From Publishers Weekly
Rebuilding after the ship-shattering climax of 2009's Maelstrom
, Capt. Matt Reddy and the crew of the dimensionally misplaced USS Walker
continue pushing their Bronze Age allies, the Lemurians, through the Industrial Revolution to take the war to the invading reptilian Grik. Somewhat aided by the paddle-wheel steam frigates of New Britain, Reddy liberates conquered cities to the west and then races to the east in a refloated Walker
to re-rescue New British princess Rebecca Anne McDonald. The fun of watching eager aviators take to the air in carved wooden aircraft leavens the nostalgic sense of worlds being left behind and cultures forced by war to undergo unpleasant changes. Anderson raises questions about the morality of chemical warfare, genocide, and summary execution in wartime while holding out the possibility of diplomacy with relentless killers. (June)
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Anderson launches a new Destroyermen trilogy (the first: Into the Storm, Crusade, both 2008; Maelstrom, 2009) with this complex but fine and fast-paced tale. The Grik are learning something more sophisticated than banzai tactics from, ironically enough, a Japanese officer. The USS Walker rises from the depths in some of the most moving passages of the book. The prospective alliance with the New British Empire faces prejudice and treachery by what might be called the Dishonorable East India Company. The alliance of destroyermen and Lemurians builds sailing warships, paddle-wheeler warships, and crude airplanes. Moreover, it's becoming apparent that there have been quite a few leakages from the earthly time line we know to that of Anderson's creation, eventuating in, among other things, a far-off society of fanatical Catholics and a shipload of crated P-40s. And finally, when the Dishonorables kidnap Princess Rebecca, heiress to the New British throne, they also kidnap Dennis Silva, with his genius for nasty devices. Action sf really doesn't get significantly better than this. --Roland Green