To Sail a Darkling Sea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising #2)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  516 ratings  ·  75 reviews
BOOK II IN THE BLACK TIDE RISING SERIES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. Sequel to Under a Graveyard Sky. A family of survivors fights back against a zombie plague that has brought down civilization.

A World Cloaked in Darkness

With human civilization annihilated by a biological zombie plague, a rag-tag fleet of yachts and freighters known as Wolf Squadron scours...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Baen (first published January 14th 2014)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Doors of Stone by Patrick RothfussWords of Radiance by Brandon SandersonThe Winds of Winter by George R.R. MartinThe Broken Eye by Brent WeeksThe Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch
Can't Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2014
200th out of 405 books — 2,087 voters
A Tale of Two Kingdoms by Victoria DanannZandor by M.J. FieldsA Different Alchemy by Chris DietzelFortune Calling by Hunter S. JonesPassion by Pawel Rejdak
Best books of January, 2014
85th out of 148 books — 328 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 788)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Hard to rate, numerically. A bunch of stuff I loved, a bunch of stuff I really didn't like.

Full Review:

In ‘To Sail a Darkling Sea’, the sequel to ‘Under a Graveyard Sky’, the Smith family continues doing what they do best: killing the infected and reclaiming the world, piece by bloody, zombie-ridden piece. As they recover ships and rescue survivors of the plague, Wolf Squadron becomes something more than a rag tag fleet of vessels. It becomes a machine (not well-oiled) representing the blood, s...more
Bob Milne
If you enjoyed Under a Graveyard Sky, the first in the Black Tide Rising series, or are a fan of John Ringo's unique brand of military-driven science fiction, then odds are pretty good you're going to enjoy To Sail a Darkling Sea.

The zombies take something of a back seat in this second volume, which is probably a good thing, since zombies can wear a bit thin after a while. Instead, the focus is turned to the survivors, with some really interesting exploration of the conflicts that arise when civ...more
Kevin Baker
Darkling Sea is, obviously, a transition book in a trilogy or longer series. It starts off where Under a Graveyard Sky leaves off, and ends just before another major plot opens. Surprise!

Because it's a middle book, no remarkable climax occurs in it. This isn't a bad thing, but it's the reason I gave it three stars and not four or five. I enjoyed it. It was a quick read, and, honestly, thinking about what to do during a Zombie Apocalypse is a mental exercise I find interesting. (Who knew that if...more
I've read a lot of Mr Ringo's books, and generally I enjoy his work. This one, however, I just could not tolerate at all.

From reading other books by this author I already expected the walls of military jargon & gun porn as a given. This book seemed to amp up those traits to 11 though, and mixed with the stream of consciousness feeling as characters & locations shift about from paragraph to paragraph the book was already starting as a difficult read.

The nail in the coffin though, for me,...more

Review: Not a fan of the cover art. I don’t think that design is going to attract many customers. Two argumentative quasi military types sends a negative message. Looks like two juveniles playing dress up.

I am going to start with some of the technical problems that I see in this book, some of it subjective in nature but perhaps relevant. The author pretty much begins the novel with firearm calibers and their effective stopping power on zombies. Faith (a 1...more
Shannon J.
As several people have commented, this REALLY feels like a 'in between book.' Not a lot for plot progression, though stuff happens. This is the book where the roughly thrown together fleet of the first book actually gets organized and starts functioning kinda militarily. We also have the rescue of some actual military staff, which also starts pullung things together.

This book has several of the problems of the first novel:

I still suffer serious 'Suspension of disbelief' issues around EVERY plan...more
Good book so far but John Ringo's characterizations of women suck. There are several pages devoted to officers going gaga over dresses and the ward room explanation of women not being as promiscuous as men are stereotypical and ridiculous. He's a good author but he can't write a woman for shit, he can write delicate flowers or women who are essentially men.
Okay I'm going to assume that you read the previous book in the series under a graveyard sky if not you should definitely definitely read it first this book is a direct continuation of the story and you will be completely lost if you try and jump in on the second book.
This has everything that made the first book worthwhile reading. Fun and exciting characters, intelligent planning, random historical facts and tidbits and most importantly a well thought out and as rational as it can be zombie A...more
Nat's XO reviews the Black Tide Rising series...

XO, back again. For those of you that read my brain-chompingly excited review of John Ringo’s Under the Graveyard Sky, I’m pleased as a Zombie with a water bottle to bring you the second in the series, To Sail a Darkling Sea (Read the first one, you’ll get that joke. Doesn’t make it funny, though…). Ringo continues to explore the world and its changes after a virus turns most of the planet into Zombies. The Smith family is back, this time backed by...more
Probably 4.5 stars honestly. But there are a couple things to ding. So I can't give it a full 5.

