Familiar landmarks appear, but the water teems with monstrous, vicious fish. And there appear to be dinosaurs grazing on the plains of Bali. Gradually Matt and his crew must accept the fact that they are in an alternate world---and they are not alone. Humans have not evolved, but two other species have. And they are at war.
With its steam power and weaponry, the Walker's very existence could alter the balance of power. And for Matt and his crew, who have the means to turn a primitive war into a genocidal Armageddon, one thing becomes clear: They must decide whose side they're on. Because whoever they choose to side with is the winner.
Battle stations! Listen to more in the Destroyermen series.
©2008 Taylor Anderson (P)2008 Tantor
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"It just never grabbed me."
I have not read a lot of alternate history/alternate reality books, but I chose to give this one a try based on the reviews. William Dufris is an excellent narrator and he does a decent job with this book as usual, but the story itself was where it fell short for me.
As a reader of many Fantasy/Sci Fi books, I often wonder what I would do if I found myself placed in the same circumstances as the characters in the book. To me that would be the main attraction of this sub-genre. However, while listening to this book I never found myself with those thoughts. I was always an observer of what was going on and was never immersed. I must admit that I was actually going along for the journey at the beginning, somewhat intriguied by the challenges that would be faced by the crew of a modern ship that all of sudden lost access to the infrastructure needed to keep things running. Then the cat & lizard people were discovered and I knew this wasn't for me.
To be fair, I didn't absolutely hate the story, but for now I won't be picking up book number 2 in the series.
"Entertaining and Well Narrated"
Didn't think I was going to like it as much as I
did. First, it was well written, fast paced,
with genuine characters, all of whom, even the
aliens, seemed realistically motivated. Second,
the narration, overall, was first rate. I have
picked several losers, lately, but this wasn't
one of them. I can only hope that the sequels
are as well done.
"You've been there before; a nice trip anyway"
Anderson takes a somewhat tired old idea which has been used again and again and breathes some life into it with his outstanding knowledge of the ships and practice of the U.S. Navy. In addition, he creates an appealing, and even charming, race of lemurians to collaborate with the crew of sailors and Marines which you will instantly recognize if you have ever seen a movie set in the Pacific theater of WWII. In fact, the book feels like nothing so much as a good B movie produced in a simpler time, say the 1950's. Not a bad thing, since it is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the story. American know how and the understated nobility of the common fighting man.
Though the story lacks originality in almost every respect, Anderson tells it well with lots of interesting detail, and the narration is very good. I enjoyed listening and I would consider moving on to the next in the series, but without the compelling excitement or curiosity which is possible when you are in the hands of a truly remarkable creative imagination.
"Into the Breach"
I started this book with some concern that it wouldn't live up to my high hopes. I was very happy to find that it grabbed my attention right away. The description of the battle that led to the ship entering the storm captivated me right away. The author kept up with detail but also came up with an interesting approach to a parallel Earth. I very much enjoyed how the crew of the Walker deal with a local threat and the need to find resources that don't exist yet. The author did a great job of keeping the story interesting and on target. I look forward to the next book in this series!
"THE TAILESS ONES"
IF THEY SINK THE BOTTOM HALF, THE TOP HALF GOES TOO.
When you start listening you may think, you have read this book before. That is because Taylor pretty much borrows from other writers, to write one of the most predictable books, I have ever read. At first you may think you are listening to Master and Commander, but then you are listening to William Fortschen's Ralley Cry Series. In Fortschen's little known book, a Civil War ship full of solders goes into a storm and comes out in an alternative world. That book was no where as popular as this, but it is a much better book. Then you enter Doyle's The Lost World, the characters in the book even mention Conan Doyle and The Lost World.
Then in the Spirit of a Clint Eastwood western the warrior Americans teach a peace loving people how to protect themselves or was that The 13th Warrior?
This is not a bad book and I got it because of the high rating it had, but it is not anything new. For the less read it may be pretty good, for the experienced reader, it may seem a little cliche.
"The cover is a little misleading"
Story - First off, I am one of the few females reviewing this book and I thought it was very good. Second, only about the first 20% of the story is battle engagement (like on the cover.) The rest is what the destroyermen find after they emerge from the squall and the challenges they face in their new world. They find several new species and become involved in battles between two of them, but if you're looking for lots of engagements between destroyers at sea, etc., you might be disappointed.
The story is interesting and unusual. There is action and suspense, but not the edge-of-your seat kind. The characters are smart and likeable, but unfortunately I never really got emotionally involved with them. (That would have made the story so much better!)
The book ends at a good "stopping point" as opposed to a cliffhanger ending, but there is much to look forward to in future books. I don't plan to listen to the entire series, but I will definitely pick up an occasional book when Audible has one on sale.
Narration - Good job, but nothing special.
Overall - Recommended, especially if you like hearing about fictitious new creatures and their way of life. And this is not just for guys...
I am a sucker for alternate reality. That said, this book was interesting. The initial battle sequence is excellent as are later battle sequences. The world they discover is interesting. Characters are shallow and I feel the author missed lots of opportunities to work the character differences and to make the plot more interesting. This is pure good guys/bad guys but as an escape, it rates a listen. I will probably try the next book. The love interest crept in at the end. Kind of clumsy and clunky. Stick with the action, monsters and technology.
