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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment!
With his second book in this series, Taylor Anderson fills in some of the holes of the first book, and provides another fast moving, highly entertaining alternate reality story.

This book continues to focus on the crew of two obsolete American destroyers that were somehow sent to another dimension at the height of naval engagement with Japanese forces in the...
Published on October 18, 2008 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars First book was awesome. This one was okay.
The first book kept you on the edge of your seat. This one had less action and more minutiae. Notas good but still worth it. DON'T BUY anymore. They sucked. All Taylor cared about was writing about supplies and politics. And defensive fortifications.
Published on October 28, 2012 by Mark


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment!, October 18, 2008
This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
With his second book in this series, Taylor Anderson fills in some of the holes of the first book, and provides another fast moving, highly entertaining alternate reality story.

This book continues to focus on the crew of two obsolete American destroyers that were somehow sent to another dimension at the height of naval engagement with Japanese forces in the early days of WWII. The ships are actually WWI surplus, hopelessly outclassed by the modern Japanese ships they faced. However, in the new reality, where wooden ships are the order of the day, the American ships rule the waves. At least for awhile.

The new reality where the Americans (and an Australian civilian with unique and helpful talents) find themselves is populated by two sentient races -- evolved lemurs, or Lemurians, who are naturally peaceful, and evolved raptors, or Grik, who are inherently evil. The Americans ally themselves with the Lemurians, and are thrust into a war even more vicious than the one they were forced to leave.

The primary addition to the story provided in this book is some background on the Grik, both culturally and from a strategy standpoint. While the Grik are perhaps caricatures of evil, that is probably not an unrealistic portrayal of evolved carnivorous dinosaurs.

This book rates five stars not because it is great literature (it's not), but because it's great entertainment. The book is very readable; the dialogue continues to be crisp and authentic; the plot is logical and believable. While not all of the characters are developed fully, many are. No one is portrayed as Superman or Sir Galahad; these are generally very real characters. Other reviewers have suggested Pournelle and Stirling have done better. To each his own, as the saying goes. Anderson in my view is far better than Stirling and every bit as enjoyable as Pournelle.

If you like alternate reality/history with a touch of "starting over" that comes with the apocalyptic genre, you will enjoy this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Highly Entertaining, December 12, 2008
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This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
Not being particularly interested in the science fiction genre, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Mr. Anderson's first book in this series, Into the Storm.

It was with anticipation, therefore, that I sought out this the second volume in the Destroyermen series. And I was not disappointed in any respect.

It is a fast paced story, with an extraordinarily unique plot, and characters, good and bad (make that cold-bloodedly evil for most), that keep you both interested and thinking about aspects of their "history" or back-story that Anderson suggests or that logically might apply. Any book that fully entertains on its own, and yet which also has the reader expanding the "story" because one has become interested enough to puzzle out even more story lines, is a credit to the author.

Anderson raises serious questions about honor, heroism, venal motivation, and raw terror, and uniquely, not only from the perspective of the humans alone, but also the "evolved" lemurs, and the cold-blooded Grik raptors --- a terrified Grik, in the hands of Anderson, is a sight to behold and relish.

The combat, realistic in every respect, is riveting. And when the equipment (antiquated, in the main, World War I destroyers, and small arms) are not sufficient in quantity, the characters manufacture historically correct alternatives that are familiar to any amateur historian, and perfectly capable of being reproduced in the setting of this story. The alternative dimensional aspects of Anderson's tale, the characters in it and their reactions to the stresses they face, "play well" and make for a superior read.

I want more, and to that end, have pre-ordered the third volume due out next February, Maelstrom. Perhaps Anderson will neatly wrap up this story, but I suspect that there is much more that can be written about these characters, and hope that he will continue or expand the "destroyermen" universe with more stories in the future.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Series, December 17, 2008
By 
G. Styles (Vienna, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
I normally shy away from series, because few hold my attention long enough to reach the third or fourth volume. I picked up "Into the Storm" at the library when I couldn't find anything else that caught my interest, and now I'm hooked. Just pre-ordered the third volume from Amazon.

Anderson shines by keeping his characters realistic and representative of the Greatest Generation types who would have crewed such vessels at the start of WWII. He hasn't turned them all into sophisticated, culturally-sensitive college grads, nor has he provided them with unlikely skills in martial arts or advanced technology--though I must say the Australian engineer who just happens to have the maps to all the Indonesian oil fields on his person is a bit too convenient.