The negatives that keep it 5 stars are: 1) The lack of a real beginning, just like Under a Graveyard Sky had an abrupt end. There is something of a 'soft stop' to this book. But it's clear this is written as a single story. So don't pick up here, or you'll be quite lost.

2) There are a couple harangues that are repeated to excess. "Barbie Guns." Got it the 1st time. Maybe repeating it once later. But t...more
This is the second book in the Black Tide Rising series.

With the world in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, the Smith family has come out on top and is beginning to build a force to combat and, eventually, reclaim the world... starting with the United States... if they (and the Wolf Squadron) can get there.

This almost reads like a primer on how to construct a military and why the military has the rules and traditions that it does. For people (like me) who often find military traditions baffling,...more
Chris Bauer
As mentioned in my previous review of the first book in this series "Under a Graveyard Sky" John Ringo is back to his butt-kicking ways in "To Sail a Darkling Sea". Plot is sufficiently complex to make one think about what is occurring, characters are compelling and flawed and the pace in this second book is much quicker than the first.

There were a number of aspects I appreciated about this second book;
- layers of complexity and challenges for the protags
- even the "good guys" can be jerks
- act...more
V.W. Singer
Other reviewers have talked about the sexual aspects and I agree that the impression that men can't survive in a dark metal tomb without having sex with the only available female is an insult to all men everywhere. Once out of the ships, that fact that the women rapidly become pregnant becomes more acceptable. It can happen and has happened throughout history.

As for the combat abilities of Faith, the thirteen year old daughter, I can accept it as a fictional device, although it is stretching thi...more
Practical Mike
Book 2 of John Ringo's take on the Zombie Apocalypse. A really good read. John has a talent/gift for helping his audience visualize what is happening. I find that reading his books is a fast exercise for me. I started this yesterday and finished today. A book this long usually takes me at least twice as long.

Having said that... be prepared for a discourse on Naval logistics, military discipline, and general organization of society during a break down and rebuild. A lot of careful thought, planni...more
Carl Heinz
And now the wait for the next book in the series. An enjoyable read that kept me focused.
Henry Lazarus
To Sail a Darkling Sea (hard from Baen) continues John Ringo’s tale of a Zombie Apocalypse from the point in which the Wolf Squadron become part of the remaining U. S. Navy which includes submarines that don’t dare to breathe unfiltered air. The work of rescuing survivors and cleaning out ships of their Zombies continues. Though the ability of anyone, crazy or otherwise, to create a Zombie plague is improbable at best, Mr. Ringo has fun with the concept by showing how survivors might start winni...more
William Bentrim
Ringo brings his experienced voice to the Zombie genre. I was a bit surprised as he is so well established and regarded I didn't think he would want to jump on the over worked Zombie genre. Zombies have taken over everything but a few ships at sea. A virus has created them and a few people seem to have natural immunity and some have been vaccinated. This book is about Wolf Squadron, a family dominated militia type of navy that is attempting to rescue survivors and eventually re-take the world.

Good stuff, though Ringo really needs to update his knowledge base of words he uses though. His military service was so long ago that I have not even heard most of the little sayings he uses in years...and I retired from the military over 2 years ago! Also, while he is at it, I wish he would stop typing dialog from a 16 year old that sounds like its coming out of a 56 year old. Example "...yes, no sir, three bags full sir..." This was a saying from like the 40's-80's! I've never heard anyone in...more
Technically not "urban fantasy," since the "zombie apocalypse" in the story is in the form of a medical plague. Still, as the author keeps adding details to make the continued survival of a zombie population work, it's becoming an interesting challenge in suspension of disbelief. For instance, with no mechanical aptitude with tools, weapons or traps, catching rats with their bare hands is not a convincing protein source for the "zombies."
Still, what makes this series intriguing are the character...more
The premise was great – the only true way to survive the Zombie Apocalypse is by taking to sea – but sadly it did not live up to its initial promise.
If you like discussions of weapons and their efficacy, military hardware and endless fights where these are deployed, then you will enjoy the book. Ringo is not strong on character development. The reader is usually given a thumbnail sketch of a character when they are first introduced and not much changes after that. Indeed, I wondered why some we...more
John Ringo has never been shy about putting his beliefs in his work, and To Sail a Darkling Sea is no exception.

