Genre: Alternate History
Setting: A parallel version of Earth during World War II
Firestorm is the sixth novel in Anderson's Destroyermen series.
In early days of World War II, a Navy destroyer is locked in a life or death struggle with a Japanese battleship. In a last ditch attempt to escape, the USS Walker heads into a strange violent squall. When the destroyer emerges from the storm, its crew finds themselves in a very different world.
There they discover two nonhuman sentient races: the Lemurians, a relatively peace loving mammalian species, and the Grik, a violent reptilian species bent on conquering and consuming the Lemurians.
Eventually, they find that there are other humans who have entered this strange Earth at various times in the past. One group is descended from British explorers from the 18th century who now occupy what in our world is the Hawaiian islands. Another has its roots in Spanish explorers and missionaries from the 16th century. This group of humans have created a twisted religion formed from the marriage of the Spanish Inquisition and Aztec human sacrifice.
The crew of the Walker join with the Lemurians to help them survive the Grik onslaught. As the story progresses through Anderson's novels, the war with the Grik grows. A Japanese battleship has also entered this world. Its crew join with the Grik in order to fight and defeat the Americans helping the Lemurians.
In this novel the scope of the conflict has widened from Ceylon in the West, to the what we would call the California coast. In the West the battle with the Grik continues as the Grik become more technologically and mentally advanced. In the East, the Destroyermen, aided by the Lemurians, fight the evil Holy Dominion. There are defeats and victories as the war progresses. This novel is an interesting and exciting chapter in a fantastic Alternate History series.
I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be a real page turner. The battle scenes are exciting without excessive descriptions of blood and violence. And Anderson has created a memorable character in Chief Gunners Mate Silva. I like Anderson's writing style. It makes it easy to read and understand the plot.
I would make one suggestion to the author. As the series progresses there are many characters to keep track of. A list of the characters would aid the reader in remembering who is who.
Into the Storm - the first book in the series.
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