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Distant Thunders (Destroyermen) Hardcover – June 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Destroyermen (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Hardcover; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451463331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451463333
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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

Customer Reviews

Great continuation to a great series, I can't wait to start the next book!
Michael LaRocca
The book does have enough flashback info to enjoy on its own but it is much better to read the previous 3 books.
Amazon Customer
I would whole-heartedly recommend this series to anyone who likes alternate history or science fiction.
George R. Blair

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cassel VINE VOICE on June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I haven't any idea how long this series was initially intended on going on, but I thought it was a trilogy based on the tone and pace of volume one. Now we're on to volume four with as much in front of us as behind.

In addition, the author is caught in a trap that befalls any multi-book series. He can either assume the reader in the later books has read the previous books and is up to date on them or he needs to constantly insert flashbacks. Here Anderson uses flashbacks and uses them quite a bit so if someone were to have read volume one months or years ago they'd be refreshed as to the tensions and relationships. The downside is if one were to find this series and consume them in rather rapid order, the flashbacks become irritating and slow the narrative down. This book is replete with sentences like, "X looked with annoyance at Y remembering that in the battle of Z, Y failed to perform some task or another." That's fine unless you just read about the battle of Z a few days ago as I had. It seemed to this reviewer that we couldn't get a page or two without yet another flashback.

I understand the need for this so I'm not knocking the book down but thought to mention it as a heads up for readers who may be more annoyed at this than I was.

What has me annoyed is that, like Robert Jordan, Taylor Anderson has found a world which immerses many readers. Rather than have a neat, tight trilogy or two book series, he or his publisher or someone has decided to streeeeeetch this thing out. To me, this would be stronger if the stretching included many more details of the alien societies which are still superficially treated now four books in.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The reptilian Grik continue their assault using any sort of mass weapons of destruction against the Lemurians whose strongest supporter are the dimensionally displaced U.S. Navy Captain Matt Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker. The American navy desperately is trying to move forward the Bronze Age Lemurians into at least an Industrial Age and preferably past that too especially with their ship badly devastated in the last encounter (see Maelstrom). That is the only hope for the allies against the overwhelming superiority of the invading Grik.

Reddy and his unit make some progress using paddle-wheel steam frigates developed in New Britain as the Americans free cities in the west from the previously invincible conquerors and give new hope to their allies. However when word reaches Reddy that the enemy has captured New British Princess Rebecca Anne McDonald, he rushes back east on the renovated USS Walker to mount a rescue of a key symbol.

The latest Destroyermen science fiction thriller, Distant Thunders, is an action-packed entry with strong relevant moral questions about the rules of combat engagement running throughout the adrenalin pumping story line. Reddy ponders whether negotiations with a species apparently seeking genocide are feasible as the enemy seems resistant to a peaceful solution although the displaced hero recognizes some of the beliefs on both sides may be bogeyman propaganda. He also wonders whether are any weapons of mass destruction include biological, chemical or nuclear in their arsenal that will be used especially on the brink of perhaps extinction acceptable? Taylor Anderson is one of the best at military science fiction as his plots combine cerebral thought provoking issues within a great adventure tale; the alternate realm of the Destroyermen saga is worth the journey.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Gatliffe on August 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This old destroyerman thoroughly enjoyed the continuing saga started three books ago and I'm eagerly looking forward to #5. As a former DD Chief Engineer and later Ops Boss in a "deep-draft", I found that, other than a few "nit-picks", the story details were entirely authentic technically and the development quite complementary to the American Sailor's spirit and initiative. I am very glad to see that Mr. Anderson is no longer "casting off" the ship's lines but "taking in all lines" when getting underway (those babies are expensive and belong to the ship.) I would liked to have heard the order "Sound one long blast (on the ship's whistle)" instead of "Honk the horn" when WALKER last got underway from the pier but one can't have everything.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Pruna on June 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review might contain spoilers for the people who have not read the first three books.
As a big fan of the first Destroyermen series, I preordered Distant Thunders and read it at a quick pace.
The story, picking up shortly after the large battle at Baalkapan, unfolded nicely, albeit a little predictably.
The New Brits, briefly introduced in Maelstrom, were a nice touch and, trust me, they provide plenty of action and trouble.
Some of the technological achievements of the Alliance seem a little far-fetched. However, I know Taylor Anderson is very serious about his research, and therefore am able to buy into this aspect of the story. There are a few fairly large passages dedicated to explaining how these weapon production efforts are put into place, and they might be tedious for non-technical readers. Not for me , though,I enjoy this kind of stuff.
The main problem with this book is that nothing much happens. Yes, things happen, but somehow the plot didn't keep me on the edge of my seat, as it has been the case with the previous books. Also, character development is kind of lacking. I feel that happened because by now there are way too many characters to keep track of. The Lemurian perspective does not appear alien at all. I guess they have all either speedily adopted American thought patterns, or Anderson kind of gave up on character development. And this brings me to another issue. I felt at times that this book is not as polished as the previous. Almost as if it was rushed, or the author is not as much into it as he used to be. Since I visited Taylor's website, where he maintains a lively discussion with readers, I know that to not be the case. Therefore I feel that it's the editor's fault.
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More About the Author

Taylor Anderson is a gun-maker and forensic ballistic archeologist who has been a technical and dialogue consultant for movies and documentaries. He has a Master's Degree in History and teaches at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.

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