• Blazing Star, Setting Sun

  • The Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign November 1942-March 1943
  • By: Jeffrey Cox
  • Narrated by: Lance C Fuller
  • Length: 24 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (175 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Blazing Star, Setting Sun by Jeffrey Cox, read by Lance C Fuller.  

From popular Pacific Theatre expert Jeffrey Cox comes this insightful new history of the critical Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign at the height of World War II. His previous book, Morning Star, Rising Sun, had found the US Navy at its absolute nadir and the fate of the Enterprise, the last operational US aircraft carrier at this point in the war, unknown. This new volume completes the history of this crucial campaign, combining detailed research with a novelist’s flair for the dramatic to reveal exactly how, despite missteps and misfortunes, the tide of war finally turned. 

By the end of February 1944, thanks to hard-fought and costly American victories in the first and second naval battles of Guadalcanal, the battle of Empress Augusta Bay and the battle of Cape St George, the Japanese would no longer hold the materiel or skilled manpower advantage. From this point on, although the war was still a long way from being won, the American star was unquestionably on the ascendant, slowly, but surely, edging Japanese imperialism towards its sunset.  

Jeffrey Cox’s analysis and attention to detail of even the smallest events are second to none. But what truly sets this work apart is how he combines this microscopic attention to detail, often unearthing new facts along the way, with an engaging style that transports the listener to the heart of the story, bringing the events on the deep blue of the Pacific vividly to life.

©2020 Jeffrey Cox (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Blazing Star, Setting Sun

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator Ruined the Book

The book is well written, informative, and quite detailed, but the narration is atrocious. He reads in a flat, nasally voice and constantly mispronounces words. I'm not quite sure how he was able to find employment as a narrator. Buy the print version of this book instead

18 people found this helpful

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Truly Ourstanding Narative of SW Pacific

Very detailed narrative of the lower Soloman campaign with emphasis on Naval and Air and role of logistics on operations and HQ politicking on strategy. Land, air and sea ops covered separately, so one getsa feel for the relentless attrition warfare of daily air raids and nightly naval bombardments and/or surface engagements, against the backdrop of continuous land fighting. All three environments being fought over independently but each dependent on the success of the other two. Narrator was excellent.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent Review of the Early Pacific War

Both the book and the audiobook are excellent. I have only listened to the audiobook, so I am assuming that the book text is identical.

I had to address the comment from one reviewer that the narration ruined the book for him. In fact, I avoided this book for some time, fearing that I would also feel the same. However, I listened to the sample recording and could find nothing objectionable in the narration. In fact, I find this narrator to be amongst the best i have listened to in over 100 audiobooks. His narration is expressive and appropriate to the action taking place. He also has done his homework as I found few mispronunciations of names and WW2-specific terminology. His pronunciation of Helena is my only real complaint. Indeed, he is one of few narrators I have heard who correctly pronounces proper Japanese names.

However, I do understand personal preference in narration. But if you enjoy listening to books, and are interested in WW2, I would definitely not avoid this one.

3 people found this helpful

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My assessment of the Pacific Struggle

A great deal of information given on the Japanese and American forces opposing one another. Lots of details were provided to a point that it became information overload making it hard to keep up with the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Gripping Narrative

One wonders how the U.S. Navy prevailed in the Guadalcanal Campaign when you take into account the total failure of U.S. torpedo technology against the truly fearsome Japanese long lance torpedo and highly effective night fighting capabilities of the Japanese Navy. Couple this with poor leadership/command decisions along with poor communications and continual technology failures lead to an abysmal record of U.S. warship sinking in these multiple battles and far too many casualties among a lot of brave men. This book spares no punches in examination of shortcomings. But these were not one-sided. The Japanese also suffered from often puzzling command decisions and leadership failures. This was a very close run campaign and I had a hard time shutting down my Audible app when listing to this book. Narration was great.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Narrator, but book gets lost in details.

The narration is spot on, and I thought I knew everything about Guadalcanal, but this book. goes way beyond, Very interesting read.
However, the author gets bogged down in too many details..

Cox seems to feel the need to name every destroyer, ( several times ) every squadron, every pilot ( both sides ), every torpedo
For me, the book looses it continuity, the book does not flow. To be constantly interrupted by every minutiae
of the battle was extremely frustrating...

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed the story but not the narration

A continuation of the author's story of the Guadalcanal Campaign in 1942 and '43. The story is pretty good and well known. This time it is for someone looking to become more familiar with the operations around Guadalcanal in 1942 and '43. The narration was substandard. One recurring theme was the mis-pronunciatan of the ship's name, USS HELENA, named for the City of Helena Montana not the womans name. There are odd mid sentence breaks or breaks within words. Overall the book does a good job of presenting a story of the tribulations and frustrations for both sides during the Guadalcanal Campaig Get a map handy to be familiar with all of the unique named.

1 person found this helpful

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outstanding book

great in depth book on the 2nd half of the battle for Guadalcanal and the naval/air battles over Japanese efforts to provide troops for the battle over New Guinea

1 person found this helpful

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Lots of new information

Good book. Can't quite decide if regular use of catch phrases was a good idea. Performance was hurt by changing recording, not sure if it was studio changes or what but it distracted from narrative.

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Worst narrator ever

I absolutely loved Jeffery Cox' "Morning Star Midnight Sun" and was so looking forward to this book too. The storytelling and compelling detail are all there again but the narration almost ruined it for me. The reader has a totally flat, hurried delivery with zero inflection, no appreciation for Cox' ironic dry sense of humor, makes jillions of pronunciation blunders of English words and absolutely butchers the Japanese pronunciations. Really disappointing after the outstanding narration of Joe Barrett for the earlier book.

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  • EJ
  • 07-13-20

Brilliant account of Guadalcanal Battle land & sea

What is going on with this book? The first four chapters are a repeat of what is in Morning Star Midnight Sun. Then when I got to what should have been Chapter 5 the narrator states “Chapter 1” and the story then repeats the first book and Chapters 1 to 4 of this book all over again. The problem sorts itself out by Chapter 7 but frustrating all the same.
Footnote: Having now finished the book I have changed it to 5 Stars. It a brilliant account of Guadalcanal and the sea areas around it. Culminating in when aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) attacked a Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the Japanese task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy.

1 person found this helpful