Friday, July 14, 2017

James Review -- Destroyermen: Blood in the Water

This week I decided to review Destroyermen: Blood in the Water by Taylor Anderson. 

The story begins shortly after the previous book. The SMS Amerika is carrying a number of the Grand Alliance leaders and thousands of wounded home. But Contre Admiral Rauol Laborde of the fascist League of Tripoli is angry after being forced to withdraw from his blockade of the capital of the Republic of Real People, so he decides to intercept an capture Amerika. The attack initially goes well but then Amerika's mentally ill former captain makes his way to the bridge and orders his ship, a cruise liner converted to a raider cruiser, to open fire on the battleship that has captured Amerika, then flee and when the battleship returns fire,  Amerika is destroyed, killing most of her passengers and crew though a number of high level Alliance personnel were transferring to Laborde's flagship at the time. This leaves the League's leadership reeling as they scramble to try and incorporate Amerika's destruction into their plans to spark a war that will cripple the Grand Alliance and its various non-League enemies clearing the way for a global takeover.

Meanwhile Japanese officer Hiashi Kurokawa has been secretly building a group of aircraft carriers and planes for them to deploy. He uses this force to launch a massive attack on an Alliance convoy carrying badly needed supplies and troops and both the convoy's transports and the escort fore which includes the first two modern, roughly World War II tech-level, warships built by the Grand Alliance, quickly find themselves in a desperate battle.

The two expeditions sent out to find possible allies for the Alliance press on. Fred Reynolds and Kari-Faask manage to capture a number of Holy Dominion troops shortly before making contact with the New United States, formed by a group of troops and the transports carrying them to their timelines's version of the war between the United States and Mexico a century before the book takes place. Unfortunately, they discover that the claim by a NUS agent that they were preparing a massive force to attack the Holy Dominion is false and are left trying to convince their hosts to ally with the Grand Alliance.

The team sent to find the long lost kin of the Alliance's Lemurians struggle to survive attacks by the various hostile animals in the region and narrowly manage to avoid getting into a full scale battle with those they are seeking to befriend. They are surprised to discover that much about what they have done in this universe is known thanks to a World War II Allied bomber that was shifted to this area and crashed with an intact radio receiver. Talks go well and they group soon finds itself launching an attack on a Grik-run slave labor camp in hopes of liberating some of their new allies.

I give this book 8 out of 10. The battle scenes were nicely written and varied but there weren't enough of them in my opinion. Also, I noticed a number of minor errors that never should have made it past the editor. I wish the New United States plot had been extended and there are a couple of scenes that I'm honestly not sure why they were included since I feel they have little or nothing to do with any key points of the book. And there are a few events that don't make sense to me, especially in the League of Tripoli subplot. 

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