He has a clear hierarchy of competence in all of his works, and very little time for political correctness. To be honest, I don't agree with all his beliefs, but I don't have to. It may not be how the world works, but I'm perfectly willing to accept that that's how his world works in the book. Before I go further, I do want to make it clear that I'm not accusing him of either racism or...more
When I got this last week, I had to start reading. I had enjoyed the 1st volume, and want to see if Ringo can top the Last Concert in Central Park.

So I finished the novel this weekend with mixed feelings. Mind you, it is a good solid tale, but does not top Under A Graveyard Sky. Part of the problem is that this is a linking book that builds up to Islands of Rage & Hope. The characters spend the book clearing boats and islands, finding survivors and perfecting killing zombies. Things get a bi...more
Loved, Loved, Loved it. The story of at sea rescue of zombie infested boats continues, and takes a side trip to the Canary Islands. In preparation for the next stage of the plan, and waiting out the storm season, Wolf Squadron continues to rescue, train and re-purpose all the survivors it can find. The bigger they get, the more "human politics" tries to mess things up. "But you're not doing enough for . . . " becomes a sub-theme for a little while, but is handled in typical Ringo leading charact...more
Book two of Black Tide Rising picks up where soon after Under a Graveyard Sky. Wolf Squadron is now well on its way to being a reasonably organized naval military force. Faith “Shewolf” Smith is a legend after initial difficult zombie clearance actions, and her sister Sophia “Seawolf” Smith is not far behind as a boat captain. The story is fairly straight forward and mainly deals with the growing pains of squadron, the formalization of military command over it, and the introduction of new charac...more
Another great future history/alternate history book from John Ringo. Second in the series - it hits all the buttons.

Bio-terrorist weapon out of control that turns those exposed into zombies. This is the story of survivors and how they come back using assets found at sea to re-create a livable world. Plenty of awesome action. Loaded with bloody violence - but hey, they're zombies, so it doesn't really count.

Main characters are a small family that becomes the leaders of this effort. Ultra-violen...more
John Davies
A fantastic follow-up to the first book. So far, they have managed to save a few thousand survivors, and by the end of the book, they are heading to Gitmo to hopefully clear it and start producing vaccine. Interesting new characters have appeared.. including the mysterious man, Walker.. who gets rescued, nd immediately signs up to help out, and eventually ends up on Sophie's boat.. Can't wait for the next one to find out what happens next.. Interestingly, Stacey (the mother)doesn't appear in thi...more
Jon Penny
If you read the first one and liked it, this one is as easily enjoyable. I find it odd, that many readers (reading a book about a Zombie Apocalypse!) felt the idea of a 13yr old girl being very good at killing zombies "unrealistic." Ha ha! -- but yeah.. if you struggled with the previous book being unrealistic, don't bother with this one, it keeps going (that is either a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on whether or not you enjoyed the first one.) If you DID enjoy the first one, I thought...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Somewhere around the 25% mark into this book, I realized I simply did not have enough testosterone to continue this series. I've not read a Ringo book before and chose this book for the zombie dystopian apocalypse theme. I had gone into it thinking this would be a bit more straightforward tale of survival. But in reality, the series is gun porn, sex, fetishism, snarky dialogue, violence and nearly every teen boy fantasy t...more
I've tried writing this a few times, but it doesn't come out right. Fuck it, I don't care.

I don't like John Ringo. His views on just about everything seem to be in direct opposition to mine. He's welcome to them, but it gives me a knee-jerk reaction to anything associated with him.

Even with that I thought this was a fantastic book. Once I started it I couldn't focus on anything else until it was done.

There are a few problems though.

Halfway through to book I thought maybe the wife (Stacey) died...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Carnifex
  • Rogue
  • The Road of Danger (Lt. Leary, #9)
  • Like a Mighty Army (Safehold, #7)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)
  • Time Spike
  • Storm Surge (Destroyermen, #8)
  • Appalachian Overthrow (Vampire Earth, #10)
  • Exodus (Starfire, #5)
  • Bloodstar (Star Corpsman, #1)
John Ringo is a prolific author who has written in a wide variety of genres. His early life included a great deal of travel. He visited 23 foreign countries, and attended fourteen different schools. After graduation Ringo enlisted in the US military for four years, after which he studied marine biology.

In 1999 he wrote and published his first novel "A Hymn Before Battle", which proved successful....more
More about John Ringo...
A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War, #1) Gust Front (Posleen War, #2) Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1) Citadel (Troy Rising, #2) When the Devil Dances (Posleen War, #3)

Share This Book

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. “Ode of Remembrance” Lawrence Binyon” 1 likes
“There is a god somewhere that is angry because we’re combining stuff like Cutty Sark with fifty-year-old Laphroaig,” 0 likes
More quotes…