by Chris Stoesen
Amidst the slaughter of the American Civil War, recognition of the South by both France and Great Britain sees a negotiated settlement and the formal succession of the Confederacy. An uneasy Cold War ensues with each side seeking European Allies to bolster their economies and access world trade markets. The Union finds itself a friend in Germany, a growing power seeking overseas possessions and resources to fuel its industries. The Confederacy finds its own ally in Spain, and when Germany tries to seize Spanish holdings in the Caribbean, the Confederacy finds itself toeing a diplomatic tightrope of supporting its ally while not triggering another general war with the North.
Enter Captain Thomas Devareaux of the Confederate Navy and Captain of the dirigible CSS Appomattox. Let loose upon the expeditionary fleet of the German Navy operating in and around the Eastern seaboard, he leads his crew on raids and strikes to harass the enemy and solidify the South's alliance with Spain. Along the way there is international and domestic intrigue, glimpses of a shadow war with the North and a cast of characters with a divers range of backgrounds.
I really quite liked Chris's alternative history world and the way in which he describes a team of men trying to harness new technologies to do their duty in tough situations. Yes it is a self published with a few hiccups and no it is not a Bernard Cornwell novel. But it is a fun and easy read which I really enjoyed - I am looking forward to the next instalment in the adventures of Thomas Devareaux.
CSS Appomattox is available electronically here
for less than a price of a beer. If alt history and riding zeppelins appeals to you (and if you are reading this Blog then that is probably likely!) then do yourself a favour and give it a go. You'll be thinking of wargaming the scenarios before you realise it!