Straits of Hell: Destroyermen
by Taylor Anderson
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Roc Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451470614
Date: 05 May 2015 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The ancient home island of the Lemurians has been retaken, but enemies, both hidden and open, are closing. When the USS Walker and USS Mahon first came through to this new world, the enemy was clear, the Grik and the Japanese. Over time this simplicity has been complicated by other groups that have their own agendas.
The Dominion in the East is preparing an all-out assault on the British with their Lemurian allies. The Doms have brought in more troops and waited high up for the blood plague to hit the locals and Imperials. The time is right to quickly annihilate their enemies. The all-out assault will be more costly than either side expects.
On the Western Front, the Lemurians have pushed the Grik out of India. But they did not destroy the new-style Grik fighters, leaving a large field army moving west toward the Historic Grik lands. There are plans to retake the Celestial Palace, but there are competitors to fill the power vacuum created by the Queen’s death.
Matthew Reddy knows that the Grik will come. So, he prepares for all of the eventualities he can. But traps and misinformation will come into play. The mission sent to round the Horn, is held captive and the same force holds up the planned land assault on the Grik. Dennis Silva is sent on a mission to find the lost Lemurians. The small force is at risk, with no guarantee of success.
There is a new player in the war. The axis powers from an alternate earth are making their presence known. They reach out to the Japanese. But what are their true goals? Are they trying to help, or create a longer war so that all sides are exhausted?
This is the tenth novel in the Destroyermen series. It seems hard to believe that there are that many books in the series already. As the later book in an established series, it is not the best starting point. But the series is good and worth reading. There is another series of books that explores the competition between lizards and cat-like people, Clan of the Claw, created by Bill Fawcett and written by some of the top writers in Alternate History.
Over the years, the cast of characters has grown along with the number of transplanted people. The thing that hasn’t changed is the pace of action. There is near constant action taking place in one spot or another. There were several major battles on land, sea, and in the air. This pace of action is finally having a toll on all of the major forces. The troops are exhausted, supplies are low, and constant fighting has pushed others to the breaking point. This is one of the real costs of war, one that continues to take a toll in the years to come.