"USS Walker Cat Monkeys vs. Evil Lizards!"
No, that would not work as a title but the "review" of this book doesn't do it justice as a summary either. I realized that wasn't the intention, but that was all I had to go on when I decided to download this book. Glad I did. If your thing is epic SciFi, this book I recommend. Yes it is Book 1 and yes it is a commitment when beginning a series like this (that Book 2, 3, 4, etc. are not already written) BUT this is a "very good" SciFi book. Can't wait for Book 2.
"Destroyermen and The Lost Regiment"
Wow, this is a great series but I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the similarities between the Destroyermen series and the Lost Regiment series by William Forstchen.
The parallels are too close to ignore. USS Walker lost in a weird storm and comes out in an alternate Earth. The 35th Maine regiment on a ship lost in a weird storm comes out in an alternate planet. Lt Commander Reddy of the USS Walker in total command of allied forces, Colonel Keane of the 35th Maine in total command of allied forces. "Cats" joining the ranks of the USS Walker, RUS joining the ranks of the 35th Maine. The traitor Capt. Tobias and his LT remaining loyal to Keane. The traitor Capt. Kaufman and his LT remaining loyal to Reddy. The woman nurse attracted to Reddy. The woman nurse attracted to Keane. The monsters eating people in both books...SGT Major Schuder made a general to train the locals in The Lost Reg. SGT Adler made a general to train the locals in Destroyermen. Overwhelming numers of enemy hordes in both series. "Cats" learning english better than the humans learning the cat tongue. The Rus and others learning English better than Keane and Co.
Still it's a great and entertaining story but completely lifted...Not Exaclty the same but c'mon...Anyone who's read The Lost Regiment Series will recognize it immediately...
If you loved the lost regiment, you'll love this series!!
"Not so difficult to believe"
Yes, the story of a World War II destroyer that slips into an alternate universe inhabited by friendly, intelligent lemur-cat creatures that are engaged in an epic battle with the malignant lizard like Grik might seem a bit farfetched, but this is 2008 so nothing should seem too unbelievable. It is very fun to hear. I'm downloading the sequel, Destroyermen:Crusade tonight.
"Journey into the Unknown"
Well, I'll put my hand up to being stupid. I saw the title, read the first paragraph of the blurb and thought "Great, some bog standard second world war fiction" and just spent a credit. Haven't read many simple war books recently and just fancied it.
Obviously anyone who does their research better than I did on this occasion will know before pressing play that I was in for a shock. Not at first, the opening of the book as an excellent description of a rearguard action that makes no attempt to glorify the US navy as it's aging fleet is whipped into ignomious retreat. I was very happy, a clearly knowledgeable author, good writing and Dufris is a very accomplished narrator.
But then of course things began to change, I'm sure my face was a picture as I realised my mistake . . . should I return the damn thing to Audible or should I plough on?
Well, I rarely give up on a book easily and in this case I'm very glad I didn't. Anderson outlines a richly detailed alternative Earth complete with new races of various types. There is perhaps a hint of a cliche or two in the characterisation of the races but don't be put off as the author piles much thought into how the races are motivated by their societies.
If you're open to this kind of fantasy setting and enjoy an author who will spend time on both the action and detailing the background this could well be for you. For me, it was both a genuine surprise and a pleasure. The only real reason for not giving this five stars was that I did want the action to move a little faster but that is purely personal taste.
So, maybe a little piece of patience is required but it's well worth the investment. On that subject though as this is the first in a series check out the reviews of the subsequent books which also cover the length of the narrative / pace of the action as many have opinions that might be useful.
"Five, five, five"
Yes great story
Good blend of a war and sci fi book
Charectors are easy to identify and also believable
Yes great story line
I rarely buy series but will make the exception in this case
"One of the best books I have had in a while"
Don't expect to get much done if you buy this book or the audio version, it is almost impossible to put down. I am just glad this is part f a series and the first book defiantly sets a cracking passe.
"Gripping. Exciting. Credible.....A real find!"
I like fantasy and science fiction, but I only came across Taylor Anderson by accident. And I am so pleased that I did. The style of the writing is like a cross between Anne McCaffrey's accomplished world building and a Douglas Reaman classic
The WW11 era naval operational practices aboard the ageing 4 stack Destroyer and the attitudes of the men that crew her are played dead straight...(i.e. very Douglas Reaman like) This is after all a ship and a crew at war. Mr Anderson clearly has spent a lot of his time around Navy types. Very convincing.
The new races and cultures the "Walker" encounters, are built quite convincingly in a in a strange but weirdly familiar setting... with plenty of well paced and exciting action too.
I like the way the author has chosen a ship that is passed it's best...it is ageing and has been shot up in previous encounters with the Japs, and so does not have the overwhelming technical superiority that a modern or better armed ship would have.
This means the crew have to work hard and think about how they are going to survive more than just a few days or weeks until stuff all runs out. These themes are well handled in the context of a ship that has just been dumped into the middle of someone (something) else's war. and has to make the right decisions on whether to join in or not. And if so...on what side.
The narrator does a great job too, bring some disparate and alien characters to life. I would be happy to hear more from him.
Although clearly the first book in a sequence, the story ended roundly and properly, whilst neatly setting up the next salivating episode....
And now, I've got a whole series to get obsessed with.... Brilliant.
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