I'm a Big fan of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I don't have a long history with reading books but most of what i find is enjoyable. My favorite series i have ever come across is Dresden Files.
This series is a compelling story of a WW2 US navy destroyer sent through to an alternate reality. Everything is different and way more deadly. The sailors make an ally and a enemy along the way. The Grik are pure predators wanting to eat and kill everything in its path. The Lemurians are peaceful human like creatures with attributes of cats and monkeys. They ally with the destroyermen to fight for survival.
The story i would say isn't anything really unique, the bad and good guys are obvious and so on. However the characters are great, and the new world is scary and exciting. The destroyermen are from the 1940s bringing up issues and ideals from that time. It's exciting how the destroyermen plan to fight on with limited ammo and fuel with no known resupply. The overall series is vastly enjoyable and this book is a great introduction.
What makes me really enjoy listening though is the narrator, oh William Dufris... I wish he could do every audiobook. This series has at least 30 different recurring characters and William seems to have a unique voice for every single one. Roughly half of them are human, the rest have a reptilian voice (grik) and a feline voice (Lemurians). For each of these races the unique characters have unique voices... I have to say this story wouldn't be nearly as entertaining if read from a book versus Mr. Dufris.
The narration was excellent.
Most: Sailors out of their element for a long period of time.
Least: Planet of the Apes aspect.
There is a point where the "modern" WWII sailors have to board an 18th century ship.
There was an 80's movie with Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen called "The Final Countdown" when a modern aircraft carrier goes through a weird water vortex and ends up fighting in the battle of Pearl Harbor. This chaffed me from the beginning, the similarity of sailors and time travel I mean. In fact it still does right NOW.
The book starts out as the destroyer men are fighting a vicious battle against the Japanese in a retreat during WWII. They go through a strange squall and.....
The similarity definitely stops there!
The WWII sailors are suddenly in a place that is more like "The Planet of The Cat people" and "The Land Before Time". It turns out to be a parallel universe in which these cat/monkey/people are fighting a war against an evil enemy that are like walking human/raptor dinosaurs.
Yeah, I'm just as confused as you are.....
Nevertheless, the sailors befriend the cat/monkey people and decide that they will help fight the evil human/dinosaurs. What choice do they have with no other resources and the human/dinosaurs eat everyone/thing.
The narration was excellent. There are numerous (at least 12) characters and the narrator does an amazing job of making them different and distinct. With so much happening that is crucial.
Despite the narration, these are my major issues.
First: this is slow reading. I can usually read one of these books in 3-4 days. It took me over a week and a half just because I couldn't bring myself to continue.
Second: I don't care for, or rarely EVER sympathize with non human characters.
Third: Most of the character flaws and personalities are cliche (to me) Ie. The captain is drawn to the head nurse/doctor, it's a "burden of command" similarity that I am sick of. And the issue of so many sailors with NO women in port BUT womanlike creatures with breasts?
Anyway, the book leads into the next one, so I will probably venture the next book just to test the waters further. If it gets into the question of bestiality I am definitely NOT reading the third.
I initially thought that I was going to dislike William Dufris' narration, but by the time I was 10 minutes into the tale I was of an entirely different opinion. He did a great job of differentiating the characters. The story is fast paced and full of twist and turns. I loved this first book; and I will be buying this series up just, as fast as, I can afford them, by all means available.
Can't wait for the next book! The story keeps you glued to the headphones!
Silva, what crazy and lovable guy.
Sounds like each character is a different person.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
During the Second Battle of the Java Sea, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy and the crew of the destroyer USS Walker have been ordered to pull out of the Philippines. As they attempt to flee with several other Allied Navy ships, they???re attacked by the Japanese. The Allied ships are sunk, one by one, until only USS Walker and the crippled USS Mahan are left. When the huge Japanese battlecruiser Amagi shows up with its Kamikazes, Captain Reddy knows they???re lost ??? Walker, an old ship which was about to be decommissioned before WWII started, can???t stand up to the new Japanese ships. The only hope is to try to hide Walker and Mahan in a squall a few miles away.
When they enter the storm, they notice some strange phenomena with the rain and the sea, but things get really weird when they exit. There???s no radio traffic, Amagi and its planes are gone, and there???s a gigantic fish eating Japanese sailors (they manage to save one of them to hold as prisoner). When they meet a colossal wooden ship sailed by a species that looks like a cross between lemurs and cats, they realize that was no ordinary squall they passed through.
This is a parallel earth where evolution took different paths. While the climate, seas, land masses, and oil deposits are essentially the same, the animal species are different. There seem to be two sentient species. The Lemurians are passive and friendly but the Grik are definitely not. Courtney Bradford, the Australian oil company man whose hobby is naturalism, thinks they descended from the velociraptor. The Grik walk on two legs, have small arms, attack viciously, and devour their prey with their sharp teeth. After the Grik attack and kill some of the Walker men, Captain Reddy decides to help defend the Lemurian ship from a Grik attack. The humans don???t want to be involved in their war, but they need allies in this new world and the Grik are obviously the bad guys.
Into the Storm is the first book in a Taylor Anderson???s DESTROYERMEN series, which is currently seven books long (Iron Gray Sea, the seventh book, comes out next month). I was attracted to it because I love Patrick O???Brian???s AUBREY/ MATURIN series (I read all 20?? books) and DESTROYERMEN marries that same kind of naval historical fiction with fantasy ??? what could be better?
