Summary

Pressed into service when World War II breaks out in the Pacific, the USS Walker---a Great-War vintage "four-stacker" destroyer---finds itself in full retreat from pursuit by Japanese battleships. Its captain, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Patrick Reddy, knows that he and his crew are in dire straits. In desperation, he heads Walker into a squall, hoping it will give them cover---and emerges somewhere else. 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 07-09-15

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.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By M on 22-08-18

Patrick O'Brian meets the Lost World/Cruel Sea

In "Icerigger", by Alan Dean Foster, a band of plucky humans are stranded on a bronze age ice-world peopled by a catlike warrior race, facing annihilation from marauding barbarians. Using the technical savvy of a schoolmasterly member of the band, they quickly enhance the defensive capabilities of their hosts, sampling exotic local ale, exotic local sex and meeting exotic local monsters. in The course of the novel, the leader of the band discovers his inner hero and gets the girl.
In Destroyermen, a crew of plucky WW2 American sailors are stranded with their 1919 destroyer on an alternate Earth where dinosaurs did not go extinct, and a race of catlike warriors face annihilation from marauding (lizard) barbarians. using the technical savvy of a schoolmasterly civilian on their ship (and the technical skills of the ship's engineers) they quickly enhance the defensive capabilities of their hosts, sampling exotic local ale, exotic local sex and meeting exotic local monsters. in the course of the novel, the captain of the ship discovers his inner hero and gets the girl.

Along the way, we meet ship-rigged two-deckers, fore-and-aft feluccas and captains barges, all crewed by murderous lizard imperialists, with action scenes right out of "Master and Commander". There's even an enormously capable human boson's mate to make everything alright in the end.

This all means that Destroyermen ought to be written off as derivative nonsense, but in fact it is superbly entertaining. I found it to be a compulsive listen, full of fun, excitement, some neatly placed jokes and likeable, if somewhat flat characters.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Wayne on 13-11-08

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!

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28 of 35 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By AudioAddict on 01-08-13

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...


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20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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