The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski

28%

22 Critic Reviews

Unfortunately, the female characters are mostly offstage and passive; Kowalski is best at exploring the much more complex relationships among male allies, enemies, and rivals.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Can one man save the Titanic?

March 1912. A mysterious man appears aboard the Titanic on its doomed voyage. His mission? To save the ship.

The result? A world where the United States never entered World War I, thus launching the secret history of the 20th Century.

April 2012. Joseph Kennedy - grand-nephew of John F. Kennedy - lives in an America occupied in the East by Greater Germany and on the West Coast by Imperial Japan. He is one of six people who can restore history to its rightful order -- even though it would mean his own death.

"A magnificent alternate history, set against the backdrop of one of the the greatest maritime disasters." Library Journal

“Imaginative, monolithic, action-packed… The reader will not be disappointed.” — Bookseller and Publisher

"Time travel, airships, the Titanic, Roswell ... Kowalski builds a decidedly original creature that blends military science fiction, conspiracy theory, alternate history, and even a dash of romance." Publishers Weekly

"Kowalski effortlessly smashes together high art and grand adventure in this alt-history juggernaut." John Birmingham, acclaimed author of Weapons of Choice

"Exciting action, twisty and ingenious characterisation, and complicated time-travel plotting, deftly handled." S.M. Stirling, NYT bestselling author of The Tears of the Sun

"A non-stop chase that takes place across two thousand miles ... and one hundred years of perdurant time." Walter Jon Williams, NYT bestselling author of Deep State
 

About David Kowalski

See more books from this Author
David Kowalski is an obstetrician and gynecologist living in Sydney, Australia. Although he has written for many professional journals, The Company of the Dead is his first work of fiction and the winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Novel and Best Science Fiction Novel.
 
Published March 13, 2012 by Titan Books. 430 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, History, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Company of the Dead
All: 22 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 20

Publishers Weekly

Below average
Nov 07 2011

Unfortunately, the female characters are mostly offstage and passive; Kowalski is best at exploring the much more complex relationships among male allies, enemies, and rivals.

Read Full Review of The Company of the Dead | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Tor

Below average
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on Mar 13 2012

Assuredly, its sheer bulk and overwhelming ambition are not for the faint of heart.

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We Love This Book

Below average
Reviewed by Sally Hughes on Mar 23 2012

The plot and characters are well-developed and stand-alone but a working knowledge of twentieth century history helps the reader enjoy some of the ironies inherent in Kowlaski’s alternate world view.

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SFFWorld.com

Below average
Reviewed by Mark Yon on Apr 14 2012

On the downside, the striking action pieces and fast pace, at times, cover up a lack of depth in the characterisation, though it is pretty clear here what the reader is dealing with.

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Chamber Four

Below average
Reviewed by Sean Clark on Apr 02 2012

Kowalski’s never going to win any awards for his prose.

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Wired

Excellent
Reviewed by James Kelly on Apr 06 2012

It’s well-plotted and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end.

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Book Geeks

Below average
Reviewed by Marleen Kennedy on Mar 25 2012

Kowalski takes his time introducing the characters and even longer revealing their motivation and with a few characters I still wasn’t sure exactly what they were up to by the time the book had ended.

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Geeks of Doom

Below average
Reviewed by Jen Daniele on Mar 20 2012

A lot of The Company of the Dead reads like more of a war epic than true sci-fi adventure and lots of loose ends are left flapping in the hot desert breeze.

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The Celebrity Cafe

Below average
Reviewed by John Neal on Apr 17 2012

It's confusing and the action is either lightning quick or it moves at a lumbering pace in order to explain what happened and why.

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Alternative Magazine Online

Below average
Reviewed by Marty Mulrooney on Apr 15 2012

Sometimes the tapestry of the text and the world it conveys can become so detailed that the reader struggles to keep up, but these moments are softened by the breakneck pace and constantly evolving narrative.

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Book Equals

Below average
on Mar 26 2014

... it was long. It was really, really long...The writing is great, the characters are interesting, but it’s a story that has been told before.

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TheFish.com

Below average
Reviewed by Chad Estes on Apr 02 2012

The nearly 800 page book has four sections - a fascinating introduction; a rough re-education section where the reader must try to comprehend a present day, alternate reality; the journey of Kennedy and his team to Roswell, Nevada where the time machine is supposedly located while in the middle of a growing war; and the time travel back to the Titanic at the end of the book.

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Alternate History Weekly Update

Below average
Reviewed by Mitro on Mar 22 2012

Kowalski's debut American novel is a good story with an important message for fans of the genre, as long as you are not bothered to much by plausibility issues. You only have to remember that just because something is improbable, does not mean it is impossible.

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[defective] Geeks

Below average
Reviewed by Pilbeam on Apr 12 2012

An interesting theory that, unfortunately, gets muddled by all of the action and conspiracy sections of the book.

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8 Days A Geek

Below average
Reviewed by Jesse Miller on Apr 07 2012

The only issue I had with the characters is that some of the names are hard to pronounce (some are Native American) and there are a lot of them introduced very early in the book, meaning that you have to keep track of a lot of people before you have a chance to learn any names.

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Slacker Heroes

Below average
Reviewed by Mark Stone on Mar 28 2012

And when I mean big, think Guttenberg Bible big with small font… the type of big that would daunt most readers.

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The Daily Rotation

Below average
Reviewed by Sean Canfield on Mar 26 2012

While there are parts of the book that drag, the fact is, every piece of the story needs to be told, and its done in such epic fashion that some might find the overall experience a little tedious.

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SciFiMovieHype

Below average
Reviewed by James O'Ehley on Mar 12 2012

All the while the novel would have benefitted from longer chapters and more focus on one central character instead of jumping around like it does.

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SteampunkScholar

Good
Reviewed by Mike Perschon on Apr 13 2012

The history of the Titanic is here, but not in a manner that rehashes what we already know.

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NerdTrek

Below average
Reviewed by Alyssa on Mar 21 2012

Characters moved very quickly from one scene to the next with very little description of not only their surroundings but also the means of how they got there.

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Famous Monsters of Filmland

Below average
Reviewed by Ed Blair on Mar 20 2012

It’s as if so much effort is being taken to say something in a clever way that the meaning gets obscured.

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Fantasy Matters

Below average
Reviewed by Jen on Mar 15 2012

The going is arduous at times (for the reader as well, the novel would have benefited were it slightly leaner), but memorable characters such as a historian, a descendant of a ship's officer of the Titanic, and a one-eyed spy director keep things lively.

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Reader Rating for The Company of the Dead
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 87 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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