- Series: Destroyermen (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Roc Hardcover; 1 edition (June 3, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451462076
- ISBN-13: 978-0451462077
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 251 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Into the Storm (Destroyermen) Hardcover – June 3, 2008
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Anderson’s outstanding first novel combines alternate history and seafaring in a way that recalls S. M. Stirling’s splendid Island in the Sea of Time trilogy. Two U.S. four-stacker destroyers on the run from the Japanese in the spring of 1942 sail into a mysterious squall. The USS Walker emerges upon an alternate earth, where the dinosaurs were never wiped out. One savage sapient race, the Grik, has evolved from the raptors; another, from lemurs. The latter becomes the allies of the castaways in parallel time, and together they prepare to fight the Grik, solve some of the mysteries of this world, and find the missing second destroyer. There may be points, probably few, at which naval buffs will raise their eyebrows, but the nonstop action will speed nearly all readers past them. That action works out in the context of extremely high-level achievement at both world building and characterization. It’s safe to say that the series this book launches is going to go places—for starters, into the hands of all seafaring-sf fans. --Roland Green
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 MasterÂs Degree in History and teaches at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.
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1. Unknown Seas: combines v. 1 & 2
2. Fire on the Water: combines v. 3 & 4
3. Rising Storm: combines v. 5 & 6.
4. Iron and Fire: Combines v. 7 & 8.
The first four volumes are pretty much concentrated on one major confrontation, but by volume 5, Rising Tides, the story begins to splinter into several battlefronts, and we begin to lose many of the secondary characters near and dear to our hero: Matt Reddy.
In case you are new to this wonderful alternate universe series, here are the books in order, both of publication (roughly one per year) and sequence.
1. Into the Storm First two volumes have been combined into one physical volume available used (Unknown Seas)
4. Distant Thunders
5. Rising Tides
6. Firestorm: More ships come through the squall
7. Iron Gray Sea: Finally Reddy marries Sandra
8. Storm Surge
9. Deadly Shores
10. Straits of Hell
We begin with the alternate universe concept. During WWII, in the Pacific Theatre, several ships are involved in a naval battle when a violent storm whips them into an alternative universe. There are three competing species, lemurs, reptiles, and humans. All are sentient and competing species with an uneasy alliance between the Lemurians and the humans.
The story line holds together for the first four volumes. But by the fifth volume, the story has split into so many parts that you will have difficulty following them, if you wait each year for the newest volume. One reviewer noted that it could be solved by splitting the stories into totally separate volumes. This is what Eric Flint has done with his series, to great success.
As it is, those of us who came into the beginning of the series, say in the first three volumes, such as myself may find you have to re-reading the series before progressing further.
It’s the opening stages of World War Two and the destroyer Walker and her group in Destroyer Group 29 are trying to avoid the catastrophe that the Houston and Perth have already suffered at the hands of the IJN.
Their mission is to load and evacuate as much as they can in the wake of the Japanese surge. Their destination is Ceylon. This is not going to be an easy task since the IJN has complete control of the sea-lanes and air.
They embark on their escape attempt only to be blocked by the Amagi and her escort. The only thing that saves the entire flotilla from annihilation is a squall. Walker and her sister ship Mahan make a mad dash for cover. Here comes the “Final Countdown” portion. It is not a normal storm. Those who witness it can’t believe their eyes. When they break out, it’s a clear beautiful day in the South Pacific, with one caveat, there are no Japanese ships or airplanes. The Mahan is with them, but nothing else. Even if the Amagi would have sunk, where was the oil slick. All they find is one lone survivor. Why? Because there is an extremely large amphibian eating all of the other survivors. Yep, welcome to Jurassic Sea!
Captain Mathew Patrick decides to make for, hopefully, calmer waters and an explanation. What he finds instead is nothing is the same and he’s come across an interesting race of catlike creatures the call Lemurians who are at war with Griks.
Flash back to “Final Countdown.” A modern warship is going to be thrust into a world of Sixteenth Century Men of War manned by the most gruesome characters one can imagine.
Great story for time travel, Game of Thrones followers and anyone else who love a good action-packed story.
The newcomers to this new world, they soon must decide whether to get involved with one of two sentient races. One looks like a "lemur/cat" and one is a standing "lizzard".
The extensive WWII naval world of the first part of the book is beautifully described. We get details and inner concerns of many of the crew, practical period naval tactics, and exciting battles with the "Japs". I find it surprisingly engrossing - so much so that I felt the disorientation of being yanked from 1942 reality to "somewhere else." I'm no historian, and I've been exposed to many WWII era novels, but this section is every bit as good as good as any novel. (See author's notes.)
Wham. Now we are thrust into the alternate universe. While geography is "mostly" unchanged, the crew of the Walker slowly begins to discover subtle changes. Giant "ancient" sea creatures, sea piraña, etc., then a huge wooden sailing ship with the Lemurians on board. Later, Bali looks normal, but deserted. Then a shore party is attacked by aggressive upright lizards.
Now the reader becomes immersed in alternate universe explorations. To me, tis is the really fun part. The expedition captain must make many decisions with only sketchy facts available. Alliances are forged, the modern men are thrust into the problems of how to secure survival of the ship and it's company while responding to the enemy threats of the lizard race.
It's all fun, and the lengthy volume never lagged my interest. There are some stretches of the imagination (such as quickly refining raw crude to both diesel and aircraft fuel), but I found them easily acceptable.
Looking forward to vol 2.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a very fun book to read.