The Final Storm opens a new front in Jeff Shaara’s gripping chronicle of World War II as soldiers, sailors, and marines sacrifice all for one final push toward decisive victory in the fierce maelstrom of the Pacific theater.
As the war in Europe winds down in the wake of the Normandy invasion, the United States has turned its vast military resources toward an all-out effort against the Japanese. In the spring of 1945, Japan’s empire has been pressed slowly back toward its home islands, and the Americans mount a furious assault on the last great stepping-stone to Japan itself - the heavily fortified island of Okinawa. The three-month battle will feature some of the most vicious combat of the entire war, as American troops confront an enemy that would rather be slaughtered than experience the shame of surrender.
With a narrative dexterity befitting his status as a master storyteller, Shaara relates the story of the struggle for Okinawa through the eyes of combatants on both sides: Private Clay Adams, a young marine whose brother Jesse has already earned his share of glory as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne in Europe; Admiral Chester Nimitz, who must unite rival army and marine commanders into a cooperative effort; General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., the American ground commander trying to live up to the legacy of his father, who led Confederate troops during the Civil War; and General Mitsura Ushijima, the Japanese general in charge of defending the island, who understands what Tokyo will not believe: that his own fight to the death will only delay the inevitable - as the Americans continue their advance toward the home islands and ultimate victory.
With the fights raging across the Pacific, a different kind of campaign is being waged in extraordinary secrecy: the development of a weapon so powerful, not even the scientists who build it know just what they are about to unleash. Colonel Paul Tibbets, one of the finest bomber pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps, is selected to lead the mission to drop the horrific new weapon on a Japanese city. As the new president, Harry S Truman, mulls his options, and a Japanese physician named Okiro Hamishita cares for patients at a clinic near the city of Hiroshima, citizens on the home front await the day of reckoning that everyone knows is coming.
A fitting conclusion to one of the most riveting sagas in military fiction, The Final Storm illuminates the heroism and sacrifice that defined the war in the Pacific, bringing the conflict to life as only Jeff Shaara can.
©2011 Jeff Shaara (P)2011 Random House Audio
I am a from Denmark and my interests are wide spread. Scary stories, Crime stories, Sci-fi, and more, you name it. One of my greater interests is historical fiction, and my favorite author are Jeff Shaara.
This book is an exiting "conclusion" of Jeff Shaara's World War 2 trilogy, making it, in fact, a quadrilogy. Just as exiting and horrifying as his other books, this tells a story of a different kind of war then the trilogy. The japanese are fare more death-defying then the germans, so the battle in the pacific are so much more brutal and terrifying, then in Europe. Seeing women sacrificing their lives to kill the marines, suicide-attacks and other horrible tactics, truly is different then the other books. It is told, all to well. A masterpiece of authorship by the greatest author in this genre. Read it. The best author in the world has done it again. Michael Shaara would be proud of his son.
Jeff Shaara's novels are well researched & a fresh historical view…. just glad he applied his talent to the Pacific for a great book!
Since I first read it at 12, I've been huge fan of Michael Shaara's Killer Angels. I've had a much harder time getting into his son's books, as I find the pace much slower.
That being said, with my daughter and new son-in-law in Okinawa, I enjoyed reading about a topic I had only cursory studied before.
Narrator was horrible with the Japanese accent, something out of a really bad 1940's war picture. While I appreciate a good narrator that can do different voices for the various characters, I found this one very, well, insulting. I haven't read the book, so maybe to be fair the written dialogue comes off same way. Even so, I found the Japanese characters would have been more interesting to the story if narrator had handled their parts better.
German by birth - cosmopolitan by conviction. A CFO enjoying dynamic and multicultural Asia. Classic car and history buff and scuba diver.
