Firestorm (Destroyermen Series) by Taylor Anderson. Roc Books. 464 pages.
This isn’t actually alternate history, which should give my daughter some relief (since she’s both a history and English purist); it’s more like an alternate worlds story. But it’s the sixth book in this series by Taylor Anderson.
The crux of the story is about a out-of-date U.S. destroyer that escapes from a Japanese cruiser at the beginning of World War II, only to be caught up in a vortex and transported to a parallel world that features an ongoing world war between the Grik, a reptilian race that devours everything and everyone in its path, and the peaceful Lemurians, who are much like lemurs, or course. The U.S. sailors and marines step in and stop the Grik from destroying the Lemurians, then teach them how to fight.
By the time we get to Firestorm, the story has escalated quite a bit. The first book takes place in the Dutch East Indies, north of Australia. By book six, we have battles going on in Ceylon (today called Sri Lanka), Hawaii (called New Ireland in the book) and on the coast of California.
And as enjoyable as the battle scenes and the characterizations are of this book, that’s the biggest problem I have with the series at this point. It’s gotten too, too big. It’s like one author has decided to tell the story of the entire Second World War. You hit the highlights, but you miss a lot of the details. You see lots of battles, but you have to jump from place to place to place in order to do it. It’s confusing, and you have a hard time keeping track of individuals. It’s a lesson for us writers, that’s for sure.
I love the series, but I can’t give this book more than three stars out of five.