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Rising Tides: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson
Cover Artist: Studio Lidell
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Roc Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451463883
Date: 01 February 2011 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The majesty and mystery of the Destroyermen series continues in the fifth entrant in the series, Rising Tides. The U.S.S. Walker is steaming towards New Britain’s Home Islands chasing the captives that have already escaped. The offensive against the Grik is continuing in the West. The mission to gather the materials off the abandoned freighter is underway. The retrieval of the submarine S-19 is progressing but faces a new deadline. A couple of brief interlude shares the Grik perspective.

The former captives including Lawrence, Dennis Silva, Sandra Tucker, and Princess Rebecca have made their escape and made landfall on a familiar island. It is the place where Lawrence faced his trial for adulthood. Unfortunately their timing couldn’t be worse. Survival will take teamwork, but the British soldiers are reluctant to follow Silva’s lead.

The bulk of the action takes place in the home islands. The situation there is not something that the crew of the Walker is prepared to face. The shortage of women that the survivors of the Walker have been dealing with, was also faced by the British crews when they arrived. The Dominion based in Central America has plenty of women, who have been brought West. The trade in women is a friction point that may keep the Grand Alliance from working with New Britain. The New Britain Company runs the trade and its leaders have plans to maintain their power and influence. The arrival of the Walker throws those awry, but they still go forward.

There are several perspectives followed in Rising Tides. Each perspective keeps readers informed about the major action throughout the world. The action around the Walker and the cargo recovery is likely to be found the most interesting, although the changes that are coming to the Grik rank close. The action is nearly continuous as each group faces some challenge.

This is the second book that focuses on the Grand Campaign and outward expansion. It does have some of the setting up feel of a middle book, but there is plenty of action that surrounds the set up. The new intelligent species is interesting and I hope the future brings the Destroyermen back in contact with them.

This volume brought back the spirit of adventure and exploration that had been lost to nonstop warfare in the past few books. Exploration was the element that made Into the Storm amazing, while differentiating it from the simpler military based science fiction. The man versus environment aspect is key to creating the feel of Mysterious Island. If Taylor Anderson continues his development, the Destroyermen will become one of Science Fiction’s seminal works.

Since this is part of a series, readers need to start with Into the Storm. Not that reading the earlier volumes is much of a burden. Like many others, I look forward to the continuing adventures of Mathew Reddy and his Destroyermen.

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