I started with Shaara's book "The Rising Tide" and needed time to get comfortable with the changing perspectives of multiple characters. I greatly appreciated "The Steel Wave" and I am deeply impressed by "The Final Storm". The story of Clay Adams and his comrades is a wake up call that military history must not only be taken in through more scientific writing. It opened my eyes for what the fighting soldiers endured. The Japanese position is conveyed with tact and respect for the cultural specifics. The horrors of the fights on Okinawa made me think about the ordeals so many woman and man have endured in World War 2 - be it during the fights on the islands, in Stalingrad, on Omaha beach, over German cities or under German and Allied bombing runs. The story of the bombing of Hiroshima does not give sufficient justice to the Japanese side. The torture of the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - on the day and over decades after - demands a more extensive portion of such a narrative even though it might not incraese the book's popularity - regrettably.
A good read for sure on a very limited segment of the war in the Pacific. It is disappointing however that the author is not devoting more time to a more sweeping narrative of the war in the Pacific. I may be spoiled by Jeff Shaara's more thorough series, particularly in his account of the Civil War.
Just as spellbinding as the trilogy and perhaps better. If you like the trilogy you must have this one.
So vivid I had to take frequent breaks to think about what the author's characters were telling me. Wonderfully presented with really three dimensional views of the hell that our guys had to face at Okinawa. This was about the best book for me, this year. I was sorry that it was over. Buy it, its well worth your while.
The book was interesting and enlightening on certain aspects of the (very) late War in the Pacific. However, I wish the scope had been somewhat different.
He makes it clear in the forward that it's starting after Iwo Jima, so it should perhaps be subtitled "A Novel of the End of the War in the Pacific" since it really only covers a few months.
That aside, I would have like him to focus somewhat differently. I would have liked to have heard slightly less about the Battle of Okinawa and more about some areas that are less frequently discussed:
- The plans/build-up for the Invasion of Japan (Downfall/Olympic)
- The occupation/repatriation of Japanese held areas
- Even a bit about the Russian war on Japan and how it affects Japan's decision to surrender
The discussion of the atomic bomb was good, but I'd like to have heard a bit more about the after affects/recovery.
Finally, as in many of his other books, he seems to have a standard set of somewhat cliche characters that appear in his books under different names. You could draw a parallel between almost every character here and a character in one of his civil war books.
This book concludes Jeff Shaara's World War II epic series. I liked the book and find it hard to criticize, but I definitely put it as the least of the four books in the series. The first three books take you beginning to end through the war in Europe. This book picks up in the last eight months of the war in the Pacific. The author does a decent job "catching up" but it would have been much better if he had done a completely different series taking the Pacific from beginning to end instead of just jumping to the conclusion--there is certainly enough historical material available to write another trilogy just on this topic.
My biggest complaint was the way that the U.S. Army was portrayed in this book. I'll admit to being biased--my grandfather served in the Army and fought the Japanese in the Pacific, though not in any of battles described in this book. I've seen the graves of my grandfather's friends who died fighting the Japanese--sacrifices no less than those made by the U.S. Marines in the Pacific. I don't say this to take away anything from what the Marines did--their service was proud, heroic and praiseworthy but so was the Army's service in the Pacific. The author describes one scene where a group of Marines throw garbage and shout insults at Army soldiers being pulled off the line after a long period of fighting. I assume this is historical or the author wouldn't have included it, but I found it disturbing to read a description of one group of brave American servicemen abusing another group of brave American servicemen. That scene should either have been omitted or handled with more sensitivity.
The book also seems to denigrate the service and leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. While I realize that General MacArthur is a controversial figure, I didn't feel like the book gave him adequate credit or, at minimum, tell his side of the story.
My final complaint regards the narration. I'm sure that the Japanese voices are incredibly hard to copy, but, often, they ended up sounding like the German voices the narrator used in the first three books. I call this a nit-picky complaint because the overall quality of the narration is very good.
Even with these criticisms, I still believe this is a great book and well worth the read. Actually, I think it says a lot about the overall quality of this book that I can have these significant concerns and still think the book is great.
I thought the concept of the different view points and delivery were terrific, I just would have liked a bit more rounded perspective on the parts of the characters other than Adams. It certainly did take you to the battle field and give you the feelings of fear. I did learn quite about the Pacific Theater that I did not know before. Probably great if you like war novels, just not quite my cup of tea.
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