Posted by Taylor on August 2nd, 2013 | 0 comments
Below was a great review from strategyandtacticspress.com. Published here with their consent! A hearty thank you to them!
A Fantastical World War II: The Destroyermen, by Taylor Anderson
Reviewed by Ty Bomba
There’s a lot of military-adventure-in-alternative-timelines novels available these days and, of course, the genre has roots going all the back to Odysseus in ancient literature and to Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court in modern-era fiction. That having been noted, it’s still this simple when it comes to these books: if you enjoy science fiction and WW2-based fiction, you’ve got a supremely enjoyable reading experience available to you in Taylor Anderson’s eight-volume (so far) Destroyermen.
The saga – for that’s surely what this story has grown into in the fullest sense of the word – begins early in historic 1942, as the remnants of the Allied ABDA Fleet retreat south through Indonesia in front of the unrelenting Japanese offensive. Among those ships, two US Navy “four stacker” World War I-era destroyers try to escape what’s otherwise sure to be a fatal attack from a Japanese cruiser by hiding in a squall. They come out the other side on an Earth in another dimension, one where the dinosaur-killing Yucatan asteroid never struck.
Long story short: the alternative Earth is dominated by two intelligent species. One of them, the Grik, are savage reptilian raptors. The other is mammalian: round-eyed lemurs, which the sailors quickly come to nickname the “Cats,” and which in our dimension survive only on Madagascar.
The two “races” are warring with each other using technology roughly equivalent to that of our 17th century. The Americans, of course, throw in with the Cats, which – given the mid-20th century weaponry they introduce into the fight – would seemingly make short work of the saurians.
The rub, though, comes from the fact it turns out the Japanese cruiser followed the destroyers into the squall, to emerge some miles off in the same ocean. Longer story even shorter: the already somewhat reptilian Imperial Japanese have no qualms about throwing in with the lizard-like Grik.
With that, an ever geographically expanding and technologically surging alternative World War is off and running. In it, the action is tense and non-stop and the characterizations rich (though more so on the Cat/American side than on the Grik/Japanese). The subplots are plentiful and as entertainingly riveting as the main story, while the many plot twists are well calculated to keep you turning pages when you should be doing other things.
The eighth volume, Storm Surge, has just been published (July 2013). The others, in order of appearance (and they should be read in order) are: Into the Storm, Crusade, Maelstrom, Distant Thunders, Rising Tides, Firestorm and Iron Gray Sea.
One caveat: Storm Surge isn’t the end of the saga. If you’re a reader who likes to have all the volumes of multi-book sequences in front of you before starting into it, you’ve got longer to wait. I don’t recommend that approach here, though, because, the way this is going, there could easily be another eight books coming.