At times I was reminded of a different Anderson, Poul, not in the writing style, but in the cultural extrapolation of the Lemurian and Grik species. There are also occasional reminders of "Sand Pebbles", another novel about US Asiatic Fleet sailors by Richard McKenna, who was one and who also wrote some SF. If Destroyermen isn't quite classic science fiction or great literature, it's extremely entertaining. I eagerly await the next installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won’t be disappointed!, March 11, 2014
This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Mass Market Paperback)
In this sequel to Into The Storm, we return to the parallel Earth, where the World War 2-era American destroyers Mahon and Walker were pulled. The captain of the USS Walker is trying to organize the Lemurians so that they can survive the coming onslaught of the ferocious Grik, and he has lots of ideas. What he doesn’t have, unfortunately, is time. The Grik Grand Swarm is gathering, and the Lemurians will have to unify if they are to have a chance of survival. To make matters worse, it appears that one other ship was pulled through The Squall to this other Earth, the fearsome Japanese battle cruiser Amagi. The Destroyermen and Lemurians are going to need a lot of luck and courage if they are to survive the coming ordeal...a LOT of luck and courage!

Overall, I must say that I really enjoyed this book. The author did a really good job of keeping the suspense and the tension ratcheted up, as the good guys go from triumph to tragedy and back again. I really enjoyed this alternate Earth that the author created, and I think that he did a great job of making it very different and yet totally believable.

I enjoyed this book, and I really do think that you will too. So, if you read Into The Storm, hurry up and get Crusade. You won’t be disappointed!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The second book in an engaging trilogy, November 22, 2008
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This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
This is the second book in what is scheduled as a trilogy. If you haven't yet read "Into the Storm: Destroyermen", pick that one up before reading "Crusade". The third book is due out in February 2009.

The premise is that two decrepit WWII destroyers that are fleeing the Japanese find themselves transported to an alernate Earth where the geopraphy is largely the same, but the dinosaurs never went extinct. The destroyer crews soon find out that they've been transported from one war to another, as this world has a fight to the death between two intelligent species. In this book, they also discover that the Japanese ship they were fleeing from also ended up being transported into this new world.

As in the first book, the action is engaging, the good guys hold your sympathy, and the bad guys are truly chilling. And, once again, the characters act in a manner consistent with individuals who have the knowledge and attitudes of people from 1942.

If you enjoyed the first book in the series, you'll enjoy this one as well -- it's a strong, solid follow up.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crusade: Destroyermen, Book II (Destroyer Men), October 15, 2008
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This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
Crusade was a great read! Having read "Into The Storm", I wanted more. Mr. Anderson really gives it to you. More Action. More Depth. More Personality. More Insight! As the crew of the Walker learns about the Grik, so do we. As in real life, we only know what we know. And to see thru the eyes on the crew and to feel what they felt was inspired. It is obvious that Mr Anderson has the life experience to write good literature.
When faced with overwelming odds Commander Reddy, his crew and his allies must stand together or fall apart. Courage, hope, and determination become mixed with digust, disbelief and sheer terror, when things go awry. It is absolutley true that no plan of can survive the battle.
I can't wait for book 3. I am sure that I will start the series over again as soon as I get the last one.
Please tell me there is another one in the works!!! I expect this author to be one of my keepers over the years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another in a good series..., March 3, 2011
A good tale well told.

Good characters, interesting setting, intriguing plot, well handled story telling.

Not great, but quite good. Good enough to be very readable and definitely good enough to make it worth picking up the next in the series.

I was fascinated to see how much of a shambles the intrepid Walker could be made into yet still, somehow, be made to keep going. Anderson knows his ships and he knows the sort of men it takes to run them. By concentrating on that he wrings a compelling tale from the human scale drama.

This is a tale of voracious and implacable enemies, spirited humans being human, and plucky allies all coming together in the most exciting manner possible.

Well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more good sci fi, October 31, 2010
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This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
This is the second in the series; read the first book first. See my review of the third book for more details. You have some good ideas mixed in with a strange conflict between reptilian creatures (very nasty) and monkey like critters who are quite human like in some ways. The author has fun with the story, mixing occasional facts about naval ships of WWII and the situation in the book. I enjoyed the light, nonserious (unless you were a monkey like creature fighting for your race's survival in the book) nature of the book. Lots of drama, political and other, that add to the flavor. A good read for the escapist.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Even more exciting than first book, June 13, 2012
By 
Kat Hooper "Kat at FanLit" (St. Johns, FL, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
The men and two women of the USS Walker are worn out and homesick. They're resigned to being stuck on a parallel world, but they at least hope to find some more humans. There's a severe "dame shortage" so, though Commander Matthew Reddy and Nurse Sandra Tucker are in love with each other, they know they must not indulge their feelings because it might lower the morale of the rest of the destroyermen.

