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.
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.
Book 4 in the Destroyermen series continues to engage the reader. New characters emerge and a few of the old characters are enhanced. Silva, for example, becomes a central character who impacts events. New alliances and antagonists emerge while the old "Grik" bad guys continue in the background. Can't wait for Book 5.
Maybe I should have read the first books in the series before this one, I thought the Taylor Anderson spent way too much time giving us background that never grabbed my attention.
This series is great and somehow just keeps getting even better.
The characters are exceptionally interesting and I just like hearing what they have been up to. The overall story arc is great and the individual stories are fascinating. I wish all novels could be this engaging!
I'm amused to see that other reviewers say how both Destroyermen and Lost Fleet are their favorite series; I thought it was just me. I have even built a model of the USS Walker, which is my first model in over ten years.
William Dufris is a great narrator and shines with his work in this series.
If you like: alternate history, time travel stories, The Sand Pebbles, empire building, Lemurs, naval combat, or any outrageous adventure, then listen to this series, you won't be disappointed.
Well written, funny, historically accurate (until time changes of course), a wonderful start to an SM Stirling style empire building adventure series.
Loved it, loved the narration, recommend it to all my friends and family, and now to you.
After the war with the Grik, the crew of the Destroyer Walker is forced to reconcile its losses and regroup its forces, rebuilding and refitting Walker is priority #1, second to finding resources to repel a future Grik offensive. In this alternate Earth, Reddy and his crew discover that other humans exist on this earth, and they have internal strife of their own, bringing war once again to the doorstep of the Allied forces on this alternate Earth.
I would change how the chapters are arranged. There are many breaks in the story that appear to be natural chapters ends. the author chooses to continue with the story by changing setting, for example. As a listener, I would be nice to have some of those 'natural breaks' as good pausing points.
There are strong shades of the Master and Commander, Horatio Hornblower, and Honor Harrington series. It has all to do with the similarities in naval command themes.
When the Walker was raised and repaired.
Yes, it would make an interesting visual feature. The Lemurians would be great if played by Sacha Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer. As fas as the humans, it doesn't really matter who plays them since the visual attraction is based on the strange world.
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