After the battle in which the men of the destroyer Walker and their Lemurian allies repelled the savage Grik, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy is shocked by the arrival of a strange ship captained by one Commaner Jenks of the New Britain Imperial Navy - an island-nation populated by the descendants of British East Indiamen swept through the rift centuries before.
With the Walker undergoing repairs, Reddy already has a great deal on his hands. For the Grik will return, and Reddy will need all hands on deck to fight them off when they next attack. But Jenks's uncertain loyalties make Reddy question whether he can trust the man. As tension between the Allies and the Imperials mount, Reddy will come to realize that his suspicions are not misplaced - and that a greater danger than the Grik is closer than he ever suspected.
Battle stations! Listen to more in the Destroyermen series.
©2010 Taylor Anderson (P)2010 Tantor
If you have enjoyed the other books in the Destroyermen series, you will certainly enjoy this one. We reconnect with the crew of USS Walker and her allies 3 months after the devastating, yet victorious, battle with the Grik. Everyone has been very industrious since that battle and the first two-thirds of the book is effectively a tour of all the industrious things different groups have been doing.
The final third of the book finally brings some serious conflicts and setbacks (and battles!) that have made the series so enjoyable. The Grik are in the background for most of this story, though there is no doubt they will rise to menace our heroes again.
Overall I did enjoy the book, but it mostly felt like a bridge between the prior three books and future books. That was OK with me because I enjoy the characters and the "lost world" aspect of their surroundings. I do expect the next one to have a lot more action as all the allies' industrious activities on the home front get put into high gear.
The narrator generally does a fabulous job with the voices - certainly not easy with multiple human and non-human characters. Though I though his vocalization of "Larry the lizard" left a bit to be desired - though that certainly didn't take away from a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Throughout this series I have thought the details provided by the author regarding all manner of things have alternated between overly tedious to wonderfully enlightening. He gives a complete background on minor characters and gadgets the characters have invented. However, I have come to really appreciate the details. In this installment of the series the destroyermens' relationship with the 18th century Brits is developing into a story of its own. I have written in previous reviews that Audible should make the illustrations and maps that are in the printed books available as PDF files for audio book fans. I went to the Audible website's chat site and made that suggestion to an Audible rep who said he would pass it along. I hope that the suggestion is acted upon for this series and all the other books that Audible sells. But back to this story. I am happy to note that the quality of the writing is just as high in this fourth book as it was in the first. The characters remain a source of inspiration for their courage and ingenuity. The author is now delving into one of life's great questions - what makes us human? This question is reflected certainly in the author's presentation of the Lemurian "people", but now he has opened that box regarding the Grik and other reptilian species as well. I am anxious to see how this plays out.
This is the 4th book in this series I've listen to, and although I have my complaints (very repetitive dialogue, somewhat silly story) they have been a fun listen. Distant Thunders: Destroyermen however was a bit of a disappointment. The previous 3 books build up to the climax, the climax happens, and finally wrap things up while setting the scene for the next book. Distant Thunder however, is all build up, with a side show attached, and it doesn't even wrap up the side show. I am still looking forward to the next book, but I really wish this one had a good story arch in of itself like the previous three installments.
This is the fourth book in the series continuing the adventures of Captain Matthew Reddy and the Americans from the two destroyers, Walker, and Mahan, who have landed in a parallel world– out of time. Author Anderson, through a smooth process of flashbacks, presents the background information of the existing characters so new readers can identify them. I found the information helpful to refresh my memory without being at all boring. The reader also learns more about the newer characters, particularly the British Empire officer, Jenks, who might turn out to be honorable and the “East Indian Company” man, Billingsly, who clearly is not honorable.
There is quite a bit of interesting history on ship and weapon development. I appreciated how the author combines the more advanced, industrialized 1940s crew with the previous peaceful, but non-industrialized Lemurian culture so they work together to develop new materials and methods to build the assets needed to prepare for the war against the Grik.
The Grik are still in the picture with a few scenes keeping the reader informed on the changes happening with their leadership and machinations. It is interesting to observe the hunter having to deal with the realization that they are becoming the prey to the American and Allied forces.
After reintroducing the players there is plenty of action. Captain Reddy takes Captain Jenks along to Aryall to see the battle preparations and advance engagements against the Grik. Meanwhile, repairs to Walker and other damaged ships is underway at the shipyard at Baalkpan. Billingsly, left behind with the British ship at Baalkpan, kidnaps the New Britain Princess, Rebecca, along with several others, including Matt’s sweetheart, Lieutenant Sandra Tucker, and the irrepressible, salty, but genius, sailor, Dennis Silva.
Matt returns to Baalkpan to head out in pursuit of Billingsly while Silva ruminates over escape plans for those kidnapped. There is plenty more story to look forward to in the next installment!
Audio Notes: I am utterly impressed with the narration by William Dufris. He portrays the character idiosyncrasies and his reading keeps pace with the emotions and actions. I love listening to this series!
this book series is getting better and better with each book I listen to. I hope we continue being given unabridged books and excellent voice actors ... great job to the author for keeping things sharp and great job to the narrator...
I'm more of a Tom Clancy type of reader but this caught my eye. It's an interesting story line in a twisted mind sort of way.
At first this series was pretty interesting. Folks started getting killed off rather fast for my liking. At this rate, the author better find some new friends for his characters quickly or he'll the few main characters will be by themselves.
I am beginning to the different layers in the story line, he obviously did his homework and developed almost a flowchart story line. I agree with an earlier comment that access to the maps and other illustrations that are in the printed versions of the books would be nice to see here an option. The narrator is very talented. I have no idea how he keeps the different voices right.
I got to Taylor Anderson by way of David Weber and Larry Correia, and I am glad I made the trip. It can be a daunting thing to create a coherent alternate world with depth, and Anderson continues to flesh out this dangerous world where the crew of a transported World War II US Navy destroyer and her crew have found both fast friends and enemies savage and treacherous. The savage ones, the reptilian Grik, feature less prominently than in the first three books but the treacherous ones take center stage in this episode.
The crash Industrial Revolution (similar to Weber's Safehold series) is in full swing with aircraft and aircraft carriers making moves toward relevance in the story, and the USS Walker is refloated and repaired to continue to be the center of action. The mysterious New Britons share the spotlight in both good and evil guises.
The production continues to be high quality with the narrator providing identifiable accents and voices for the various characters, human and not. The story is advanced and I am eagerly anticipating the fifth book.
Certainly worth your time if you have done the first three books. If you haven't you will be caught up with details during the story, but you have missed a lot. Listen to the first three books and you will enjoy it more.
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