There's plenty to keep them occupied meanwhile -- they've recovered Mahan and a reconnaissance airplane, and both need a lot of work. They've also discovered that the threat from the reptilian Grik is much worse than they had imagined. The Grik have hundreds of sailing ships and are intent on wiping out the Lemurians and their new American allies. The worst news of all is that the Japanese battlecruiser Amagi is with them, but the destroyermen don't know if "the Japs" are fighting with the Grik or if their ship has simply been taken.

Many of the passive Lemurians just want to run away, but the only way to defeat the Grik is to band together and fight. Thus, some of the destroyermen and their new friends are visiting Lemurian colonies to try to muster up an army while others are training troops, building defenses, drilling for oil, and producing weapons.

Crusade, the second in Taylor Anderson's DESTROYERMEN series, is even more exciting than Into the Storm. The action is non-stop and the allies are working harder than ever to try to stay alive and make the most of their bad situation. The struggle is relentless and stressful, but Anderson works in some appealing shipboard humor to ease the tension.

Anderson continues to develop his characters. Captain Reddy is hard-working, conscientious and completely overwhelmed by the need to keep his people safe and sane in their new world and he worries about the impact the destroyermen are having there. He's good-natured and merciful, but ruthless when necessary. Sandra Tucker, who is soft-hearted and highly competent, is now in charge of everything medical. Dennis Silva, the big rowdy Gunner's Mate, is finally beginning to live up to expectation and we discover that he's really a softie at heart. Shinya, the Japanese prisoner who has given Reddy his parole, has been a valuable asset on Walker but he now struggles with his honor because of the presence of Amagi. Several of the Lemurians are main characters, too.

One small issue that continues is that Anderson's good guys tend to be a little too good while his bad guys are a little too bad. The Grik are a mindless swarm who hiss when they speak and eat their enemies. Similarly, most (but not all) of the Japanese are portrayed as loyally but blindly obeying their leader, even when he's wrong. It's explained that in the Japanese society, obedience is the highest virtue while Americans work individually to hold up the morals which society has collectively agreed upon. Thus, with only a few exceptions on each side, "the Japs" are willing to fight for the Grik because their leader tells them to, while the Americans are nobly fighting for liberty and justice for all. Maybe it really would have been this way, and maybe the Japanese will come around later -- I don't know -- I just wanted to mention this slightly uncomfortable aspect of the plot for those who may care.

Even though the situation seems a little too black and white, it's still easy to get caught up in the heroic deeds and the fight for freedom. I'm listening to William Dufris narrate the audioversion of Crusade. He does a good job with the human voices, but he makes some of the heroic speeches of the Lemurian allies sound corny and trite (some of them are corny and trite, but he makes it worse) and the hissing speech for the Grik is over the top. Still, those are minor parts, so overall I'm enjoying this version and I'm starting on book 3: Maelstrom.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 1 dimensional Grik enemy, October 7, 2008
This review is from: Crusade (Destroyermen) (Hardcover)
You can read this 2nd book in Anderson's trilogy simply out of sheer curiosity as to how the early episodes of book 1 play out. For me, I was curious about the setting in south east Asia, as something different from other alternate history novels.

We learn more about the Grik reptiles, which was the big gap in the first book. Alas, what transpires is very stilted and stereotyped. There is no discernible difference between the Grik society and the Bug Eyed Monsters of 1930-40s pulp science fiction. The Grik are portrayed as ravening hordes, always bent on killing, including their own species if none others are forthcoming. In one unintentionally hilarious scene, a Grik leader devours a live baby Grik. At least I think it's a baby Grik. The narrative is not absolutely clear on this point. Apparently, the author means to show how disgusting Grik are. Yet when I read it I couldn't help but think back to that scene in the movie Dune, where one alien puts a small live creature into a plastic container, squeezes it to death and drinks the juices. Totally campy! The passage in Destroyermen is meant to induce disgust in the reader; it's just ludicrously over the top.

The only major science fiction works in recent years to show even more voracious and genocidal aliens were Weber's In Death Ground and Shiva Option. In those, there is absolutely no portrayal of the enemy societies. They remain a blank mask.

Candidly, if you want a story with deeper, better rounded treatments of a foe, look at the Moties in Niven and Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye, or the Kzin in Niven's Man-Kzin Wars, eg. Choosing Names (Man Kzin Wars VIII).

Having said this, the combat scenes in Destroyermen 2 are well done. Worth a read. Though I must say this, if you end up reading this book and liking it. The combat involves modern firearms and medieval weapons. These descriptions of close quarter combat are bettered by what you can find in Stirling's Nantucket series, Island in the Sea of Time (Island), or Pournelle's Janissaries.
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Crusade (Destroyermen)
Crusade (Destroyermen) by Taylor Anderson (Mass Market Paperback - November 3, 2009)
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