Genre: Alternate History
Setting: An alternate version of Earth during the World War II era, the action takes place mainly in the Indian and South Pacific oceans.
First Sentence: Ten days after the great battle that drove General Hisashi Kurosawa and the tattered remnants of his once-mighty fleet from Madras, only two of his little squadron of Grik-built cruisers, Nachi and Tatsuma, remained to steam into the port of Cochin.
This novel is the ninth in Anderson's Destroyermen alternate history series.
During a fierce sea battle, the USS Walker steamed into a strange storm cloud, and emerged into an Earth very different than the one she had left. Soon the destroyer and her crew were embroiled in a war between the peaceful sentient mammals called Lemurians, and the vicious reptilian creatures called the Grik.
As the Destroyermen novels have progressed, we have learned that throughout history different groups of humans have some how been transported to this alternate Earth. There have been 15th century Spanish missionaries, 18th century English explorers as well as World War I Germans and a World War II Japanese battleship.
In this installment of the series, the author reveals that some of the humans have arrived from different versions of Earth, with different time lines.
As the novel begins, the Allied forces of Lemurians and humans are now strong enough to take the fight to the homelands of their two main enemies. To the East is the Holy Dominion. The Dominion is a culture formed from the blend of the Spanish Inquisition with the ancient Aztec religions. To the West is the Empire of the Griks. The Griks are the mortal enemies of the Lemurians. Until the Destroyermen arrived, the Lemurians had no chance of defeating the Grik.
Captain Reddy, the commander of the Walker, has proposed a raid on the Grik capital reminiscent of General Doolittle's raid on Tokyo during World War II. Although he views the plan as a raid, the Lemurians perceive the raid as a chance to regain their ancient ancestral home.
Will the Allied forces be victorious in their attacks?
As they explore this alternate Earth, what other groups of humans will they encounter?
In my opinion, this novel is a satisfying return to the Destroyerman universe. This is the offensive battle that we have been waiting for. The grand battle scene is exciting with lots of action. And once again Anderson's great character, Silva, goes off on a heroic expedition.
I enjoyed this book. And since the author dropped many tantalizing hints for the surprises in upcoming installments, I eagerly await the next novel.
If you are interested in reading the Destroyermen series, I strongly suggest that you read them in order.