Thursday, May 12, 2011

Book Review: Into The Storm

I've been working on the restructuring of this blog(Please, Pardon Our Dust) and decided that henceforth every Thursday shall be known as...wait for it...Book Review Day!
And in keeping with that very exciting change, I have selected the first victim-er, I mean book to be reviewed. Mwa-ha-ha.
Into The Storm, by Taylor Anderson, is a likely contender for a spot on "Porter's Picks." I'll be honest, I'm a sucker for a flashy cover, and what more could you want from a cover, anyway? The other books only have cooler covers, but I'll wait to show you those until I read them.
The book inside was just as gripping as the awesome artwork on the cover. Into The Storm tells the story of the USS Walker, a "four-stacker" destroyer left over from World War I. The Walker, an aging antique of a warship belongs to the infamous Asiatic Fleet. As World War II breaks out across the Pacific there is little choice but for the Walker and her fellow ships to run, trying to make a fight of it anywhere they can. Hopelessly outgunned and out-planed by the Japanese Imperial Navy, the Walker get assigned to escort a British cruiser, the HMS Exeter, to safety.
The Japanese have no intention of letting them escape. In a multi-pronged attack they hit the small flotilla again and again and again. The Exeter goes down, and just as it looks like the Walker and her sister ship Mahan will meet a similar fate at the hands of the giant Japanese cruiser Amagi they duck into a storm and find a momentary lease on life.
But when they emerge from the storm they quickly realize that something is not right. There are no Japanese planes in the air. No Japanese ships. For that matter, there are no radio contacts, even though the radio is working fine.
Taylor Anderson, Author of the Destroyermen Series
Troubled by this turn of events they make for land. But the East Indies aren't what they're supposed to be. Dinosaurs roam the land, and everywhere there seem to be creatures, both in the sea and on land that would like nothing better to eat them. As the heavy weight of the situation comes down on them they realize that not only have they passed into a alternate universe, but that there may be no return.
This book quickly goes from military historical fiction to high fantasy, and I loved it. It had all the best parts of 20,000 leagues, Lost World, and Time Machine. It was a solid four stars, and sets up the rest of the series well.
There is a little bit of language, not much, but it's there, so be aware. Crude humor is a part of it too, but honestly. The book is about a navy destroyer and its crew. What do you expect?
All in all, I was surprised by just how much I liked this book. Fans of the Temeraire series might find it a fun( and less long-winded) alternative while they wait for the next book in that series. If you like high-fantasy or adventure novels this is also a must-read.

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