Well, Taylor Anderson???s utilitarian writing style isn???t quite as appealing as Patrick O???Brian???s, but he writes with plenty of emotion, just the right amount of humor, and lots of knowledge. Anderson is an academic historian, a forensic ballistic archaeologist, a movie consultant, and a sailor. I was impressed with the amount of research that was evident in Into the Storm. The battles and warships Taylor uses in his plot are real (until the weird storm, of course) and I felt confident that he had his facts straight about what Walker and the other ships were like.
By necessity, there???s a large cast of characters in Into the Storm. At first it???s hard to keep them all straight, but Anderson manages to give the important ones distinct personalities. They felt real to me and I liked the ones I was supposed to like. The action is non-stop and exciting: torpedoes explode, ships sink, people get eaten by dinosaurs. But there is also time for humor, character development and occasional reflection about war, nationalism, justice, and evolution.
The American patriotism may be too much for some readers (especially if they???re not American), and the hatred of the ???Japs??? is a constant theme, but it fits the context. Anderson makes the American sailors more palatable by giving them a different enemy in the parallel world. Instead of Japanese, they???re fighting a mindless horde of ugly ferocious reptiles. It???s an easy way out, but did we really want them fighting humans?
I had a lot of fun with Into the Storm, so I couldn???t resist picking up book 2, Crusade. The men of Walker are dejected ??? far from home and lonely. There are only two human women on this world, but there are indications that a group of humans were seen on the world generations ago. Might there be a human population somewhere? I have to find out what happens to these guys!
I???m listening to Tantor Audio???s version which is narrated by William Dufris. He overdoes a few of the accents, but mostly he gives a great performance. I???ll be reading the rest of the series on audio, too.
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
I happened to pick up this first book in the Destroyermen series during an Audible sale, and I am sure glad I did. This is the first novel in a series (of soon to be seven!) books following the exploits of Capt. Matthew Reddy and his crew of the USS Walker. The story follows this crew of a doomed naval destroyer being harassed by the Japanese navy following the battle of the Phillipines and e Java Sea in the opening months of WWII. During their escape from the Japs, they are caught in a strange electrical storm that transports them and seven other friendly and enemy ships to an alternative Earth where there was no dinosaur extinction event, so evolution did not follow the same path.
They find themselves on a very hostile planet, but soon allying themselves with the sailing ship based "Lemurian" civilization who are in the opening battles against a widely expansive "Grik" empire, who are descendants of dinosaurs. Their technology is about 14-15th century, so the crew of the Walker have to fight the Grik and bootstrap the Lemurian technology to support a more modern army capable of meeting this threat.
This is a very enjoyable listen, the story is very entertaining, and the narrator is top rate. For this story he has name up two different a cents for the non human species, one of which have no movable lips!
This story appeals to anyone who enjoys historical military fiction, empire building and a bit of sci-fi thrown into the mix.
The Space/Time travel of an outmoded Destroyer from WWII to a parallel earth is an over-the-top premise, but the author makes the travails of the destroyermen and their unfailing courage and ingenuity believable and consistent. So the story is not about the strange and dangerous world, but about the characters, of course the heroes are outnumbered, beset, betrayed, but they all refuse to give up. Their ideas and knowledge shape the world around them for the better. It's light reading, but I liked it. I am currently waiting for the 7th book.
I liked Chak Sa'b Aht (hope he spells that way), a Lemurian "alien" from the parallel earth that has a successful career in the new 'Maahrines' which has a perfect sense of Humor.
The likeable Rogue of the Chief Gunner's Mate Silva Character is always a highlight in these books.
I laughed out loud several times and although I did not actually cry, the poignancy of several scenes and the gallantry in the face of death, doom and destruction the main characters face, choked my throat on several occasions.
The cynic in me knows that there's a severe element of Deus Ex Machina, of sacrificial deaths to put the hero through the wringer without terminating the story, of the naive Good vs. Evil structure. But despite all that You are pulled inside the world of the Destroyermen.
The Destroyermen have an impact out of all proportion to their small number on the entire World of the parallel universe. The author makes this feat believable in spite of a sceptical reader.
One of the best modern sci-fi books I have read.
It probably sounds funny but one of the memorable moments was when they went into the storm.
I don't really know.
It's like Lost only with a plauseable preamace.
I have read every book in the series and can't wait for the next one. It is due out in July! I need everyone to buy these books so the author will write more!! LOL
I don’t have a lot of time for reading, but Audible allows me to listen to all the great books that I thought I would never get to read.
First of the series and my least favorite book of the four I have listened to, but still very good. Alternate history and military SCI-FI fans will love these books! I have listened to the first four and I enjoyed them all.
This was a great story, right up to the point where the USS Walker disappears into a black cloud. Haven't we done this before? Right! Kirk Douglas and the USS Nimitz disappeared into a black cloud, too, about 30 years ago. It was the Exec, though, who got the beautiful brunette nurse. Wasn't there a Japanese prisoner fished out of the ocean? Jeez, I just realized, there is a difference...the Destroyermen don't have a dog! Oh, yeah, Kirk Douglas also made it back home. I fear the Destroyermen are stuck in alternate reality hell for at least 10 books.
I can imagine some folks are probably endlessly facinated with this story. It just wasn't for me.
The narrator was above average. I wouldn't reject an audiobook solely because he was reading it, which is the second best thing you can say about a narrator.