is then used several times in the following months. The book specifically mentions that the Aegis cruisers and destroyers survive the initial onslaught. Then they just...disappear. Except for one. Because...Ghost Fleet. We need to need the Ghost Fleet. Speaking of those missing ships, why don't they use their SM-3 missiles that can take out enemy satellites and even the score a bit? Seems to me a couple of national security experts ought to know they can be used for that. All "high tech" solutions are judged untrustworthy or broken by the enemy, which cybers the US to death. OK fine, it's their book, their rules. And thus we need the Ghost Fleet because it is made up of older boats. Then the Ghost Fleet at the end uses the friggin Zumwalt and all sorts of high technology including AI learning missile swarms and drone swarms to win. Because...wait, why do those work again? The Chinese put up exactly. one. RADAR. in a large group of islands. A really, really large group of islands (I'm trying not to spoil too much here). Thus when that one is taken out, they are blinded. Completely. Huh. Somehow the Chinese and the Russians, working together, manage to sortie one fleet only consisting of 3 aircraft carriers (that part makes sense), one cruiser, 4 destroyers, and 2 frigates. Despite not taking losses earlier. That' Wow. Thought they had at least a few more. Look, I get that the book needs a narrative since it is a novel. I get that to serve that narrative things need to happen a certain way. So everything goes wrong when it needs to, and later everything goes right when it needs to serve that narrative, even to the point of “hey look, a tree fell on this critical guy's head just at the very moment he was needed" (no, that doesn't happen exactly, but close enough). The book is interesting food for thought, and a decent way to burn some hours. But this is just not what I expected out of "two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security" as they are billed.